It worked, en route to the AFC Championship Game. Now with quarterback Mark Sanchez confident in the pocket in his second year and some legit targets to throw to, the halfway point of the 2010 season sees Gang Green rush the ball merely 46 percent of the time.
Schottenheimer maintains he is a proponent of the ground and pound, but recognizes opportunities in the passing game when opponents stack the line of scrimmage.
"A lot of it, I think, is Rex's personality of the ground-and-pound," remarked Schottenheimer. "Believe me, we're a physical team. We love to run the football, but when teams are loading up and stopping that, we're slowing it down and they're going to be playing one-on-one on the outside. Teams still feel like they want to try to make us one-dimensional."
The Jets feature a formidable run game ranking fourth in the NFL at 148 yards per contest, yet their ground and pound has not been as dominant or as unrelenting as it was in 2009. Head coach Rex Ryan acknowledges that the dynamic duo of running back Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson warrant more touches in order to pummel and batter opposing run defenses.
Through New York's first six games of the season, the Jets rushed the ball on approximately 52 percent of their plays. The last two games, the Jets have rushed 43 percent of the time, much to the chagrin of Rex Ryan.
Sunday in Cleveland, Gang Green aims to dial up their rushing attack and try imposing their will on the Browns.
"You want to be 50-50 if you can or close to it," hinted Ryan. "If anything, I'd rather have more rushing attempts than passing attempts. I'd always prefer to run 50 times. We just have to be persistent and keep trying to punch holes in them and eventually we should pop some."