Joe McKnight Can Prove Doubters Wrong In 2013 Under New Playing Style

By Stephen Conway
Mathew Emmons

The New York Jets are losing players left and right from free agency. One in particular, was their starting running back, Shonn Greene. The Jets picked up former Oakland Raiders back Mike Goodson on Friday, but can he fill in the blemish that is now an open competition for the starting running back spot?

Among the two other players likely battling it out with Goodson are Bilal Powell, and Joe McKnight. Both backs are agile, quick and speed backs, which is along the same skill set as Goodson. With new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, there will be an expanded role for the running backs, coming out of the backfield becoming short-yardage receivers. This is where McKnight shines.

McKnight was an excellent college player coming out of USC. He is a dynamic back, who has tremendous speed and quickness. He has been held back in the spotlight due to his size, and inability to be a power back such as Greene. In his scouting report, it states that McKnight becomes extremely dangerous once he gets to the second level of the defense, and with Mornhinweg’s play style, McKnight will have many opportunities to be in those situations.

McKnight last season rushed for 179 yards on 30 attempts. He only had one reception for 18 yards in 2012, but in his four years as a Jet, he has had 17 receptions for 177 yards. With these numbers, obviously coming with the diminutive role that McKnight played behind Greene, McKnight has the opportunity to show everyone that he can be an explosive and successful back in the league.

Last year, there was speculation that McKnight would play some snaps at corner back, which irked him in the sense that he felt it was a shot at his running back abilities. McKnight has it laid all out for him, many are doubting him and this is the year to prove them wrong.

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