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The Marty Mornhinweg system: How the new Jets coordinator runs his offense


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#1 #27TheDominator

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

http://www.nj.com/je..._system_ho.html

The Marty Mornhinweg system: How the new Jets coordinator runs his offense


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credit (Photo by US Presswire)
Posted ImageBy Conor Orr/The Star-Ledger
on January 23, 2013 at 4:28 AM, updated January 23, 2013 at 8:02 AM















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On his first day as Marty Mornhinweg’s quarterbacks coach, Kevin Higgins learned that some of his most rooted beliefs about the game would no longer apply.
For example, the path a receiver takes during a passing play is not, and should never be called, a pattern. In the NFL, you call it a route.
And that drill nearly every quarterback in football does to warm up before practice — the one where he’s holding the ball and opening his hips to the left and right? That’s completely useless.
The QB doesn’t move like that during a game, does he?
"He said, ‘What the heck are you doing?’ " Higgins said. "Everything you did had to carry over to the game."
Higgins, the current head coach at The Citadel who worked under Mornhinweg during his two years as a head coach for the Detroit Lions, has as good an understanding of Mornhinweg’s offense as anyone.
He helped Mornhinweg sculpt game plans, made adjustments and, after being removed for more than a decade, has the perspective to compare it against other West Coast-style schemes.
As the Jets prepare for their first season with Mornhinweg as the new offensive coordinator, Higgins gave The Star-Ledger a look at some of the main principles in the coordinator’s system.
Like Mornhinweg himself, the offense is meticulous and dependent on precise details. Quarterbacks alone have a menu of 30 different drills to chose from during the week, consistent with the Bill Walsh coaching philosophy Mornhinweg learned from, Higgins said.
Like Mornhinweg’s numbers show — eight top-10 scoring offenses as a head coach or coordinator, as well as nine top-10 passing offenses, and six top-10 rushing offenses — it can pay off.
"It’s versatile, there’s a lot of things you can do," Higgins said. "Typically you’re playing with two backs in the backfield, so you’re going to have the opportunity to run power, run gap schemes and run inside and outside zones.
"From a pass game standpoint, it’s all about timing and it’s all about rhythm."
IT'S ABOUT TIMING
"It was never on a clock. It’s all about the quarterback’s footwork."
From slants to skinny posts, every route in Mornhinweg’s playbook is based on a timing system with a direct correlation to the type of drop-back a quarterback takes. The drops include:
Three step, plant and throw.
Three step, hesitate and throw.
Five step, plant and throw.
Five step, hitch and throw.
Seven step, hitch and throw.
The goal is to create a quarterback-receiver relationship based more on feel and rhythm. In the past, for example, Mark Sanchez was put on a countdown clock and buzzer in order to get plays off in a certain time. This system would ensure the wideout is working off of a different, more natural indicator to run the route.
"The series of quarterback-related drills (he does with footwork), I think, are outstanding," Higgins said. "That’s the first thing I did when I arrived in Detroit. Marty pulled me in a room and we went through them all meticulously. Every drill had a name and a goal."
COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
"There’s going to be a lot of slants, a lot of out routes and a lot of skinny posts."
Because of the timed routes, Higgins said the offense thrives on completion percentage, despite Mornhinweg working with quarterbacks not known for hitting on a high percentage of their passes. From 2010-2012, under Mornhinweg, Eagles QB Michael Vick had a completion rate of 60.2 percent after having a career 53.8 percentage in Atlanta.
Sanchez has a 55.1 rate for his career.
Higgins said the quarterbacks they worked with in Detroit loved the system, not only because of the simplicity and high success rate of the routes, but because of the security blanket installed with each play. No matter what, every play has a designed check-down option.
"On every route that’s devised, there’s always going to be a check-down," Higgins said. "We used to say, ‘as long as you can count to three you can be successful.’ If one isn’t there, look to two. If two isn’t there, reset your feet and make sure you find No. 3. There’s always going to be a nice check-down for you."
CREATING MISMATCHES
"We didn’t have a lot of talent, that was before some of the high draft choices like Roy Williams and guys like Az-Zahir Hakim came. … But just the various ways he could get the backs the football, I thought, was very, very good."
During Mornhinweg’s first season as Lions head coach in 2001, the team was first in the league in passing attempts and sixth in yards, despite a slew of injuries and a roster depleted of top-level talent.
One of his top weapons ended up being 6-foot, 247-pound fullback Cory Schlesinger, who understood leverage and could mismatch himself on linebackers. Schlesinger had 60 receptions for 466 yards, the second-most receptions on the team next to wideout Johnnie Morton.
During the Jets’ 2012 season, the fullbacks and running backs combined had just 42 catches — a correlation that’s easy to make with a rapid regression in Sanchez’s game, including the second-worst completion percentage of his career.
GOING DEEP
"What made Marty different from all the other West Coast guys was he took a lot of shots downfield."
Between 2010 and 2011, Mornhinweg’s Eagles were in the top 10 in passing plays of 20 yards or more. On passing plays of 40 yards or more they were No. 1 in 2010 and No. 12 in 2011.
Higgins remembers this philosophy going back to offensive meetings where Mornhinweg would look at the game plan and jokingly scold his coaches in Detroit for being too reliant on the safe dinks and dunks that define his system.
"We’ve only got three or four shots downfield," Higgins remembered Mornhinweg saying. "I want to see six or seven that can give us an honest chance at a home run that are realistic plays, like deep crossing routes with seven or eight man protection."
He wanted detail and regiment, but he also wanted the chance to surprise on any given play. In essence, what Rex Ryan has said he now wants in an offense.
"The Jets are going to enjoy playing for him," Higgins said.
Conor Orr: corr@starledger.com; twitter.com/ConorTOrr

