<
>

Jets waste timeouts because offense moves at glacial pace

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets wasted two timeouts in the third quarter Sunday because the play clock was running down, and that's something they can't blame on referee Tony Corrente and the NFL replay command center.

"We have to get the calls in earlier," running back Matt Forte said after the 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots.

He's right.

In both situations, the Jets didn't get to the line of scrimmage until the 10-second mark on the play clock -- actually, it appeared to be eight or nine seconds on the second one. In other words, they used 30 seconds (give or take) for the process of calling the play, relaying it to quarterback Josh McCown and calling it in the huddle.

That's inexcusable.

It's not like they made wholesome substitutions. In fact, they made only one change in each situation -- ArDarius Stewart replaced Robby Anderson at wide receiver on the first play and Jeremy Kerley replaced Anderson on the second. Everything else stayed the same.

Coach Todd Bowles said, "We can't botch things up and let the clock run down." He insisted it wasn't a communications issue, adding that "we'll discuss that in the coaching room."

John Morton is a first-time offensive coordinator who operates a West Coast offense, known for its wordy play calls. A typical play call is 10 to 12 words, and it must go from Morton (in the coaches booth) to quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates (on the sideline) to McCown.

The irony is that Morton stressed tempo in training camp, trying to teach the offense to play at a faster pace, but it hasn't worked out that way. In fact, the Jets have one of the slowest-moving offenses in the NFL. They average 30.8 seconds per play in terms of time of possession, the second-slowest mark. The Kansas City Chiefs average 31.1 seconds, per ESPN Stats & Information. (In case you're wondering, the San Francisco 49ers are the fastest at 25.3.)

This probably will be a point of emphasis this week for the Jets. Last week, they tweaked the practice regimen to help combat the slow starts, and it worked, as they scored on their first and third possessions.

Now it's time to focus on tempo.