Offensive Best Description When the Jets Have the Ball

Brian Schottenheimer's offense still under fire

Brian Schottenheimer is either a liar or doesn't understand football very well. Those aren't labels I like to throw around but they are the only two possible explanations for what happened this weekend.

On Friday, he spoke to the Newark Star-Ledger about criticisms that his offense was too conservative to win games. He said he didn't pay much attention to criticism, and that any attempt to paint him with a brush was useless because the Jets planned differently for each opponent. He made a liar of himself on both fronts on Sunday.

During the 28-24 win against the Chiefs, Schottenheimer seemed to be making a point of zigging where a conservative game plan would zag. Almost every time the Jets found themselves with minimal yards to gain on second or third down, they'd line up in the shotgun with an empty backfield. It worked on occasion but stretched the credulity of everyone who heard him say that it didn't bother him to be called conservative.

This is especially obvious when you recall that the Chiefs gave up more than 300 yards rushing to the Titans the week before. How is team-specific game planning your raison d'etre if you don't run the ball down such a team's throat at every opportunity? Chris Baker was hurt and the team used a backup lineman as a tight end, tipping their hand on running plays. But Tennessee has Kerry Collins playing quarterback, a bigger tip than any tackle eligible, and it didn't slow them down one bit.

None of the above absolves Brett Favre's dreadful performance (or the defense's for that matter) but it would seem criticism of Schottenheimer as conservative was misguided. His overall competence is apparently the issue, not his aversion to risk.

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