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Four Ways Joe Douglas Improved The New York Jets 2023 Offense

Joe Douglas and the New York Jets spent the off-season improving the New York Jets 2023 offense in four specific categories.
Joe Douglas

The New York Jets are in the midst of the longest streak without a post-season appearance since losing the 2011 AFC Championship game to the Steelers. “Gang Green” faithful have endured heartbreak after heartbreak. From losing seasons to multiple front office changes. However, the fan base was rewarded for their commitment with one of the most promising seasons since 2015. The team’s belief in third-year Head Coach Robert Saleh & General Manager Joe Douglas earned a retooled defense that ranked among the best in the league in 2022. Although record of 7-10 did not make the playoffs, the team doubled their win total in each of Saleh’s seasons. Saleh has overseen growth on defense and promising additions at the skill positions thanks to Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson & Iowa State standout Breece Hall at running back.

Joe Douglas is now reaping the rewards of his strong draft classes and underrated off-season additions Duane Brown and D.J. Reed. The only thing missing was production at quarterback. They lacked consistency between Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Mike White starting. Douglas has a sure fire wildcard contender on his hands, but stability at the quarterback position was a must. Now, enter four time MVP & guaranteed hall-of-fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But there’s more to the team’s improvement than Rodgers alone.

Four Ways Joe Douglas Improved The New York Jets 2023 Offense

Joe Douglas’ Upgraded Offensive Line

Joe Douglas knows it takes more than a star quarterback for an offense to succeed. A member of three Super Bowl Champions between the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, he recognized the need for depth in the trenches. Joe Douglas will welcome the return of first round picks Mekhi Becton & Alijah Vera-Tucker on the offensive line with open arms. Veteran tackle Billy Turner played with Rodgers and new Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett at Green Bay and Denver. This will be useful in teaching a new offense for the roster. Through the draft, Douglas also brought in Center Joe Tippmann (Wisconsin) on day two. Tippman was widely regarded as one of the top center’s by most analysts. He provides a long term solution to Connor McGovern and should be useful in running lanes for Breece Hall.

Veterans in the Wide Receiver Room

Tenth overall pick Garrett Wilson was easily the most productive player on offense last year. In spite of playing with three starting quarterbacks, his 1,103 receiving yards off 83 catches showed promise for his potential as a primary target. Going from Zach Wilson to Aaron Rodgers should surely improve on his mere four touchdown catches last year.

However, Douglas also made a major splash by signing longtime Packers wide receiver and a favourite target of Aaron Rodgers in Allen Lazard. At 6’5″ and 227 lbs, Lazard presents some needed size in the wide receiver room & solid run blocking. Not to mention speedster Mecole Hardman from the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs. Fully recovered abdomen injury, Hardman’s speed will come in handy on Jet sweeps & should produce as the fourth wide reciever. Adding another longtime Packer in Randall Cobb essentially adds another wide receiver coach to help his teammates learn Hackett’s offense.

Experienced Playcalling

One of the downfalls of the Jets offense was a lack of experience in the offensive staff. Saleh relying on a first time play caller in Mike LaFleur was exacerbated after the passing of quarterback coach Greg Knapp right before training camp in 2021. The team hired former Broncos Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett to take control of the offense.

Denver made the right call moving on from Hackett. Russell Wilson’s regression last year and poor clock management cost the Broncos a promising season. Now reunited with Aaron Rodgers, Saleh & Douglas are hopeful focusing solely on the offense will get Hackett back to the promising coach we saw in Green Bay during Aaron Rodgers MVP seasons in 2020 & 2021.

Running Game

Before his ACL tear, Breece Hall was well on his way to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. Throughout October, Breece Hall averaged 87.75 yards and a rushing touchdown per game on 59 carries. Latest reports have been very encouraging for Hall’s recovery. Joining Hall in the backfield are Michael Carter, Zonovan Knight, and rookie Israel Abanikanda. Abanikanda joins the team after a remarkable career at the University of Pittsburgh. He declared for the draft after finishing his junior season with 1,431 rushing yards and an impressive 20 touchdown runs. Abanikanda even rushed for 303 yards in a single game, breaking the school record set by Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett. Even more encouraging when you see Douglas added his teammate Carter Warren on the offensive line too. If he can maintain that kind of production paired next to Breece Hall, the Jets backfield should be in good hands.

Main Image: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports


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