When it was announced that the New York Jets acquired running back, Chris Ivory, from the New Orleans Saints for a fourth round pick, it was a sign of good things to come — the Jets needed a running back with big play-making abilities, and with the departure of Shonn Greene, Ivory would provide just that.
With Ivory, the Jets were getting a fast, strong, and agile back. Ivory proved he is a capable running back that can make the big plays. For unknown reasons, Ivory did not see playing time until later in the 2012 season, buried in the New Orleans roster. But when he did play, the fourth-year running back’s numbers jump out of the page, with 40 carries (his longest a 56-yard run) for 217 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. What is also noticeable is his 5.4 yards per carry that it equates to. In three years, Ivory has played 24 games with 10 starts, carrying the ball 256 times for 1,307 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns.
The Jets haven’t seen that type of production from Ivory yet, but it may be due to his role on the offense. And the running back isn’t too happy about it, and he aired his displeasure in an interview on Monday.
“Honestly, I feel like it’s been a little conservative. Hopefully we get some things going. But it hasn’t been as many carries as I thought.”
When he joined the Jets, the coaches told Ivory he would be used as the short-yardage back, yet he hasn’t seen the ball in short-yardage situations recently. In five games, Ivory has rushed 34 times for 115 yards (3.4 yards per carry); nothing like the numbers he posted as a Saint.
Ivory was brought in to be the Jets’ featured back, but a combination of his injuries, and his dip in production has left the Jets not fully trusting the running back with a bigger workload. For now, Ivory says he’s fine, but that won’t last for long if Bilal Powell continues to get the majority of the carries.
“I’m happy, I’m fine. I say that because we have a lot of ball left. But if it’s close to the end of the season and it’s still the same, I can say I wouldn’t be too happy,” said the back.
Ivory is right, there is a lot of ball left to play, but he has to earn that contract he signed ($6 million for three years) and show the coaches he deserves a bigger workload.