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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Joe McKnight plans to fight to the death to maintain his spot on the New York Jets' roster.
"I don't care who they bring in. They're gonna have to kill me to take my spot," McKnight said Thursday after a team offseason workout.
I don't care who they bring in. They're gonna have to kill me to take my spot.” -- Joe McKnight
The Jets lost their leading rusher from a season ago, Shonn Greene, who signed as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans. But they recently acquired running back Chris Ivory in a trade with the New Orleans Saints, and signed Mike Goodson from the Oakland Raiders in March. They also have 24-year-old Bilal Powell, who had 110 carries for 437 yards backing up Greene last season.
McKnight, 25, had just 30 carries for 179 yards last year, leading to speculation that he could be cut.
"I'm not angry at all," McKnight said. "I'm just tired of people just running their mouth, just talking about [how] I'm not gonna be here."
New offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg runs a West Coast-style offense, and McKnight said Mornhinweg is putting a package of plays in for each of the four running backs.
When asked if the new offensive system suits him, McKnight said, "Yeah, a lot. He's got me motioning out to the side, motioning all the way out to the wide receiver. He's got a lot of mix and matches and misdirection runs."
McKnight, the team's fourth-round draft pick in 2010 out of USC, hasn't made a big impact as a running back in the NFL. His career high in rushing yards is 189 during his rookie season.
That said, he has been a very effective kick returner. Last season, he finished fifth in the league in kick-return yardage (1,072), and third in average yards per return (27.5). In 2011, he led the NFL in that category (31.6).