A new era of New York Jets football began today, as newly hired general manager John Idzik was introduced to the media, and the team also officially announced the hiring of new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
While Idzik’s hiring is the one getting the most attention, and rightfully so, the hiring of Mornhinweg (above left ) is a significant move in its own right. It signals a changing of the guard for a Jets offense that desperately needed it.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan talked about wanting to make wholesale changes on offense. That means that the vaunted ground-and-pound attack Ryan was once so fond of is out, and in comes Mornhinweg’s West Coast offense.
Unlike the punishing run-first style that the Jets ran in previous years, the West Coast offense puts a greater emphasis on the passing game, especially on quick, accurate passes to set up the run game as a change of pace.
The identity shift is not just about changing schemes, but also about getting a veteran coordinator in place to run the offense. That’s something Ryan’s never had in New York, and something he emphasized in his search for a new OC.
“I thought it was important to get a guy with a proven track record,” Ryan said. “A guy who has been there and done it. … I brought in several candidates, but … Marty was the guy that I thought was the best fit for us.”
Mornhinweg spent two years as an NFL head coach in 2001 and 2002, before finding a niche as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles, including seven years as OC. In total, he’s been an NFL head coach or OC for 13 years.
Mornhinweg’s offenses have been top ten scoring offenses in eight of those 13 years. Needless to say, the Jets never sniffed anywhere near a top ten offense under Brian Schottenheimer or Tony Sparano.
It remains to be seen who will be brought in at quarterback to compete for a job in this new system, but there’s no doubt that having an experienced offensive coordinator will be a breath of fresh air for Rex Ryan and the Jets.
As Ryan said, Mornhinweg is a guy who’s been there and done that, and for the Jets, that’s exactly what they need.