"What made Marty different from all the other West Coast guys was he took a lot of shots downfield."
Between 2010 and 2011, Mornhinweg’s Eagles were in the top 10 in passing plays of 20 yards or more. On passing plays of 40 yards or more they were No. 1 in 2010 and No. 12 in 2011.
Higgins remembers this philosophy going back to offensive meetings where Mornhinweg would look at the game plan and jokingly scold his coaches in Detroit for being too reliant on the safe dinks and dunks that define his system.
"We’ve only got three or four shots downfield," Higgins remembered Mornhinweg saying. "I want to see six or seven that can give us an honest chance at a home run that are realistic plays, like deep crossing routes with seven or eight man protection."
He wanted detail and regiment, but he also wanted the chance to surprise on any given play. In essence, what Rex Ryan has said he now wants in an offense.
"The Jets are going to enjoy playing for him," Higgins said.