If there’s a rookie running back that is best suited to the Jets ground-and-pound scheme, it’s Terrance Ganaway. The former Baylor Bear enjoyed a breakout senior season tallying 1,547 yards on 250 carries including a whopping 21 touchdowns. Touted as a world-class goal line back, Ganaway developed into a juggernaut in the red zone last season for Baylor. Scouts marveled at Ganaway’s impressive combination of speed and balance as he demonstrated punishing runs between the tackles and the ability to bounce outside with fluidity. Gang Green led one of the NFL’s most efficient red zone offense’s in 2011, but the likely departure of Plaxico Burress will create scoring opportunities for the 5-foot-11, 259 pound Ganaway.
A 2011 First-Team All Big 12 selection, Ganaway and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III carried Baylor to the 2011 Alamo Bowl where the Jets rookie running back was named the game’s MVP. With Ganaway projected to slide off the draft board early in the fourth-round, the Jets front office could barely contain its excitement when he was still available in the sixth-round of April’s draft.
Ganaway’s knack for moving the chains and pension for knocking defenders on their heels has Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano salivating at the possibilities. Playing behind starter Shonn Greene, Ganaway will hardly be a change-of-pace type of runner; instead he will try to overwhelm defenses with his violent and authoritative running style. Between Wildcat quarterback Tim Tebow, Greene and Ganaway, the Jets will pose one of the most powerful red zone offenses league wide.
Drawing comparisons to Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LaGarrette Blount, Sparano plans to utilize New York’s rookie ball carrier as a wrecking ball in goal-to-go situations. One glaring weakness in Ganaway’s repertoire is his pass-catching ability out of the backfield. Gang Green’s coaching staff is working to refine his route running in the open field.
The Jets offseason concentrated on rebuilding their rushing game and the additions of Tebow and Ganaway show that they are well on their way to an elite ground attack.
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland
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