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Jets' alleged upgrade to L.T. a downgrade from productive Jones

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    March 27, 2010
    By Clark Judge
    CBSSports.com Senior Writer

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Almost everyone tells me this year's New York Jets will be better than last year's New York Jets, only this year's New York Jets don't have Thomas Jones. They have LaDainian Tomlinson. And from where I sit that doesn't make the league's top-rated rushing attack better.
    It makes it worse.


    I know Tomlinson was a premier back. I know he's a former league MVP. I know he was one of the best running backs ever. I know he set the league record for touchdowns in a season and practically carried San Diego for seven years. But that was then, this is now -- and now he's a beaten-up back who will turn 31, who averages 3.3 yards a carry and who can't make it through a season without an injury. Sorry, but that doesn't qualify as an upgrade.
    It would if this were the old L.T. But it's not. It's Eddie George with Dallas. It's Emmitt Smith with Arizona. It's Edgerrin James with Arizona and Eric Dickerson with the Raiders. In short, LaDainian Tomlinson is not the back he once was -- nor the back that Thomas Jones is -- and that doesn't make the New York Jets more imposing. It makes them a team that almost surely will have to rely more on Mark Sanchez's arm and less on two running backs.
    That isn't coach Rex Ryan's wish, nor is it his style. But he might not have a choice if ... when ... Tomlinson fails to exceed last year's performance. All I know is that before San Diego's playoff game with the Jets, Chargers coach Norv Turner underscored the urgency of running the ball. Then he called on Tomlinson, and L.T. responded with 24 yards -- with no carry longer than 5 yards and five carries of no more than 1.
    "He's still a guy who can do it all," Ryan said of Tomlinson. "He can run the ball inside or outside. He's outstanding in pass protection. And he's a great pass receiver out of the backfield, as well. We brought him in here to contribute."
    That's great, except if Tomlinson had anything left he would be contributing for the Chargers. But over the past year and a half, his play declined so dramatically that it surprised no one -- including Tomlinson -- when San Diego released one of the greatest players in its history.
    The numbers explain why: For the first seven years of his career he averaged 338 carries a season, or more carries than Hall of Fame back Earl Campbell had in his career, and 4.5 yards per attempt. But in the past two seasons he dropped to an average of 257.5 carries and 3.57 yards per try -- including a career-worst 3.3 in 2009.
    Do the math. This is a descending back who is at or near the end of the line, and I became convinced not in the Chargers' playoff loss to New York but in their regular-season defeat of Kansas City nearly three months earlier. On one series the Bolts gave the ball to Tomlinson three times at or inside the Chiefs 2, and he not only didn't score; he lost a yard against the league's 31st-ranked run defense.




    Three years ago, that wouldn't have happened. Then again, three years ago the Jets couldn't have gotten their hands on LaDainian Tomlinson. Nobody could. In fact, nobody did.
    That should tell you what L.T. has left.
    Now look at what Jones did for the Jets last season. He carried 331 times. He gained 1,402 yards. He scored 14 times. More important, he hasn't missed a game in four seasons, has averaged 1,276 yards over the past five and is coming off the best season of his career. LaDainian Tomlinson is coming off his worst, so someone please tell me how trading L.T. for Thomas Jones makes the New York Jets better.
    It doesn't.
    Ryan doesn't agree, and I wouldn't expect him to. He coaches the guy. He pushed to add him. And he steadfastly believes in him, which is terrific. Maybe Tomlinson becomes the back Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum think he'll be, and, for their sakes, I hope so. But I just don't see it, even when Ryan keeps reminding critics that Tomlinson is better than the guy who five times last season ran for 50 or fewer yards and who fizzled in the playoffs.




