When the New York Jets were making back-to-back appearances in the AFC Championship game in 2009 and 2010, their defense was one of the most blitz-happy teams in the NFL. Over the last two years with Mike Pettine serving as the defensive play-caller, the percentage of blitzes by the Jets have decreased substantially.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com, the Jets were first and third in the NFL in 2009 and 2010, respectively, in blitz percentage. They were 12th and 11th the past two seasons with Pettine at the helm. As noted in one-liners this morning, with Pettine now in Buffalo the Jets plan to go back to their blitzing ways this fall.
“We’re going to do a lot of blitzing and getting after people,” Jets linebacker David Harris said to Cimini. “There should be a different brand of football than you were used to seeing the last couple of years.” Asked about last season’s philosophy, Harris said, “We played more coverage. It wasn’t like ’09, that’s obvious. That’s all I’ll say about that.”
The Jets blitzed on more than 50-percent of their defensive snaps in 2009. The last two seasons, the Jets blitzed on just 32.8 percent of snaps in 2011 and 34-percent of snaps in 2012.
A change in defensive aggression the last two years isn’t the only reason the Jets have fallen off in terms of win-loss record (Mark Sanchez doesn’t play on that side of the ball). However, it seems safe to say that if head coach Rex Ryan isn’t going to survive this season as the Jets coach, he’s at least planning to go out doing things his way once again.