Mike Tannenbaum Explains Choosing Jason Hill Over Plaxico Burress, Believes Jets Have Good Foundation For A Productive Running Game

October 5, 2012 – 6:00 am by Steven Cuce

The headline for this post says it all for the New York Jets right now. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum should be held accountable for the team he has put on the field through the draft and offseason signings. Right now Mark Sanchez has a lack of weapons on this offense and that was a problem that was neglected this past offseason even before Santonio Holmes were injured and now put out for the season.

Tannenbaum speaks of his confidence in players like Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens, Clyde Gates, Bilal Powell and Jason Hill. Those aren’t exactly names that are going to scare opposing defenses. Yes, the Jets have endured some brutal injuries and are still waiting for Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller to return, but that still isn’t enough for this team this season.

Mike Tannenbaum joined 98.7 ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss the emotions of losing Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes for the season, Mark Sanchez having a lack of weapons and skill players on his offense, his faith in Shonn Greene as an elite running back, the Jets not being interested in Plaxico Burress and Tim Tebow helping the Jets win games.

Is it hard not to be down after losing two of your best players in the last couple of weeks

“Well obviously we’re disappointed to lose two good football players, but with that said we are really embracing the challenge and that’s certainly what we signed up to do and I know our building is filled up with a lot of competitive coaches and players and we didn’t play very well last week. That’s kind of stating the obvious, but our next opportunity is Monday night against a good Texans team and we’re excited to go out there and show everyone we could play a lot better.”

Are the weapons around Mark Sanchez that great?

“That’s a fair question and hopefully over time here, sooner rather than later, when the Stephen Hills and Dustin Kellers come back, that is obviously going to help us. The running game has to become more consistent, but there’s a lot of players out here who can make plays and I think if you asked Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens and Clyde Gates they are excited by the opportunity to get some more balls, but I think getting Hill and Keller back at some point is going to help, and there are still plenty of players. You could look at Bilal Powell and Jeff Cumberland. They’ve played better. They will obviously get more opportunities and we are excited to see those players. When Rex Ryan came here the thing that we said is that we are going to get guys who are gym rats. We have a bunch of guys who are tough, competitive guys and they are certainly going to get some opportunities now.”

Do you believe Shonn Greene is an elite running back, who you can build a ground-and-pound game around?

“Shonn Greene has played well in the past. Has he been to an elite level? Obviously he hasn’t yet, but with that said Bilal Powell we think is a good player, who is improving. Joe McKnight is going to see the ball as well and obviously the ball has been in Tim Tebow’s hands as a runner as well, but the running game is going to be focused through Shonn. He’s been a good player and, again, he hasn’t played up to the standard that he’s hoped, but over three years we’ve seen him do a lot of good things and along with Bilal we think there is a good foundation to have a productive running game.”

Why no interest in Plaxico Burress?

“When we unfortunately had the injury with Santonio Holmes we were looking for somebody at play speed, someone who has been at training camp and that’s what we found with Jason Hill. Plaxico had a really good year with us las year. I’m sure he’ll play in the league this year, but we just felt with this injury for us this was the best.”

Did you envision Tim Tebow having more of impact in the first month than he’s had?

“The rest of the season needs to play out. I can’t say through three or four games a lot right now. It’s a grade of incomplete. I’m glad he’s on the team. He’s had some opportunities. I know he’ll get more over the next couple of games. I’m sure he’s going to help us win games.”

Listen to Mike Tannenbaum on 98.7 ESPN New York here

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