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Should the Jets Use Sheldon Richardson More on Offense?

Ron Antonelli

One of the surprising happenings of the 2013 season was Sheldon Richardson taking a role on offense late in the year. In short yardage situations he started seeing time as a power running back. The results were terrific. He had four carries. Two went for touchdowns. The other two were for first downs. Not only was it effective, it was a lot of fun to watch. The question naturally comes whether the Jets should make more extensive use of him on offense.

For me the answer is no, and the reasoning is quite simple. The team is paying guys like Chris Ivory and Nick Mangold to be effective in those situations. Even if you think Richardson is better, the difference is probably not great. When you factor in how infrequent these situations are, the value difference over the course of a long season is probably not going to be great.

Richardson's value comes from what he does creating havoc on the opponent's offensive line. These short yardage situations can be dangerous with all kinds of physicality and bodies flying everywhere. It just does not seem prudent risking injury to him and losing his impact on defense over this.

I will make two exceptions. Late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line it might make sense. It also might make sense in December and January in games when the season is on the line, and the Jets are looking for every little advantage.

Aside from these situations, I don't think Richardson should be part of the offense, even if it is fun to watch.