First things first. I'm a Sanchez supporter, and I will admit he has lost whatever "mojo" he used to have. But with the loss of Santonio Holmes I think they may encourage him to do something he was not encouraged to do in the past few seasons. Use his legs.
I didn't want to post immediately. I wanted to wait and give it some time. I read the posts by everyone on here including David Wyatt, Scott Salmon, Crackback, etc. This is not a "we stink", "the season is over", or "this guy has to go" post. These are just things that I see happening with this team, and how I think they will be fixed. Not what I think they should do, but what I believe we will see for the remainder of the season. Please bare with me, there are only three main points I see to turning this offense from inept to stable, or even functional, and they are not that hard to do. If your interested in what I believe we are in for, please follow along.
This is what we got when we drafted Mark Sanchez. He was a mobile quarterback. In the past few years, and since he had a knee injury diving for a 1st down his rookie year he has been encouraged less and less to take off with the ball. I believe that this is who he is though, and he needs to get back to it.
If the wide receivers are not getting open, or if he can't see them getting open and that little clock starts to go off, take the yards if there is open field. My thought process is that the coaching staff wants to get yardage as much as possible. If that is the case we may see Sanchez taking a 3-5 step drop and if nothing is open, he may take off more. Maybe for 3 yards, maybe for 10. All I know is that this will force defenses to account for the QB instead of having an extra defender on the field. It evens the odds without using Tebow. This may also help Sanchez get back to his comfort level of playing the game the way he wants to a little bit more without worrying about being "robotic", as he put it. When there are no offensive weapons, make yourself into one. Make the opposing defenses respect the scramble again.
Second problem is the personnel. I am in no way saying get rid of anyone. What I am saying is look at who you have. This whole off season the talk was of getting back to "ground and pound". That phrase is starting to irk me. I have read several times where people are saying Shonn Greene is the problem. I don't believe Greene is so much the problem, as is this idea in power running, and "ground and pound". What ever happened to just being a running football team? Consider this. The Jets had good running teams in the mid 2000's with Curtis Martin, and again ran pretty well with Thomas Jones. Those teams and offenses ran a ton, but were not based on a power rushing attack.
This offensive line is not physically going to beat anyone or knock guys 2 yards off the ball. With the exception of Brick, Mangold, the remaining 3 guys are Slauson, who's not overly powerful. Brandon Moore who is great, but is not a mauler at barely 300 pounds, and Austin Howard who is raw. To run the ball effectively the Jets need to go back to running with draws, traps, counters and off tackle runs and mixing them all in with straight up power running. I don't see as much of the previous, and it is effecting the team. As long as you run the ball effectively, there is no reason to not mix in zone blocking as a staple in your rushing attack. I think it suits the identity of the players on the line, and will help open bigger holes for longer periods for Greene who is being criticized for it. I saw on 2 occasions on Sunday where he had to duck under a defender a yard in the backfield after taking the handoff to get a 2 yard gain. Zone blocking will help a 1 cut runner like himself and Powell tremendously if they shift more to that, while maintaining the identity of being a rushing team. Sparano, if he is smart will shift more to zone blocking, and not try to over power a defensive line with lineman that are for the most part not overly powerful.
Last thing I'm going to say that will fix this offense is shifts and motions. Most of us remember Schottenheimer for this. The Jets need to use motion on most of their play calling. This is the reason why. By creating unbalanced sets, it forces defenses to show more of their hand. Man or zone, blitz, press, or double coverages can all be read better pre-snap by the quarterback with a simple tight end or receiver in motion.
Two teams, the Carolina Panthers, and Cincinatti Bengals both use a lot of staggered or unbalance formations to put all or most of their receivers to one side of the field so the QB can quickly progress through his reads when passing. In both cases it tremendously helped the passing games. Sparano I have noticed uses a lot of balanced formations at the snap. My feeling is that they will spend this week looking at different things they can do to get an early jump on the Texans. Quick passes from bunch formations and motions might be one of them.
I apologize for my long windedness, I just gave this some thought. At this point, the offense sucks, and Sanchez stinks I will agree. I won't however start waiving the white flag and declaring who needs to be drafted 4 games into a 16 game season. These 3 problems are all fixable, fairly easily, and could lead to a very productive offense.
If first video did not show here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R9C9ehqBXs