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by Angel crazy with over 3000 post some day 


#2 #27TheDominator

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

Interesting article I didn't see posted here. Some of it falls into the "sh*t everybody says about the new guy" but the most interesting thing to me is the stuff about Vick's completion percentage.

Eagles QB Michael Vick had a completion rate of 60.2 percent after having a career 53.8 percentage in Atlanta.
Sanchez has a 55.1 rate for his career.


Dear lord they almost made me believe.
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by Angel crazy with over 3000 post some day 


#3 unbanmadmike1

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:59 PM

Look at the talent he had in philly. Maclin, Jackson, McCoy, Celek, Those guys are elite athletes who can win one on one match ups and get open. The Jets have no one close so you can't assume that he'll run an offense anywhere near like what he did there.

Edited by unbanmadmike1, 23 January 2013 - 05:59 PM.

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#4 JetsFanInDenver

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:10 PM

We will see. This bothered me:

"The goal is to create a quarterback-receiver relationship based more on feel and rhythm. "


Has Holmes ever played WCO ? Does he still want any kind of relationship with Sanchez leave alone a touchy, feely one.
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#5 #27TheDominator

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

Look at the talent he had in philly. Maclin, Jackson, McCoy, Celek, Those guys are elite athletes who can win one on one match ups and get open. The Jets have no one close so you can't assume that he'll run an offense anywhere near like what he did there.


Who the **** thinks he is going to put up Philly numbers here? I think he will try to run exactly what he ran there, just with less success. Vick went from 53% to 60%. Is that because he matured in prison? I doubt it.

We will see. This bothered me:

"The goal is to create a quarterback-receiver relationship based more on feel and rhythm. "


Has Holmes ever played WCO ? Does he still want any kind of relationship with Sanchez leave alone a touchy, feely one.


If there are two ****ing guys I don't care about fitting the system it's Holmes and Sanchez. **** them. They have worn out their welcome and are only here because of their contracts. If they can't cut it, **** 'em. A bigger issue is Hill. Hill is raw, but showed flashes. Whether he will ever be able to catch is up for debate, but he seemed better suited to the Al Davis/Sparano occaisional bomb mentality than a WCO. On the other hand, Kerley, McKnight and Cumberland should flourish comparatively and it does say he likes to take shots downfield.
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by Angel crazy with over 3000 post some day 


#6 JetsFanInDenver

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:27 PM

Who the **** thinks he is going to put up Philly numbers here? I think he will try to run exactly what he ran there, just with less success. Vick went from 53% to 60%. Is that because he matured in prison? I doubt it.



