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Tomlinson on the Offense’s Transition Game

Posted by Eric Allen on October 5, 2011 – 12:02 pm

Just days before the Jets’ critical clash with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, LaDainian Tomlinson joined us for an appearance on “Four Quarters” and talked about the offense’s identity.

“I think we’re obviously in a bit of a transition. We don’t run the ball as much as we used to. We’re trying to be a little bit more balanced,” he said. “We want to be a team that can do both. If you stop our running game, we want to be able to throw the football. If you’re playing coverage against us, we want to be able to run the football.”

Despite their poor showing in Baltimore without All-Pro C Nick Mangold, the Green & White rank No. 11 in scoring at 25 points per game. After the offense accounted for just three points against the Ravens and allowed three touchdowns themselves while Mark Sanchez repeatedly got hit in the pocket, head coach Rex Ryan told his team they have to find a way to run the football.

“Coach has stated to us that we have to find our running game and we agree. We have to make these runs work that we’re calling and we’re game-planning during the week, and I think we will,” said Tomlinson. “We’re putting more of an emphasis on it and I think you’ll see a change.”

Once a formidable rushing club, the Jets are ranked 30th in both rush yards per game (71.0) and per attempt (3.09). The offensive line has had its share of problems as OL Rob Turner is on injured reserve, Mangold has been out since Week 2 with a high ankle sprain and rookie undrafted free agent Colin Baxter was pushed into the starting role at center. The Jets hope Mangold can return against the Patriots after they averaged 2.0 yards a rush and totaled 38 on the ground in B-More.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say we’re going to change and go back to the Ground & Pound because it’s only been four games. We’re 2-2,” Tomlinson said. “We’ve had some real explosive games where we’ve put up a ton of yards and really looked good.

“I think people need to be patient. I think any time you are in a state of transition and you’re kind of changing the philosophy a little bit — I’m not say we’re changing it all the way because we’re still going to run the football, but we’re being more balanced. Anytime you’re doing that, it takes a bit of time so people just need to be patient.”

After Shonn Greene was anointed the bellcow in the offseason, the third-year back has averaged 3.1 yards on his 51 rush attempts. The holes just haven’t been there on numerous occasions and Tomlinson has preached patience to Greene.

“When you’re a young guy and it’s your chance and you want to show everybody what you can do and it’s not going quite the way you want it to, you can have a tendency to feel like ‘Hey, it’s a reflection on me’ and lose that confidence,” Tomlinson said. “But Shonn is handling it well. He understands it’s a long season and we’re going to get things going.”

Statistically the Patriots have the NFL’s worst defense and they rank 18th overall against the run (108.8 yards per game). But they are 3-1 mainly because they’re scoring 33.8 points a game and the Jets are going to have to not only move the ball but score touchdowns in Week 5.

“For us, we have to think about right now. We have to win now. We have to win this game,” Tomlinson said. “We can’t say it’s a long season. We have to play like our backs are against the wall because we can drop the Patriots to the same record we have and be tied in the division.”

Having embraced his role as a “third-down” back, Tomlinson is a terrific blocker and is averaging a healthy 15.4 yards per reception.

“I’ve always said that whatever my role was, I’m going to be the best at it. When it was defined that I was going to be the third-down guy coming out of the backfield catching passes, I accepted the challenge and said I’m going to be as good as I can be, be the best at it,” he said. “It’s something I felt like it wasn’t difficult to do.”

But it’s his role at home as a proud dad that has Tomlinson beaming. He and his wife, Torsha, welcomed a baby daughter to the world on Sept. 10 — one day before the regular season kicked off.

“The past month has been great. Obviously we had a new addition in my family, Dayah. There have been times when I haven’t slept much, honestly, and then there have been times where Dayah has been able to let me sleep throughout the whole night,” he said. “There are ups and downs to it, but I’ll tell you what — there is no greater joy than having kids. We’re just excited about, we’re blessed and we’re looking forward to the future.”

His immediate football future has a weekend trip to the northeast on the itinerary. Tomlinson says the Jets gained confidence from their AFC Divisional Playoff triumph at Gillette Stadium in January, but he said each game has a different script.

“They are a very prideful group with a great head coach, a great coaching staff and great players. I’m sure Bill [Belichick] is telling them the thing that happened last year and how we acted after the game,” he said. “So there will be a sense of revenge on their part.”

