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Face facts, Jets, LaDainian is pretty much LaDone

Jets Blog

Last Updated: 6:39 AM, June 20, 2010

Posted: 2:55 AM, June 20, 2010

Bart Hubbuch

With mini-camp freshly behind them and training camp just around the corner, the Jets and their fans have plenty of reasons to be excited about Rex Ryan's second season.

LaDainian Tomlinson shouldn't be one of them.

One of Gang Green's more curious moves this offseason was jettisoning Thomas Jones after a 1,402-yard rushing year and signing Tomlinson to replace him.

Tomlinson's low-cost signing had all the makings of a marketing gambit to juice stagnant PSL sales that -- like the Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold contract scuffles -- are casting a considerable black cloud over the Jets' otherwise promising hopes.

If only the Jets could have signed the 2007 Tomlinson.

Even without pads or contact, it didn't take a grizzled NFL scout to notice in the Jets' recent workouts that Tomlinson just doesn't look like the same player who terrified opposing defenses with his slippery moves and sublime hands for nine seasons with the Chargers.

Tomlinson appears bulkier and definitely a step (or three) slower than he did in his prime, which is to be expected from a running back who next week turns 31 -- increasingly the point of no return in the NFL -- with his incredible amount of mileage.

We're talking about a player with 3,410 touches (combined carries and receptions) who missed just three games combined in his first nine NFL seasons. Indeed, Tomlinson enters this season as the league's active leader in rushing attempts by a wide margin -- 2,880 carries to Fred Taylor's 2,491.

That's a lot of collisions, a lot of wear-and-tear that no amount of blaming the Chargers' offensive line will allow Tomlinson to roll back the odometer on.

Also consider that the two other active leaders in carries with Tomlinson last year, Edgerrin James and Jamal Lewis, both hung it up after the 2009 season.

And to put that in further perspective, Tomlinson has almost 300 more career touches than Eddie George, who -- while admittedly a more straight-ahead, physical runner than Tomlinson -- was burnt to a crisp and out of football by age 31.

Yet Ryan and the Jets act and talk as if Tomlinson is still in his prime, even though LT hasn't averaged better than 3.8 yards per carry each of the past two years and had been reduced to a nothing role with San Diego by the end of last season.

Tomlinson actually worked with the starters at times ahead of Shonn Greene during the Jets' OTAs, and Ryan dropped hints throughout that Tomlinson could have a big role this year.

Tomlinson and the Chargers, particularly GM A.J. Smith, have exchanged insults since Tomlinson's ugly offseason departure, but several NFL executives told me it isn't just sour grapes on San Diego's part.

"If you watch the films from the end of last year, the guy had nothing left," a general manager with multiple Super Bowl rings said last week. "It's not a knock on him personally. All those carries are going to catch up to anyone."

If that role is any bigger than a handful of carries per game while Tomlinson provides

locker-room leadership and tutors Greene and rookie third-down back Joe McKnight, then the Jets aren't headed back to the playoffs, much less the Super Bowl.

Deep down, you have to believe the Jets think the same thing.

bhubbuch@nypost.com

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/face_facts_jets_ladainian_is_pretty_qxy5KHbjF4z2bgyOcurpAO?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=#ixzz0rOYvu6gC

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:yawn: Boring. We'll see what happens.

One of Gang Green's more curious moves this offseason was jettisoning Thomas Jones after a 1,402-yard rushing year and signing Tomlinson to replace him.

Tomlinson's low-cost signing had all the makings of a marketing gambit...

Gotta go to the "marketing gambit" thing, huh? This was a football move. TJ and LT are making the same money this year. They saw first hand that TJ is toast, they haven't seen that with LT, yet.

Thomas Jones averaged 2.6 ypc in the playoffs last year, and wasn't doing much better than that the last few games of the regular season. The player hit a wall.

Even without pads or contact, it didn't take a grizzled NFL scout to notice in the Jets' recent workouts that Tomlinson just doesn't look like the same player who terrified opposing defenses with his slippery moves and sublime hands for nine seasons with the Chargers.

Who's your "grizzled scout," Hubbuch?

Tomlinson enters this season as the league's active leader in rushing attempts by a wide margin -- 2,880 carries to Fred Taylor's 2,491.

TJ and LT are the same age. TJ had low miles early in his career, but over the last two seasons he has over 100 more carries than LT. And it's starting to show.

I questioned the move to sign LT, too. But I think I question an article in June proclaiming him to be done even more.

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:yawn: Boring. We'll see what happens.

Gotta go to the "marketing gambit" thing, huh? This was a football move. TJ and LT are making the same money this year. They saw first hand that TJ is toast, they haven't seen that with LT, yet.

