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Thread: Excellent Vrentas article on sparano offense

  1. #1
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    Excellent Vrentas article on sparano offense

    [url]http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2012/06/explaining_how_tony_sparanos_n.html[/url]


    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
    New Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano's system is based on running the football, but there is room to throw it, as well.
    Mark Sanchez stole spare minutes at home, between meetings or on cross-country flights to and from his native Southern California. He needed to become fluent in Tony Sparano’s new Jets offense this spring, so he turned to the tactics he’s relied on since grade school: Memorization, repetition and flashcards.
    The quarterback hoarded blank index cards from the desk of Laura Young, coach Rex Ryan’s assistant, and started sketching formations, protections and plays.
    “In pencil, ’cause I’ve got to erase it sometimes,” Sanchez explained.
    For the first time since his rookie year, Sanchez has had to learn a new offense, a task that has a critical stake in defining the 2012 Jets.
    There is no doubt Ryan and the Jets hired the “like-minded” Sparano to replace former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer in large part because of Sparano’s affinity for ground and pound. But in the past several weeks, Sanchez and his receivers have happily discovered great potential for the passing game, too, in Sparano’s system.
    The key lies in flexibility, allowing the quarterback and his receivers to make fluid and choreographed adjustments in order to best attack the voids and weaknesses of the opposing defense. As Sparano told the offense in a meeting Thursday morning, “We are not robots.”
    Sparano’s offense has a heavy emphasis on sight adjustments and hot routes — in which a receiver’s route can be adjusted in response to a blitzing defense — and it also includes a variety of tags and option routes that allow receivers to find open spaces against the coverage.
    These are widespread concepts in the NFL, and they existed on some level in Schottenheimer’s system, too. But as receiver Santonio Holmes put it, “We have more than we did last year, let’s just say that.”
    “I don’t look back,” said Sparano, who, like Sanchez, was reluctant to compare systems out of respect for the prior staff. “There are a lot of ways to do things. But in our way of doing things here, I think it helps Mark in that he has answers with the football, he can get rid of the football a lot quicker, he can help himself be in a better play.”
    COMMUNICATION IS KEY
    Having answers with the football is encouraging, because Sanchez’s Achilles’ heel last year was turnovers. He gave the ball away 26 times — 18 interceptions and eight lost fumbles — second-most among NFL quarterbacks. The Jets also want to keep boosting his completion percentage, at 56.7 last season.
    The possible benefits of Sparano’s system — tight end Dustin Keller believes it can be “unstoppable” — also bring added responsibility, however. The quarterback and his targets must be on the same page for the passing game to work.
    Each player must know each play from the protection outward, and receivers, running backs and tight ends must read blitzing players and the coverage the same way as the quarterback.
    “There’s a lot put on the quarterbacks and receivers, and it’s our job to see things the same and to see the coverage the same,” Sanchez explained. “It could adjust a route, could change up the timing of a route, and those are the most important things. Coach Sparano is not shy about putting the emphasis on that to make sure our communication is perfect.”
    Through nine weeks of the offseason program and minicamp, this was a theme. It started with Sparano making sure one voice — his — led the teaching process. Quarterbacks, receivers, running backs and tight ends were all in the same room for the initial installation of the passing game, rather than split into individual position groups.
    Sparano often challenged his players to see plays from another spot on the field. He would call on a receiver to line up at quarterback, or a quarterback at receiver, and give him a mock situation to walk through.
    “A bit more” is placed on Sanchez in this system, in Sparano’s estimation. The quarterback, for instance, must set the protections. Sanchez knew he had to be at the head of the class, and in his fourth year, he started from scratch.
    Sanchez preferred not to translate from Schottenheimer’s language, because he thought doing so could confuse coaches and teammates. He wanted to learn the offense like Sparano, a former offensive line coach, sees it: Inside out. He memorized the formations, and then the protections, and then the specific routes.
    It’s a far cry from his rookie year, he said, when he simply crammed as many plays as he could into his brain.
    THE RECEIVING END