“Four Quarters” with LaDainian Tomlinson will air this week on newyorkjets.com. Click here to watch any “Four Quarters” episodes you may have missed.

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Posted in Eric Allen | 23 Comments »

23 Responses to “Tomlinson on the Offense’s Transition Game”

  1. By scjoe on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    I am a T/Rex fan. I honestly believe they have done a very good job for the most part. “But” not to have a more viable option at the QB position could come back to bite them big time. I have heard “rumors” to this point about the health of MS so lets see where that goes. As for the extreme lack of depth along the O-Line? That may be an even bigger blunder then the QB position. I don’t see any indication that they have filled BT roster spot yet, it needs to be an O-Lineman. I think the Westerman/Maybin combo would be sufficient at the OLB spot for now.

  2. By dre on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    As a jetfan, a true jet fan, i think i’ve had alot of patientce and my patience is near no end. What i will say is we just are’nt click’n yet, in a season rushed into with no true and usual preperation defensive teams for the most part will prosper first. Then we will see as our offense will come around and put it in 5th gear. Now i will throw this little nugget out there – How about bringing Damien Woody back to help the small leak in our offensive line before it turns into a monsoon on our quarterback. Just the opinion of a jet fan – again a true jet fan !!!!!!

  3. By kleckofan on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Give me 53 LT’s any day. Right perspective, right work ethic, right intensity.

  4. By Jimmer on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    LT really shows class. I only wish Mason showed the same. Sure there are things that need to be fixed. But stating that nobody in the hierarchy don’t see that, is not good for the team as a whole.
    Let’s hope the OL issue gets fixed before Sanchez has a Pennington arm.

  5. By IRA on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    LT’s comments are right on. They have changed their offense way of thinking. Sure it will take some time to click [hope sooner than later] and the lockout didn’t help either.Still expalin to me why Greene is running at a 4.5 clip in 1st half of games and it drops to 1.2 per in the 2nd half.

  6. By Karan on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    I love L.T. This is probably one of the best decisions the Jets have made in the past two seasons. There’s just something about this guy, he’s just prideful, humble and a very respectful individual. It’s hard to not like a guy like L.T., a true veteran’s veteran. I’m glad he’s a leader on a team and hope he retires as a Jet. Hope Greene and L.T. run all over the Patriots defense, it would be nice to add McKnight in there as well, he has made some really strong strides since his rookie season.

  7. By wayne on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Pound the rock and then pound it some more…..Got to re establish the mindset…..GQ is not ready yet……..Spicer, let’s hope we’re not saying it’s only his 5th yr……No lie, I’ve had a problem with him since that very first photoshoot, said it then and I say it again now…..I saw Matt Leinart all over again…..WOULD LOVE FOR HIM TO SHUT ME UP……………….He’s gonna get killed unless they force the issue on the ground. Shorten the game and lower scores. Oh yeah and again, air it out every so often…….

  8. By Hans on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    I think its time we ran in double tight end sets and ran off-tackle. It seems we have better results with off-tackles

  9. By Jimmer on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    I just read a story that baffles me. It basically said we’re gonna concentrate on the rushing attack this week. We’re going against the worst pass defense, but we’re gonna run it. Why do we continue to ignore everything we should exploit? When we go against a good pass defense, we want to pass,,, and vice versa. Is common sense ignored in the NFL?

  10. By 10and6jets on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    This guy is such a key cog to our team and the JETS should be proud he’ll retire in Green and White. Not to mention, he has killed it against the Patriots. It shows how talented he truly is when he says he’ll be the best 3rd down back in the league, and he is immediately and easily. I think he is the best blocking back in football and the best pass-catching tailback in the NFL also. What an amazing talent! We can only hope that Greene and McKnight are learning even a portion of what he has to teach. If so, we might have a full stable of great backs for the coming years.

  11. By wayne on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Contrary to the HC’s comment, the run game HAS been a great secret……..run, pass, pass punt……………………run, pass,pass punt……..Pats got a couple a behemoths up front so obviously you gotta do more than just go straight into the teeth of that every time……….PLEASE, A little CREATIVITY WILL YA.

