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TJB's Take On The RB Situation


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Jets Running Backs

Thomas Jones - Jones was a big part of the success of the Jets offense in 2008, but by his 2007 performance, like most running backs he’s as good as his line allows him to be. Now at 31, Jones is an impressive leader on this team, but his refusal to participate in offseason programs leaves many to wonder just how much he’s buying into the team and how effective he can be this year. Is giving a 31 year old runner more money when he’s got two years left on his deal a good idea? Probably not. Jones still has gas in the tank, but the Jets need to start thinking about the future, and who can carry the ball 20 times a game in coming years.

Leon Washington - An explosive player, Leon’s likely removal from punts will give the Jets a chance to use him more on offense. Washington can line up all over the field and the Jets will use him more in this manner in 2009. As effective as be can be between the tackles, it might be unwise to give him more than 20 carries a game in that role, so promoting him into the Thomas Jones role might be a mistake.

Marcus Mason - The Jets seem to like Mason’s promise. Tannenbaum said in his press conference last week that they ”have a pretty strong feeling” about Mason, who led last year’s preseason in rushing yards for the Redskins. Mason is that powerfully built smaller player, but who has breakaway speed and is something of a “bowling ball” type player.

Danny Woodhead - Woodhead is a scrappy player, and might make it on the team’s practice squad this season, the team has seemed to take a shine to him, and Woodhead was a record breaker in college at Division II. All the same, it seems like a long shot for Woodhead to make the 53 man roster.

Tony Richardson - The sage veteran, Richardson provided great lead-blocking for the Jets in 2008, but his age (37) has to be a concern, even though he is in excellent shape.

Jehuu Caulcrick - People are looking for the Brandon Jacobs on this roster, and 6-0 255 lbs Jehuu Caulcrick might be that player. An intriguing player, Caulcrick could be a player that the team models after LeRon McClain, in the swing running back / fullback type. Tannenbaum said he’d like to see his work on kicks, so Jehuu will make this team by hard work, special teams and versatility.

Analysis: Thomas Jones can’t be counted on for too much longer, so if the team doesn’t find another player this year, it will have to be next year. If the Jets get anything, it’s the 20 carry-a-game type player that they should look at players who can play between the tackles, and who are durable. Knowshon Moreno and LeSean McCoy are probably the best options in that regard.

Suggested Best Fits: Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown, LeSean McCoy, Shonn Greene, Andre Brown, Rashad Jennings

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