If there are two ****ing guys I don't care about fitting the system it's Holmes and Sanchez. **** them. They have worn out their welcome and are only here because of their contracts. If they can't cut it, **** 'em. A bigger issue is Hill. Hill is raw, but showed flashes. Whether he will ever be able to catch is up for debate, but he seemed better suited to the Al Davis/Sparano occaisional bomb mentality than a WCO. On the other hand, Kerley, McKnight and Cumberland should flourish comparatively and it does say he likes to take shots downfield.


But both of them are going to be here. What joy. But you have to think how Holmes fits in till he is here.

Totally agree on Hill. If he does not come through the misery goes exponentially higher.

I think Kerley will flourish but he was already flourishing.

McKnight is the enigma.

Cumberland is the stiff who can catch. Maybe WCO helps him.
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#7 pedro55

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:38 PM

Who the **** thinks he is going to put up Philly numbers here? I think he will try to run exactly what he ran there, just with less success. Vick went from 53% to 60%. Is that because he matured in prison? I doubt it.



If there are two ****ing guys I don't care about fitting the system it's Holmes and Sanchez. **** them. They have worn out their welcome and are only here because of their contracts. If they can't cut it, **** 'em. A bigger issue is Hill. Hill is raw, but showed flashes. Whether he will ever be able to catch is up for debate, but he seemed better suited to the Al Davis/Sparano occaisional bomb mentality than a WCO. On the other hand, Kerley, McKnight and Cumberland should flourish comparatively and it does say he likes to take shots downfield.


The WCO depends on a good QB and WR/TE who run tight good routes. if they can't get open within a few yards, it just doesn't work.
The Jets don't have the WRs or QB. And I'm not even sure what Marty runs because Philly wasn't exactly WCO. It was more throw bombs and make big plays. Vick had a strong arm. The WRs were fast and strong. And they had a good RB. On paper the Eagles were supposed to be a super bowl contender. They were supposed to be that team with McNabb, with Kolb, with Vick. They never lived up to expectations. You can blame the defense, but this past season was one of those "fire the DC" even though the offense sucked half the time.

The Eagles were like a baseball team who depends on nothing but Home runs. They always could put up big yards, but when they played tight games, they choked. They couldn't run. THey couldn't pass. The defense couldn't stop anybody. And this wasn't just this past season. it's been the past few seasons.

And how will it work with Rex? Rex's mantra is defense wins and the offense just cant' turn the ball over. Marty and the Eagles were a turnover machine. Vick had more Turnovers than TDs earlier this season. If you think Sanchez turned the ball over, Vick was worse. The only difference is Vick could throw a 70 yard bomb and his WRs could catch them. And then he'd get hurt and benched.

I don't know. I'm not sold on Marty being a good hire. The Eagles were supposed to be a team who contended for a super bowl because they had the "dream team" on both offense and defense. They had a lot of playmakers. But the past few seasons the Eagles sucked. They would put up big numbers, but half the time it was empty stats. Great they ranked high in meaningless categories because they would have the "homerun ball." But they were a horrible red zone team on both sides of the ball. Call it bad play calling, players who couldn't operate within a small area of the field, QBs who choked, who knows, but that's the thing, the Eagles were so far from being a WCO offense it isn't funny.
WCO are known for short passes. The Eagles became known for long balls. And when they couldn't score on the long ball, they didn't score.

And that's the scary part. The Eagles had playmakers and still sucked. The Jets don't have playmakers, they don't have a good QB, so how exactly are they going to play to what Marty has been used to the past 6 seasons?
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#8 pedro55

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

But both of them are going to be here. What joy. But you have to think how Holmes fits in till he is here.

Totally agree on Hill. If he does not come through the misery goes exponentially higher.

I think Kerley will flourish but he was already flourishing.

McKnight is the enigma.

Cumberland is the stiff who can catch. Maybe WCO helps him.


The biggest issue is when was the last time Marty coached the WCO? Yeah the Eagles said it was "WCO", but the only thing west coast about it was they passed more often than not. The Eagles offense was the long ball offense. Throw 70 yard bombs. Hope for the big play.
Great playmaking WRs. But in the Red Zone, where a WCO probably thrives, they sucked. Their WRs couldn't get open, couldn't run the right routes and the QBs just couldn't do what WCO QBs do. And this was with McNabb, Kolb, Vick, etc.

