Florham Park, NJ – Coming out of last week’s mini-camp, it was clear that Shonn Greene is no longer green like a rookie. In fact, he’s showing veteran poise.
Throughout mini-camp, it was the former Iowa running back who looked most impressive out of the backfield, toting the ball. Greene will feature far more prominently in the Jets’ attack this year with the departure of Thomas Jones this off-season, who signed with Kansas City. Greene came on strong in the playoffs with two 100-yard rushing efforts as New York advanced to the AFC Championship Game. With Jones out of the picture, Greene figures to carry more of the load.
But even though Jones is no longer on the team, his presence is still felt in the form of Greene.
“Thomas showed me a lot last year in how to hold myself, how to run and how to play the game,” Green told GreenAndWhiteReport.com. “Things like how to study the playbook and how he worked out – he spent time showing me those things.”
Jones was a notoriously hard worker, often at the training facility until late hours of the night, studying film. No one outworked Jones in the weight room or was as dedicated to staying in peak physical condition. Greene said that he is doing his best to emulate Jones in the weight room and is dedicating himself more and more to watching film. Sometimes, Jones would watch as much as 40-hours of gamefilm in one week, one member of the Jets said.
And Greene is working hard this off-season to correct some parts of his game that he feels need work.
“I’m often staying after practice for 15 or 20 minutes, working on the little things, rounding out my game,” Greene said. “Working on my blocking, being able to pick up the blitz and really be aggressive in that regard. Working on my hands too, catching passes out of the backfield so I can be an option there.”
Greene has gotten more patient in the backfield, as evidenced by mini-camp. He waits for a hole to open. He also said that he is far more versed in the playbook. He said that last year, he understood concepts of the offense but this year, he’s trying to do far more in that regard. And the work that he has put in on his catching showed itself in mini-camp too, where Greene looked far more comfortable catching the ball out of the backfield then he did last year.
And that comes from the example set by Thomas Jones.
“It comes from repetition, doing things over and over again,” Greene said. “That’s how you get good. That’s how you become a better player in this league.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for questions, comments and crude remarks at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com or followed on twitter.com/kdyer1012