    Around Sanchez, his teammates have been committed to holding up their end of the bargain. For instance, receivers must also understand protections in this system, because their rules for running routes depend on it.
    Receivers coach Sanjay Lal said he had to “retrain” their ears to listen for the protection in the huddle call. In the meeting room, he’ll line the players up in front of the white board, shout a call, and ask them to draw the play and its adjustments. Walk-throughs and practices often include a "blitz period," in which the defense shows the offense a litany of blitz looks, to make sure the receivers respond the same way as the quarterback.
    Sparano admits the offense is still a work in progress, but he is confident the foundation is now in place. When his system is in sync, he believes Sanchez will have options, outlets and the opportunity to get the ball down the field.
    Heading into the final day of mini-camp, Sparano said Sanchez’s offseason completion percentage was around 67 or 68 percent in the padless practice sessions.
    “What we want to try to do is put ourselves in the best play all the time,” Sparano said. “We’ve got to give them the flexibility to be able to play and be able to win in some of these situations.”
    Sparano’s first NFL job was as a quality control coach with the Browns, which also ran a system with a heavy emphasis on sight adjustments and hot routes. Pro offenses will usually have quick outlets built in on pass plays with three-step drops. But receiver Jeremy Kerley said Sparano’s system also gives more options in the five-step and seven-step game to take pressure off the quarterback.
    The general idea is that routes are adjusted to allow receivers to run into voids vacated by blitzing defenders and into the quarterback’s vision. Now included in the Jets’ lexicon is the “bandit,” usually a hot receiver on the weak side.
    Flexibility in the passing game is also created with tags, which call for a certain receiver to change his route based on the coverage — for instance, to run a “man-beater” route if the defense shows man coverage.
    And Kerley noted an increased dose of option routes, which allow inside receivers like him to play off the defender’s leverage or sit in certain windows in coverage.
    “That’s why I think everybody is buying into his style of coaching, his playbook that he brought over,” Kerley said. “It works. It’s a lot more freedom, it’s a lot more for us to get out there and just win on routes, period. Just win.”
    FREE & EASY
    At times last season, players hinted they felt stuck in calls. In the Week 3 loss to Oakland, for example, the Raiders played zone coverage instead of the expected man-to-man. Afterward, Holmes called for the offense to have more freedom to adjust on the fly, saying the players “can’t be forced to continue doing the same things” when the defense is different than expected.
    Asked if Sparano’s offense could help in situations like that, Holmes said last week, “No question.”
    “It allows us to have a little bit more fun,” Holmes said. “And to know when you mess up, it’s on us or the quarterback, because of a certain sight or certain be-where-you-are-supposed-to-be-at type deal.”
    He added: “It gives (Sanchez) options now. He doesn’t have to stare down one receiver to get him the ball. He can throw the ball wherever he wants to, based on the coverage.”
    The next step, when the Jets reconvene for training camp next month in Cortland, N.Y., is to coagulate this offense into game form. But at each step so far, they have found slivers of encouragement.
    Sanchez cites plays this spring when his flashcards came to life just as drawn up. He and his receiver would get one past the top-five Jets defense, and Sparano would call out excitedly, “That will be on the teach tape!” Those moments make the Jets feel like this offense can be better than 25th in the NFL, and this team can be better than 8-8.
    “There is a lot of responsibility, but with all that responsibility comes a lot of potential,” Sanchez said. “When it works, everybody feels good and it looks good. It looks fluid, it looks effortless, it just looks easy, and we have the ability to do that.”
    Jenny Vrentas: [email]jvrentas@starledger.com[/email].

    The offense will give Sanchez more flexibility and options, if he knows what he is doing this could be good. Article suggests it was schitty's O which only had one read which I'm not sure about. Sparano also said Sanchez had 67% completion in padless practices, you wouldn't get that impression from the reports we saw.

  2. #2
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    This may be the best thing I've ever read. Can't wait for the season, and for me to be proven right. So sanchez was forced to stare down recievers, and they had no option to change routes based on coverages. ridiculous. Shotty lovers, and Sanchez haters must hate this.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=NY's stepchild;4493674]This may be the best thing I've ever read. Can't wait for the season, and for me to be proven right. So sanchez was forced to stare down recievers, and they had no option to change routes based on coverages. ridiculous. Shotty lovers, and Sanchez haters must hate this.[/QUOTE]

    I agree. Sanchez was in a bad situation. This is coming from a Shotty supporter as well, I guess I was just scared of change, because it's now obvious that we've replaced Shotty Jr with a real offensive coach. Someone who can actually coach his players up. Sparano wasn't the best head coach in the world, but he seems to be a very good offensive football coach.

    [I]"At times last season, players hinted they felt stuck in calls. In the Week 3 loss to Oakland, for example, the Raiders played zone coverage instead of the expected man-to-man. Afterward, Holmes called for the offense to have more freedom to adjust on the fly, saying the players “can’t be forced to continue doing the same things” when the defense is different than expected.
    Asked if Sparano’s offense could help in situations like that, Holmes said last week, “No question.”[/I]

  4. #4
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    Great article, lovin' Jenny more every day. It sounds like an offense that takes a lot of smarts and we are fortunate to have 3 QBs of high intelligence. I really think this is going to be a great year for us, maybe some false steps along the learning curve, a semi-rebuild year, but leading to a killer 2013.

  5. #5
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    Great article. That might be why he would stare down receivers and poor adjustments.

  6. #6
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    More effusive praise for Schoddy's "system" :rolleyes:

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    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGi69-LHkFQ&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL24694B66E87B09E6"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGi69-LHkFQ&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL24694B66E87B09E6[/URL]

    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ER3gGNHTpo"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ER3gGNHTpo[/URL]

  8. #8
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    What a great report from Vrentas.

    Compare and contrast it with the "works" of lazy hacks such as
    Costello Myers Hubeccccch and Dick Semen-i

    Sent from my SGH-T679 using Tapatalk 2

  9. #9
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    [B]What kind of article is this!!![/B]

    The article clearly states that Sanchez has a terrible memeory since he is so dedicated to studing and grasping the playbook.

