After the offense's atrocious performance against the Baltimore Ravens, the New York Jets' top three receivers,Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Mason, were public with their displeasure at the Jets' offense, namely offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's play-calling.
Despite head coach Rex Ryan's insistence on a "ground and pound" running-oriented style, the Jets have passed on 62 percent of their plays this season, and haven't done so particularly effectively. QB Mark Sanchez has turned the ball over nine times, completing a measly 55 percent of his throws. With All-World center Nick Mangold missing the past two games, both Jets losses, it's been impossible for Sanchez to get comfortable in the pocket or run effectively up the middle.
Now, multiple reports are surfacing that there is tension in the locker room about the offense. The New York Daily News' Manish Mehta is reporting that over the past month, Holmes, Burres, and Mason have met separately with Ryan to air grievances about Schottenheimer's play calling. The three receivers are averaging three catches or less per game, despite the offense's predilection toward the pass. From the NY Daily News:
The receivers' decisions to approach the head coach during a season when the Jets are throwing it more than ever under Ryan speaks volumes about their feelings about the play-calling. Wideouts don't typically want to change when they're part of a pass-friendly offense. However, all of them recognize the importance of re-establishing a ground attack that has lost its way. To that end, Ryan admitted that his team will lean more on the ground-and-pound attack moving forward to re-establish a more physical mind-set.
The Jets face the Patriots Sunday afternoon, who rank last in the NFL in total defense, and their pass defense is especially vulnerable, so we'll see how much they change their approach. Regardless, this is as important an early season game as could be for the Jets, who have a chance to tie the 3-1 Patriots in their attempt to, unbelievably, catch the Buffalo Bills.
For more on the Jets and their fans' displeasure with the offense, visit Gang Green Nation.