With the uncertainty already looming over the Jets 2021 season building in anticipation of training camp in two weeks, the Jets offense is looking to explode at the running back position this coming season. Incoming OC Mike LaFleur, along with new head coach Robert Saleh, have inherited, drafted and brought in talent at this position and these personnel decisions should have a positive impact on the Jets offense quickly.
The obvious choice for a standout RB this season is Tevin Coleman. As I’ve already pointed out in a previous article, Coleman brings not only experience but knowledge of what’s going on inside Mike LaFleur’s head since LaFleur was Coleman’s OC while they were both in Atlanta. If Coleman stays healthy, the 2020 season will be nothing more than an aberration in his career and Coleman may find a move to New York to be positive spin on his football future. With Coleman getting back to his 2018 Atlanta form where he carried the ball for 1,076 yards, the Jets offense should be off and literally running again.
The 2021 Draft also brought in rookie Michael Carter from North Carolina. Carter has already shown in OTA’s that he really is a dual threat RB/WR and the 5’8″, 201 lb. back could quickly figure into Mike LaFleur’s offensive scheme quickly either in rotation with Tevin Coleman or as a package back in his own right. Carter brings an impressive college resume with him and if the 4th round pick can live up to his potential, then the Jets drafted a diamond in the rough for years to come. Carter also could become a kickoff return specialist for the Jets as well since he performed the same duties for the Tar Heels in 2019 with a 24.5 yard return average on 19 returns.
La’Mical Perine had a tough year with the Jets last year – not necessarily his fault as a player. With a new coaching staff and a whole new outlook on offense coming into the Jets organization this season, Perine could become a short yardage specialist RB. Known as a physical runner, the 5’11”, 216 lb. Perine did have 64 carries for 232 yards for a 3.6 yards per carry average and 2 TD’s last season. Perine looks to be a package runner on short yardage situations and can also catch passes which last season he caught 11 receptions for 63 yards as well.
Ty Johnson has come over from Detroit and again had a rough season with the Jets in 2020 but still amassed 254 yards on 54 carries for a 4.7 yard average per carry. The 5’10”, 210 lb. former Maryland Terrapin has built up a reputation as a speedster in the Jets backfield and Johnson may find himself more in a punt returner role or again as a package-type RB under the new LaFleur offense. Having four RB’s is not a luxury that the Jets can squander quickly; the physicality of this position calls for rotations during offensive series and injuries can also call into play numerous backs to stand in the backfield. However, the RB’s currently on the Jets roster are a bright spot stepping into the upcoming season and fans should expect better things overall offensively from the anemic 2020 season.