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Decent Cimini .... Semi Fluff

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    Rich CiminiESPN Staff Writer

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Sometimes a little madness is a good thing, especially on a football field. The New York Jets tried it the other way for four years -- the calm, gentlemanly approach -- and it didn't work.

And now?

"Adam Gase is a crazy offensive coordinator and Gregg [Williams] is obviously a crazy D-coordinator," defensive end Leonard Williams said Wednesday. "How those two go at it at practice kind of trickles down to the players, and the players go at it, too. It's in a healthy way. It's competition, getting better."

These are the new Jets -- louder, brasher and more energetic than the old Jets.

Let's not be naive: Some of it is because they have a new coaching staff. When there's a new boss, the intensity always goes up. When that new staff is led by two alpha personalities, the intensity goes way up.

"There's some juice in the air," said Gase, the head coach. And, no, he wasn't referring to the electrical storms that hit northern New Jersey on Tuesday and Wednesday.



Former BountyGate foes Joe Vitt (left) and Gregg Williams chat on the practice field. Past differences aside, that’s a helluva lot of coaching experience. #Jets


The Jets have one of the most fascinating coaching staffs in the NFL, led by Gase, Williams and outside linebackers coach Joe Vitt, Williams' former BountyGate foe from New Orleans (and Gase's father-in-law). This is one heck of a chemistry experiment and it will play out in a heated beaker this summer on the training camp practice field.

Even now, in noncontact practices, it's easy to see Williams already has infused his personality into the defense. He coaches hard, as if every play is Armageddon. He never stops barking, cursing, instructing, cajoling.

"I feel like that's the mentality running through the whole team," Leonard Williams said. "There's a lot of fire in everybody right now."

A lot of it stems from the new defensive scheme, which Leonard Williams described in three words from a defensive line perspective: "Attack, attack, attack." Instead of reading and reacting, which the players say was a big part of the Todd Bowles system, the linemen are told to get upfield as quickly as possible. Worried about filling a gap? Don't sweat it. There's a linebacker who can do that.

The transition has meant nuanced changes for the defensive linemen -- a new stance, different footwork and different hand-placement techniques.

"It's a lot different from what we were doing last year," defensive end Henry Anderson said. "It's a lot more aggressive, attacking front. As a defensive lineman, some of the guys who were here last year have to get rid of some of the habits we developed in that old scheme."

The Jets are saying they will run a 3-4 base defense, but they won't be predictable. Gregg Williams once bragged he has more than 40 different fronts in his playbook, so the Jets might take a snowflake approach -- no two are the same.

Gregg Williams ran a 4-3 scheme last season with the Cleveland Browns, but he used that front only 31 percent of the time, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He spent most of the time in two variations of a nickel package -- a 3-3-5 alignment (45 percent) and a 4-2-5 (19 percent).

Make no mistake, X's and O's are important, but a winning defense also comes from attitude. There were times, especially last season, when the Jets were passive -- especially when trying to protect a lead in the fourth quarter. This is hard to believe (or maybe not), but they registered only four sacks in the fourth quarter. It's no wonder they blew so many games.

Gregg Williams will change that. He already has their attention.

"Sometimes we're in [the classroom], a little half-asleep, and he comes in there yelling," Anderson said. "You saw him on the practice field. He's definitely a loud, vocal guy."

And crazy.

"Crazy in a good way," Leonard Williams said, smiling.




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36 minutes ago, Apache 51 said:

Wake them up, get them out of that Bowles stupor.

That's exactly what I was saying in the thread about differences between the Gase and Bowles practices.  Players feed off the style and intensity of their coaches.  Passive coaches get passive players who practice passively.  There's no doubt the Jets used to "go thru the motions" at times when practicing.  Personally, I like a little fire here now.  You get the good with the bad and I'm sure there will be some issues, flare-ups, etc. but I think that's worth it.  It kinda reminds me of when Rex would talk up his D and amped the intensity of practices (to the detriment of the offense at times).  I think it will be a little more even-keeled with this staff though....there's no clear "better phase" of this football team, at least not yet.

