Is Shonn Greene and the West Coast Offense a Good Marriage?

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Dec. 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets running back Shonn Greene (23) during the first half against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

At his best, Shonn Greene has recorded 30 receptions in a season, ranking him 11th. For reference, Ray Rice was the leader that season(2011) with 76 receptions. Let’s look at some of the numbers a little bit closer. In 2012, out of 26 targets, 22 of them catchable, Shonn Greene dropped 13.64% of the passes thrown his way. CJ Spiller, on the other hand, had a 2.27% drop rate out of 44 catchable passes thrown his way. Ray Rice had a 6.15% drop rate out of 65 passes thrown his way. For the amount of passes thrown in Shonn Greene’s direction, he certainly mis-handles a great deal.

You all saw how Roger Craig could make people miss on that video. How was Shonn Greene in that area? His average yards after contact per rushing attempt was 2.15 last year. Adrian Peterson? 3.93. CJ Spiller? 3.58. Shonn Greene recorded 15 missed tackles running the football, and 1 in receiving, which landed him with a PFF elusive rating of 11.7. Even Ahmad Bradhsaw, who is a power runner similar to Greene, had an elusive rating of over 27. Shonn Greene is not an elusive runner, we saw it on the field and the numbers bare it out. Shonn Greene had a whopping 7 runs that went for over 15 yards in 2012. Alfred Morris had 24. Only 13% of Shonn Greene’s 1,063 yards came on runs of 15 yards or longer. What does that tell us? That Shonn Greene never breaks off big runs.

So, to run the West Coast offense, you need a running back that can catch the football out of the backfield. You need a guy that can make people miss, and gain yards after the reception, or YAC. You need a running back that can break tackles, and gain yardage after contact, a la Roger Craig.

Is Shonn Greene any one of those things? We all knew this already, but the numbers prove it. Prove what? That the answer is, no. Shonn Greene is not any of those things. He would not be a good match with the West Coast offense, and should be allowed to walk.

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