Dustin Keller was in Midtown last night to help promote the NFL pop-up shop, and while he told Jenny Vrentas of the Star-Ledger he fully expects Sanchez to set some serious ground rules about this year. Keller also noted that in his recent workouts with Sanchez and Holmes in Florida, the receivers were running new route patterns, a sign of the early implementation of Sparano’s system.
… most importantly, they put in early throwing work with Sanchez. Keller said Sanchez directed his receivers on “newer routes, not stuff that we typically run” — the fruits of offseason meetings with former Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington to learn new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s system.
“We’re not going to be starting from the beginning when we first get into these offseason workouts,” Keller said. “We know where we want to be, it’s not just going to be everybody running around with their heads cut off. We’re going to have Mark leading the way.”
I can’t believe I never read this, or forgot about it, but our boy Jason did a MASSIVE recap of the efficacy of the Schottenheimer offense a few years ago, and it’s well worth the read, though very long. In it, Jason proves out what we all thought … that the offense was too complex, required too much on it’s QB to be successful and tried for situational trickery (third and short pass) when not needed or even required.
We all know that Sparano’s offense is going to be more upfront. So … the routes should reflect that. It will value getting away from the formation, or at least their cover-man. It should value using the perimeter instead of throwing a timing route right into a tangle of defenders. I took a look at some Henne highlights I found on YouTube, and most every throw shown is on the edges. Will it make some receivers act as decoy on plays more than second option? For sure, but I think that will be the trick of it with Santonio Holmes. As long as they’re winning, he’ll stay quiet.
This offense is going to rely on getting receivers in isolation on defenders, and then ask the offensive skill players to beat their defender to make yards … simple “his’ns” to beat ”your’ns” stuff. With players like Holmes, Keller and Kerley, I think this could be a very effective passing offense, but I’d still like them to add one more piece to the receiver puzzle if possible.