New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano addressed the media on Tuesday regarding the offense's struggles during preseason. While many analysts are raising the red panic flag and writing Gang Green off before the first snap of the year, Sparano reassured the press that there is no cause for concern despite the anemic offensive production.
"There was just one little thing [wrong] on each play," admitted Sparano. "We just missed one here, we just missed one there and I think that just comes with getting guys together and playing together a little bit and continuing to do that," commented Sparano. "I wasn't discouraged at all, I actually came out of that feeling really good about some of the things that we made progress with."
Sparano cited some of the progress he's seen from the running game, which effective during the Sunday night's 17-12 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The Jets' first year coordinator mentioned that the offense had eight explosive plays that altogether totaled over 150 yards. He also lauded the team's ability to sustain long drives, even if the end result was not crossing the goal line instead settling for field goals.
"Make sure you put that in the headlines; we want touchdowns not field goals," declared Sparano. "(With) all that being said, my point is that the first group went out there and they scored (on) three possessions."
Many agree with Sparano's assessment that the offense demonstrated improvement against Carolina. The greatest performance was along the offensive line in new starting right tackle Austin Howard. Howard took over the starter job from Wayne Hunter following Hunter's demotion and subsequent trade to the St. Louis Rams. While not addressing the Hunter trade in detail, Sparano had nothing but praise for his new starting tackle.
"I was pleased with what Austin did," noted Sparano. "He has a long way to go, but he'll get there. The one thing I liked about what he did in this game is he competed. He played against a good player and he competed really hard in this game."
Sparano also gave Jets fans some reassurance by stating that the preseason contests have not done any justice in showing the full extent of his playbook. When asked about the Wildcat package, Sparano shied away from the topic. He refused to confirm the extent to which Tim Tebow will be a part of the Jets offense, but he also neglected to outright deny claims that the Wildcat was not in his playbook.
"Just because we have a player in the building here that has some history running the football, not really in the wildcat by the way, doesn't necessarily mean that that's exactly what we're going to do," said Sparano. "All that being said, we know there's going to be some version of something."
Despite the struggles that the Jets offense has dealt with over the last couple of weeks, Sparano made his goals for the offense heard loud and clear.
Touchdowns, not field goals.