As the 2013 NFL season looms closer, it seems more and more like it’s going to be a bad one for the New York Jets. For almost every position, it seems like it’s going to be a competition for the starting spot among mediocre players, especially on offense, which gives Chris Ivory the chance to become their starting running back.
Mike Goodson seemed to be the early favorite, but his legal problems (drugs and weapons charges) might mean that the job is once again open for the taking. Bilal Powell, entering his third season with the team. He ran for 437 yards last season, and there are many who think he should get a bigger chunk of the team’s offense.
Joe McKnight is another player in the competition, and after three seasons of mostly focusing on returns, he might get a chance to prove his ability to get some yards through snaps. He ran for 179 yards on 30 attempts last season, mostly thanks to one big 61 yard run during the season.
Goodson himself, a free agency pickup, ran for only 221 yards last season of the Oakland Raiders, but quite a few expected him to be a lot more involved as the new season came along.
I was always going to have that opportunity. But it was just a tough situation in New Orleans. We all had our roles, just hard to fit four backs in a system. But I’m glad to be here. I think more carries will allow my full potential to show. You kind of have to accept sharing the ball. It was hard, I’m not going to say it wasn’t hard. There were times when you don’t like it, but you have to deal with it and accept your role.
Ivory was part of a four-running back setup last season with the Saints, and his production has dropped since his rather successful rookie season, in which he ran for 716 yards and 5 touchdowns. Last year he got only 40 carries, enough for 217 yards and a couple of touchdowns, but an injury did keep him out for more than half the season, and not for the first time.
Still, he has the best single season performance out of all the running backs the Jets have at the moment, and should he be healthy enough for most of the season, expect Ivory to be the leading candidate to get the most carries among the Jets’ RB stock.