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Who must go: Sanchez or Schottenheimer?

Brian Schottenheimer vs Mark Sanchez

Even if the New York Jets have not been in a losing streak (possibly missing the playoffs this season) what has become apparent to die hard fans is that the offense has been staggering the past few seasons. Although the Jets almost made the Superbowl in 2009 and 2010, the offense has always been a questionable part of the team.

Mark Sanchez finished his rookie year with 20 interceptions and only 12 passing touchdowns. The following season Sanchez improved a bit with 13 interceptions and 17 touchdowns. Now in the third season, the Jets offense is still struggling to score even with talented players in the running back (LaDainian Tomlinson/Shonn Greene), receiver (Plaxico Burress/Santonio Holmes), and tight end (Dustin Keller) positions.

A critical view of the offense would not put the blame solely on the quarterback. Instead it would go on the offensive coordinator: Brian Schottenheimer.

A closer look at the real issue

Sanchez’s statistics may not be impressive, even appalling in some categories. However, Schottenheimer should at least share the criticism as well. The statistics show that Sanchez has a low completion percentage of 55% in his three seasons thus far into the year. Looking past the numbers one would see that Sanchez often times does not have any options to throw the ball to. This could be the result of Sanchez not reading the defense but it might also be due to the offensive plays being simplistic and easily defensible.

The Jets’ playbook seems to be summed in three repetitive plays:

  1. run the ball through the middle
  2. play-action pass and
  3. slant pass to the Santonio Holmes or Plaxico Burress.

These three plays are the basis of the offense and any insightful defense can plan accordingly against the Jets. So if the Jets run the same repetitive plays every week and defenses can plan against the Jets’ playbook, how can Sanchez excel offensively? If anything, Sanchez is trying to create plays when there is no play available; going as far as getting hit while scrambling or while attempting to complete a pass. He deserves blame for certain questionable interceptions but not for the team’s offensive woes.

Schottenheimer vs. Sanchez?

The aforementioned argument can be untrue and maybe the offensive struggles is all due to Sanchez. Or maybe not. What is clear is that a change needs to occur by next season, if not sooner. The question then is who should go; Schottenheimer or Sanchez? Sanchez, regardless of his poor statistics, is athletic and a talented quarterback. Where he ranks among the current quarterbacks is debatable and at the same time irrelevant. He has shown he has the skills to lead a team and win games. On the other hand, there is no distinctive mark in the Jets’ game that depicts Schottenheimer as being instrumental in their victories. His offensive schemes have never won out against a good defensive scheme. Schottenheimer has been with the Jets since 2006; prior to the Sanchez-Ryan Era. Even in his early seasons Schottenheimer has not distinguished himself as a outstanding coordinator. And don’t forget that this is his first role as an offensive coordinator and previously served as a quarterbacks coach.

So when it comes to a young coordinator versus a young quarterback the benefit of the doubt should go to the quarterback. Why? Because a coordinator should be more seasoned and proven than the players that show sign of potential. If a child shows signs of talent at any craft, i.e. piano, and fails to show improvement after being under the training of an instructor, the instructor is most likely doing a poor job. His role is to groom the child ‘s talent and if after a period that isn’t transparent, then the parents need to search for a new instructor. There is a possibility that Schottenheimer may go to another team and excel with his offense while Sanchez may continue to struggle. Chances are, though, that Sanchez may finally bloom if given the right playbook. We may only truly know once they part ways. Lets see if it’s Schottenheimer that leaves.

Photo credit: AP, Jets website

I don't know. Sometimes it feels like my writing & thoughts are way off. Who knows if it'll help anyone or if it means anything.

Written by Nassau Jones

  1. YYP says:

    i agree with u my friend

Silence means 100% agreement