For Marty Mornhinweg, Jets job is an opportunity


Few NFL jobs are as challenging as offensive coordinator for the New York Jets, a team whose offense was terrible last year, entering a season in which the quarterback competition between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith is sure to bring on withering scrutiny.

In other words, it’s a great opportunity for Marty Mornhinweg to rebuild his reputation.

Mornhinweg’s reputation is, to say the least, tattered. This week, when Deadspin ranked the worst modern NFL coaches, it put Mornhinweg atop the list, noting that he went 5-27 in two seasons as head coach of the Lions, and that he infamously lost a game after choosing to take the wind — rather than receive the kickoff — in overtime.

It’s hard to defend Mornhinweg’s record as a head coach, but I would argue that it’s unfair to label Mornhinweg the worst coach in recent NFL history for the simple reason that I’m not sure any coach could have won with former Lions President Matt Millen picking the players. Yes, Mornhinweg went 2-14 and 3-13 in his two seasons as the Lions’ coach, but the other Detroit teams that Millen built weren’t much better: In the seasons after Millen fired Mornhinweg, the Lions went 5-11, 6-10, 5-11, 3-13, 7-9 and 0-16 before finally deciding that someone other than Millen should be building their roster and hiring their head coach.

But even if you don’t think Mornhinweg is the worst coach in recent NFL history, you probably don’t think he’s a very good coach, and his two years in Detroit gave you plenty of reasons to think that. And, more importantly, even though Mornhinweg has said he wants another shot at being a head coach, NFL owners haven’t been interested in giving him that opportunity.

Turning around the Jets’ offense, however, would be a truly Herculean coaching feat. If Mornhinweg solves the puzzle of how to run an effective offense around Sanchez — or if he builds a strong offense around a rookie quarterback in Smith — he’d get an outsized share of credit, just as everyone around the Jets has received an outsized share of blame in the past couple years.

So if Mornhinweg is ever going to get a chance to prove that he’s not such a bad head coach, then offensive coordinator of the Jets may just be the perfect job for him. Even if it also may be the toughest job in the NFL.

24 responses to “For Marty Mornhinweg, Jets job is an opportunity

  1. When you have a bad team at the end of a dismal season, win the coin toss in overtime, then proceed to take the wind rather then the ball, losing the game in the process it says two things about your head coaching ability. One you have no guts, two your an imbecile.

  2. The offenses for the Eagles during his time as OC were pretty explosive at times and generally ranked well, but everybody knows Andy really ran the show. Marty definitely does not deserve another shot until he can prove he can turn around an offense on his own. I hope the wind is with him.

  3. In Chinese the same word is used for crisis and opportunity.

    For Mornhinwheg, the Jets job is a Crisatunity


  4. A lot of guys like Wade Phillips who are awesome as coordinators but just don’t work as head coaches when there’s so much more to do.

    Marty might be one of those guys and there’s nothing wrong with that. The Eagles weren’t always great with him but remember he was OCwhen they went on big playoff run with Jeff Garcia and when Vick had that great 2010 comeback season so he’s had some good seasons.

  5. Jets will look a lot better than they really are this year, since no opposing teams will spend more than 45 minutes preparing for them.

  6. Found it interesting that this article totally left out his Eagles days. He was a great qb coach along with Andy and Doug Peterson. From 2008 till 2010 the offense broke the club record for points scored every year outdoing themselves the next. I hardly consider his coaching career possibly being over. He’s an outstanding OC.

  7. Take it from an Eagles fan…Marty’s an idiot. He REFUSES to run the ball and is terrible at calling plays. Yes, he can create explosiveness…but with Señor Butt Fumble? No.

  8. Head Coach is one thing but as a QB coach and offensive coordinator. Marty Morhninweg had a good resume. 6 of the quarterbacks that he coached were pro bowlers. Garcia, Favre, Vick, McNabb, Steve Young etc… All of the offenses he ran as OC were ranked in the top 10.