Thomas Jones averaged 2.6 ypc in the playoffs last year, and wasn't doing much better than that the last few games of the regular season. The player hit a wall.

Who's your "grizzled scout," Hubbuch?

TJ and LT are the same age. TJ had low miles early in his career, but over the last two seasons he has over 100 more carries than LT. And it's starting to show.

I questioned the move to sign LT, too. But I think I question an article in June proclaiming him to be done even more.

+1

Tomlinson appears bulkier and definitely a step (or three) slower than he did in his prime, which is to be expected from a running back who next week turns 31 -- increasingly the point of no return in the NFL --

Point of no return, eh? Thomas Jones turned 31 August 19 2009. They'll both probably suck, but one costs $2.5M the other $5M. Not exactly a tough choice.

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Hopefully the announcement of the death of LT's NFL career is premature. I never wanted us to basically trade TJ for LT. I think TJ's got a lot more left in the tank than LT . Hope I'm wrong but I guess we'll know for sure by November.

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Hopefully the announcement of the death of LT's NFL career is premature. I never wanted us to basically trade TJ for LT. I think TJ's got a lot more left in the tank than LT . Hope I'm wrong but I guess we'll know for sure by November.

I'm never a fan of signing veteran RB's. It's a position that I'd draft in the first round, run the player into the ground on his rookie deal, and then draft another. But that's me.

Unlike TJ, Shonn Greene averaged 5.6 ypc in the playoffs. If he be the player he looked like last year for 250 carries over the course of the season (TJ averaged 310 carries in his Jets career), with LT picking up 150 or so carries on 3rd downs, short yardage, etc., - I think the Jets'll be in pretty good shape in the running game. Even more so if Joe McKnight makes some meaningful contributions as a rookie. I could see him coming on at the end of the season for LT much in the way Greene came on for TJ last year.

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Meh, he's probably right. LT is pretty much done. Not to mention he's a little whinny bitch. But I hate the how could the Jets get rid of TJ talk...the guy was clearly washed up at the end of the season and our running success was more a product of our oline/running schemes then it was of his greatness. Thats just untrue.

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Even without pads or contact, it didn't take a grizzled NFL scout to notice in the Jets' recent workouts that Tomlinson just doesn't look like the same player who terrified opposing defenses with his slippery moves and sublime hands for nine seasons with the Chargers.

Tomlinson appears bulkier and definitely a step (or three) slower than he did in his prime,

so this is all about this no name dbags personal assesment based on a minicamp ?

:face:

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LT has stayed healthy and kept himself in great shape-no major surgeries if any he said. Also, the guy has seemed driven this off season and has impressed everyone around him with his work ethic-just another scribe looking for something, anything to write about in mid-June. "Hey I got an idea, I'll write a ZOMG piece on how the Jets screwed up by replacing Jones with Tomlinson and say how screwed they are" OK, run with it...

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If Rex has been impressed with him, that's all I need to know. LT is here to provide a skill set that Jones simply couldn't; catching balls out of the backfield and breaking some tackles. Basically, he's here to do what a healthy Leon Washington did, minus Leon's speed and adding some power.

Jones is 1 year older, is just as slow as LT, and even worse, he's not a power back by any stretch of the imagination, despite his enormous guns. He's very average.

While I would have preferred to trade Jones in for a rookie, that just wasn't possible for us. We couldn't have acquired Ryan Mathews even if we wanted to, and it was not a deep RB class.

Thus, I'd prefer to take my chances with a first-ballot Hall of Famer in LT and McKnight over Jones and Washington. If Greene can stay healthy, we'll be fine at RB.

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If Rex has been impressed with him, that's all I need to know. LT is here to provide a skill set that Jones simply couldn't; catching balls out of the backfield and breaking some tackles. Basically, he's here to do what a healthy Leon Washington did, minus Leon's speed and adding some power.

Jones is 1 year older, is just as slow as LT, and even worse, he's not a power back by any stretch of the imagination, despite his enormous guns. He's very average.

While I would have preferred to trade Jones in for a rookie, that just wasn't possible for us. We couldn't have acquired Ryan Mathews even if we wanted to, and it was not a deep RB class.

Thus, I'd prefer to take my chances with a first-ballot Hall of Famer in LT and McKnight over Jones and Washington. If Greene can stay healthy, we'll be fine at RB.

exactly-we now have a pass catching threat out of the backfield in LT, which we DIDN'T have last year and McKnight is a younger Leon Washington without the question marks going into the season

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I'm never a fan of signing veteran RB's. It's a position that I'd draft in the first round, run the player into the ground on his rookie deal, and then draft another. But that's me.

That is pretty much how I would do it. Every 2-3 years draft an RB in the 1st or 2nd round. On the other hand I would never draft a WR and fill that position thru FA and trades. RB best years are 1-4. WR best years are 3+.

