There are two points I would like to make before going any further with this. One I am a Joe McKnight fan, and I believe he is going to be a game changer for the Jets over the next five years, and two although I do question Brian Schottenheimer on occasions, I have been a supporter of his over the last couple of years and haven't called for his head like a lot of people have.
However the shift in conversation this week has switched to Joe McKnight and what he can do for the Jets, so I thought back to his time at USC and the same thought kept coming back to me. Brian Schottenheimer is going to have to use him right if he wants him to make the next step in his Jets career. It's something that bugged me in the pre-season and it is something that I feel Brian really does need to improve. We can't have set plays and run whichever back is available.
I think this was mentioned in the pre-season, why were we running Joe McKnight between the tackles from the I-Formation on power moves. It's like putting Revis in zone coverage, it's like putting Keller in blocking packages and Hartsock in receiving ones....OK maybe it's not that bad but I'm over exaggerating to make my point. If we continue to run McKnight in normal power I formations between the tackles straight into the arms of DT's and MLB's, we are going to have problems and the fans will turn more so than they already have.
So how do we get him into the game in areas where he can make moves.....simply I believe we check the Patriots game tape and look at how they use Woodhead. They get him outside, they get him draws and they get him on stretches. Motion him out of the backfield and stick him in the slot, McKnight is a man who can catch the football, he can do everything that you would want from a 3rd down back, but unless we use him correctly we won't see any of it.
Crack made a great point earlier that comparing McKnight to Woodhead is a moot point because of the systems, personnel etc, but that doesn't mean we can't learn a little something from a division rival who puts players in a position to win. I have great faith in McKnight, but I don't have great faith that we will put him in a position to succeed.