    "I had to get ready for him [in the playoffs]," Ryan said, "and we had to defend him in a certain way. We had to make sure we had eight guys down there. We had to put one-and-a-half on him in the passing game, so I know he can still do it.
    "The great thing is that he's one of the most competitive guys in the history of this game. I'm excited. It's funny, but if LaDainian is our weakness then we must have a heckuva football team."
    It's unclear how the Jets will use Tomlinson because they have a running back who is younger and more productive in Shonn Greene, and they have a running back who is younger and more explosive in the pass attack in Leon Washington. I don't know where that leaves L.T., but Ryan said he can envision him carrying 15 times a game -- six fewer than Jones last season.
    "We're just going to ground and pound away," he said. "I look at it this way: Shonn is the starting back for us, so is L.T. and so is Leon. If [Washington] is healthy he's our starting third-down back. We brought in L.T. to be a major contributor for us, and I think Shonn Greene is a star in the making.
    "I hope we have that opportunity to have that three-headed monster that we talked about last year. When you can combine what Shonn Greene and LaDainian and Leon would do for you I'd think we'd have the best backfield in the league."
    Maybe. But my guess is they won't.





    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/...e-jones?tag=coverlist_active;coverlist_footer
     
  2. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    fcuk it, hes not our problem anymore.
     
  3. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Quit bashing on LT.:icon_evil:
     
  4. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

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    Most diehard Jet fans are pissed that the Jets basically swapped TJ for LT. And then the know it all Jet fans talk about how LT will make them better because of his ability to catch the ball. I say that defenses are gonna read that from 10 miles away and shut him down the way Revis did in the playoffs.

    Oh man am I gonna love seeing them make up all kinds of excuses next year.
     
  5. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Enough!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    Here we go again:icon_party:
     
  7. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    :deadhorse2:
     
  8. szarmes

    szarmes I am the Walrus

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    :slap:
     
  9. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    "ENOUGH OF ENOUGH OF ENOUGH OF ENOUGH OF THE LT BAshing."
    :beat::beat:
     
  10. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    LT was never going to be a productive back in our system....Over there, as long as he's healthy, he is going to rip it up. Thomas Jones could never hold LT's jock....and still can't....the Jets coaches aren't stupid...They know what LT can still do in the right system going from putrid runblocking to the best runblocking in the NFL.
     
  11. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    Put LT behind a line that can open holes big enough for a mac truck to fit through and he's still got it. :yes:
     
  12. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    Put LT behind a line that he can actually move in some space and not dodge oncoming LBer's in the backfield....and he may actually show something....Not unlike most backs.
     
  13. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    I suspect LT will pick up his assault on the record books for the next few seasons-if he stays healthy all season long. He will work a full training camp and get a lot more action during the preseason and the regular season.
     
  14. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    Yeh i doubt thomas jones woulda done much better last year. even AP woulda had a hard time with our line and play calling:icon_shrug:
     
  15. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    exactly
     
  16. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    i still dont think he'll do much more than last season. in those few times that he had gotten a decent hole the guy would trip over his own damn feet.
     
  17. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    That was usually after he had made two or three cuts just to get himself enough space to run straight. You said the key word..."FEW" times that he had a decent hole....and he had a BIG hole maybe twice all of last season. Backs with good lines and dedicated runblocking schemes see big holes about 4 or 5 times a game....and if they don't, they keep plugging away until they wear the defense down.

    Our current scheme works...I don't have too many complaints when we are scoring like we do...but it is a passing, finesse offense where runningbacks are more important as passblockers, extra receiving options, and occasional change-ups to the passing game than a dedicated part of the game plan....it does the runningbacks no favors....and unless you have a really good Offensive Line unit like what Norv had in Dallas and Washington, the RB is going to have tough sledding against defenses that are blitzing and run blitzing all day.

    The Jets offense works a lot like ours did under Marty....They also have not just a decent offensive line...but a very good one which emphasizes running the ball. The only way LT doesn't average between 4 and 4.5 ypc behind that line part time duty is if he has more nagging injuries. I tend to think he'll be better for the wear with less carries and as a result will be more explosive and will outshine Shonn Greene who won't be used to doing the heavy lifting as a #1 RB.
     
  18. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    Lame article. Really lame.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    Maybe its the grass at the q:icon_huh:
     

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