Can Tony Sparano Turn Joe McKnight Into Reggie Bush?

TJ on if Tony Sparano can get Joe McKnight to produce like Reggie Bush did in Miami last year

Joe McKnight was brought to USC in 2008 to be the next Reggie Bush. Instead, those sky high expectations in following the nation’s top RB, contributed to McKnight’s decision to forego his senior year.

“My career was OK. It was good, but not like Reggie. There was a constant pressure to be like Reggie.”

Gang Green took McKnight in the 4th round of the NFL draft that year. Perhaps the stage could be set again for McKnight to get get another chance in trying to be “the next Reggie Bush.” This time as a top tier NFL back under the guidance of new Jets OC Tony Sparano, who coached Reggie for much of his breakout year with Miami in 2011.

The Jets rushing attack needs an infusion of speed and the threat to gain big time yardage outside. Before looking outside of the organization for this solution, the stage could be set for a real hard look at McKnight as a split carry back. After all, he showed what he could do in the open field this past season on special teams.

Score touchdowns.

RB Trent Richardson of Alabama has been a name that has been tossed around as a potential first round choice for the Jets who may want to press reset in the feature back department of the new rushing attack altogether.

Should the Jets choose NOT to take a RB in April’s draft, opting to stay with Shonn Greene and McKnight as their top duo, then an attempt to mirror the rise of Bush in Miami with McKnight, may be the Jets best path to an increase in production on the ground. With Greene being the straight ahead compliment, who already owns a solid resume of late game knockout blows.

Bush made some big game breaking plays over his first four seasons as a Saint, but rushing attempts went from a Saints high of 157 in 2007 to 216 in his first year in Miami. A number that would have been higher had he not taken weeks to wrestle the feature back job away from Daniel Thomas.

More touches and a game plan better suited to revolving around HIS strengths helped Bush go from the perimeter ornament he was in the Big Easy, to one of the NFL’s top feature backs by seasons end. This despite the knock on Bush that he was too small to handle the increased workload. Especially inside the tackles.

The same label that McKnight currently faces.

Following Bush’s act as a USC Trojan was asking too much. Could McKnight obtain similar numbers in games to Bush’s in 2011, with twenty or so carries a game? We bet plenty of those who follow the Jets would love to see McKnight get the chance to.