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After the Jets lack luster play in the last three weeks, especially by the offense, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimers’ name has begun to come up more and more with the New York media and fan base. Many people are already calling for his departure after the Jets proved unable to do anything against one of the worst defenses in the league in New England.
Schottenheimer, who is the only holdover from the Mangini era in New York, has been on the hot seat for a few years now due to the offense’s inability at times to score points. Many fans remember how the play calling used to be under Mangini which was always short and safe, sometimes too safe.
They were notorious at times for calling plays in which receivers would run routes inside the first down line and never given the chance to gain enough yardage. Schottenheimer isn’t the type of play caller who calls plays regardless of the opponent. His game plans vary week to week, based on the opponent’s weaknesses.
However, this season he seems to be more worried about keeping all of the offense’s big name receivers, Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and before he was traded Derrick Mason, happy rather than doing his job and calling the plays that needed to be called. Against Oakland, he made a great call on LaDainian Tomlinson’s touchdown catch matching him up against an obviously slower linebacker.
Then, Tomlinson never received the ball. Dustin Keller, who has all the ability in the world to be a top ten tight end in the league, has five catches all year. While many of the Jets struggles sit with the players and their poor performances, a lot also stems from poor and questionable play calling.
The Jets vowed to return to their ‘ground & pound’ roots against the Patriots and succeeded to some extent. However, there were a lot of play calls that left fans, the media, and even the announcers of the game scratching their heads. In the first three of the Jets eventual seven three and outs, the Jets ran the ball early and had 3rd and 2, 3rd and 1, and 3rd and 2.
All of these were very manageable third downs, but instead of running the ball up the gut which they had success with earlier, they dropped Sanchez back all three times, resulting in two incomplete passes and one sack.
On another play later in the game, they had Sanchez back in the shotgun with a spread four wide receiver set, yet not one wide receivers route was past the 1st down marker and the play resulted in the Jets being short of the first down. Plays like this are causing people to think that these are in fact the ‘same old Jets.’
Schotty’s play calling, which was the subject of the report issued before the Patriots game, that the three big name receivers had gone to Rex Ryan to complain about the play calling, has one, maybe two weeks to turn this all around before the Jets’ bye week. Up next for the Jets is the winless Dolphins on Monday Night Football, who like the Patriots have the 31st ranked passing defense.
After that it’s the 4-1 San Diego Chargers, but if the Jets lose to the Dolphins at home on national TV, Schotty might not even make it to the bye week. He is definitely on the hot seat and it’s up to him and the offensive players to get the job done or his job with the Jets could be done before seasons end.