New York Jets Playbook – Breaking In The New Personnel

Joe Caporoso breaks down a few intriguing personnel groups and formations the New York Jets used against the Colts

The New York Jets displayed a handful of intriguing personnel groupings and formations in their pre-season debut against the Indianapolis Colts. While you don’t want to read too much into what you see in August, the plays still provide a general preview for how the Jets plan to use certain players. Let’s take a quick look at five of those formations and plays…

Play 1

This is a third and long on the Jets first drive. Geno Smith is in shotgun with Chris Johnson as his single back. They have a tight twins formation on both sides of the set. Eric Decker and David Nelson are the outside receivers, Jeff Cumberland and Jeremy Kerley are the inside receivers. Cumberland and Kerley run delayed flat routes to clear out passing lanes for Nelson and Decker who are running deep curl routes pass the first down marker. Decker runs a beautiful route and is open for a completion from Geno. Unfortunately this was called back because of a false start on Nelson.

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Play 2

Geno Smith is back in the shotgun with Johnson as the single back. Stephen Hill is the backside “X” receiver while Jace Amaro is front-side in the slot, with Jeff Cumberland down as the in-line “Y” tight end and Eric Decker to his outside as the “Z” receiver. Cumberland runs a deep in-cut, while Amaro runs a whip route underneath him that opens up a passing lane (well designed, Marty). Johnson is knocked over on his checkdown route, while Decker and Hill run verticals against the 2 high look on the outside. Decker runs his route at 100%. Hill jogs his route.

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Play 3

Smith is in the shotgun with Chris Ivory as the single back. Zach Sudfeld is the “Z” receiver, who motions in towards the formation, Jace Amaro is the H-Back or “F” tight end in a three point stance off the line, while Jeff Cumberland is the traditional in-line tight end. Stephen Hill is the backside “X” receiver. Despite Amaro getting a nice cut block, there isn’t much push from Cumberland and the offensive line, leading to an unsuccessful play.

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Play 4

On 3rd and 4 with Mike Vick at QB, the Jets have Amaro split out as the “Z” receiver and motioning towards the formation. David Nelson is in a three point stance as the “F” tight end, while Cumberland remains in-line. Cumberland releases on a deep corner route and is open for what should be a touchdown (hey, Mike look at him!), Amaro runs a shallow drag and does an excellent job of settling in the open window, while Nelson releases to the flat.

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Play 5

The Jets go five wide shotgun with Mike Vick under center. Chris Johnson is split out wide to the right, Jace Amaro is in the slot. On the other side of the set, David Nelson is out wide and motions into the formation, while Jeremy Kerley and Jeff Cumberland form a tight twins formation. Nelson breaks over the middle and is briefly open, Amaro is smothered on his slot fade, while Johnson runs a lackadaisical route underneath him. Kerley and Cumberland’s speed outs are well covered, leading to Vick scrambling for a short gain.

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Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • cleophus

    Play 3 – When the All 3 TEs are in the formation w/ Chris Johnson and WR (Hill) but should be Decker in the regular season… Should be utilized when its a 2nd down and 1 yard or 3rd and short to go… Defense of the other team, will send in their bigger players, to stack the line… If the Jets get the 1st down, they should immediately go into hurry up offense, so they can use their speedy TEs against the bigger and slower defensive players who were subbed in for the short yardage situation.

    This would give the offense a lot of mismatches because if they spread them out they can still run, or pass. the Patriots did this to the Jets about 3 years ago… if the Jets went Nickel they ran the ball, if they went heavy they passed the ball. I think this could work for the jets this season.

  • 4th play is a TD to Cumby if Vicks wants it. He gets the first with benefits to Amaro. Smart play.

    2nd play is Genos best. See’s sense’s and slide’s the pocket to deliver a strike. Very encouraging.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Was definitely a nice looking play from Geno, who looked more comfortable in the pocket than he did at this time last year by a wide margin. As for Vick, still surprised he didn’t take that open shot to Cumberland for the TD but it is pre-season…

  • Joe Caporoso

    This is a good point Cleophus and absolutely something the Jets can take advantage of by utilizing the versatility of their TEs

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Great article, Joe!

    Decker was wide open & the CB defending him ends up on the ground on play 1. I hope it was due to crisp route running.

    I agree Geno looks way more comfortable, which may be the most important development since last season. So Stephen Hill can’t even run a clear out route properly? Is there anything he’s actually good at besides being tall & running fast in a straight line?

    Overall, it looks like the receivers are doing a MUCH better job of getting open compared to last year.

  • Play 5 has Stephen Hill in the slot rather than Amaro, no? Failing to gain separation then waiving at the QB as if he were wide open, as per usual.

  • Enunwa will break out at WR. Book it. The Jets have gone from a Bi-plane (Sparano) to an early
    F-16 ( Marty2.14) in two years. This team is treading up in a big way.