Florham Park, N.J. — The preseason in the NFL is meaningless, right? Well, sometimes bad habits that troubled a team in the preseason, might just follow them into the regular season. For the New York Jets, their troubled habit in the preseason was their “Ground and Pound” style of offense. It seemed to go missing for the four games and now has lingered into week one with week two just a few days away. Football being a team game, the blame is not being placed on one athlete or any athlete for that matter. It’s just a small hole they are in and they need a plan to get out.
The Jets are sort of using a new game plan when it comes to their run offense this season. Last season they included the full back John Conner more often early on, but now they are turning to the tight end position to pick up the slack.
“We are doing some different stuff.” Veteran RB LaDanian Tomlinson said, “Obviously if you see the games we are not using the full back as much. We are still using the full back but we are using more tight ends so it’s a different change.”
If it worked so well last season, then why try to fix something that wasn’t broken? Tomlinson made it clear.
“I think part of it was John (Conner) not being as healthy early on.” Tomlinson said, “Right now I think that had a lot to do with it.”
Tomlinson doesn’t seem to be worried about the run game even though he admits it is a big part of their game plan, but knows it can come back to life at any time.
“Any week can be a breakout week for us running the football.” Tomlinson said, “We’ve always been able to rely on it, but we expect to be able to run the ball if we need to.”
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is thinking along the same lines when it comes to the run game coming back.
“Obviously, we feel like the running game will come.” Schottenheimer said, “We have a great offensive line. That hasn’t changed. If there’s a group that you know has pride, it’s that group, with how well they’ve all played. The running game is something, it comes through time, it comes through work.”
One of the prideful offensive lineman is none other than center Nick Mangold who knows his group of guys need to tighten things up and get ready for game two.
“We need to just pick things up.” Mangold said, “We were close on some things but in the end it takes everybody and we all have to be on the same page.”
The offense will continue to work on the run game. Options that worked once will most likely work again. It just might take some time and when the time comes coach Ryan will be ready. It is always good to have a plan B.
“When it’s time and coach (Ryan) feels like it’s the right game plan to run a lot of full back stuff, I’m sure we will do that because we can do both.” Tomlinson said.