Lost in all the commotion surrounding LaDainian Tomlinson and the New York Jets is an answer to the question, With powerful second-year running back Shonn Greene clearly the starter, how will the Jets actually use their new veteran? Jets running back coach Anthony Lynn explained that, "It depends on the flow of the game. If we're better off in our big personnel, Shonn will get more touches. If we go little, like we did last year with Leon (Washington) in our nickel package, L.T. will get more touches. It's all situational."
Wait a minute. Washington was valuable because speed and quickness made him a shifty, elusive threat. The Chargers made Tomlinson available to the Jets because the 31-year-old had lost his speed and quickness. Tomlinson no longer has the lateral agility and burst to create his own space. As a Jet, he’d make much more sense in a Thomas Jones-type role.
Deep down, Lynn knows this. Or at least someone in the Jets organization does. That’s why the team invested a fourth-round pick in USC running back Joe McKnight. The 5’11”, 198-pounder is a classic finesse-based outside speed runner. Last year, Greene lay low as a rookie, and then burst onto the scene late. Don’t be surprised if McKnight does the same thing, only with an emergence taking place as early as October. Tomlinson doesn’t have the raw skills to be a featured weapon these days; his value is strictly in spelling Greene for 6-8 carries a game.
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