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Imagine the Jets being passive in the 4th qtr trying to protect leads under Bowles. Sounds like a made up Indian story - lol. This new approach is a great thing and in the sport of football passive coaches like Bowles should be outlawed - or just coaching for another team. Just be consistent throughout the preseason and into the regular season and we might have something.CEE0F4DA-7C7A-4AA4-B740-D73C72336CC0.jpeg.1d83c1ffa9438bb6358b1236e43028b5.jpeg167A93EE-0898-41E4-943B-8C5828C41955.jpeg.3a0043b12e8c0cba64a09579fc94532b.jpeg

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4 hours ago, CTJetsFan said:

So basically Cimini took quotes from the players' media interviews yesterday and crafted it into an article to make it seem like they were his thoughts & observations?

That's what all the beat guys do. Crazy. You don't even have to be on the beat to come close to the same level of access these days.

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I don't think those numbers can possibly be right. That's base or nickel 95% of the time. That seems way too high even if you don't count the third safety which these percentages obviously aren't. I'm not looking this up but dime+ has to be > 10% leaguewide and there is zero chance Williams is at half the average.

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"There were times, especially last season, when the Jets were passive -- especially when trying to protect a lead in the fourth quarter. This is hard to believe (or maybe not), but they registered only four sacks in the fourth quarter. It's no wonder they blew so many games."

Not that this is news to fans, but glad to finally see it in print, very difficult to watch over the last 4 years, even the 10 win season provided a few good 4th quarter collapses (lazy defense)  examples of the many reasons that Kacy Rodgers should have been fired long before Pepper Johnson

And if Rich did a little research there are some great stats on terrible todds 4th quarter fiascos;  Team was outscored in the 4th over 60% of the time, fewer tackles and lower stats across the board (bad preparation, no adjustments, no accountability), offense shut out most 4th quarters, had more INT vs TD's (almost never scored in the 4th, unless you count the other teams scores)

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Maybe already posted. A few quotes in there from Dan Orlovsky have some merit.


Amid chaos, Sam Darnold gives New York Jets something to believe in

ESPN Staff Writer
May 29, 2019

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Contrary to popular belief, Adam Gase and Mike Maccagnan didn't disagree on everything during their brief, ill-fated partnership as the football leaders of the New York Jets. There was a large swath of common ground between them: Sam Darnold.

Amid the tension of their failed coach-general manager marriage, even as cracks within the organization began to form in March and April, Gase and Maccagnan were united in their enthusiasm about Darnold's long-term potential. Maccagnan entrusted Gase with the raw but gifted player who will be the GM's legacy. (Oh, the irony.) Gase took the gig because he saw Darnold as the first legitimate quarterback project of his coaching career.

Now, as the Jets attempt to resolve the chaos in the aftermath of Maccagnan's ouster, they turn their "help us" eyes to Darnold, hoping he can make everybody forget about the dysfunction. Frankly, it's unfair to put that kind of pressure on a 21-year-old with a 4-9 career record, but they believe Gase can make him part of the recent trend of quarterbacks who blossomed in their second year -- e.g., Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Patrick Mahomes and Mitchell Trubisky.

"I hope so," Darnold said. "The expectations are always to produce and score points. If that happens, awesome. We don't plan on it being any other way."

But is it realistic? Let's peel back the layers.

No doubt, Darnold is in a better situation than last season, when he played for the defensive-minded Todd Bowles and an offensive coordinator (Jeremy Bates) who seemed overwhelmed by the job. Like his aforementioned peers, Darnold has an offensive coach who will handle the playcalling duties. There was a glimpse of the new dynamic in last week's open practice, with Gase using a walkie-talkie to radio plays directly to Darnold. As a result, the tempo was quick, as they seemed to be running plays faster than usual.

But this doesn't mean Darnold will have a Goff-like improvement in Year 2. There are so many other variables.

