The New York Jets have the talent to use some unique personnel packages on offense and defense
With all of the new skill position talent and pass-rushing depth acquired by the New York Jets this offseason, it opens up opportunities to be creative both offensively and defensively.
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur was hamstrung from a personnel standpoint last year but still showed an innovative mind when it came to designing plays. Now, having added a new running back, a new wide receiver, and three new tight ends, there are many new and unique personnel groupings he can integrate.
This offseason, the Jets added to their defensive line with players who primarily thrive as pass rushers. The unit has excellent depth, especially on the edge. Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich will have the freedom to deploy some special packages on certain passing downs.
Let’s get into the unique offensive and defensive personnel groupings the Jets can tap into with their newfound talent.
1. Offense: 20 personnel (2 RB, 0 TE, 3 WR)
- RB: Breece Hall and Michael Carter
- TE: None
- WR: Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, and Corey Davis
It would be nice to see some creativity from LaFleur in terms of getting Breece Hall and Michael Carter on the field together. With the natural ability they each have in the passing game, there can be times when they are both on the field.
Hall and Carter have the flexibility to line up across the formation. Whether it be in the slot or out wide, they can open things up for Zach Wilson pre-snap.
Having the top three wide receivers on the field in Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, and Corey Davis along with the top two running backs would give the Jets a lineup that is loaded with explosive big-play potential. From a matchup standpoint, LaFleur could line Moore or Wilson up in the slot for some easier completions.
Having these five on the field at the same time would give the Jets a fun offensive attack filled with youth.
2. Offense: 13 personnel (1 RB, 3 TE, 1 WR)
- RB: Hall/Carter
- WR: Moore/Wilson
- TE: Tyler Conklin, C.J. Uzomah, and Jeremy Ruckert (FB versatility)
Having three new tight ends who are capable of contributing in both the run and pass game – Jeremy Ruckert, Tyler Conklin, and C.J. Uzomah – the Jets have another component they can add to their offense to keep defenses off-balance.
Putting all three of these tight ends on the field together would give the Jets a much bigger set that would help them run the football or use play action.
With Jeremy Ruckert’s capability to possibly play at fullback, this bunch also has the chance to operate out of 22 personnel (2 running backs, 2 tight ends). LaFleur would probably like to work with a fullback more often than he was able to last year.
3. Defense: “NASCAR” front (4 edge defenders)
- Edge: Jacob Martin and Bryce Huff
- Inside: Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry
When looking at the Jets’ group of edge defenders, there are so many players deserving of snaps that it may be hard to get them all on the field. Most of them are noticeably better at rushing the passer than stopping the run.
Therefore, having a package where Saleh and Ulbrich can get four of them on the field in an obvious passing situation would be wise.
Jacob Martin and Bryce Huff are two edge players built lower to the ground. Martin and Huff both have bend and speed to provide a fresh spark on the outside.
At times, lining up Carl Lawson inside and scheming him to be one-on-one against a guard could be a good way to change things up and maximize his rushing ability.
Vinny Curry is another one of the Jets’ many talented pass rushers up front. Getting him on the field by using his bigger size (280 pounds) on the inside could pay dividends.
Combine this group of pass rushers with the revamped cornerback duo, and the Jets could make things tough on opposing offenses passing games.
4. Defense: Base front (2 edge defenders, 2 defensive tackles) for passing situation/relieving starters
- Edge: Carl Lawson and Jacob Martin
- Inside: John Franklin-Myers and Solomon Thomas
This type of front is a traditional one, and this specific pairing would likely be deployed on third down or in a passing situation.
With many backups who are better as pass rushers, there will be times when the Jets can keep Quinnen Williams and Jermaine Johnson fresh after they work to stop the run on early downs.
Having Lawson and Martin outside gives the Jets a ton of explosiveness.
All of the edge additions will allow John Franklin-Myers to go back inside. He can thrive as a pass rusher with his quickness against guards. His versatility will be useful.
Solomon Thomas was signed to provide good interior pass-rushing talent as a reserve. He attained some of the best success of his career in that exact role last season. He and Sheldon Rankins will allow the Jets to have a good interior rotation.
As Zach Wilson and Robert Saleh look to lead the Jets to a much improved season, they now have more to work with from a personnel perspective.
It will be a good challenge for LaFleur and Ulbrich to look for unique ways they can get as many of these new skill players and pass rushers on the field to contribute.