Will Greene, L.T. share the backfield in NY?
LaDainian Tomlinson needs to show us in camp that he is capable—accountable—when we start to look at the 2010 season in terms of production from the running back position.
We all know how the Jets win football games, and because of that we should expect to see plenty of Shonn Greene when New York opens the season. And that is why I viewed L.T as nothing more than a limited situational player when he signed with the club this offseason. A guy who could be used in certain personnel packages. Not a player that is heavily involved on Sundays.
But, with Leon Washington now in Seattle, the Jets see an expanded role for L.T. this season. RB coach Anthony Lynn told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com that he has “two starters” in his backfield when the discussion shifts to both Greene and Tomlinson.
Not uncommon to have two backs who can split carries in the NFL today, but when we look back at L.T. from the ’09 season, what do the Jets really have?
We have to remember that Greene was dominant in the Jets’ playoff run. He showed power, made people miss and had the ability to run away from defensive backs. The ideal back for the Jets running game: the Power O, the Lead Strong, Lead Open, etc. Get the ball deep in the backfield and get downhill. Not exotic by any means, but very productive when run behind that offensive line in New York.
Saying that, where does L.T. fit when you put together a game plan?
Lynn did say that the Jets would use Tomlinson when they went to their nickel personnel. I can see that—to an extent. Bring in L.T. when you go three wide, spread the field and let him run the ball out of one back sets when there is an extra DB on the field in place of a linebacker. Maybe that works, but when this offense needs a play, I still see Greene as the guy—regardless of the situation on the field.
L.T does have that name value when we look in the backfield, but I saw a player last season that lacked explosion and had issues getting to the second level of the defense—a place he used to make a living. And, when we talk about running backs who don’t have that explosive first step, or who can’t press the edge of the defense, what do you really have?
Enough to call both Greene and Tomlison "starters?"
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