Rex Ryan expects Thomas Jones to carry a bit more of the rushing load in Sunday's divisional playoff game against the Chargers, even though rookie Shonn Greene shouldered the bulk of the running attack in Saturday's 24-14 win over the Bengals.
"Thomas carried it 15 times where normally he'd be over 20," the Jets' coach said yesterday. "Shonn had the hot hand and it's great to get both of them carries. But I expect Thomas to be over 20 again."
Greene rushed 21 times for 135 yards and a touchdown, a 39-yard run around left end in the second quarter. Jones, who has been given a day off in practice in recent weeks to help keep him fresh, had 15 carries for only 34 yards and a touchdown.
Jones bristled after the game about questions surrounding the shared workload with Greene, saying: "It's never been an issue."
He and Greene have an excellent relationship, and Greene regularly consults with Jones about the finer points of playing in the NFL.
"However you can win is however you can win, regardless of who's making the plays," Jones said. "At some point, you have to make a play. As far as selfish attitudes, there's no such thing as that."
Jones was delighted with Greene's success against the Bengals.
"In the playoffs, guys have to step up and make plays," he said. "Shonn knew we had to step up."
Ryan believes Jones will feel much more refreshed in the warmer game conditions in San Diego. Ryan also noted that Jones has been slowed somewhat by a bruised knee.
"I expect he's going to be fresh," Ryan said. "Wait till we get out there in that warm weather, and he's going to feel fantastic. I truly believe we'll have that one-two punch that you can ride in the playoffs.
"In a perfect world, you don't want to rely on just one back. It's disheartening to the other team when you see another fresh back. As a defensive coach, you say, 'Here comes another one.' "