Once John Morton's hiring becomes official, the New York Jets' offensive coordinator can get to work on what figures to be a massive rebuilding project. While he won't be making personnel decisions, he will chart the course for the 2.0 version of Todd Bowles' offense.
A few thoughts on what Morton needs to do from a philosophical standpoint:
1. Install a quarterback-friendly offense: Chances are, it'll be a hybrid system, combining elements Morton learned from his two biggest influences, Jim Harbaugh and Sean Payton. Priority No. 1: Put a stop to the turnover madness that has plagued the Jets for years. From 2008 to 2016, from Brett Favre to Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets' quarterbacks threw a league-high 173 interceptions, 12 more than the next-closest team. Morton needs to keep his quarterback (whoever it is) out of high-risk situations.
2. Teach and develop: Morton inherits an offense in transition, one that could be relying on many young players. His ability to communicate and integrate his system to inexperienced players will be vital. It starts with the quarterbacks, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, neither of whom is close to being a finished product. Their heads will be spinning, especially Hackenberg, who will be learning his fourth system in five years. Morton's job is to get these guys on the fast track so they can compete for the starting job at some point.
3. Create balance: We're not talking about run-pass balance, although that will be important. The Jets need balance within the running and passing attacks. Example: When Fitzpatrick was the quarterback, the passing game revolved around Brandon Marshall. For Petty, it was Robby Anderson. It made the offense predictable. That will change under Morton, who comes from perhaps the most balanced passing attack in the league. Check out the Saints' target distribution from last season: Michael Thomas 120, Brandin Cooks 117, Willie Snead 103. That's what you call spreading the ball around.
4. Re-establish play-action: The Jets attempted only 69 play-action passes last season (30th), per ESPN Stats & Information. That made no sense because the running game was productive in a number of games. The Saints were third in play-action attempts (113), so you have to believe Morton will take that mindset to the Jets. A strong play-action game will open spaces for receivers, which will make life easier for the quarterback.
5. Bring back the tight end: Everybody knows former coordinator Chan Gailey had no use for tight ends in the passing attack, eliminating an over-the-middle element. Morton will change that approach. The Saints' base offense was three receivers/one tight end/one running back, a personnel grouping that produced 30 touchdowns. They used a four-receiver package for only 27 snaps, compared to 337 for the Jets, per ESPN Stats. Now all the Jets need is a pass-catching tight end. The Saints had Coby Fleener, who caught 50 passes.