Cannizzaro: Sparano & McKnight Never Spoke

Discussion in 'New York Jets' started by dwalsh, May 6, 2013.

  1. dwalsh

    dwalsh 2006 TGG.com Rookie of the Year Award Winner

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    McKnight planning to show Jets they had No. 1 running back all along
    Lost in the bright lights of the five-man quarterback competition and the mundane matter of who’s going to throw the football for the Jets in 2013 is a less-ballyhooed four-way battle for who’s going to run the ball.

    Shonn Greene, the Jets’ lead running back for the last two seasons but never a player who kept a single defensive coordinator up late at night, left via free agency with the team never making any serious move to re-sign him.

    So the Jets, who have not had a legitimate lead back since they opted not to bring back Thomas Jones after the 2009 season, are in search of consistent big-play backfield talent. And their choices are not exactly between the likes of Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith and Adrian Peterson.

    Whether any of the four players competing for the lead role is that player remains very much in question. Two of them, former Saint Chris Ivory and former Raider Mike Goodson, are newcomers. The other two are Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell.

    Combined, the four have 651 attempts, 2,969 yards, a 4.5-yard average and 15 TDs. None of the four players has ever been a lead back.

    Of the four, McKnight, in his fourth season with the Jets, is most vocal about his burning desire to be the man.

    “Words can’t even describe how badly I want to be that guy,’’ McKnight told The Post during a break in offseason workouts last week at the team’s Florham Park, N.J., training facility. “I’ve got an edge — a fire to me ... so I can show everybody that I can play.

    “When I’m out there practicing it’s like I’m [ticked] off. I’ve got to play the game [ticked] off. That gives me the edge and keeps me on top of my game.’’

    McKnight undoubtedly had his nose bent out of shape when the Jets acquired Goodson as a free agent and Ivory in a draft-day trade with New Orleans for a fourth-round pick. He surely saw those moves as the team not having confidence in him.

    “I just felt like people are still doubting me, so it’s time for me to go out there and show ’em,’’ he said.

    Where McKnight takes it from here is anybody’s guess, but based on Ivory’s career stats, the former Saint appears on paper to be the most accomplished of the group, with 1,307 rushing yards, a 5.1-yard average and eight TDs.

    “It’s ‘Competition U’ here and I want to compete,’’ McKnight said. “I did it at USC when they had 11 running backs out there and I’m going to do it now.’’

    McKnight views his career, defined more by his special teams contributions as one of the league’s best kick returners than anything he’s done as a running back, as unfulfilled.

    “I’m going to be a lot better,’’ he vowed. “I made that promise to myself. If not, I’m going to die trying. I’m nowhere near close to where I want to go.’’

    McKnight revealed he never had a conversation with Tony Sparano, the Jets offensive coordinator last season before he was fired.

    “I don’t know what Sparano thought of me because he never talked to me,’’ McKnight said. “I’m not going to let that happen again.’’

    McKnight said he “loves’’ new coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, with whom he shares the same agent.


    McKnight, Goodson and Ivory all share a common trait in that they all believe they haven’t yet had a fair chance to be a lead back.

    Goodson, who has 160 career attempts, 722 yards, a 4.5-yard average and three TDs, said he signed with the Jets because he saw a “pretty wide-open opportunity.’’

    Shortly after the Jets traded for Ivory, he expressed his desire to break out of the being “buried in a crowded backfield’’ he had to deal with in New Orleans, calling the move to the Jets “an opportunity for me to really get the carries that I deserve.”

    “I just feel like it’s my time,’’ Ivory said. “I can do some great things and put up some crazy numbers in New York.”

    They all have dreams. The offensively-challenged Jets simply hope one of these four backs emerges as that lead playmaker they desperately need to help whichever of the five quarterbacks competing emerges as the starter. Otherwise, 2013 is going to be a much longer and more disappointing season than 2012 was.

    Does this speak more about McKnight or Sparano?

    I've always liked the skillset McKnight can offer, I just hope he is able to assert himself and force the Jets to give him some touches. The competition mindset that Idzik has instilled on the organization could benefit McKnight greatly this year if he can prove himself a capable playmaker to get some passes out of the backfield and even splitting out wide
     
    #1 dwalsh, May 6, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  2. Poeman

    Poeman Well-Known Member

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    Mcknight might benefit from those screen passes
     
  3. Falco21

    Falco21 Well-Known Member

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    It speaks a TON about Sparano's dumb ass. How can an OC not speak with an offensive playmaker? McKnight may have some fault in this, but this falls a TON on Sparano.

    I can tell you this much, Idzik is DEFINITELY making this competition thing happen. We have 4 backs that are all working their ass off to be the starter. This is exactly what we need on this team.
     
  4. gsulli5861

    gsulli5861 New Member

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    I don't see McKnight making the team. No coach will trust him, he fumbles to much.
     
  5. Greenday4537

    Greenday4537 Well-Known Member

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    And that's the thing about McKnight. He can't old onto the ball. He fumbles every time he gets the ball. On just 30 carries last year, he fumbled three times! Pathetic.
     
  6. NFL

    NFL Active Member

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    I'm not 100% sure, but I think that those numbers also include special teams. I remember him fumbling once as a RB last season against I think the Titans.
     
  7. xjets2002x

    xjets2002x Active Member

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    Think about t his for a second. The offensive coordinator of an offensively inept team didn't even talk to one of the most explosive players on the roster. What an embarrassment.