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If Rex has been impressed with him, that's all I need to know. LT is here to provide a skill set that Jones simply couldn't; catching balls out of the backfield and breaking some tackles. Basically, he's here to do what a healthy Leon Washington did, minus Leon's speed and adding some power.

Jones is 1 year older, is just as slow as LT, and even worse, he's not a power back by any stretch of the imagination, despite his enormous guns. He's very average.

While I would have preferred to trade Jones in for a rookie, that just wasn't possible for us. We couldn't have acquired Ryan Mathews even if we wanted to, and it was not a deep RB class.

Thus, I'd prefer to take my chances with a first-ballot Hall of Famer in LT and McKnight over Jones and Washington. If Greene can stay healthy, we'll be fine at RB.

all of that, and I'll add he will get a lot of touches near the goal line

these "writers" need to realize greene replaced jones

but that's not much of a story, is it ?

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If Rex has been impressed with him, that's all I need to know. LT is here to provide a skill set that Jones simply couldn't; catching balls out of the backfield and breaking some tackles. Basically, he's here to do what a healthy Leon Washington did, minus Leon's speed and adding some power.

Rex has been impressed?...because I'm sure if he wasnt he'd be bashing him to the media. lol And how could you possibly say that LT is here to do what Leon did? He's the furtherest thing from Leon. Is he returning kicks? Is he our game breaker? Is he here be our change of pace? They are pretty much 2 completely different players and there are very little similarities.

Jones is 1 year older, is just as slow as LT, and even worse, he's not a power back by any stretch of the imagination, despite his enormous guns. He's very average

While I would have preferred to trade Jones in for a rookie, that just wasn't possible for us. We couldn't have acquired Ryan Mathews even if we wanted to, and it was not a deep RB class.

Thus, I'd prefer to take my chances with a first-ballot Hall of Famer in LT and McKnight over Jones and Washington. If Greene can stay healthy, we'll be fine at RB.

I agree with the rest...but I'll be honest, I'm not completely comfortable with our RB situation. Greene is a question mark, LT is washed up and McKnight IMO wont amount to much in the NFL. We just got to hope that Greene is the truth, LT has enough left in the tank to be equivalent of what TJ gave us and hopefully I'm flat out wrong about McKnight.

But when you put the way you did, I'd probably agree that I'll take LT/McKnight over Jones/Washington.

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That is pretty much how I would do it. Every 2-3 years draft an RB in the 1st or 2nd round. On the other hand I would never draft a WR and fill that position thru FA and trades. RB best years are 1-4. WR best years are 3+.

Problem with that theory is that I don't think the FA WR put up big numbers their first year or two when they switch teams. There was an article about it a year or two back, maybe as far back as when Branch was busting balls. Then you are paying top dollar for a guy that isn't helping that much.

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exactly-we now have a pass catching threat out of the backfield in LT, which we DIDN'T have last year and McKnight is a younger Leon Washington without the question marks going into the season
Honestly, we can only hope McKnight turns out to be as special of a player as Leon was for us right up to last year.

The only reason people did not want Leon around is because of his injury, McKnight has not done anything as of yet to say he's in the same caliber.

Despite the knocks on TJ, we would all be thrilled to get his production numbers out of LT.

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That is pretty much how I would do it. Every 2-3 years draft an RB in the 1st or 2nd round.
Depends on the RB draft class.

You can draft high on the O-line and still score a decent enough RB with a later pick.

The fact that a RB's best years are his first few, makes burning a top pick every 2-3 years kind of counter productive.

A strong O-line sets up the run and protects the QB, the right line helps a lesser RB to produce up to par.

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Hopefully the announcement of the death of LT's NFL career is premature. I never wanted us to basically trade TJ for LT. I think TJ's got a lot more left in the tank than LT . Hope I'm wrong but I guess we'll know for sure by November.

Keep this articles coming and forward them to LT. If the man has anything left in the tank, his heart is going to take us to the superbowl. If not Greene had better learn to take a hit and Mcknight better get into shape.

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Rex has been impressed?...because I'm sure if he wasnt he'd be bashing him to the media. lol

Rex wouldnt need to say anything at all about LT if he thought he was just average or "LaDone". Instead, he's been going OUT OF HIS WAY to gush about the guy. Ever notice Ryan hasn't said a word about Schottenheimer, and until moving him to DE, said almost nothing about Gholston if he could avoid it? Good rule of thumb; if Ryan doesn't mention you much, you're not important, and if he constantly says positives about you, then you're a good apple.

And how could you possibly say that LT is here to do what Leon did? He's the furtherest thing from Leon. Is he returning kicks? Is he our game breaker? Is he here be our change of pace? They are pretty much 2 completely different players and there are very little similarities.

