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Jets hope Chris Ivory becomes every-down back

Ivory AP

Earlier this week, Dan Patrick asked for the name of a team with worse skill-position players than the Jets.

I couldn’t give him one.

And here’s perhaps the best example of where the Jets currently are from a run-and-catch standpoint:  A guy who couldn’t get onto the field in New Orleans may never leave it in New York.

As explained by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets hope that Chris Ivory will emerge as the team’s every-down back.

“I have real high expectations,” Ivory told Mehta. “Once I get out there, I’ll open some more eyes.”

In fairness to Ivory, he’s opened some eyes when he got onto the field in New Orleans.  He just didn’t get onto the field very much, especially in the last two years.

After a 2010 rookie season that produced 716 yards in 12 games, Ivory’s appearances and chances diminished significantly.  He appeared in 12 total games over the next two seasons, with fewer attempts and fewer total yards in 2011 and 2012 combined than he generated in 2010.

The reason for Ivory’s disappearance was obvious — in 2011, the Saints added Mark Ingram via the draft and Darren Sproles through free agency.  Ivory fell behind Pierre Thomas, Sproles, and Ingram, and the Saints traded Ivory to the Jets during the offseason.

It doesn’t mean Ivory can’t play.  He averaged 5.1 yards per carry in three years with the Saints.  But something caused him to land at fourth out of four in the pecking order in New Orleans.

“It’s not a challenge,” Ivory said of his ability to become the top option for the Jets.  “I know I’m capable of it.  Once I’m healthy, I know all those things will fall in place . . . and everybody will see the three-down back that I am.”

The part that is a challenge relates to whether he’ll be able to catch passes in the Jets’ new West Coast offense.  Through three NFL seasons, Ivory has made only three total receptions.  Ditto for pass blocking, where picking up blitzers requires intelligence, instincts, and experience.

Ivory will have a hard time honing those skills if he can’t practice at full speed.  This week, he’s been limited by tightness in his hamstring.

And that would be the ultimate irony for Ivory.  Largely ignored the last two years while healthy, Ivory finally has a chance to emerge, and he’s injured.

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17 Responses to “Jets hope Chris Ivory becomes every-down back”
  1. floratiotime says: Aug 2, 2013 10:11 AM

    He can do it … as long as the Jets are OK with 3 yards a carry.

  2. cakemixa says: Aug 2, 2013 10:17 AM

    He could barely stay healthy as the 3rd/4th string RB in New Orleans.

  3. tannethrill says: Aug 2, 2013 10:19 AM

    It’s not a challange to be a three back…yeah that’s the attitude to have going to a new team lol.

    Because running the ball exclusively for an entire season and maybe the playoffs is a walk in the park. Funny thing is the guy is already hurt.

  4. jtbaudendistel says: Aug 2, 2013 10:33 AM

    Is the jury out on Ingram yet? Dude was a good college player but is not a good NFL player. Ivory rarely got an opportunity while with Saints. He’ll be a 1,000 yard back this year while Ingram will be in the 500 range.

  5. mungman69 says: Aug 2, 2013 10:34 AM

    Hope he doesn’t get hurt again.

  6. purplegreenandgold says: Aug 2, 2013 10:58 AM

    “It’s not a challenge,” Ivory said of his ability to become the top option for the Jets. “I know I’m capable of it. Once I’m healthy, I know all those things will fall in place . . . and everybody will see the three-down back that I am.”

    loved this guy when with the Saints however “once i’m healthy” was a big key in him falling on the depth chart. when healthy he is a beast with the ball in his hands…just ask Asante Samuel from last season.

  7. whhaaat says: Aug 2, 2013 11:11 AM

    The issue with him was never talent. It is was persistent injuries that relegated him to 3rd/4th back. It’s not ironic that he has injuries now that he’s expected to be full-time back. He was always dealing with injuries. The crowded back field just made things worse. He wasn’t largely ignored when he healthy. He was largely ignored because he wasn’t healthy.

  8. tommyribs says: Aug 2, 2013 11:12 AM

    Ivory can play.

