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Thread: NFL Network's Michael Lombardi on Sanchez/Jets

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    NFL Network's Michael Lombardi on Sanchez/Jets

    [SIZE="4"][B]Sanchez gets pounded because the run game is grounded[/B][/SIZE]

    By Michael Lombardi NFL Network
    Front Office View
    Published: Dec. 30, 2011 at 10:57 a.m. Updated: Dec. 30, 2011 at 10:30 p.m.

    Every morning on my way to work, I stop by the local Dunkin Donuts for my morning coffee. Working behind the counter is Mohammad, a huge football fan and a devoted Jets backer. After each game, Mohammad is either planning a Super Bowl trip or hoping the Jets clean house. There is no in-between for him, which is why he is such a great fan. The only player that does not ride Mohammad's rollercoaster is Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Mohammad, like many Jets fans, blames all the team's problems on Sanchez and wants him gone. Mohammad does not care that the Jets have no viable option at quarterback right now; he just wants Sanchez out.

    Sanchez has taken a beating this year, as has offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Both are subject to much hostility from Jets fans who feel the team has let them down. But is the Jets' lack of offensive production the fault of these two men? Hardly.

    The number one thing an organization must do is to find out not what the quarterback can do well, but rather what he can't do. The Jets identified early on that they wanted to manage Sanchez, as they did not want his arm to carry the team. The key to the offense would be its physical nature. When Sanchez was a rookie in 2009, the Jets were a top rushing team, averaging more than 4.5 yards per carry. The Jets rushed for more than 130 yards in 12 games, with two games of more than 300 yards rushing. They had at least 150 yards rushing in each of their final five games, the last of which was a loss to the Colts in the AFC Championship Game. The Jets had found a formula for winning with Sanchez, and it was dubbed "Ground and Pound."

    In 2010, even after losing top rusher Thomas Jones, the Jets still averaged 4.4 yards per carry, but they were not as dominating as they had been in '09. The desecration of their running game was starting, but the staff did a good job of hiding the problems. And they made a strong stretch run before losing in another conference championship game. Once again, the Jets' winning identity included running the ball and not putting too much on Sanchez.

    Yet in 2011, this all changed. The Jets cannot run the ball effectively; they rank 30th in the NFL in rushing average and their longest run of the season is just 25 yards. How did this happen? The Jets believed that Shonn Greene was their star back, that he could carry the offense because he was so good in '09 during the playoff run. Yet Greene is not a big-time, full-time back. He has proved that this year. He is more of a change-of-pace back, as he struggles to catch and make explosive plays, and his lack of run skills puts the burden back on the quarterback and play-caller. The Jets need a great runner if they want to continue to keep Sanchez as their quarterback.

    Right now, the Jets are a horse and buggy offense, as they cannot make big plays down the field. Every drive must be 10 perfect plays, as they lack explosion. For all the talk and hoopla around their signing of receiver Plaxico Burress to give them more big-play ability at receiver, he has failed to deliver. In fact, he is only a threat in the red zone, where he can use his size to create separation. He is slow on tape and there is not a corner in the league who is afraid to challenge him. Therefore, the coverage is rolled to Santonio Holmes, whose yards per reception average (12.8) is down almost two yards from his career average. With no one on the other side to help take away the coverage, Holmes' longest play of the season is just 35 yards.

    Sanchez does have to shoulder some of the blame for the Jets' offensive woes. He is not a quick reader of the progression, therefore with every call, Schottenheimer has to tell him where to expect the open man. If the call is a bad one, then Sanchez starts to panic and looks nervous. The most effective pass play he runs is the fake handoff, deep crosser, which has no read -- just fake and come out throwing. The more Sanchez has to read off the play, the better chance the play has to break down. Therefore, the Jets must keep things simple. A simple offense with no explosive players and no run game will never produce, which is why the Jets rank 27th overall.

    But the Jets know all this. They know they need to run the ball, they know they need to limit Sanchez, and they know they need to win with defense and their kicking game. Their model for success is exactly what the 49ers have created this season. But there are differences between the Jets and 49ers, mainly in their personnel. The 49ers have better runners and the 49ers have much better players in their front seven on defense. For the Jets to win, they have to improve their talent base.

