Rookie running back Shonn Greene has had a sudden impact on the Jets during training camp at SUNY Cortland. From practices to the Green & White Scrimmage, No. 23 has taken some tough hits, powered through them and is still practicing hard and fighting for playing time in the Jets' talented backfield.
"Obviously, being a rookie, you can't really harp on how many reps you get," Greene said when asked if he was happy with his playing time behind Pro Bowl backs Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. "I didn't know what to expect. I'm happy where I'm at right now, just learning the offensive stuff and getting as many reps as I can."
Probably not expected was Greene getting some reps with the first offense and Jones carrying for the twos in Sunday's morning practice. This opportunity came after the third-round pick from Iowa led the Jets with 58 offensive yards at the Thursday night scrimmage.
"We roll those backs. We roll them all the time. They get carries at different times," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. "Thomas is our starter.
"But Greene is impressive now, he can really run. Everything that we said when we drafted him — you see the vision, he is really good when he has the ball in his hands. I think he's catching the ball much better than we thought, I think he's learning our protections, so things are progressing smoothly for him."
Greene is still playing through an ankle injury that he got during blitz pickup work — or as Ryan calls them, Run Over Drills.
I hope we can get that ankle up to 100 percent. It's really not right now," the coach said. "I think he's a tough kid and he's fighting through all those things."
When asked to categorize himself as a runner, Greene said, "I think me and Thomas, we're closer probably more than me and Leon as far as player style. I like to hit it up in there, which both of those guys like to do. I try to watch Leon to watch his footwork and try and get mine similar to his.
"I just want to do what they ask me and try to go 100 percent all the time," Greene said. And that seems to be precisely what he has been doing during his time at Jets camp.