    Just more coddling of Sanchez as evidenced by the Jets coaching staff here as far as I am concerned...Why Sanchez should have 40 TD passes by now!!! :rolleyes:

    Why didn't Cimini himself state that the Jets players were lost? Who knows more Cimini and his ilk or the Jets coaching staff? Why, we all know the answer to that one.... I hope......:D

    But seriously another outstanding article by the Jets very best beat writer!!!!

  10. #10
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    I can certainly tell what a HUGE Schotty fan Santonio was. It's hard to play inspired in a system you don't believe in.


    Also, with this emphasis on sight adjustments, every receiver and quarterback better be at Jets West. They need to spend as much time together as possible.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=NY's stepchild;4493674]This may be the best thing I've ever read. Can't wait for the season, and for me to be proven right. [B]So sanchez was forced to stare down recievers, and they had no option to change routes based on coverages. ridiculous. Shotty lovers, and Sanchez haters must hate this.[/[/B]QUOTE]

    That part of the article jumped out at me as well.

    I actually defended Schotty at times out here but if his play calling REQUIRED Sanchez to literally stare down a reciever and that the WRs couldn't change their routes based on the defense than this alone indicates that Schotty was INCOMPETENT!!!! Period....

    And Good Grief:eek:

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=mavericknyc1980;4493682]Great article. [B]That might be why he would stare down receivers and poor adjustments.[/QUOTE]

    [/B]

    And just think this is what the OC was actuallyTELLING the QB to do!!!:eek:

    You can't make it up!!

  13. #13
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    As usually Jenny delivers the goods. Hope they get her on the podcast soon. Seems like the female reporters (with the exception of McAnus) really outshine their male counterparts.

    Putting the blame on Schotty for Sanchez staring down receivers is asinine. I don't care what the article says. No coach teaches the QB to stare down WRs. It is either a misspeak, misquote or misinterpretation. How many times did we listen to Rex and Schotty in press conferences saying how Mark shouldn't stare down receivers (or something to that effect)?

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    Awesome.

    We are definitely gonna see some blown plays this season. But can't wait to see what comes of this offense once everybody gets on the same page and the younger guys get more experience.

    It's sad I got excited reading about hot routes. Last year whenever it was clear the D was blitzing and Sanchez had to throw fast. It would just smack Keller in the helmet because he was running a 10 yard route for no reason. Completely unaware.

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    [QUOTE=DDNYjets;4493723]As usually Jenny delivers the goods. Hope they get her on the podcast soon. Seems like the female reporters (with the exception of McAnus) really outshine their male counterparts.

    Putting the blame on Schotty for Sanchez staring down receivers is asinine. I don't care what the article says. No coach teaches the QB to stare down WRs. It is either a misspeak, misquote or misinterpretation. How many times did we listen to Rex and Schotty in press conferences saying how Mark shouldn't stare down receivers (or something to that effect)?[/QUOTE]

    It meant that he had only one option and had to wait for that guy to come open. It didn't mean he was actually instructed to stare down the receiver, it meant that that was what in effect happened. Even though it conflicts with what you decided was the truth, it's very hard to argue against these facts coming to light. In fact it would be asinine.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=NY's stepchild;4493743][B]It meant that he had only one option[/B] and had to wait for that guy to come open. It didn't mean he was actually instructed to stare down the receiver, [B]it meant that that was what in effect happened.[/B] [/QUOTE]

    1. Doubt that. The Jets opened up the offense for Sanchez last year.

    2. That is Sanchez' problem, not Schotty's.

    I am all for criticizing Schotty. But I find it hard to blame these things on him. I think people want to find a scapegoat for Sanchez' performance. It is convenient to blame everything on Schotty. Schotty wasn't the one blocking, passing or catching.

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    [QUOTE=DDNYjets;4493757]1. Doubt that. The Jets opened up the offense for Sanchez last year.

    2. That is Sanchez' problem, not Schotty's.

    I am all for criticizing Schotty. But I find it hard to blame these things on him. I think people want to find a scapegoat for Sanchez' performance. [B] It is convenient to blame everything on Schotty. Schotty wasn't the one blocking, passing or catching.[/B][/QUOTE]

    No, but he was the one designing, and calling the plays. If players aren't buying in, and the design and play calling becomes predictable, that is a problem. If the play design is not working against what the defense is doing to counter, than that is on the shoulders of the OC, and it appears Schotty was too stubborn to realize, and this is coming from a person who defended a lot of Schotty criticism.

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    [QUOTE=Ray Ray19;4493780]No, but he was the one designing, and calling the plays. If players aren't buying in, and the design and play calling becomes predictable, that is a problem. If the play design is not working against what the defense is doing to counter, than that is on the shoulders of the OC, and it appears Schotty was too stubborn to realize, and this is coming from a person who defended a lot of Schotty criticism.[/QUOTE]
    One thing we agree on.

  19. #19
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    Is Jenny hot? If she is, she may be the ultimate babe

  20. #20
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    I love it...

    [B]It doesn't matter what the actual players are saying and telling you what happened on offense last year; we the fans on JI now know better than the players themselves as to what happened and didn't happen....[/B]

    Again I say you can't make it up!!:eek:

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