FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The major criticism of Marty Mornhinweg's offense, from people inside and outside the New York Jets' organization, was that it involved too many bells and whistles.
Too many plays. Too many formations. Too many personnel groupings. Too many substitutions. Too much verbiage.
Diversity can be a good thing, depending on the players running the system. For the Jets, it didn't work. They were one of the worst offenses in the league.
But that was 2013 and 2014. This is 2015, and the new offensive coordinator is Chan Gailey, who has a different approach, according to players: Less is more.
"They're taking what we're good at and they keep running it over and over," right tackle Breno Giacomini said Monday. "That's who we are. It feels a little bit different, but that's who we are."
Giacomini said, "We're not going into a game with 100 plays," adding that a pared-down game plan allows them to play faster. "You get the thinking out of it. Advantage, us."
Obviously, Gailey's offense requires thinking, but you get the idea. In the salary-cap era of the NFL, in which players are constantly changing teams, it makes sense to have a system that can be absorbed quickly.
Gailey's philosophy came through in the first game. For much of the game, he employed "11" personnel -- one back, one tight end and three wide receivers. He mixed it up a little, occasionally replacing the tight end with another wideout, but it wasn't a revolving door on the sideline. There were times when they ran a few consecutive plays with the same personnel, which didn't happen too often under Mornhinweg.
The Jets ended up playing a clean game in their 31-10 win over the Cleveland Browns -- only one turnover, no sacks, one quarterback hit and only one penalty. It was only one game, and the competition was hardly the best, but it was a positive start.
"I think we can be a really good offense," quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "I don't know what that means at this point, but we've got not only a lot of talent, but a lot of smart guys in that huddle. That's really important in this league and we're real competitive."
Intelligent players usually are experienced players, and the Jets are long on experience. The average age of each starter is 29.0, which gives the Jets the oldest starting offense in the AFC East. It's a seasoned group. Fitzpatrick said it allows them to make adjustments on the sideline and to react quickly to different looks by the defense. Having a quarterback with a Harvard education probably helps.
Again, it was only one game. The first week of the NFL season can be deceiving, so beware of fool's gold. But, hey, they scored 31 points, and that happened only twice in 32 games under Mornhinweg.