Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur revealed Thursday he saw from the coaches’ booth that the play that ended up with rookie running back Breece Hall scoring on a 34-yard run was a broken play.
On Hall’s scoring run that gave the Jets a 24-10 lead, it was a play designed to be a reverse pass to rookie receiver Garrett Wilson. But Hall, when he took the handoff from Zach Wilson, decided not to pitch the ball when he saw the defensive end overrun the play. So he kept the ball and cut up field for the end zone.
“I was supposed to pitch it to Garrett, but I felt the defensive end was too far upfield, so I couldn’t get the pitch off,’’ Hall said after the game. “I just saw daylight and allowed my natural ability to take over.”
LaFleur saw the situation unfold before the snap and marveled at the acumen of his rookie back for turning it into one of the biggest plays of the season.
“Players making plays, man,’’ LaFleur said Thursday. “It’s incredible. That’s not the first time and it’s not going to be the last time. When you call a bad play or something just goes haywire, it happens all the time, more than you know. We get too much credit sometimes with play calls, but ultimately the players make the plays and it’s a credit to those guys.”
Asked what his reaction was in the booth when he realized the pitch wasn’t going to work, LaFLeur said, “I got my second-and-11 play-call ready.’’
“Pre-snap, I wasn’t nervous that something really, really bad was going to happen, I was getting ready for a back-on-track call,’’ he said. “It was awesome what he did. Guys see the game probably better than we do as coaches some of the time. They make that stuff come to life.’’
LaFleur praised TE C.J. Uzomah, who hasn’t had a lot of targets this season, but has been big in the blocking game.
“I know everyone wants the football, but there are so many ways to produce and have an impact on the game,’’ LaFleur said, “A guy like C.J. Uzomah hasn’t touched the ball as much as [he’d like and] he hasn’t said anything in terms of wanting it more. But he affects the game at such a positive rate. You saw that this last game [in Green Bay]. He had back-to-back huge plays. The [pass] that went to Corey Davis, he got the defensive end out. And on the next play he had the lead block that sprung Braxton [Berrios for a TD].
“That is production. That is such a big factor for winning football games in this league.’’
Another player who had a big block on the Berrios TD was 37-year-old 6-foot-4, 315-pound left tackle Duane Brown, who was blocking from the point of attack all the way down the field.
“You’d have no idea how old he is, because he doesn’t play like it and in a professional way he doesn’t act like it,’’ LaFleur said.
Despite the fact that the Broncos are last in the league in scoring offense, Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich insisted they remain dangerous.
“You see tremendous skill,’’ he said. “They’ve been that close to hitting on a lot of explosives, so it’s just a matter of us playing really tight on the back end, being assignment perfect, technique perfect because they’re a team in my opinion very close to exploding offensively.’’