Despite falling to third-string status behind rookie Leon Washington and sophomore Cedric Houston, running back Kevin Barlow told the Newark Star Ledger he loves playing for coach Eric Mangini and hopes to remain a Jet. Said Barlow: “I know I can play in this league. I really want to come back and play for a coach like Eric Mangini. He’s going to be a great coach in this league and I want to be a part of it. He treated me great. I not only loved playing for him but I also liked him as a person. He’s very sincere, very genuine. He’s a man of his word.”
Barlow, hindered by a knee injury for much of the year, rushed for a career-low 370 yards this season on 131 carries, and was inactive in 4 of the Jets’ final 5 games. In 2003 while with the San Francisco 49ers, Barlow rushed for 1024 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. If healthy, Barlow could provide a healthy dose of power to the Jets’ rushing game, and serve as a productive compliment to Washington’s speed and quickness. However, if Barlow is to return, he’ll have to beat out Houston, who adds a similar element to the rush. It’s unlikely the Jets would carry both players again next season.