Jets RB Greene says he was benched after fumbles
Shonn Greene blames himself for the Jets' season-opening loss.
The big running back said Wednesday that he was taken out of New York's 10-9 defeat against Baltimore on Monday night after he fumbled twice, and wasn't surprised he was mostly stuck on the sideline in the second half.
''I don't think I would've put myself back in after that performance,'' Greene said.
Greene said he didn't receive an explanation during the game from coach Rex Ryan, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer or running backs coach Anthony Lynn - but also didn't expect one.
''During the preseason, we had problems with turnovers and fumbles and stuff,'' Greene said, ''and they pretty much said, 'If you fumble the ball, you're going to be out of the game.'''
Greene, slated to start ahead of LaDainian Tomlinson, fumbled the ball out of bounds after a 9-yard catch in the first quarter. He then lost a fumble in the second quarter when he hit into the backside of guard Matt Slauson and the ball popped out of his hands.
''I had both hands on it,'' Greene said. ''It was just one of those things where I ran into my own player. There's nothing really you could do about those, but that can't happen.''
Baltimore ended up scoring the go-ahead touchdown on its next drive.
''I take that loss on my shoulders,'' Greene said. ''That was a key moment in the game, that fumble, and it turned into a touchdown for Baltimore. I think that I put that pretty much on my shoulders.''
That was the last carry for Greene, who finished with 18 yards on five attempts. He actually did make it back out on the field later, but dropped a short pass late in the fourth quarter.
Tomlinson got the bulk of the second-half carries, gaining a game-high 62 yards on 11 attempts.
''I don't think anybody wants to sit,'' said Greene, who lost three fumbles as a rookie last season. ''If that's what the coaches have in the plan, I have no problem with that. I fumbled and I shouldn't have fumbled. I don't see any problem with it.''
Greene left the locker room without speaking after the game, and Ryan has maintained that he hasn't talked to Schottenheimer about why his running back played so sparingly in the second half of a tight game.
''Really, I never got to that specifically,'' Ryan said. ''We were talking about, more or less, looking ahead to what we can do to get our offense on track.''
Greene said the fumbles bothered him ''obviously, a lot,'' and is looking forward to the game against New England on Sunday.
''I wish we could play tomorrow,'' he said, ''so I could flush it down the toilet.''
Greene's emergence late last season made veteran Thomas Jones, who rushed for a career-high 1,402 yards, expendable. The Jets brought in the versatile Tomlinson, but it was clear Greene would be the focal point of Ryan's ''Ground-and-Pound'' approach.
Ryan said earlier this week that Greene would remain a big part of the Jets' offense, and the running back hasn't lost his confidence.
''I just can't wait to play Sunday to try to get some positive things going,'' he said. ''I'm good and my teammates are behind me and the coaching staff, so I'm ready to go.''