If you're football junkie, and on top of that a NY Jets junkie, do yourself a favor and read Collision Low Crossers. It will give you a fix for days. I'm only about half-way through it myself, but it gives a unique insight and plunges into the sub-surface machinations of our favorite team. It has also validated a lot of dirty little things that some of us GGNers have long feared. E.g. Rex's unilateral non-football decision to waste a draft pick on Scotty McKnight, very much to the chagrin of the entire organization, just to appease Mark Sanchez. But I don't even want to pull the string on that gem. Rather, I'd like to discuss the... ehem... jewels that I found on page 213.
The book itself is a behind the curtain peak at the 2011 season. But page 213 begins with a brief sojourn to the beginning of 2010 and the home opener against the Baltimore Ravens, a 10-9 loss.
The Jets offense was one for eleven on third down and secured a franchise-low six first downs. The game had been personal to the former Ravens coaches on the defense, and before it they had given Schottenheimer many suggestions regarding the Ravens players they used to coach. None were taken. Afterward, Pettine was so upset he was barely able to speak. "We knew them," he kept repeating.
Ummm... Come again? Hold on a second. Let me get this straight. So, you're the head coach. You have intimate knowledge of both the scheme and personnel of the entire opposing defensive unit. Its the first game of the season, so you have several weeks to prepare. And you let your moron OC blow off both you and your other coaches because...? I'm sorry, I'm at a lose. You have an opportunity to oversee his gameplan and ensure that everything is copacetic, but you opt to let Marty Freakin Schottenheimer blow you off and do his own dumb ass thing? Rex didn't need to know a lick about the offense to help with the gameplan. He didn't need to know what a play was called or anything. All he had to do was say, "Hey, this guy will have trouble with this kind of action/matched up in space with this player. Show me what you got that accomplishes that." But nope. The offense is just that other unit over there. They're not really part of his real team. Page 213 goes on further to describe just that.
The author goes on to describe how the defense spent the 2011 summer beating up on the offense like it was the Varsity against the JV. And how detached Rex was from the offense.
...[T]he head coach himself admitted that he was "uncomfortable" with the offense because they're "different." Feeling not a part of things in the offensive meetings, he retreated, ceding everything to Schotty. And by giving Schotty the room, Ryan gave himself license to feel the old pride in the defense he had created.
During training camp, he'd walk into Pettine's office and tell him, "I think we gave up a first down today!" Watching film one day after another defensive pummeling, he mused, "We should probably give the defense a day off tomorrow." "[I]magine if this happened to us," said Pettine. "We'd be here until two in the morning," Ryan said.
Ummm... this is "US," Rex. You should be up til 2 in the morning trying to do what you can to get the offense fixed. You're their head coach too. This wasn't the summer of '09 that this happened. He wasn't a rookie head coach. This wasn't 2010 where he was still pretty green about how he wanted things and how to shape them that way. This was the summer of his third season. He should have had a pretty good plan in place by then, and a good bead on what makes his coaches and tick, and what their strengths and weaknesses were. But even going into his third season, he still didn't see himself as the coach of the offense. He still didn't identify them with himself. He still didn't take their performance personally. He still didn't see their failure as his failure. And in my opinion, he still doesn't now.
I'm not asking him to know the offense inside and out. I'm asking him to have a vision for what he wants his offense to look like. To have a standard to hold his coaches accountable to. To have an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of his offensive personnel, and to make sure that his coaches are doing what they should to exploit those strengths and mitigate those weaknesses. I want him to have a clue as to what makes his team tick. His WHOLE team. I don't think he does. I don't think he ever will. I think he wants to see his team kick the offense's tail all over the field all summer long. And I think he'll always have that mentality.