The sad reality is the Jets don't have the talent at QB or WR or OL to run the traditional WCO.
They also don't have the talent to run the Eagles Long ball offense. They are going to have to make some great draft picks and sign some great cheap free agents. Otherwise, Marty is going to run the Eagles WCO on a team that has no fast playmaking WRs and no QB who can throw 70 yard passes.
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#9 Larz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

Look at the talent he had in philly. Maclin, Jackson, McCoy, Celek, Those guys are elite athletes who can win one on one match ups and get open. The Jets have no one close so you can't assume that he'll run an offense anywhere near like what he did there.



Look at the talent he had in philly. Maclin, Jackson, McCoy, Celek, Those guys are elite athletes who can win one on one match ups and get open. The Jets have no one close so you can't assume that he'll run an offense anywhere near like what he did there.


what about the other top 10 offenses ?

OMGerd !!!!!!!
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#10 Ignatius del Sol

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

You can blame the defense, but this past season was one of those "fire the DC" even though the offense sucked half the time.


Not sucking half the time would be a quantum leap forward for us.
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#11 pedro55

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:05 PM

Not sucking half the time would be a quantum leap forward for us.


With Sanchez, McElroy, Tebow, Moore, Jackson, etc as QB and the existing WRs on this team and if the OL doesn't improve, I dont' see how Marty nor the Jets offense would be any good. They aren't built to be a traditional WCO. And they sure don't have the playmakers at QB or WR to be like the Eagles offense.
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#12 SenorGato

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:26 PM

Interesting article I didn't see posted here. Some of it falls into the "sh*t everybody says about the new guy" but the most interesting thing to me is the stuff about Vick's completion percentage.



Dear lord they almost made me believe.


Yeah, this one helped.

This one I oophed on:

In the past, for example, Mark Sanchez was put on a countdown clock and buzzer in order to get plays off in a certain time. This system would ensure the wideout is working off of a different, more natural indicator to run the route.


WHAT IS IT!?

Edited by SenorGato, 23 January 2013 - 07:26 PM.

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#13 TnT

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

You (Jets) can put lipstick (Marty) on a pig (Sanchez), but its still a pig (Sanchez)

Amirite?...amirite?...ahthankyou!
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#14 JerryK

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:51 AM

Since the Jets will never have a functioning OL, his list of dropbacks need clarification:

Three step, plant and (be chased to the sidelines and) throw (out of bounds).
Three step, hesitate and (not have time to know where to) throw.
Five step, plant and (give a shoutout to the blitzers because you aren't going to) throw.
Five step, hitch and (claim it wasn't a fumble, it was a) throw.
Seven step, hitch and (get up off the ground without a chance to) throw.


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Avatar=whoever eliminates Brady.

#15 LionelRichie

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

Sanchez is the master of panic in the pocket. The whole concept of 1-2, reset your feet and find 3 is lost on him. This is going to be an epic, int-filled disaster.
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#16 #27TheDominator

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

Sanchez is the master of panic in the pocket. The whole concept of 1-2, reset your feet and find 3 is lost on him. This is going to be an epic, int-filled disaster.


Why? I'm not saying that I'm optimistic, but why the **** should this team consider Sanchez in determining their offense? **** him. He is a rhythm passer, so it *might* improve him, but he has never spent much time in rhythm so it almost undoubtedly won't. If Sanchez can't cut it, and he probably can't, use somebody else. It will be rough season, but would it have been any smoother under Sparano?
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#17 Greenseed4

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

I forgot what we're talking about.
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#18 bitonti

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

i am moderately optimistic that marty can make this offense into a functional NFL passing offense. Stranger things have happened.
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#19 #27TheDominator

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

I forgot what we're talking about.


HATE!
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#20 LionelRichie

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

Why? I'm not saying that I'm optimistic, but why the **** should this team consider Sanchez in determining their offense? **** him. He is a rhythm passer, so it *might* improve him, but he has never spent much time in rhythm so it almost undoubtedly won't. If Sanchez can't cut it, and he probably can't, use somebody else. It will be rough season, but would it have been any smoother under Sparano?


Sanchez always seems to struggle with his footwork when the first option is not available.

I think it was the first Pats game where the first couple of options weren't there and Hill was wide open in the end zone and Sanchez threw a wounded duck that was picked off.

