In search of attack style, Jets looking at four candidates for offensive coordinator
Former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, center, appears to be on the Jets' short list of finalists for the same position. (Photo by Howard Smith/US Presswire)
By Conor Orr/The Star-Ledger
on January 14, 2013 at 9:00 PM, updated January 15, 2013 at 9:11 AM
Jets coach Rex Ryan has said he believes he was holding the team back because of his insistence on the ground-and-pound and reluctance to implement a more aggressive offense after 2009.
At his season-ending news conference last week, he hinted at the predictability of former offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and promised to return next fall with a more attack-oriented offense.
After informing Sparano of his dismissal early in the morning, he had a list of candidates ready by noon.
“I think before, maybe I misjudged the thing about I just want to ground-and-pound, that type of mentality,” Ryan said. “Maybe I bought into that more than maybe I should have. Maybe I needed to be more open-minded and look at things a little bit differently, but we have to have it.”
That list appears to include former Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and former Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, according to reports from the New York Daily News, the New York Post and CBS Sports.
Cameron reportedly interviewed Monday, although his agent, Gary O’Hagan, said he did not have knowledge of a meeting. Mornhinweg interviewed last week, and Hamilton is expected to interview Tuesday.
Of the four candidates, hiring Cameron would seem to be a familiar step for the Jets, which might not be the best thing. Cameron and former Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer are similarly rooted in their philosophies and schemes, having both served on the Chargers’ staff. The Jets parted ways with Schottenheimer after the 2011 season.
From the start of 2008 through Week 15 this season, Cameron’s offenses in Baltimore cracked the top 15 only once; the Ravens were 13th in total offense in 2009 (351.2 yards per game), and they were 18th in the league (344 yards per game) when Cameron was fired on Dec. 20.
One of the steady criticisms of Cameron’s game plans was the lack of touches for the team’s playmaker, Ray Rice. Numerous Ravens players complained to the Baltimore Sun about the “vanilla” style offense. Quarterback Joe Flacco publicly expressed his frustration about moving away from a no-huddle offense.
However, his familiarity with Ryan — the two worked together in Baltimore — and his success in San Diego as offensive coordinator from 2002-06 — the Chargers’ passing offense rose in the league standings in each of his first four years there — could override the end of his tenure with the Ravens.
Hamilton, 38, is considered a rising star in coaching circles and has a history with the Jets as an offensive assistant (2003), quarterbacks coach (2004) and wide receivers coach (2005).
At Stanford this past season, the Cardinal had just 10 interceptions and averaged more than 5½ yards per play. Stanford passed the ball 42 percent of the time, which is a similar balance to that of Sparano with the Jets this season.
Mornhinweg, despite a woeful and injury-riddled 2012 for his offense, comes off a seven-year tenure with the Eagles. He had Philadelphia in the top 10 in total offense five times and never below 15th, but he also drew criticism for arguably underutilizing running back LeSean McCoy. Mornhinweg has said in the past that he favors a 60-to-40 pass-to-run ratio, which could match with Ryan’s desire to be more aggressive.“I want to be more of an attack-style team whether it’s running the pistol or running different types of offenses,” Ryan said at the news conference. “That’s what I’m looking to do. I want to be as hard as we are to attack defensively, I want to be the same way on offense.”
Shurmur was fired as head coach of the Browns at the end of the regular season.Note:
The Jets were prepared to give Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell a $1 million housing allowance in his contract during their second interview, according to Sports Illustrated.
Caldwell, who was the Falcons’ director of player personnel, chose the Jaguars shortly after meeting with the Jets last week.Jim Popp, the general manager
of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, is still in the mix for the Jets GM job, according to the Montreal Gazette. Also, don't count out Dolphins assistant GM Brain Gaine, who interviewed with the team last week, just yet.