The New York Jets will be on to their sixth offensive coordinator in eight seasons upon firing John Morton after just one season. Rumors began swirling that new Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was going to bring in Morton to be his offensive coordinator. That ultimately didn’t end up happening and Morton stayed put with the Jets until today. This comes at very ironic time, just hours after it was announced that Todd Haley was out as the Steelers offensive coordinator.
Jets making change at OC: Johnny Morton is out, per sources. Two potential replacements: former Steelers’ OC Todd Haley and Jets’ QB coach Jeremy Bates, who was well liked and respected in building last year.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2018
Morton had an up and down year as the Jets offensive coordinator. While the Jets would start some games out red hot on offense (Weeks 6 & 7 against New England and Miami respectively), his inability to put together a complete game ultimately doomed the Jets in very winnable games. His play calling in games (and really the whole Jets coaching staff) could best be described as playing not to lose. There were numerous occasions where instead of going for the jugular and attempting to put the game away, the Jets laid down on offense. The best examples would be Week 10 in Tampa Bay against an atrocious secondary and Week 14 against the Broncos who were ready to be on vacation. The Jets lost both games with abysmal offensive performances, including getting shut out in Denver while Morton admitted “he gave up” in the second half.
For all of the talk of the Jets “overachieving” on offense based on the talent on the roster, the Jets still finished 28th in total offense, 24th in passing offense and 19th in rushing offense. Not ideal.
He did get almost 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns of Josh McCown with that flashy 67.3 completion percentage but the completion percentage was a direct reflection of his play calling. We would constantly see routes called short of the first down on third and intermediate or third and long.
His misuse of players was also troubling. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a big body with good hands (unless he’s in the end zone apparently) yet his number was called for out routes and underneath routes. ArDarius Stewart, who was supposed to be this do it all type player, had a total of 16 touches on the season. Chad Hansen also saw limited playing time as well.
There have been rumblings of players being unhappy with Mortons play calling and Todd Bowles not liking his philosophy on offense. My guess as to why the Jets made this move was either A) the higher ups didn’t think Morton was fit for developing a quarterback if the Jets go that route with the sixth pick or B) they want to give the job to quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates or are enamored with newly available Todd Haley. Bates has reportedly said he doesn’t want the job and Todd Haley did a good job in Pittsburgh, albeit with one of the most talented offenses in the league.
So now heading into the biggest Jets offseason that I can remember, the Jets need to hit on a quarterback AND now need to find an offensive coordinator that can get the job done. It’s offseason time.
Photo credit: nyjets.com