Theory: "Ground and Pound" Is a Hoax
I'm not saying we're not going to run the ball close to 50 percent of the time. I'm just saying I think the organization is doing some smoke-screening.
Exhibit A: During all of the New York media coverage of the Jets offseason, have you heard a phrase more often than "ground and pound"? The media has bought in to the narrative of "getting back to their identity" because it makes it easy to fill inches in slow months. The front office of course prefers giving the media a soundbite to giving them a playbook. But it'd be stupid to telegraph your intentions so clearly. Strikes me as similar to all the hoopla and analysis surrounding Belichick supposedly changing his base defense to the 4-3 last season, when in fact the Patriots ran multiple fronts and plenty of 3-4, like they always have.
Exhibit B: How many times did Tony Sparano-led offenses (as head coach in Miami or asst. head coach/o.c. in Dallas) throw the ball more than they ran it? Answer: zero. The closest any of those teams came was the 2011 Dolphins, who ran exactly as often as they passed.
Exhibit C: Which group is stronger, deeper, and more talented, the Jets running backs or the wide receivers? Neither group is elite. But lets assume you get ZERO out of Stephen Hill -- Holmes, Schilens, Kerley, and Keller are still a better collection of NFL-ready talent than Greene, McKnight, Powell, and Ganaway.
Exhibit D: Holmes seems too happy with the offense for it to be pure ground-and-pound.
Exhibit E: The Jets drafted what looks to be a poor-mans Shonn Greene in the garbage rounds (no offense to Ganaway) and traded up for a high-upside, deep-threat receiver in the 2nd.
Exhibit F: Admittedly this could change with camp cuts and signings, but where is the traditional big-bodied blocking tight end?
Exhibit G: Right tackle -- the "power tackle" -- is a pretty important part of a run-oriented offense. Wouldn't that spot be a high priority for off-season upgrade? Wouldn't you do more than bring in a couple of veteran backups and hope for the best from Ducasse and Hunter?
Exhibit H: The Jets have two (thus far) average quarterbacks on their roster. One of them excels in play-action. The other excels in the read-option. BOTH Of those skill sets require defenses to be afraid of the run in order to work. Further incentive for the Jets to broadcast their intention to run the ball 55-60 percent of the time.