Times have changed. During the two consecutive trips to the AFC Championship Game Shonn Greene was regarded as an up and coming young running back for the New York Jets. Greene began to display a bruising style with the power to break tackles. Primarily 2009’s playoff run served as a coming out party for the former University of Iowa Hawkeye. Fast forward three years, this once promising player has fallen on hard times. Yes, Greene has rushed for 1,000 yards in back to back seasons. He did however only average 3.9 yards per carry.
In the playoff years there was another featured back. Greene’s first season saw him play in a reserve role to Thomas Jones. The rookie was a tremendous change of pace to the quicker Jones. Future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson assumed lead position on the depth chart. At first Tomlinson showed glimpses of his former self. Greene again came through in the postseason with monster games against the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers.
After being inserted into a starting role this past year, there were mixed results. Eight touchdowns are a solid statistic, but three came against the Colts whose defense ranked 29th in rushing yards allowed. While football is a team sport, Greene’s lack of explosiveness could have contributed to the Jets offensive ineptitude. Bilal Powell’s potential also makes Greene expendable. Rumors suggest that the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons have interest. Greene could be a solid backup behind Atlanta’s Jacquizz Rodgers or Denver’s Willis McGahee, but The Jets would be smart to move on.