    Last week, I wrote that coach Rex Ryan must be more realistic in his statements about his team. And even though he won't change his rhetoric publicly, he must change internally. He has to find a way to improve the roster, improve his talent base and build the right kind of team around Sanchez, since he has already proclaimed him his lifetime starter.

    Schottenheimer will take the fall for the offense's problems; even though Ryan has publicly supported him, he won't be back with the Jets. But this is not all Schottenheimer's fault. Until the Jets realize what kind of team they need to be around Sanchez, then the next coordinator will have the same problems. The fault is not always in the scheme, as the talent -- or lack of talent in this case -- has played a huge part. The hardest thing to do in the NFL is to evaluate your own team. This is what Ryan must do really well this offseason. In spite of what he says to all of us, he at least better be honest with himself.

    [B]My first 15[/B]

    [B]7. The top free agent in the NFL might not be a player but a coach. Jets offensive line coach Bill Callahan will be a coaching free agent and he will be in high demand as great offensive line coaches are hard to find. Callahan was wanted last year by the Titans to be their offensive coordinator, but the Jets, as is their right, did not grant permission because Callahan still had another year on his deal. Now, with his contract expiring, expect his phone to heat up.[/B] :eek:

  2. #2
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    Forgot to post the link;

    [url]http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8258a6ef/printable/sanchez-gets-pounded-because-the-run-game-is-grounded[/url]

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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;4299724][SIZE="4"][B]Sanchez gets pounded because the run game is grounded[/B][/SIZE]

    By Michael Lombardi NFL Network
    Front Office View
    Published: Dec. 30, 2011 at 10:57 a.m. Updated: Dec. 30, 2011 at 10:30 p.m.

    Every morning on my way to work, I stop by the local Dunkin Donuts for my morning coffee. Working behind the counter is Mohammad, a huge football fan and a devoted Jets backer. After each game, Mohammad is either planning a Super Bowl trip or hoping the Jets clean house. There is no in-between for him, which is why he is such a great fan. The only player that does not ride Mohammad's rollercoaster is Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Mohammad, like many Jets fans, blames all the team's problems on Sanchez and wants him gone. Mohammad does not care that the Jets have no viable option at quarterback right now; he just wants Sanchez out.

    Sanchez has taken a beating this year, as has offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Both are subject to much hostility from Jets fans who feel the team has let them down. But is the Jets' lack of offensive production the fault of these two men? Hardly.

    The number one thing an organization must do is to find out not what the quarterback can do well, but rather what he can't do. The Jets identified early on that they wanted to manage Sanchez, as they did not want his arm to carry the team. The key to the offense would be its physical nature. When Sanchez was a rookie in 2009, the Jets were a top rushing team, averaging more than 4.5 yards per carry. The Jets rushed for more than 130 yards in 12 games, with two games of more than 300 yards rushing. They had at least 150 yards rushing in each of their final five games, the last of which was a loss to the Colts in the AFC Championship Game. The Jets had found a formula for winning with Sanchez, and it was dubbed "Ground and Pound."

    In 2010, even after losing top rusher Thomas Jones, the Jets still averaged 4.4 yards per carry, but they were not as dominating as they had been in '09. The desecration of their running game was starting, but the staff did a good job of hiding the problems. And they made a strong stretch run before losing in another conference championship game. Once again, the Jets' winning identity included running the ball and not putting too much on Sanchez.

    Yet in 2011, this all changed. The Jets cannot run the ball effectively; they rank 30th in the NFL in rushing average and their longest run of the season is just 25 yards. How did this happen? The Jets believed that Shonn Greene was their star back, that he could carry the offense because he was so good in '09 during the playoff run. Yet Greene is not a big-time, full-time back. He has proved that this year. He is more of a change-of-pace back, as he struggles to catch and make explosive plays, and his lack of run skills puts the burden back on the quarterback and play-caller. The Jets need a great runner if they want to continue to keep Sanchez as their quarterback.