Vs. the Seahawks Keller was wide open in the endzone and Sanchez couldn't get his feet set to reach the sideline....for another int.

Maybe McElroy will adapt well to the WCO but from my perspective Sanchez is a lost cause. They are better off bringing in a 50 year old Jeff Garcia.
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#21 #27TheDominator

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

Sanchez always seems to struggle with his footwork when the first option is not available.

I think it was the first Pats game where the first couple of options weren't there and Hill was wide open in the end zone and Sanchez threw a wounded duck that was picked off.

Vs. the Seahawks Keller was wide open in the endzone and Sanchez couldn't get his feet set to reach the sideline....for another int.

Maybe McElroy will adapt well to the WCO but from my perspective Sanchez is a lost cause. They are better off bringing in a 50 year old Jeff Garcia.


We have no reason to think Sanchez will improve. OTOH, he gets paid enough that they might as well at least try. I don't see the problem with that. They absolutely have to look for other options and based on what I've seen from McElroy and Tebow those options should come from outside the organization. Sanchez probably is a lost cause, but if we're paying him and he is basically uncuttable, you try to improve him and turn him into something of some value. DON'T COUNT ON IT though.
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#22 pedro55

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:39 PM

We have no reason to think Sanchez will improve. OTOH, he gets paid enough that they might as well at least try. I don't see the problem with that. They absolutely have to look for other options and based on what I've seen from McElroy and Tebow those options should come from outside the organization. Sanchez probably is a lost cause, but if we're paying him and he is basically uncuttable, you try to improve him and turn him into something of some value. DON'T COUNT ON IT though.


I don't think Sanchez will ever be a good QB, but if you're a good coach or think you're a good coach, Sanchez is a great project. You can't trade him and you can't cut him, so either he sits on the bench and gets paid more than half the team or you try to make him into an example of how great you are as a coach.

If Marty, David, etc have egos and real talent, it's a perfect time to throw up some QB school in the offseason, and mold Sanchez into some WCO experiment. He's young. And if Marty has any thoughts on being a HC again, what better way than to show, damn he made Sanchez into an avg QB.

Harbaugh could have dumped Alex Smith. Smith sucked worse than Sanchez. His first season he had 1 TD and 11 Interceptions.
And he was the #1 pick over a lot of other QBs. Including Aaron Rodgers. And by the time Harbaugh arrived, it was 7 years and a couple of coaching staff changes later.

Harbaugh stuck with him for whatever reason. They did trade picks away to drat Kapernick early in the 2nd round, but he wasn't going to start. And with Smith they almost made it to the super bowl. Year 2, Smith looked good. He completed like 70 percent of his passes. Got injured, Kapernick came in, and that was that. It wasn't like Smith sucked it up this season. It was just that Kapernick gave the 49ers more options. He was the future. Smith will probably land somewhere else and never be as good as he has been the past two seasons. But Harbaugh showed he could coach and Smith did play well enough to make a super bowl.

It's a different situation, team, players, etc, but the Jets still have Rex and he still knows how to coach up a defense. If Marty turns Sanchez into some game manager like he was the first season, and then some, the Jets and Sanchez don't look so bad.

Think about it. If Sanchez has a season where he throws 14 TDS and 8 Interceptions that's an improvement.
If he did that this season, the Jets probably go 9-7 and might've snuck into the playoffs. It's not like Sanchez has to become Brady or Manning.
That's what Marty has to work with. That's what David has to work with. A young kid who looked lost. Any coach with an ego probably will think they can turn Sanchez into a winner. And they dont' have to make him into Brady.

What coach wouldn't want to try? If Marty and David succeed, they are geniuses. If they fail, well Sanchez sucks.
And him being stuck witha big contract makes it the easiest smartest move. Bench him and bring in a Matt Moore or a Jackson doesnt' do anything for anybody. If this is indeed a "wasted season" then what coach isnt' looking out for their own future? Making Sanchez have trade value is far more impressive than going 5-11 with Matt Moore or T Jackson.

I honestly would rather have a coach who thinks they can make things work with Sanchez. They might not think much of him, but a coach who thinks they can make a guy like Sanchez into a winning QB is far better a coach than somebody who would rather go 5-11 with crappy 3rd string QBs who jump from team to team every year.
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