One of the early decisions that John Idzik will have to make will be about Shonn Greene. Shonn Greene is an unrestricted free agent. Quietly, he is coming off of his second straight 1,000 yard season, setting career highs in yardage(1,063), and TDs (8). But, we all know the areas that he is deficient in. Just watch him play and you see it. He doesn’t break off big runs very often anymore. It’s hard to remember ever seeing Shonn Greene make somebody miss, isn’t it?
The Jets are headed in a new direction offensively, with the addition of Marty Mornhinweg. The Ground and Pound is forever gone away, replaced by the West Coast offense. The question is, does Shonn Greene fit into the new concept? Is he a fit for the West Coast offense? Let’s talk about it.
We talked about the basics of the West Coast offense yesterday. Essentially, it uses a short passing game to open up the running lanes, and the deeper passes. It’s based on horizontal pass routes that flood and confuse the defense, giving them more routes than they have players to cover them. Keeping all of that in mind, what type of running back do you need in this system?
Basically, you need a running back that is elusive. You need a guy that can get yards after the catch, and yards after contact. You need a running back that can make the catch out of the backfield and get up the field. Let’s not talk about it, let me show you the prototypical West Coast offense running back:
For my younger subscribers/readers, that my friends, is Roger Craig. He played for the 49ers in the 80s, and into the 90s, and was EXPLOSIVE. He was the first back to run for 1,000 yards, and record 1,000 yards receiving in the same season, a feat that has only been matched once, by Marshall Faulk in 1999. He was the back for this system. Can Shonn Greene be that guy? We’ll look at the numbers on the next page (courtesy as always of PFF)