    Right now, the Jets are a horse and buggy offense, as they cannot make big plays down the field. Every drive must be 10 perfect plays, as they lack explosion. For all the talk and hoopla around their signing of receiver Plaxico Burress to give them more big-play ability at receiver, he has failed to deliver. In fact, he is only a threat in the red zone, where he can use his size to create separation. He is slow on tape and there is not a corner in the league who is afraid to challenge him. Therefore, the coverage is rolled to Santonio Holmes, whose yards per reception average (12.8) is down almost two yards from his career average. With no one on the other side to help take away the coverage, Holmes' longest play of the season is just 35 yards.

    Sanchez does have to shoulder some of the blame for the Jets' offensive woes. He is not a quick reader of the progression, therefore with every call, Schottenheimer has to tell him where to expect the open man. If the call is a bad one, then Sanchez starts to panic and looks nervous. The most effective pass play he runs is the fake handoff, deep crosser, which has no read -- just fake and come out throwing. The more Sanchez has to read off the play, the better chance the play has to break down. Therefore, the Jets must keep things simple. A simple offense with no explosive players and no run game will never produce, which is why the Jets rank 27th overall.

    But the Jets know all this. They know they need to run the ball, they know they need to limit Sanchez, and they know they need to win with defense and their kicking game. Their model for success is exactly what the 49ers have created this season. But there are differences between the Jets and 49ers, mainly in their personnel. The 49ers have better runners and the 49ers have much better players in their front seven on defense. For the Jets to win, they have to improve their talent base.

    Last week, I wrote that coach Rex Ryan must be more realistic in his statements about his team. And even though he won't change his rhetoric publicly, he must change internally. He has to find a way to improve the roster, improve his talent base and build the right kind of team around Sanchez, since he has already proclaimed him his lifetime starter.

    Schottenheimer will take the fall for the offense's problems; even though Ryan has publicly supported him, he won't be back with the Jets. But this is not all Schottenheimer's fault. Until the Jets realize what kind of team they need to be around Sanchez, then the next coordinator will have the same problems. The fault is not always in the scheme, as the talent -- or lack of talent in this case -- has played a huge part. The hardest thing to do in the NFL is to evaluate your own team. This is what Ryan must do really well this offseason. In spite of what he says to all of us, he at least better be honest with himself.

    [B]My first 15[/B]

    [B]7. The top free agent in the NFL might not be a player but a coach. Jets offensive line coach Bill Callahan will be a coaching free agent and he will be in high demand as great offensive line coaches are hard to find. Callahan was wanted last year by the Titans to be their offensive coordinator, but the Jets, as is their right, did not grant permission because Callahan still had another year on his deal. Now, with his contract expiring, expect his phone to heat up.[/B] :eek:[/QUOTE]

    a pretty compelling analysis from a former GM. I hope the Jets have a great offseason in FA and drafting...they need it badly!

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    [QUOTE=jetlifer;4299731] a former GM[/QUOTE]

    Thats right. There is a reason why he is a FORMER GM.

    Referring to Callahan as a "great OL coach". LOLZ. HE HAD FOUR PRO BOWLERS on the line.

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    as a former gm and member of the nfl club he doesn't call schitty for what he is. it's up to schitty to figure out what sanchez can and can't do and figure out how to make the offense work. schitty has failed miserably inspite of making the afc championship games and even a 500 record this season. the jet offense simply doesn't scare anyone nor is it capable of controlling the games when it has to.

    it's on schitty.

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    [QUOTE=DDNYjets;4299742]Thats right. There is a reason why he is a FORMER GM.

    Referring to Callahan as a "great OL coach". LOLZ. HE HAD FOUR PRO BOWLERS on the line.[/QUOTE]

    A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link - Wayne Hunter.

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    "I THOUGHT IT WAS SANCHEZ, BUT HE'S JUST A PIMP, COULD NEVER HAVE BEATEN SCHOTY. I DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL THIS VERY DAY THAT IT WAS SHONN ALL THE TIME."

