Key in 2012: Spotlight on Shonn Greene


Dec 24, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Shonn Greene (23) runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Tonight, we take a look at a key to the 2012 New York Jets season. In a return to the “Ground and Pound”, and despite the acquisition of Tim Tebow, this is the guy that is the key to making to work. Spotlight on RB Shonn Greene.

He weighs in at 5’11” 226 pounds.

He came on the scene in 2009, as the backup to Thomas Jones, and carried the ball 108 times for 540 yards. His best 2009 performance came in week 7 vs the Oakland Raiders, when Greene put up 144 yards and 2 TDs. Don’t forget the post-season he had that year where he came to the forefront, rushing for 304 yards, including 128 yards in the divisional playoff game against the Chargers, his proudest moment being this 53 yard TD run:

In 2010, Greene’s totals went up to 766 yards rushing on the season, on 185 carries. His watershed moment was this TD against the Patriots to put them away in the divisional playoff matchup:

Fast forward to 2011. Shonn Greene puts in a good season, with 1,054 yards and 6 TDS. He carried the ball a healthy 253 times. Interestingly though, people have used his 2011 season to say that he can’t carry a full load.

I, however, see it a bit differently. I believe Greene can handle the full load, and will do so with gusto.

Point one, in his first year as the starting back, he ran for over 1,000 yards, and over 4 yards per carry (4.2). Isn’t that what we ask for out of our starting running back? I know he didn’t rush for very much over 1,000 yards, but, don’t hold that against him.


Wayne Hunter. That’s a pretty big reason, don’t you think? I don’t know if Emmitt Smith could have run behind Wayne Hunter and done well.

Actually, it’s unfair just to pin this on Hunter, the Jets offensive line had a hard time across the board in 2011. When the offensive line goes, the offense goes. I say, that to be able to run over 1,000 yards AT ALL behind that offensive line is a pretty impressive achievement.

Furthermore, take a look at some of his worst rushing performances: 10 yards, 23 yards, 55 yards, 58 yards, and 59 yards. What do they have in common? The Jets LOST all of those games. Not to state the obvious, but you always run the ball a lot less when you are losing. Greene’s carries suffered a bit from the Jets sub-par record, but that shouldn’t change the fact that Greene did his job.

The Jets also had a lack of identity on offense a lot in 2011. As we know, Brian Schottenheimer had some trouble setting the identity of the Jets offense. They were opening the play up, throwing the ball all over the field at times. Greene’s carries suffered from that lack of identity too.

The moral of this story is that Shonn Greene is a major key to the 2012 season for the New York Jets. Tony Sparano is making a serious recommittment to the ground and pound. That will give Shonn Greene every chance to succeed, and I do believe that he will.

He had better, or we are not goign where we hope to go, that’s for sure.