New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer tried to take some heat off quarterback Mark Sanchez Thursday. By turning it on himself.
"I’d like to have a couple plays back, as a play-caller,'' Schottenheimer said today in the weekly coordinator media briefing. "I had a hard time getting into a rhythm. I really did. You’ve got to convert on third downs to sustain drives... We broke down in different ways, whether it was a drop, a penalty – three different times we came up a yard short – it was frustrating.''
The Jets gained just 176 yards in total offense and Sanchez was just 10-of-21 for a meager 74 yards. But Schottenheimer said his unwillingness to throw downfield more was not because he lacks trust in the second-year quarterback.
"I think Mark’s matured enough to where he knows when a guy’s open now, and when he’s not,'' Schottenheimer said. "I’ll be honest – there were times last year… that I was concerned to call shots with Mark, because I just had no idea where the ball was going to go. A shot called was a shot taken. He was going to throw it. I had to come in and talk about some of those on Fridays.
"But he’s matured – he knows when to take the shot and when not to. What we need to do is we need to continue to tie up our protections, tie up some of the play action, run action, some of the things we’re going to do. I know we have to get Braylon Edwards involved, but in order to get into a rhythm, you’ve got to sustain the ball. You can’t have the ball for 22 minutes.''
OK, Brian. Now try proving you trust your quarterback by actually giving him a chance to make some plays Sunday against New England.