It was no secret that the Jets offense played better during the last month of the season. Of course, the Jets were fielding it’s best complement of receivers by then and only one defense was truly good, it was hard to mistake the improvement of the Jets offense in December.
Michael Fensom of the Star-Ledger noted down the stretch, the Jets used a lot more shotgun formation for Geno Smith:
Much of the 2013 season for Smith and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg could be considered a learning process. Both guys were in their first seasons working with the Jets and each other (that Smith was also in his first season in the NFL compounded the learning curve). It seemed to take time for Mornhinweg to adjust his offensive system to suit Smith.
In addition to calling plays that hinged on Smith’s ability to run the football and speeding up the tempo (frequently, the Jets didn’t huddle), one noticeable adjustment over the season’s concluding month was the Jets operated quite a lot out of the shotgun formation. Remember, in college Smith worked almost exclusively from the shotgun — so much so that quarterbacks coach David Lee had to teach him the fundamentals of dropping to throw after taking a snap from under center once the Jets drafted the quarterback.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comOver time, Smith is going to have to get more familiar with taking snaps from under center, but for now it was good that Mornhinweg recognized this way to maximize his rookie’s effectiveness. Geno talked about how his coaches wanted him to play looser and worry less about doing everything right. Part of that had to be to make Smith worry less by putting him in familiar situations where he didn’t have to think so much… where he could rely on instinct.
The shotgun is a perfect example of that. One of the things we like about Mornhinweg is that while he has a system he would like to implement, he also understands that using his personnel where they are best suited is going to go further than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.