I'm saying that LT is going to have what Leon's role would have been in 2010. Leon was not going to return kicks for the Jets even if he stuck around, Brad Smith proved to do a more than adequate job for us, and we acquired 2 other returners (Wilson, Cromartie) this offseason.

Obviously, a pre-injury Leon was more of a gamebreaker than LT could be at this age, but LT will most definitely be doing what Greene and Jones could not; be an adequate checkdown receiver out of the backfield for Sanchez. Even at 31, LT is an IDEAL 3rd down back.

In addition, he can be a guy who has a nose for the end zone inside the 20, can break a few tackles and push the pile a little. That's PLENTY out of a # 2 RB and a very nice complement to Greene.

Edited by Jetsfan80
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And injures himself in the process.

Its still pretty crazy to see him laying guys out. He plays Rex Ryan type of football, that is physical. I cant say id rather see him get injured but i def would hate to see him run the ball with no balls and accept the hits or stumble at the line like TJ did.

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Problem with that theory is that I don't think the FA WR put up big numbers their first year or two when they switch teams. There was an article about it a year or two back, maybe as far back as when Branch was busting balls. Then you are paying top dollar for a guy that isn't helping that much.

Typically it is a year. In fact WR that stay on the team don't do well if you switch QBs, takes about a year for a vet WR and vet QB to get the timing right. But the alternative is it takes rookie WR three years. So if you draft one in the first round you are often paying big bucks for a guy that never makes an impact on his rookie contract. Of course there are exception.

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The writer of the article claims the LT low cost signing had all the making

of a market gambit to juice up PSL sales.

I understand there is an FBI all points bulletin being distributed looking for

the guy who bought a PSL because LT joined the Jets.

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:yawn: Boring. We'll see what happens.

Gotta go to the "marketing gambit" thing, huh? This was a football move. TJ and LT are making the same money this year. They saw first hand that TJ is toast, they haven't seen that with LT, yet.

Thomas Jones averaged 2.6 ypc in the playoffs last year, and wasn't doing much better than that the last few games of the regular season. The player hit a wall.

Who's your "grizzled scout," Hubbuch?

TJ and LT are the same age. TJ had low miles early in his career, but over the last two seasons he has over 100 more carries than LT. And it's starting to show.

I questioned the move to sign LT, too. But I think I question an article in June proclaiming him to be done even more.

Liked Jones, tenure here, but there is a big "but". Jones came into the AFC title game when Greene got hurt. The Jets had the ball and the lead and had been chewingup the Colts' front 7. Now, if Jones was any better than 2.6 YPC in that game the Jets are probably playing in the SUper Bowl. Cannot say I know for sure LT is going to be great spelling Green. Suspect they will share the load rather than have one guy take the bulk of carries depending on health and effective week-to-week.They will not expect Tomlinson to go over 12-15 carries a week,and he can split wide, something Jones could not do. Jones would still want to be the feature guy and increasingly the Jet like msot NFL teams don't want to do that, especilly if he disappears when the games count.
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guys LT's age don't usually recapture that lost step. We can hope but... he might be ladone that's a possibility we will have to face sooner or later.

look at the high risk guys the Jets picked up... LT, JT, Holmes and Cro... of those 4, there will be a distribution. 1 will be great. 1 will be ok, 1 will be awful and 1 will be the wild card in those other categories. It's unlikely that they made 4 awesome pickups.

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Tomlinson doesn't have to be great. Just decent. Nobody is expecting him to turn back the clock. Jones was due a $5M bonus. The Jets cut him to save the money and he refused to come back at a discount. They signed Tomlinson and saved money.

It must be about the PSLs!!! They are broke!!! Etc., etc.

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In one corner we had an old slow RB with stone hands who goes down at first contact and who was due to make 5mil a year. In the other corner we have an old slow RB who also isn't much of a bruiser but is a great receiver making 2.5 mil a year. This really is a no brainer.

LT isn't going to be great as a RB, but with Edwards/holmes/Cotch/Keller all occupying defenders, LT is going to have a wide open field to work as a receiver. I could EASILY see him having at least 700 yds receiving this year. That's something you'll never see from Jones. That's why we made the move.

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guys LT's age don't usually recapture that lost step. We can hope but... he might be ladone that's a possibility we will have to face sooner or later.

look at the high risk guys the Jets picked up... LT, JT, Holmes and Cro... of those 4, there will be a distribution. 1 will be great. 1 will be ok, 1 will be awful and 1 will be the wild card in those other categories. It's unlikely that they made 4 awesome pickups.

So it's like throwing darts predicting who is going to suck or not? Right.

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