New York Jets head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams failed to coach-up the little things in Miami.
It’s third-and-15. Wide receiver screen. It’s second-and-3. Inside split zone. Play-calling in the NFL will always represent the area fans always zoom in on no matter the level of team success.
Think Paul Hackett, the man who called the New York Jets‘ offensive plays from 2001-2004, a four-year span that produced three playoff teams and two postseason victories. The man could never snag any wide-ranging level of fan respect despite the team’s overall success.
The king of the third-and-long draw play dealt with an oft-injured quarterback in Chad Pennington and molded an offense around his strengths and limitations. It was never overly-exciting, but it produced Curtis Martin‘s only All-Pro season and a plethora of nostalgic memories.
In Gase’s case, play-calling remains the focal point. While Williams seems to slide by a bit without much criticism, he’s just as guilty as the team’s offensive play-caller in one area this season: these guys aren’t successfully coaching up the little things and it showed in the 24-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins this past Sunday.
The Correct Split
- 12:03 remaining in the first quarter
Smith’s lone initial goal is to clear space for the over route. He has to escape the release cleanly so that the timing isn’t altered.
Unfortunately, Smith collides with the Dolphins’ edge player which screws up the entire play. The problem was that Smith’s split was too close to the inside.
A tight split is required here, but two things need to be considered. Firstly, Chris Herndon‘s pre-snap motion will bump the Dolphins’ edge out a bit more—not a good thing for Smith’s spacing.
Secondly, the play-fake is an outside zone heading in Smith’s direction. The natural flow of the defense (and that edge/outside linebacker) will head towards Smith.
It’s much more of a disaster if Smith has to take an inside release, which he does. If the cornerback is playing outside technique, Smith has to ensure that he takes a step or two outside—just enough to ensure there’s enough space to operate and not bang into the edge player.
The little things just aren’t happening for the Jets right now. It, of course, leads to a disastrous play result.
A Nonsensical Bail
- 10:20 remaining in the first quarter
The bail technique is used when cornerbacks need to start hard and get deep in a hurry. This means the corner is usually tasked with a deep-third, deep-half or even deep-fourth zone.
It makes no sense to use bail when there’s zone help over the top. Watch Pierre Desir on the following play.