Why the Jets Should Sign Ryan Grant


Jan 15, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant (25) in the second half of the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field. The Giants won 37-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Jets are returning to their “Ground and Pound” roots. There have been quotes, upon quotes, upon quotes, confirming this. Tony Sparano is leading the charge, of a team that is returning to a physical, smash-mouth style that suited them well in 2009 and 2010.

What is the first thing in a Ground and Pound? Ground. The Jets need to be a force at running the football as they were in ’09 and ’10 in order to be a success.

Shonn Greene is the leader, and we know what he can do. Personally, I have more confidence in him than a lot of guys do, but Greene still is who he is. However, despite a young depth chart behind Greene, the Jets need more.

Who they need is Ryan Grant.

First we will talk about what we started on the previous page, the depth chart. Behind Shonn Greene, they have Joe McKnight, Terrance Ganaway, Bilal Powell, and maybe John Griffin. Joe McKnight has seen the most time, and therefore has shown the most flashes of ability, especially in the return game. However, after a promising running performance in 2010, McKnight stepped back a bit in 2011, averaging a weak 3.1 yards per carry on 43 rushes. Not good, and not a major ground and pound factor.

The other guys, Ganaway, Powell and Griffin, are young. We don’t know what they are. They too have potential, but we just don’t know about these guys yet.

Shonn Greene has been at his best with a healthy veteran running back to help him out. In 2009, it was Thomas Jones, and in 2010, a quicker LaDainian Tomlinson fit the bill. Greene’s explosiveness was enhanced with a veteran backup on the chart with him.

Enter Ryan Grant.

He’s a proven back, who is only 29 years old. He can carry the load, as he had a year with Green Bay where he rushed the ball 312 times. In his years as the lead back with the Packers, he never rushed for less than 3.9 yards per carry, rushing the ball over 280 times both years.

We don’t need him to be the starter obviously, we need a supporting role back. Grant can fit that bill, as he showed in 2011. Coming off his major injury in 2010, Grant returned and shared time with James Starks last year, but still performed well. He ran the ball 134 times for 559 yards, a 4.2 yards per carry average(same as Greene). He also is a factor in the passing game whenever he is healthy, with never a healthy season with than 18 receptions.

Ryan Grant can get it done.

You know how they talk in baseball about how you can’t have enough starting pitching? Well, similar analogies can be made in football.

Someone made the great point using the Giants as an example by saying that they can’t have enough pass rushers, for their defensive scheme. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Well, fast forward that to the Jets. In a “Ground and Pound” system, where running the ball takes the majority of the focus, couldn’t you make the argument that you can never have enough running backs? Makes sense.

Ryan Grant is a quality running back, still in his prime. He shouldn’t cost much since he is still available. If he checks out as healthy, the Jets should get this guy.

And do it now.