Re-Watch: Greene, Cobb, GarconTuesday, June 26, 2012
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This is the third part in my re-watching series. Bang it here for first two:
** Julio Jones, Cam Newton, Jake Locker, and more. ((Link))
** Demaryius Thomas, Stevan Ridley, Leonard Hankerson, and more. ((Link))
Jets running back Shonn Greene
For Greene's game reviews, I made sure to pick heavy-workload affairs that might offer polar viewpoints. I chose Week 14 against Kansas City -- Greene's best box score of the season -- and Week 6 versus Miami -- a difficult matchup in which Greene struggled on 22 touches. As a cherry on top, I watched Greene's Week 3 game at Oakland because he caught a season-high seven passes.
On the very first snap of the Chiefs game, Greene followed FB John Conner's lead block into a massive chunk of open grass. Greene rumbled 31 yards, although he left many more on the field by running squarely into CB Brandon Carr, and finally ILB Derrick Johnson, who pushed Greene out of bounds. This would easily go down as Greene's longest run in the three games I viewed.
For a power back listed at 226, Greene only occasionally moves the pile on his own. He's far too often tackled directly at the line of scrimmage. Greene can be tough to bring down in space, but he rarely gets there, lacking any hint of lateral moves and possessing below-average short-area burst.
No one would argue that the Jets' O-Line is as effective as it was in its heyday. But in the Kansas City matchup in particular, the front five generated solid movement in the run game. Greene left a ton of yardage on the field by failing to recognize cutback lanes or hit them with purpose when he did. He has remarkably slow feet for a running back, and Greene's poor vision is just as worrisome.
Greene certainly lacks speed to get the corner. He must have creases up the gut to create solid gains.
I charted every third-down snap in the Dolphins and Chiefs games. There were 24 of them. LaDainian Tomlinson operated as a single-set back on 21. Greene was the lone back twice. And then-rookie Bilal Powell took a carry on third-and-11 for the last one.
Greene pass blocked on just three occasions in the two later-season contests -- late in the second quarter of the Chiefs game, again in the third quarter, and one time against Miami. Just once did Greene effectively handle a pass rusher. He took safety Reshad Jones out of a play in the Miami game.
I admittedly entered these games viewing Greene as a pedestrian talent. He was even worse than I expected. Greene's positives are few. He does look the part at 5-foot-11, 220-plus and can be hard to tackle with a full head of steam. But because he sees the field so poorly and takes so long to hit top speed, I'd hesitate to even call Greene a back who "gets what's blocked." He gets less than that.
The Jets under GM Mike Tannenbaum have done a putrid job of evaluating offensive talent within their own organization. Greene and swinging-gate right tackle Wayne Hunter are prime examples of what will likely prove franchise-dooming incompetency. Both players are slated for starting roles in 2012.
Other observations from the Jets game reviews:
** I feel slightly bad piling on Dolphins tailback Daniel Thomas because I know he flashed at times early in his rookie year, but this was another uninspiring effort. I've now watched Thomas versus the Jets in Week 6 and Redskins in Week 10. He's displayed no outstanding qualities, failing to show any hint of big-play ability and rarely generating pop at the point of attack. Thomas also fumbled once in the Jets game, although it was conveniently recovered by teammate Anthony Fasano.
** In Jets-Chiefs, I thought it was interesting that Darrelle Revis didn't shadow Dwayne Bowe on every single snap until early in the third quarter. In the first half, Antonio Cromartie predominantly played left cornerback, with Revis on the right, and the former spent more coverage time against Kansas City's top wide receiver. Revis began following Bowe all over the field in the second half.
** I ended up watching two Chiefs games for this column: Week 14 against the Jets and Week 15 against the Packers (see Randall Cobb, next). Le'Ron McClain was Kansas City's fullback. McClain looked awfully slow, and I wouldn't worry about him getting the ball much in San Diego this season.
Packers receiver Randall Cobb
As a second-round rookie out of Kentucky, Cobb returned punts and kickoffs and served as the Packers' No. 5 receiver. Cobb's 290 regular season snaps ranked fifth behind Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, and James Jones.
Cobb saw his most extensive action in Week 14 versus Oakland (33-of-71 snaps) and Week 15 at Kansas City (39-of-62 snaps). Those were the games I chose for review.