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Deception Isn't Everything

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If I could choose any kind of offense, I would want a high octane passing game that can go up and down the field and put a ton of points on the board. With that said, I loved the way the Jets established a ground and pound identity last year. Part of it was the way the coaching staff played to the strengths of the personnel. Part of it, though, was that Brian Schottenheimer ran an offense that rested on a foundation that good execution doesn't necessarily rely on confusing the defense. Sometimes the defense knows what is coming but still cannot stop it. He asked too much of Mark Sanchez at times, but he found the right formula by the end of the year.

That was not evident in his first three seasons at the helm. The first year, it was actually a good thing. The Jets were undermanned and had to use some trickery to succeed against more talented opponents. By 2008 it became a liability, though. The Jets had the conference's leading rusher, yet emptied the backfield and went shotgun consistently on third and short. I'll stop there, but there were other similar frustrating tendencies.

I saw many of the same problems Monday. Schottenheimer's constant calls for shifting helped wipe out a first and goal. On a third down pass play, he had Ben Hartsock (he of one reception last year) on the field instead of Dustin Keller. The offensive line had problems with the snap count all night long because Mark Sanchez had a liberal ability to audible.

This isn't college football where gimmicky offenses are the norm. Players are all well coached and discipline. There is time for deception, but too much of it just doesn't work. Schottenheimer should go back to the basics Sunday.