AP Photo/Rich Schultz
Tom Moore has worked with Brian Schottenheimer & Co. to improve the Jets' red-zone efficiency.When Rex Ryan wants to fix something, he tries everything. When he saw the Jets' 2010 red-zone efficiency statistics -- the team scored just 40 percent of the time it was in so-called scoring position -- he went to the drawing board.
Ryan revamped the practice schedule this season to dramatically increase the amount of time the Jets go through red-zone scenarios, and he brought in former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore as a consultant. Even though Moore is technically retired, he is one of the contributing factors as the Jets have turned their red-zone efficiency around.
“That’s probably helped,” Ryan said. “I would think, it can’t hurt. You’ve got Tom Moore there. I know (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) talks to him quite a bit. We’re second in the league in the red zone. You can say we struggled in this and that, but the two things we targeted, maybe we put too much emphasis on it, because we’re great in the red zone and we’re winning at home. This week, we’re targeting winning on the road, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been a help.”
This season, the Jets have scored 65.7 percent of the time when getting inside the 20. Moore is back with the Jets this week. He arrived Thursday and will travel to Washington for the early Sunday game, returning to New Jersey with the team to break down some more film.
Dustin Keller remembers a training camp session with Moore where they went over every single throw from his 2010 season. He got a clean look at what he had done, and at his tells when the ball was snapped. Moore’s help has made a difference, Keller said, and the tight end is glad to have him back for a time.
“It’s kind of a refresher course,” Keller said. “For me personally on my routes, my route discipline, getting to my depth, giving the little fakes this way before I break and reading defenses.”
Cleaning up those points of technique, Keller said, has made a big difference in the way quarterback Mark Sanchez and receivers behave within the 20. Reads and routes have been cleaner.
One receiver pointed out that Moore makes these sessions fun, with a wicked sense of humor and a deep understanding of what it takes to make an offense run smoothly.
Matt Mulligan, a Jets tight end who isn’t yet on par with receivers like Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes, said that Moore has sought him out as well even though he isn’t the kind of option in the game that Keller is. Mulligan said Moore watched his individual drills in practice this week and had a few key observations.
“He’s just one of those guys you wish you could have around all the time,” Mulligan said. “He supplements our coaching staff really well.”
Brandon Moore said that coach Moore’s presence, combined with changes to the practice schedule and making the red zone a point of emphasis, have been key in turning a negative in 2010 into a positive in 2011.
There may be other issues -- such as having the offense get off to a faster start or ensuring that the defense stops the last drive of every game -- but the Jets have cleaned up at least one major problem area this season.