New York Jets head coach Adam Gase deployed a three-step, zone-play action quick out in Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans.
Averaging 101.4 yards per game on the ground placed the New York Jets in the No. 26 spot over the course of 17 regular-season weeks in 2018. This, despite a top-five paid offensive line consisting of over-the-hill, poor-to-average offensive linemen.
Track the Jets wins and competitive games this past season. Only when they could rush the ball well did they actually have a shot at victory. When the rushing game didn’t work, there was no shot.
A few factors work into this equation.
Mainly, Todd Bowles’s antiquated mindset. Coming from the 1980s, he firmly believes in opposing his will against the opposition. From a sunny day point-of-view, it’s a nice thought. From a 2018 with the NFL rules the way they are point-of-view, it’s nonsense.
Every team’s identity needs to now be chameleon-like. Bill Belichick kickstarted the notion and it’s carried through to this day.
When the rushing attack isn’t working, teams can still win games and even win the Super Bowl (see the 2011 New York Giants).
The Jets new head coach, Adam Gase, understands this. As evidenced by many of his calls in Miami, it’s apparent he knows this.
In the above ESNY Film Room quick hit, Gase runs a three-step passing play that’s a complete substitute for the rushing attack, Gase makes sure to give his quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, an easy chunk without thinking.
The key starts up front. Notice how Frank Gore doesn’t actually carry out a real play action. There’s no time for it. But that’s OK due to the offensive line’s zone-action movement to the left while Tannehill finds the quick out to the right.
It completely freezes the entire second level in addition to the strong safety creeping up into the box pre-snap.
Due to the lag in coverage by the nearest cornerback (on the play side), quite literally, the only man Tannehill needs to worry about is the flat in the Cover 3 (if there even is one). On this play, the only possible flat responsibility is the in-the-box safety who charges up.
There is danger in the play. Should the corner be in press and the quick out not available, Tannehill has few options to carry out. That’s why this one is an at-the-line call ready to take advantage of specific defense.
Sam Darnold’s life will be made much easier in 2019. The key now is getting him an actual offensive line he can thrive behind.