I want to talk about a few things you can expect from a Tony Sparano led offense. The inital reactions are all worked out of our system and now it's time to calm down and realize that we can all count on some really positive things from this hiring.
I also wonder at some fan reactions I'm seeing so far. I see alot of apprehension and even hatred towards this move. This dissapoints me for alot of reasons. This fanbase was almost comically of the "anybody but shotty" opinion and now that the team has made a move we are all still not happy? What does it take to appease a Jet fan these days? Are we all doomed to be miserable because Shotty's axing didn't happen on day one when we demanded it? This isn't the guy we all wanted so some of us are pitching mini fits? We all have such a problem with the team letting Shotty leave in a quiet maybe respectful manner that we seem to be transferring frustration from situation to situation? Who the hell cares how it was done? It's done! The team got rid of the cancer and looks to move on in a vastly different direction. That should have you all excited enough to at least hold your outrage until preseason.
Lets all have a deep breath and realize christmas may have come a little late but it still came. Maybe you didn't get what you wanted kid but damnit if I'm not gonna make you happy that you got something! Sorry. A little flashback to ol CW's past holidays. The old mad really didn't ever get me that Battletoads game I wanted and I'm still holding it against him.
Anyway. Lets get into Sparano as a play caller and what to look for and be excited about.
To start with, I and anyone else who kept a glancing eye on Miami will notice that Tony has a fire about him. The fist pumps and the running around and so fourth... He's emotional to say the least and that is obvious from his demeanor and comments from many players he has coached. Not unlike our head coach. I get the feeling that Sparano and Rex are going to have an interesting relationship. Tony was a head coach with questionable results but still a "head coach" none the less. He comes with a presence that Rex is going to have to make room for. I see that as a good thing. Rex's personality is going to start being challenged by Tony and I bet we start to see a more reserved Rex when it comes to speaking to the media. I'd also be willing to bet the NY media is going to give a little bit of the spotlight to Tony after games as well. Thats fine with me. Frankly, Rex sucks with the media. The cheap jokes and cheesy one liners have to stop and maybe a guy with a bold personality can start to level out the character that Rex has become.
On the field, I get the distinct impression that we are going to swear that we all see 2 head coaches on the sideline. One coaching the offense in an animated, fiery way and the exact same thing with Rex on Defense. Rex's brash ways have been sold on us for a while now and we have had success with it. It only seems right that we booted a very eratic and manic playcaller in Shotty with a stable yet intense guy like Sparano who almost mirrors Rex's enthusiasm for the game and his team. It's going to be interesting to say the least but I have healthy expectations for the direction the offense will be going in and I'm fine with Rex and Tony having to resort to a little power grab in camp. Someone needs to challenge Rex and Tony will do that.
My next point is a little bit of a difficult one to put into words so try to stick with me.
One of the most important things to have in your back pocket as a playcaller in this league is unwavering confidence in the run blocking of your offensive line. When your consistantly calling the game 50-50 like Tony does what your doing is feeding the life line of the team and keeping the most important cog in the machine happy. Linemand block the passing game and running game very differently. As a lineman you block the passing game with your brain. Everything is about pointing out pressure and recognizing defensive alignment. That gets tedious and boring. In layman's terms pass blocking is alot like playing defense in basketball. Stay in front of the guy and make sure that if he goes one way that he'a at least going away from the QB (the basket) and not towards him. On the other hand blocking the running game is done with your heart and soul. It's all about dominating the guy infront of you and moving him more than he moves you. A true match of wits and strength. Lineman need that consistently because their confidence waivers as they pass block in key situations.
Shotty was destined to loose his line sooner or later with his erratic playcalling and refusal to stick with running the ball when it was working. I attribute many of our problems on offense to Shotty's refusal to lay on the running game when it was clearly needed and it has more to do with actual player performance then some realize. When you don't show the running game consistent faith on 1st and 2nd down you loose the faith of the line all together. He lost his line and then lost the rest of his offense. Lineman feed off of the run like animals. They need to assert themselves in the running game to keep momentum going until the final second of the game. I can promise you that Tony will have this fan base seeing a return to offensive line dominance with little more than his fiery nature and his level, even playcalling.
Be encouraged Jet fans. It's time we stopped the circus we have been feeding into and realize that this hiring promises exactly what we have all been complaining about with Shotty. Consistency.
Remember when our running game showed signs of dominance early in games only to have that dominance turn to weakness as we saw Brian demand that Mark drop back for a pass 45, 50, 60 plus times during a game. Never again Jets
fans. I can promise you that.