With Ivory Comes Hope
By Michael Ferraro
When Mike Goodson was getting arrested, Chris Ivory, who mostly has been a role player in the vast New Orleans Saints offensive attack over the past three seasons, became the leading candidate to be the every down running back for the Jets.
Ivory is taking over for Shonn Greene, who is now the backup to Chris Johnson in Tennessee. The last two seasons Greene has been the main running back in New York racking up 1,054 yards in 2011 and 1,063 in 2012, so the Jets will need Ivory to produce at this level if they are even going to have a chance at competing for an AFC East crown in 2013.
Ivory’s rookie season in 2010 was his best season, rushing for 716 yards on 137 carries, which comes to very productive 5.2 yards a carry, however since that season he has only played in a total of 12 games and only started four. The Jets are relying on potential here because Ivory has been injured and under-used in New Orleans with Darren Sporles and Mark Ingram. In his short career, Ivory has played in 24 games, started eight of those games, and has 1,307 career rushing yards on 256 carries for an average of 5.1 yards a carry with eight career rushing touchdowns.
Whenever Goodson’s legal troubles are taken care of he should be a solid third-down back that will be able to make a lot of receptions out of the backfield, something that he did very well in Carolina and Oakland. 2010 was Goodson’s best season in the NFL, that year he rushed for 452 yards on 103 carries and caught 40 passes for 310 yards, the Jets hope that he returns that form this season.
The Jets need to have a solid running game because it has been Rex Ryan’s philosophy of ground and pound; he likes a tough defense with an equally tough running game. The Jets’ wide receiver core is a big question mark this season and solid running back will help Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Greg McElroy or Matt Simms become a successful quarterback this season. A lot of the Jets hope for a new life come in the form of Ivory who has a lot of potential but now has to live up to it.