The slow walk from the huddle to the line of scrimmage will be more of a jog this year if offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has his way.
Sparano, in his first year with the Jets after being fired as head coach of the Dolphins, wants to see his offense pushing a faster tempo than the plodding unit of last season.
At the start of minicamp yesterday, it was clear that the entire offense was moving faster than last year.
“That’s something that Sparano brought in here. He wanted us to play fast; even our walk-throughs are faster. He said that if we practice this speed, we will bring it faster on Sunday. We want to act like we know what we’re doing. He wants us to break the huddle with the assertiveness. Let the defensive side know that we’re coming back,” fullback John Conner told Metro New York. “Maybe we didn’t concentrate on it last year as much; maybe guys get tired. He wants us to be consistent in breaking the huddle.”
Veteran right guard Brandon Moore said it is part of Sparano stamping his aggressive style on the unit.
“I think we just want to dictate the tempo. When you give the defense the chance to sit back and relax and see what you’re doing — well, it isn’t ideal,” Moore said.
At times last season, it appeared as if the Jets let the defense dictate the game while they looked for openings to try and find defensive lapses. Now, the offense wants to be the one to push the envelope and put their stamp on the game. In the 1990s, the Bills notoriously pushed the pace of the game with their no-huddle offense in which they made the opposing defense adjust to them.
“I think it really is all about us now wanting to do what we do and doing it in our own way, at our speed,” right tackle Wayne Hunter told Metro. “No more going up there slowly, letting the defense see what we’re doing. Instead, we break quickly, we get there quickly and we get the play off. We don’t let them settle in.”
It is easy to see that Sparano doesn’t just preach this style, he demands it. During the first session of minicamp, he was constantly encouraging a unit that was used to strolling to the line a season ago. A coordinator who is as aggressive as Sparano wants an offense with a similar mentality.
It is a culture shock in some ways for the Jets, who seemed to mimic the quiet stoicism of former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer last year.
“I’m not going to blame anybody for anything, but maybe we kind of put our head down a little bit at times last year,” Conner said. “I’m pretty sure guys won’t be walking from the huddle this year.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer. He will be live tweeting from minicamp all week.