    I am no JETs fan by any stretch, but I think Ivory can become Michael Turner 2.0

    Seriously.

  9. jwil007 says: Aug 2, 2013 11:26 AM

    Get healthy he is 1 of my fantasy backs

  10. harry1941 says: Aug 2, 2013 12:07 PM

    I believe Chris Ivory will ok. I wonder if the Jets will use fullback Tommy Bohanon. Maybe they’ll use him as blocker.

  11. flannlv says: Aug 2, 2013 12:44 PM

    Saints fans love Tusk. As many have pointed out Ivory’s problem isn’t effort or talent. It’s reliability and health.

  12. doubleogator says: Aug 2, 2013 1:26 PM

    Saints fan…good luck Chris Ivory, love the way you play. Stay healthy and put up big numbers…

  13. winsaintswin says: Aug 2, 2013 1:55 PM

    He did seem to be on the injury report a lot, however he was one of my favorite players when with the Saints and he did produce when in the game. Ingram? We’ll see… Good luck in NY Chris “as best as your interests don’t conflict with my interests”

    2010 1 New Orleans Saints Out knee
    2010 2 New Orleans Saints Out knee
    2010 3 New Orleans Saints Probable knee
    2010 5 New Orleans Saints Probable knee
    2010 6 New Orleans Saints Probable knee
    2010 9 New Orleans Saints Probable concussion
    2010 11 New Orleans Saints Probable shoulder
    2010 12 New Orleans Saints Probable shoulder/knee
    2010 15 New Orleans Saints Questionable hamstring
    2010 16 New Orleans Saints Questionable hamstring
    2010 17 New Orleans Saints Probable hamstring
    2010 18 New Orleans Saints Injured Reserve foot
    2010 19 New Orleans Saints Injured Reserve foot
    2010 20 New Orleans Saints Injured Reserve foot
    2010 21 New Orleans Saints Injured Reserve foot
    2011 1 New Orleans Saints PUP foot
    2011 2 New Orleans Saints PUP foot
    2011 3 New Orleans Saints PUP foot
    2011 4 New Orleans Saints PUP foot
    2011 5 New Orleans Saints PUP foot
    2011 6 New Orleans Saints PUP foot
    2011 7 New Orleans Saints PUP foot
    2011 8 New Orleans Saints PUP foot
    2011 10 New Orleans Saints Questionable hamstring
    2012 15 New Orleans Saints Out hamstring
    2012 16 New Orleans Saints Questionable hamstring
    2012 17 New Orleans Saints Probable hamstring

  14. musicman495 says: Aug 2, 2013 1:58 PM

    I thought the Saints should have kept Ivory over Ingram, but Ivory did have some fumbling problems to go along with those injury problems. I wish him well with a bad team.

  15. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 2, 2013 1:59 PM

    I was sad when they traded Ivory. That being said, I do trust the Saints talent evaluators to find the best players for their system. I don’t trust the Jets.

    Ivory had the benefit of a great passing offense to preoccupy the defense.

    Now he’ll have Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez.

    Good luck Ivory.

  16. richiejf says: Aug 2, 2013 2:33 PM

    I’m a Saints fan. Ivory is an absolute monster when he gets the ball in his hands. I am a fan of his. Having said that, here are the knocks on him.

    1) I once heard Sean Payton at a presser say that it would be very difficult for Ivory to ever be healthy for an extended period of time because he is physically so tightly wound. He has a lot of power for his frame, and he will constantly fight pulls/tears of this or that.

    2) My dad was fortunate enough to sit in the luxury box with a popular former Saints offensive player for a game. That player told my dad that Ivory didn’t play as much because he has a hard time with the playbook and blocking schemes. You can’t trust Ivory as a blocker, and there is only a subset of plays they can use Ivory on. Other teams know that, and to Ivory’s credit, he still puts yards up.

    The Jets’ playbook is more compact than the Saints’. Maybe he flourishes there. I hope he does.

  17. bcajun says: Aug 2, 2013 5:05 PM

    Ivory is a beast but HE CANT EVER STAY HEALTHY hence saints got ingram

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