The New York Jets purged most of their coaching staff after a terrible season in 2016. Now, the Oakland Raiders will welcome the Jets and their revamped coaching staff to their home opener in Oakland.
Part of that coaching overhaul included the hire of John Morton as offensive coordinator. Morton took over for Chan Gailey who retired after last season. What can the Raiders expect from Morton and his offense?
Morton is in his 16th season as an NFL coach. He spent the last two seasons as the receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints. He helped develop Michael Thomas, Brandon Coleman and Brandin Cooks. Morton also has ties to the west coach. From 2011-14, he worked with the 49ers where he helped Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree surpass 1,000 receiving yards. Morton was the offensive coordinator with the USC Trojans from 2009-11. He got his coaching start with the Raiders in 2002. That season, Morton worked with the tight ends.
The Jets offensive coordinator comes from the Jon Gruden tree. Morton’s resume includes plenty of stops with the West Coast offense. Thus, you can expect Morton and the Jets to pass the ball to open up the running game. New York will try to protect the ball and they will adjust their offensive scheme
They also have Matt Forte and Bilal Powell who are versatile backs that fit the scheme. Receivers Ardarius Stewart and Jermaine Kearse are also the big-bodied receivers Morton has experience developing.
Combined with veteran game managing quarterback Josh McCown, the Jets have the personnel that fit the West Coast scheme.
Let’s be honest, this Jets offense does not have a ton of strengths. At least we did not see many in Week One versus the Bills. They only put up 12 points in Week One.
Neither running back rushed for more than 22 yards. McCown threw two picks and was sacked one time. He averaged 4.4 yards per passing play. New York had some clock mismanagement and they did not call a single trick play.
Some of this incompetence is on their offensive line. None of the five starters received a grade higher than 67.2 from Pro Football Focus. Otherwise, the Jets play calling was conservative which has been the case under head coach Todd Bowles.
This could change against the Raiders. Oakland’s defense played better than advertised mostly because the team was able to protect a lead with a strong running game. The Raiders have a young defensive front that should give the Jets an easier matchup than Week One.
Either way, the Jets have got to run the football better this week. They do not have the fire power to get into a shootout with the Raiders. They could potentially win a game if they can keep the score down and the Raiders offense off the field.
Otherwise, expect the Jets to take more chances this week. New York literally has nothing to lose. A trick play could give them the explosive score they need to gain some momentum on the road. No one expects them to beat the Raiders in Oakland so the Jets would be smart to sprinkle in some double passes or reverses. Oakland can be beat in the secondary and they can give up yards against the run. A trick play could catch the Raiders slipping.
The Silver and Black better be ready to see some gimmicks. Morton will mix in some different packages to exploit a Raiders interior defense that lacks experience.
The Raiders defense might not face an offense as bad as the Jets again so this is the game to build camaraderie and learn assignments on defense. Regardless of the Morton and the Jets’ scheme, they do not have the talent on offense to beat the Raiders as long as Oakland handles their business. Oakland’s defense better be ready for anything when the face the Jets offense, despite their limited talent.