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New York Jets: The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made This Offseason, Part 2

CORTLAND, NY - JULY 27:  Tony Sparano, offensive coordinator of the New York Jets talks with general manager Mike Tannenbaum at Jets Training Camp at SUNY Cortland on July 27, 2012 in Cortland, New York.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Will AgathisCorrespondent IIJuly 28, 2012

The New York Jets have had an offseason littered with mistakes, the first of which—switching to the 4-3 defense—I detailed in the first of a five-part series here.

Next up? The switch to the ground-and-pound offense.

Some of you may be baffled, seeing as how no offense is worse than Brian Schottenheimer's Sanchez-air-it-out-until-a-pick-is-thrown scheme. I'm actually a huge advocate for the ground-and pound.

The problem is, this is a horrendous group of backs. 

Shonn Greene quietly topped 1,000 rushing yards last season, but barely did so, and had an average 4.2 yards per carry. But he's not really the problem. In fact, if there was another Shonn Greene on this offense, the Jets would be better for it. 

Greene's supporting cast was another story.

Sure, any running back can run well through a good offensive line, but even Thomas Jones, who a lot of diehard fans called a lackluster back, ran through an offensive line with the following starters: D'Brickashaw Ferguson (year who, one of his most mediocre), Adrien Clarke (who?), Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore (before he was a superstar), and Anthony Clement. 

So Thomas Jones ran for 1,000 yards with that line, and Leon Washington had a 5.0 YPC behind them as well. But behind the line the Jets currently have, Joe McKnight—who is supposed to fill Washington's shoes—had 3.2 YPC. 

So obviously the Jets' running game will not be as good as 2007.

The addition of Tony Sparano will bring interesting looks to this offense, after his well-known stint as the Dolphins head coach. But how will he be able to work with running backs like Terrance Ganaway, Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell? None of them have shown any promise (minus Ganaway), and Sparano is not prolific enough to turn below-average players into productive rushers.

Along with that, Shonn Greene isn't a home-run threat, an attribute which is so essential to the Wildcat offense.

Joe McKnight hasn't shown much promise or big-play ability either. So that will be nothing like Leon Washington being in the backfield (there's a reason why Ryan was talking about switching him over to safety).

Bilal Powell has been abysmal since coming to the Jets, and Terrance Ganaway has no big-play ability either.

If Tony Sparano can't save these terrible running backs, the ground-and-pound offense might become the stuffed-into-the-ground offense. The overall quality of the Wildcat-able players is terrible. And to this day, the only back who the Jets have capable of a 1,000-yard season is Shonn Greene. 

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