    His job with the Jets will prove his worth because the Jets offense projects to be one of the league’s worst.

  9. Rich kotite, les steckle, saban, petrino, chilli, shurmur and that stupid gator guy are all worse

  10. Mornhinweg had a great scheme at one point with the eagles, but he never understood the concepts of adjusting it to match the players he had or to exploit the opposition. “Marty why’d we get shut out?” “We need to execute better.” Maybe don’t try five step drops against the giants when your tackles are doodoo?

  11. I don’t even think Mornhinweg is in the top 10.

    Kotite is arguably number one in terms of team performance. But Mangini is number one in terms of coach scandals, odd behavior, arrogance and player revolt. His orders not to let other coaches talk to Colt McCoy the entire season or to order that McCoy always get the gameplan one day after the other QBs each week was one of the worst and most spiteful moves one can think of by a coach. All because he was against drafting McCoy. The list of Mangini scandals is quite long from the Bus trip, to roping off beat writers, tothe ratting out of Beleicheck, to the painting over the Jim Brown mural, to the stealing of other team files on players and to the abuse of is players it just goes on.

  12. Marty’s issue is that he doesn’t believe in running the ball, that was the downfall of the Eagles. Reid is obviously a pass happy guy, QB coach and everything, so he needs somebody like Brad Childress to balance that out. Once he left and Marty came, it was basically win or loss..we’re passing the ball.

    It made a lot of us pissed many times like the loss to JRussell’s raiders. Eagles game plan was to use the air against literally the worst run defense that year. 46 passing attempts with 22 completions with only 14 runs averaging 4.8 per yard for a total of 67yds on the ground. To put it in perspective the Raiders were 17-28 on passing and ran the ball 35 times averaging 3.3yds with a total 116yds. Lost 9-13 because of the lack of balance.

    That was the same year were the Eagles lost to the Cowboys all three times (twice in a row) with the same game plan the last two meetings that were within a week of each other. 20-36 to the Cowboys 24-34 with TEN run plays to their 32, needless to say were blown out 0-24. Meet next week in the playoffs after Marty says he needs to run the ball more, 20-39 passes to the Cowboys 23-35 and 13 run plays to the Cowboys 35. The sad part is six of those runs in the first half were six more than in the previous game.

    People try to put that game on McNabb but even with all the dropped passes (at least ten) still had 230 passing yards with one interception and one touch down to Romos 244yards and two touch downs. Stats not that far apart yet the one difference besides the drops in that 14-34 loss is the lack of a run game.

    I’m bringing that up as those are those losses are the ones that stand out the most because of the lack of balance. I doubt Marty has changed, he is an alright OC but his lack of setting up the run has and most likely still will hurt in the long run, especially with the Jets not having great QBs unless Sanchez or Geno do something surprising.

  13. Certainly coaches make mistakes, and choosing the wind is huge. However, his most unforgivable behavior was when he walked off the field (not to return) in a huff during training camp. Head coaches do not behave like that.

    He does not deserve another chance.

  14. This is one of the first established offensive coordinators the JETS have brought in under Rex Ryan.

    Marty Mornhinweg was not calling the plays last year. Last year Andy Reid tried to implement a vertical passing offense and it wasn’t that they had a bad offense last year it was the red zone effectiveness and time management that killed Philly and the inexperience of Nick Foles didn’t help either. Marty’s track record as an OC and QB coach is impressive which you completely forgot to mention in this article (The potent 2010 Philadelphia eagles offense).

    If Mark Sanchez can’t produce in this offense he is truly one of the biggest draft busts of this time. And quite frankly guys, I’ve watched some tape on Geno Smith… he’s not ready this year he telegraphs his passes and he needs to learn how to read a defense faster. Let’s just buckle down Jets fans because its a win win situation either way. Mark Sanchez could become a whole new player and revitalize his career or we can bomb with Sanchez and have a possible franchise QB in Geno Smith with Clowney on the defensive side.

    Go jets!

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