Ryan told reporters yesterday that keeping players healthy is paramount.
The key, Ryan says, is the variety of backs and keeping them healthy, “because we do have guys that are pretty good backs, talented guys.”
“Joe McKnight obviously is an explosive athlete,” added Ryan. “We just can’t seem to get Joe healthy, but when he’s healthy he certainly has some game-breaking ability and we’ve seen that out of the backfield and obviously as a kick returner.”
The coach added that despite the team’s lackluster 5-7 record, he has been impressed with Shonn Greene throughout the season.
One area of that has been lacking, however, has been the running backs’ involvement in the passing game. Greene, McKnight and Bilal Powell have combined for just 23 receptions during the 2012 season. Ryan said some of that has to do with the Jets’ desire to throw the ball downfield, but admitted, “I’d like for our backs to catch the ball a little more.”
It's nice to talk so glowingly about the running backs, but I think that the real gains have been by the offensive line. Right now the unit is grading out 5th overall in run blocking -- the unit is getting back to their 2010 form believe it or not. The pass protection is still playing at a mediocre level, in terms of sacks allowed, but I think that has more to do with Mark Sanchez holding the ball too much than anything else.
The Jets are going to have to scour the 2013 free agent or draft class for someone to bring in to help charge this running game in 2013. They are going to need better and more dynamic play from the players there as they are going to be in trouble on the line at the start of next season one way or another. Looking ahead, the Jets could now lose either starting guards Slauson or Moore or BOTH this coming offseason ...