Jon Gruden’s advice to New York Jets: Don’t try to be what you’re not – NFL Nation

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — A look at what’s happening around the New York Jets, who conducted their first practice of training camp Saturday:

1. Chuckie’s take: Jon Gruden has opinions on a lot of topics, but his insight on the Jets — particularly their offense — is especially relevant because two of his former proteges have key positions. We’re talking about offensive coordinator John Morton and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates. In fact, they will employ a version of Gruden’s offense, which is West Coast-based.

We all know the Jets don’t have an abundance of skill-position talent, but Gruden sees a way in which they can make it work.

“You have to find ways to get first downs,” ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst said by phone the other day. “You’re not worried about being in the top five in total yardage or being ‘The Greatest Show on Turf.’ Let’s play good defense and let’s not screw this game up. Let’s do some good things on offense without feeling like we have to be on ESPN’s fantasy-football show.

“Blue-collar, hard-nosed football. Hand the ball off. You’ve got those good backs. Develop some receivers, get some balance. Use some shifts, use some deception. That’s what these guys will do.”

In other words, it’ll take some smoke and mirrors to compensate for the personnel issues. Taking the glass-half-full view, this is a great opportunity for Morton — a relative unknown until this year — to raise his profile around the league.

2. Mr. Popularity: Josh McCown has been on the team for only four months, but he’s already one of the most well-liked Jets. Demario Davis, who played with him last season in Cleveland, called McCown “one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.” Others have expressed the same sentiment, noting his upbeat personality and team-first attitude. The 38-year-old is always mentioned when players list the team…

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