Belichick Notices Some Changes in the Jets Running Scheme

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

Yesterday Bill Belichick talked about the Jets running game and said that the changes of the scheme from Schottenheimer & Callahan to Sparano & DeGuglielmo are quite noticeable. “I would say schematically they’ve changed their running game a little bit than what it’s been the past couple of years from more scheme-blocking plays and less zone-blocking plays,” Bill Belichick told the Boston Globe during a teleconference on Tuesday.  “They also run zone plays, too, but they run double-team blocks, pulling linemen, things like that, more so than just predominantly zone.”

Going just beyond the scheme-blocking and run blocking differences, Belichick noted that they use some slightly different personnel than in the past. “Sometimes they have one or two tight ends in the game, sometimes three tight end sets,” Belichick said.  “They’ve also used Jason Smith as an extra blocking tight end, so he’s a pretty athletic guy. They’re able to do some things with him maybe the same way we did with [Nate] Solder last year … so that’s another element to it.

While having extra linemen play as blocking tight ends isn’t novel to the Jets, they have added another wrinkle that Sparano liked in Miami.  “Sometimes they line up all three guys in the backfield, two tight ends and a running back, a running back, fullback, and another tight end, or things like that that create blocking angles and different schemes.

It’s a pretty succinct explanation of some of the changes that the Jets have made since last year, particularly in the blocking style as well as some of those three-in-the-backfield personnel groups, something that Bent made particular note of when we wrote out season preview.

It’s worth noting that the Patriots will look back at Dolphins footage to get a sense of how Sparano is running his offense similarly or different since his Miami days and most likely Belichick won’t be seeing anything new under the sun from the Jets, other than their use of Tim Tebow.  Conversely, the Jets should really try and take a page from the Seahawks win over the Patriots last week and try and see how they might try to replicate wide use of the run to set up the pass.

This weekend is going to come down to the Jets out-executing the Patriots.  No small feat, especially in hostile confines like Foxboro.  The Jets running game is going to be key to a potential win and the Patriots are playing excellent football against the run.




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