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Rex keeps it simple- Just don't fumble

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Rex Keeps It Simple … Just Don’t Fumble

By Bassett on 16. Sep, 2010


No one is going to deny that Shonn Greene has the potential to be a great running back. During his time so far with the Jets there’s been three parts of Shonn Greene’s game that have needed some work: staying healthy, receiving skills, and fumbling. During the past off-season the Jets worked with Greene about how to play hard and stay healthy, he’s also shown and proven his ability be better with catching the ball during camp, albeit the drop on Monday night would indicate otherwise…

With Tomlinson on the team to help mitigate the first two, the most urgent need for improvement is Greene’s game is fumbling. Last year Greene carried during the season at about a 3% fumble rate, pretty bad, but to be fair, many young backs struggle similarly in holding onto the ball, it’s a skill that can take time to learn in the pros … just as Tiki or Thomas Jones. Still, it doesn’t excuse the fumbles, which is probably why the coach, in all in intents and purposes, benched him for much of the game. Manish pulls part of Greene’s conversation with the press together, in which he said …

"I was just waiting on when they said I could go back in," said Greene, who had 5 carries for 18 yards before fumbling with 4:17 to go before halftime. "I wasn’t expecting to get back in. In the preseason, that was the formula: If you fumble, you’re not getting back in the game."


"You can’t fumble at key times like that," said Greene, who also fumbled it out of bounds after a reception earlier in the game. "I wasn’t expecting an explanation."

Ryan was a little coy about in his Tuesday presser.

I haven’t had a chance to talk to Brian (Schottenheimer) or Anthony (Lynn) on that yet. I actually just got through the film. We’ll see. Shonn Greene is a huge part of what we do and who we are.

Indeed he is a huge part, but while some might overanalyze Rex’s statements in concert with how Greene took the burden on himself on Wednesday … it’s not all that hard to understand why he was benched. Rex made it clear during camp that fumbles aren’t allowed, by anyone. That wasn’t really a problem when Thomas Jones was your lead back … who fumbled less than 1% of the time.

It would seem that Rex has instituted a zero-tolerance policy towards fumbles with his youngster, simple as that. Rex probably didn’t want to get into it, or to make Greene look bad which is why he didn’t really address it … that’s always been his M.O. on these sort of things. He will take the burden or be a little mysterious, rather than make a point of embarrassing his players and thus alienating them. Not to say that he hasn’t called players out. He did it with his QB last year, but it seems to be more of a special occasion than everyday occurrence.

On the other side, Shonn Greene was aware of the dictum and though maybe he didn’t like what happened on Monday night, his reaction yesterday shows he understands the consequences of his actions are.

My hope is that Greene can learn from the experience, because what’s going to keep him in the game to show how good a back is he is, is his ability to hold onto the ball. If he can do that, everything else will follow.

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Not to be the grammar police, but talk about a rush job to get this in "print." I understand benching the guy who fumbles it, it sends a message. However, I'm not sure if he couldn't have been more useful being in the game than on the sidelines, only to put him in cold and than exploit one of his weaknesses. Hopefully he comes back healthy and we see the playoff version against the Pats.

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