    SAR I

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    [QUOTE=JetsFanatic;4299754]A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link - Wayne Hunter.[/QUOTE]

    +1 ............And IMHO it is as simple as this. Hunter's play has affected the OLINE, which effects the QB, RB, WR, and Defense having to be on the field longer.

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    [QUOTE=copernicus;4299761]+1 ............And IMHO it is as simple as this. Hunter's play has affected the OLINE, which effects the QB, RB, WR, and Defense having to be on the field longer.[/QUOTE]

    This is a spectacular failure of talent evaluation, by the highly paid talent evaluators on this team.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=SAR I;4299756]"I THOUGHT IT WAS SANCHEZ, BUT HE'S JUST A PIMP, COULD NEVER HAVE BEATEN SCHOTY. I DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL THIS VERY DAY THAT IT WAS SHONN ALL THE TIME."

    SAR I[/QUOTE]

    LMAO :D

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    [B]"The Jets identified early on that they wanted to manage Sanchez, as they did not want his arm to carry the team."[/B]

    Then they never should have traded up to 5th overall to draft a QB. If Rex and Tanny and the team wanted a game manager they should have went after any number of cheaper vet game managers. Game managers who you don't want to rely on their arm are not franchise QB's that you draft early. If the Jets truly do feel this way about Sanchez they have lost confidence in him and have changed expectations about him.

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    [QUOTE=JetsFanatic;4299754]A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link - Wayne Hunter.[/QUOTE]

    Please tell the whole jets front office this as they have not figured it out.

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    [QUOTE=copernicus;4299761]+1 ............And IMHO it is as simple as this. Hunter's play has affected the OLINE, which effects the QB, RB, WR, and Defense having to be on the field longer.[/QUOTE]

    I hope you are right. But I don't think it is that simple. I think Woody > Hunter. T Rich > Conner. Braylon > Plax. Hartsock > Mulligan. Jones > Greene. The personnel has changed all for the worse with regards to the run game. And like it or not the Jets are a running team. Sanchez NEEDS a running game. He is likely never going to be a QB that can carry a team on his own.

    Major blunders and strategical errors by FO, coaching and scouts.
    Last edited by DDNYjets; 12-31-2011 at 09:39 AM.

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    Not gonna look it up, but didn't this same tool bad mouth Sanchez. A week or two back?

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    [QUOTE=RazorJet;4299793]Not gonna look it up, but didn't this same tool bad mouth Sanchez. A week or two back?[/QUOTE]

    Yes he did.....:yes:

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    Interesting...

    The article says its not Sanchez's fault, but then proceeds to say that with a great running game , defense and an offense that doesn't require him to make reads or throw too often he can be successful.

    Earth shattering stuff, there's 31 other qb's who also have success in a situation like this.

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    [QUOTE=DDNYjets;4299742]Thats right. There is a reason why he is a FORMER GM.

    Referring to Callahan as a "great OL coach". LOLZ. HE HAD FOUR PRO BOWLERS on the line.[/QUOTE]

    LOL....yeah, but you know more about football than Lombardi :rolleyes:

    What? You are afraid of his assessments that Sanchez can't read defenses and needs things simple? Gasp! It can't be the player...Gasp!

    [B]Michael Lombardi[/B]
    [B]Football[/B]


    [LIST][*]1999 to 2007 – [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland_Raiders"]Oakland Raiders[/URL]: Hired by owner [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis"]Al Davis[/URL] to become Senior Personnel Executive working closely with the owner on all football matters. Liaison with head coach and owner; responsible for pro and college player evaluations; and handled veteran contracts.[/LIST]

    [LIST][*]1998 – [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Eagles"]Philadelphia Eagles[/URL]: Promoted to Director of Pro Personnel after serving as a consultant to team owner Jeffrey Lurie in 1997. Managed the professional personnel department and advised owner and chief financial officer on all player contracts and salary cap issues.[/LIST]

    [LIST][*]1996 – [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis_Rams"]St. Louis Rams[/URL]: Prepared advisory reports for ownership during head coach search.[/LIST]