"Listen, I love the guy -- I've been so outspoken about him -- but I don't know if the situation is great," said former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky, who played under Gase with the Detroit Lions (2005-07). "Find me a guy that's been really good in the NFL over the last 10 years who's had in his first two years a new head coach, a new GM and two new offenses -- all in 13 months. That's very difficult for a guy to handle. And this isn't a team that has a bunch of really good players on it, offensively, a bunch of superstar weapons.

"Sam will be better and he'll make guys better, but Gase has to prove he can be a really good offensive coach without a Hall of Famer, without Peyton [Manning]," Orlovsky added. "That has to be proven. ... I don't want to pretend here. He's not the playcaller that Andy Reid or Sean McVay has shown to be, or Matt Nagy. He has not shown to be that."

Sam Darnold, who enters Year 2 with the Jets, has been working on getting to know his new coach Adam Gase.
Seth Wenig/AP Photo
Since serving as the Denver Broncos' coordinator in 2013 and 2014, when Manning & Co. set league scoring records, Gase has yet to preside over an offense that has cracked the top 20 in scoring or total yards. So, in a sense, he has something to prove with the Jets. He is known as a quarterback whisperer, but unless you count Tim Tebow's improbable/inexplicable season with the Broncos in 2011, Gase hasn't been around a young quarterback who has benefited from his whispers.

From all indications, Gase and Darnold are hitting it off. Gase loves Darnold's work ethic, the way he shows up early, stays late and pays attention to every detail. Theirs is the most important relationship in the organization. If it goes south, the way Gase and Maccagnan did, the Jets have no shot at winning games.

"He's just natural," Gase said of Darnold. "He rolls out of bed and he can sling that thing. It's fun to be around how intense he is every day, trying to make sure he gets better."

Darnold called Gase a "normal dude" who likes to clown around on occasion, but maintains his game face most of the time.

"It's tough to find anyone better than him," Darnold said. "It's been awesome to be able to build that relationship with him."

By every statistical measure, Darnold didn't have an impressive rookie season (31st in passer rating at 77.6 percent), but a closer look reveals some difficult circumstances. For instance: Nearly 20 percent of his attempts were "tight-window" throws, the third-highest percentage in the league, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. (A tight window is when the separation between the receiver and nearest defender is less than 1 yard at pass arrival.)

That's tough for any quarterback, let alone a rookie. Much of that can be attributed to the receivers' inability to gain consistent separation, but Darnold has to take some responsibility. A quarterback with more experience has better field vision and can make quick reads, allowing him to find receivers when they're open. Does anybody think Tom Brady's tight-window percentage (13.9) is so low because his receivers are blowing past defenders?

The addition of wide receiver Jamison Crowder, known for his short-area quickness, should help Darnold in that respect. Running back Le'Veon Bell could be a valuable "chess piece," Orlovsky believes, because he will help Darnold with his pre-snap reads. How so? Orlovsky said Gase can deploy Bell in different places in an attempt to make the defense declare its coverage -- i.e., man or zone. If Darnold has that information before the snap, it increases his chances of success.

"Can Le'Veon Bell be Patrick Mahomes' Travis Kelce or Mitch Trubisky's Trey Burton?" asked Orlovsky, comparing Bell to a pair of tight ends because of his versatility.

While Orlovsky has doubts about whether Darnold can take a giant leap in his second year, he does believe Gase can help him cut down on negative plays (15 interceptions in 13 starts). He described Gase's scheme as rhythmic and structured for the quarterback and, in theory, that should help Darnold when the play breaks down. It's a delicate balance, though, because his improvisational ability is one of his best traits. You don't want to stifle that creativity -- the "magical sloppiness," as Orlovsky calls it.

"With Gase, the [bad] plays might become a throwaway or a short completion because he's playing in that rhythm, he's playing in that tempo, he's playing to the metronome beat of the offense," Orlovsky said. "That's where Gase can have his greatest impact on Sam."

A multibillion-dollar corporation is counting on that to happen.

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