Dec. 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs with the ball as Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Paris Lenon (51) gives chase during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Rex on the Improved Running Game

One bright spot in a disappointing season has been the improved running game of late. The backs looked inspired on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, and over the last couple of months they have been consistently over four yards per carry. Some might attribute the improvement to when the Jets started the running back by committee approach. What does Rex think?

The fact we’re healthy, I think does. We have some guys that are pretty good backs, talented guys, Bilal Powell (and) Joe McKnight, obviously, is an explosive athlete. We just can’t seem to get Joe healthy, but when he’s healthy, he certainly has some game-breaking ability. And we’ve seen that out of the backfield and obviously, as a kick returner. But it’s just trying to get him healthy. And then you have Shonn (Greene) and I think Shonn’s having a good year. It’s just, obviously, as a team we’re struggling. I think his individual performance, I think, Shonn is running the ball well this year.

He also talked about the spark that the backs had on Sunday:

It seems we were running the ball fairly effective in that game. But that’s kind of the way it is. Sometimes the running game takes a little bit of time. You stay with it and all of a sudden those three-yard gains become five yards and six-yard gains. And that’s really how good running games work. When Seattle was running the ball on us, or San Francisco ran it well on us, they got better as the game went on. That’s the same thing – that you stay with it, you stay the course. With the style of backs that we have, primarily Shonn, he will get better as the game goes on because he’s a big powerful back. Like I say, you may stop him early in the game but after a while, he kind of grinds on you. And we have a big, physical, offensive line that we think we can move some people.

They have been much better on the ground of late. Unfortunately, the improvement may be too little too late to save the season. It’s something to look forward to in 2013 though.

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