By Moe Koltun
Sorry folks, I hate to be the only one who sees this but Shonn Greene isn’t a very good football player. Maybe it was because I got burned by him last year, maybe its because I’m a Giant fan and Jet fans are annoying, there’s just something I don’t like about Shonn Greene. It’s sort of weird, he has everything I’d want in a running
back: an iffy quarterback, a phenomenal offensive line, and a declining backup. Really, Shonn Greene should be poised for a breakout.
But he’s not. And you know why? It’s because he’s not that good a football player. Here’s some stupid stuff like stats that prove it:
Firstly, in Shonn Greene’s entire regular season career, he has never broken off a run longer than 33 yards. And, that’s in 293 carries. The thing that’s so frustrating about him too is that he’s ironically been great in the post-season when you would expect a runn
ing back to fare worse against better defenses. However, the fact that he has yet to carry this over into regular season success is surprising and disconcerting. It’s bizarro-Arod syndrome.
Secondly, Greene is more allergic to the end zone than Dan Schneider is to making good off-season moves. Despite having a supposed “Ground and Pound” team, Greene had two touchdowns during the 2009 regular season in 108 carries and then once again had two touchdowns in 185 carries in the 2010 regular season. For a “Ground and Pound” team that is a pedestrian number of carries and a pedestrian number of touchdowns.
I’m going to contradict myself for a second here: Ladainian Tomlinson looked done. Like when I was watching him during last week’s preseason game I legitimately thought to myself “L.T.’s agent should probably start talking to ESPN about an analysts job”. He looked Tiki Barber level done. However, I’m going to defend L.T. for a second here. There’s nobody the lockout helped more than veteran players. Nobody. Joe McKnight looks good but he’s really young, missed an off-season chance to practice with the team and only had 39 rushing attempts last season. I think L.T. gets at least 30% of the carries and probably more than 50% of the receptions on the Jets this year. Which leads me to my next point: Receiving.
Shonn Greene hasn’t proven a strong capability a receiver, which is why I believe he will sit often on 3rd down. In his rookie season Greene had 0 receptions and last year he had 16. Whether it be Joe McKnight or whether it be Ladainian Tomlinson, it is highly unlikely Shonn Greene is out there on third down which hurts both his rushing totals and especially his receiving totals.
Now, on to my main point, which is partially irrelevant, Shonn Greene isn’t a very good football player. How do I hold such insightful wisdom you ask? Well, the Jets have an indisputably phenomenal offensive line, a team that likes to run, a great head-coach, a run-first approach, a YOUNG offense and STILL L.T., a thirty-one year old three years removed from his prime, was given more carries, more receptions, and had more touchdowns than Greene. Not only that, Greene managed to average a worse yards per carry with a top five o-line than Matt Forte did with a bottom five o-line, a worse yards per carry than Knowshon Moreno with a sub par o-line, and a worse yards per carry than Frank Gore in by far his worst season with another bottom ten offensive line. Most running backs would kill for a run-first team with a great o-line but Shonn Greene can’t capitalize on the best situation for a running back in football.
I’m sure Shonn Greene is a great guy; he helps orphans, saves puppies and works at soup kitchens every Saturday but essentially what I’m saying here is that, for fantasy football, the grass is definitely greener on the other side. Look elsewhere for a second running back or a flex play. I view Greene as a good bench guy with a solid amount of upside.