    I don't think Rex should escape criticism here. He's shown a distaste for guys who aren't "his type" of player and it's cost this team in the past. He let Kerry Rhodes go because he wasn't physical enough, and we've had to suffer thru Eric Smith's athletic limitations ever since.

    McKnight seems to forever be paying for his rookie mistakes. I hope he gets a legit shot this year.

    -X-
     
  8. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Well-Known Member

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    I agree. If Sparano truly was Rex's hire, Rex should have been fired. It was a much worse move than trading for Tebow and that is saying a lot.
     
  9. LAJet

    LAJet Well-Known Member

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    McKnight needed a lot of coaching and guidance to develop his explosive talent and hold on to the rock. He obviously got shit from Sparano and not much more from Schotty. He had a fumbling problem as a rookie but never given the chance after that.
    Hope MM gets the best out of all RBs and make us forever forget the offensive embarassment of last year. Its so easy to crap all over our young players that do not perform out of the gate, but for most rookies, they need real coaching to make them successful in the NFL.
     
  10. truthbtold

    truthbtold Well-Known Member

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    He's also, by far the most dynamic play maker we have on offense. He better be on this team next year. In fact, he's taken a few snaps at WR the last couple of seasons and I wouldn't mind seeing more of that. If Sanchez could hit the broad side of a barn, he would have had a huge gainer in the Giant game in 2011 ... wide open, all alone down the left sideline ... maybe even an 80 yard TD, but the ball went 10 feet over his head out of bounds.
     
  11. JetsVilma28

    JetsVilma28 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a fan, at all. I get a feeling he's not all that professional. I don't think he takes advantage of his opportunities. I think he is one of these players that expects carries, rather than going out there and earning them.

    1) He has a major fumbling issue. Kind of hard to be a NFL running back if this is one of your problems.
    2) The guy gets gassed, easy. He doesn't have the endurance to push for the extra yard and gets caught by pursuing tacklers. Even worse, he gets tired leaving the football wide open for the strip. He doesn't posses the energy to protect the football over sustainable amount of carries. As much as people disliked Greene, he was able to burn a secondary in the open field and did a good job of holding onto the football. McKnight, always gets caught and a lot of times he fumbles.

    All in all, I think McKnight sucks and I don't expect him to make the team.
     
  12. Kentucky Jet

    Kentucky Jet Active Member

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    are you for real? The guy led the NFL in returns one year. Did he fumble then? Just an example of saying more negativity then deserved!
     
  13. Kentucky Jet

    Kentucky Jet Active Member

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    Major fumbling problem? Are you for real? The guy did not fumble nearly as much as Greene yet he gets dumped on by people for their own agenda! The guy has fumbled but so has every RB in existence. Please elaborate on his major fumbling problem and why he is still here after 4 years of major fumbling.
     
  14. Kentucky Jet

    Kentucky Jet Active Member

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    agreed. The guy has major talent and the WRECKS have not yet developed it. If he went to NE we'd have a problem.
     
  15. Barcs

    Barcs Banned

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    McKnight fumbles every time he gets the ball? Could someone please post his fumbling stats? Last I checked he hasn't had all that many fumbles. I'm honestly getting annoyed at that myth because he fumbled a bunch in his first preseason games.
     
  16. jdon

    jdon Well-Known Member

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    Don't ask me why, but I feel McKnight did not know the playbook that well last year. He constantly ran to wrong holes when there were blockers ahead of him. Aside from that, he fumbles too much, is a great kick returner, and that fire in his belly might be another upset stomach. Watch out.
     
  17. BleedingGangGreen

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    Even if Joe McKnight doesn't crack being a top 3 RB, I believe he'll still be on our roster. He's one of the NFL's most productive kick returners therefore there's zero chance he's released. Production hasn't been there as we've hoped for but his talent is too strong along with his potential being too high, for our front office to just release him while allowing a team such as New England or Buffalo to steal his value.

    We may dislike his fumbles as a fan base but he's only 25 years of age while heading into his 4th season. A truly explosive kick returner and if true that coach Sparano never went out of his way to coach up McKnight it means that McKnight's potential is still untapped. With this kids overall quickness, speed and all out explosiveness along with playmaking ability he's a kid who you could line up all over the football field. Especially with the right type of offensive coordinator. He's a keeper.

    I say we use Chris Ivory, Mike Goodson and Bilal Powell as our top trio of RB's with Joe McKnight as our jack-of-all trades type of (potential) playmaker. A truly good offensive coordinator finds a way to find a role for a player such as McKnight. Although a small sample size with only 30 rushing attempts Joe averaged 6.0 yards per carry last season. But yet I'm not sure coach Sparano called for a single screen play or swing pass in order for McKnight to operate within open space which is now disheartening when looking back.

    He makes plays within an open field, a strong offensive coordinator makes it happen.
     
    #17 BleedingGangGreen, May 6, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  18. jdon

    jdon Well-Known Member

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    and kick return fumbles don't count....? McKnight is a shaky guy mentally and physically. A lot of speed, but a mistake guy.
     
  19. baamf

    baamf Active Member

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    From what I can gather he's averaging a fumble every 21.5 times he touches the ball (I'm not including special teams). Greene for comparison is averaging a fumble every 80.6 times he touches it. It is certainly a problem in my opinion...
     
  20. Ajitator

    Ajitator Well-Known Member

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    Stopped reading here,. LOL.


    "Shonn Greene has forced one missed tackle in 79 touches this season. In a word, unreal. Of course, such an amazingly dreadful stat shouldn't exactly be a surprise considering Greene has averaged just 2.9 yards on his 76 carries"
     

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