For a guy whose career was supposed to be all but finished, LaDainian Tomlinson proved an awful lot of people (including yours truly) wrong last season.
The ageless LT took the reins from a tentative and uncomfortable Shonn Greene in the first half of the season and showed a burst that recalled his earlier days of domination in the league. Naturally, he began to wear down as the season continued, but he did perhaps show that he could still be quite effective in a reduced role even at the advanced age of 32.
Greene is still surrounded by a ton of legitimate questions about whether or not he’ll be able to handle the feature back role of Coach Rex Ryan hands it to him this year. He faltered greatly at the goal line last season (just two rushing touchdowns), had only one game where he eclipsed the 100 yard mark and was not much of a factor in the passing game. His performance should improve as he gets more carries, but, if it doesn’t, the Jets are going to be stuck without a Plan B.
One possible guy to make an impact in 2011 is Joe McKnight. He failed to carve any sort of a significant role for himself last year (aside from his 158 yard rushing day in a meaningless Week 17 game against Buffalo) but he does show promise. If Greene again stumbles out of the blocks, the Jets could turn to the speedy McKnight to bail them out. They will just have to hope that he is in shape and has put his fumbling tendencies behind him.
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Written by Frank Mazzola