    [LIST][*]1987 to 1996 – [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_Browns"]Cleveland Browns[/URL]: Joined team as Pro Personnel Director in 1987. Promoted to Director of Player Personnel in 1992 where he worked under head coach [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Belichick"]Bill Belichick[/URL] and was responsible for all college and pro personnel decisions; managed salary cap and player personnel issues; oversaw staff of 13 college and pro scouts; handled all player contracts and advised head coach on all football matters.[/LIST]

    [LIST][*]1984 to 1987 – [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_49ers"]San Francisco 49ers[/URL]: Hired as Area Scout where he was responsible for the west region from Texas to California. Reported to head coach [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Walsh"]Bill Walsh[/URL] and assistant coaches in all matters of college scouting and supplied information for use during the NFL draft.[/LIST]

    [LIST][*]1981 to 1984 – [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Nevada,_Las_Vegas"]University of Nevada, Las Vegas[/URL]: Hired as Recruiting Coordinator by Runnin’ Rebels head coach Harvey Hyde.[/LIST]

    [LIST][*]1977 to 1981 – [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofstra_University"]Hofstra University[/URL], Hempstead, N.Y.: Defensive lineman and long-snapper.[/LIST]
    Last edited by C Mart; 12-31-2011 at 10:33 AM.

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    [QUOTE=DDNYjets;4299782]I hope you are right. But I don't think it is that simple. I think Woody > Hunter. T Rich > Conner. Braylon > Plax. Hartsock > Mulligan. Jones > Greene. The personnel has changed all for the worse with regards to the run game. And like it or not the Jets are a running team. Sanchez NEEDS a running game. He is likely never going to be a QB that can carry a team on his own.

    Major blunders and strategical errors by FO, coaching and scouts.[/QUOTE]

    What about Brad Smith > Joe McKnight? Brad Smith was an excellent ST player for us. As much as so many here hate the wildcat, I disagree. I think the wildcat had it's uses. Personally, I think Brad Smith and his talent running the wildcat and returning kickoffs was the MAIN reason we beat the Bengals 3 times in two seasons. He contributed much moreso to the team than Joe McKnight ever will. McKnight is a rather frail kid in comparison to Brad Smith. I think if we started giving McKnight more carries we'd quickly find out he quickly he can break down.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=sameoldjets;4299751]as a former gm and member of the nfl club he doesn't call schitty for what he is. it's up to schitty to figure out what sanchez can and can't do and figure out how to make the offense work. schitty has failed miserably inspite of making the afc championship games and even a 500 record this season. the jet offense simply doesn't scare anyone nor is it capable of controlling the games when it has to.

    it's on schitty.[/QUOTE]

    LOL...I guess people just gloss over this part....But it can't be our beloved player..It has to be the coach.

    [I]Sanchez does have to shoulder some of the blame for the Jets' offensive woes. [B]He is not a quick reader of the progression, therefore with every call, Schottenheimer has to tell him where to expect the open man[/B]. [B]If the call is a bad one, then Sanchez starts to panic and looks nervous. The most effective pass play he runs is the fake handoff, deep crosser, which has no read [/B]-- just fake and come out throwing. [B]The more Sanchez has to read off the play, the better chance the play has to break down. Therefore, the Jets must keep things simple. A simple offense with no explosive players and no run game will never produce, which is why the Jets rank 27th overall.[/B][/I]

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    [QUOTE=Mainejet;4299812]What about Brad Smith > Joe McKnight? Brad Smith was an excellent ST player for us. As much as so many here hate the wildcat, I disagree. I think the wildcat had it's uses. Personally, I think Brad Smith and his talent running the wildcat and returning kickoffs was the MAIN reason we beat the Bengals 3 times in two seasons. He contributed much moreso to the team than Joe McKnight ever will. McKnight is a rather frail kid in comparison to Brad Smith. I think if we started giving McKnight more carries we'd quickly find out he quickly he can break down.[/QUOTE]

    I agree. But I was strictly talking about how the personnel decisions have affected the running game. And the lack of running game is what have affected the passing game the most. Brad Smith does play a role b.c of the wildcat but I was talking about their base personnel.

    Cant kill Tanny or Jets too much over Brad b.c Buffalo paid him way too much money.

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