  12. By carl on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply


  13. By no one listens to Blinka on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Still bitter

  14. By GaryC on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    It would be nice to run some no huddle during game to tire the defensive lineman,but this would probably be too little time for shotty to decide what play to run..

  15. By sal on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Why wiuld you go away from what workd, reinventing the wheel just make u do circles. Rex is a ground and pound coach i thought, marke seems to thrive when he is not the focal point, and if your going tto call throwing to the flats a throwing game, your back in collage.Get back to who your areeven just to bang inside, always slowed the opposing D to slow later in the gameslants and downfeild players we have on the outside. If they can get ownes or moss, to help the throwing game get em, Run the so call terminator, or is he anither bust. you do need to run to throw with this line up. get back to what you are. prea son ended last week, one more swing pass ill turn it off, why do you think the pick in baltimore was so easy.Change it by Sunday

  16. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Jimmer, what you say about running against the worst pass D in the league is what I mean about Rex flailing. It’s as if he thinks the boasting and the headlines are what wins games, not what you do with the players on the field. So some weird light goes off in his head and he says, “Ground and Pound, that’s the answer!” It’s really pathetic how clueless he is about the O and I’ve never been afraid to say it. But then, I’m not afraid of firing coaches, changing QBs, playing rookies, building through the draft, all these things that are only marginally in the Jets culture at the moment. Somehow the most important thing is the delusional dream that we’re a Super Bowl-caliber team. Good luck with that…

  17. By scjoe on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    64, the team I watched the past two weeks is definitely not a SB caliber team. That is not to say it can’t be, even this year, with the correct adjustments. But make no mistake, there needs to be some adjustments and some changes in philosophy in order for that to happen. I think the first one has to be a change at the RB position, that person is already on the roster (McKnight) so that is in place. The RT issue may not be as easy to fix but I hope Mr T is doing his due diligence on exactly who is available on the other 31 practice squads. The D probably don’t need the amount of tinkering that the O needs, so I believe it is doable.

  18. By GaryC on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    what is a true jet fan, someone who never has a discerning look at the team,someone who never questions what the organization does,even in america we have two distinct parties that are constantly questioning each other.please, being a jet fanatic doesn’t mean you have to have ostrich syndrome and keep your head in the sand.If the jets were perfect maybe we would have a history of the packers, steelers, and niners.there has always been hope with coaches who were brought in only to fizzle a short time later.So true jet fans, bicker all you want until Lombardi’s trophy is hoisted.

  19. By GaryC on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    so joe namath offers a little constructive critism,big deal,these players make enough money, deal with it,I guess being buddy buddy with ryan kind of omits them from critique, according to them.

  20. By scjoe on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with you GaryC. Joe Willie is telling it like it is, like it or not! Constructive criticism is a part of everyone’s make up, whether it be Joe Willie, scjoe. GaryC, 64tom, Ira, or anyone else who follows the NY Jets and the NFL. If you don’t agree or just plain don’t like it, don’t read it.

  21. By GaryC on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    jets brought back Landolt, that should make the closet giant fans happy, once he was in their training camp.If you can’t have ohara or seubert get the next best thing.

  22. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 6, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for the thoughtful analysis, scjoe, I feel the same, this yr could turn around but not if we stay in “ostrich syndrome,” as GaryC calls it. And GaryC, I totally agree, everyone has the right to be whatever kind of fan they want. But I’ve been watching this team long enough that I’m not necessarily snowed by hype and slow learning curves. For example, asked about whether Sanchez should’ve gone slowly after Maybin’s sack, Rex said something like, “Well, sometimes after a break we go for the home run.” Yeah, like MS did with the INT after Kerley’s return vs OAK. He’s been making this mistake since he got here and Rex and Schotty don’t seem to care. I saw Namath make that mistake when Rex was an infant, so I’m not pleased to see it now.

  23. By PAUL on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    Bottom line is lose and s3eason over its that simple. No Bull Jet fan your dead on, sb contender dont make me laugh. Lose this game and I hope some one gets fired soon and all true Jets fans know who that has to be. What happened to the Tom moore advise is it falling on deaf ears. Please JETS do not make me embarrased last years 45-3 loss will be embraced compared to what will happen if the Jets dont get their act together. By the way I have to work with a NE fan and Brady lover so imagine my frustration I will have endure all week and maybe all season. Go JETS!!!

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