200 Miles From the Citi

March 14, 2010 8:15 AM

Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume XI)

Tomlinson.JPGIn case you're wondering, I highly endorse the Jets signing LaDainian Tomlinson.

I don't blame you for wondering if I was wondering, because I was wondering about it myself ever since I heard he was meeting with the Jets.

I wasn't sure he had anything left.  I wasn't sure it was a great fit.

But the more I thought about it, the better sense it made.

First of all, Tomlinson's not going to be THE running back for the Jets, like he was for many years with the Chargers.  It looks like Shonn Greene is still the lead back...but Tomlinson can certainly make that a co-lead-back situation if he still has some gas in the tank.  Which I think he does.

Yes, Tomlinson had career lows last year in yards and in carries.  But that career-low in carries is a big positive.  Because he's been a workhorse since entering the league, Tomlinson has taken a lot of hits and that body has a lot of wear and tear on it.  But in 2009 he rushed (only?) 223 times...the only time in his career he carried the ball less than 290 times.  (Except for 2008 all were 300+-carry seasons.)  He's never had a chance for his body to rebound from a lighter workload.  This could be a good year for him.

And let's not discount the fact that the Jets' offensive line made Thomas Jones a commodity - it's fun to imagine what they might do with LaDainian Tomlinson running behind them....or, I guess, what Tomlinson could do running behind those guys.

Finally, I don't think any Charger has been more disappointed in the shortcomings of San Diego's recent seasons than Tomlinson.  He wants to win.  If he comes to the Jets, that's just one more veteran player hungry for a championship on a team that could be close to winning one.

There's a chance that the Jets signing LaDainian Tomlinson turns out to be too late - he's broken down and worthless.  But there's a chance he has one more explosive year in him and besides the running game, helps out as another option for Mark Sanchez in the passing game.

It's a chance I'd like to see the Jets take. 

*I've been known to crunch a number or two to turn a stat line in my favor for a story I've written.  But I think Sports Illustrated stretched that a little too far last week.  Writing about how important a run-stuffer in a 3-4 defense is in an article about the NFL Combine, Peter King talked about the top five defenses causing 2nd-and-8-or-longer plays (I think meaning that they didn't give up a big first down run) as all being playoff teams or contenders, and all five having a dominant run-stuffer.  Kris Jenkins was the Jets player mentioned.  Yes, Kris Jenkins is a big-time run-stopper.  Yes, the Jets made it to the conference final.  But, I'm sorry, one did not lead to the other.  The Jets became a playoff team late in the season.  Kris Jenkins last played in Week 6, when the Jets went from 3-0 to 3-3.  I know the truth doesn't mesh with the rest of the article, but if that's so, change the angle.  I thought the way it was written was misleading.

*P.S. - I know I wrote about it after the AFC Championship Game, but let's not forget that Kris Jenkins only played about 35% of the regular season in 2009.  That defense, with Jenkins back and now Antonio Cromartie, could be better in 2010.

*I hope Tim Tebow has thick skin.  Man, that guy is getting sliced and diced leading up to the draft. From fan "Don't Draft Him" rallies to criticism of his throwing style to reports that he did poorly on the Wonderlic...if I'm him, it doesn't matter where I'm drafted - it's just got to be about getting to camp at this point and getting beyond all of this rating stuff.

*This is bracket favorite week of the year.  And I'm even more excited as I remember that last year I had my 2-year-old daughter do her first-ever bracket.  I can't wait for her to do another one this week, now that she's another year older and wiser.

*Speaking of the bracket - I'm not saying I thought Syracuse would lose in the first round of the Big East tournament...but I'm certainly not surprised they did.

*Wednesday will be exciting.  Not only will it be one day until the tournament starts, but it'll also be good for me because I'll be able to rest my mind for a day.  March Madness is extra mad for me...and I don't know why I make it so difficult for myself.  Details on Wednesday.

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