In an age where the running back position is becoming more and more specialized and feature backs are turning into a thing of the past, the New York Jets are hoping recent acquisition Chris Ivory can become a true three-down back for the team in 2013, according to an article by Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News.
Ivory arrived in New York this offseason from the New Orleans Saints, where he spent three seasons as a productive, though lightly used member of the high-octane Saints offense. In 24 games played, Ivory totaled just 256 carries, though he made the most of each one by averaging 5.1 yards-per-carry.
The Jets are gambling on that small sample size, hoping Ivory can be the pace-setter for an offense that has struggled in recent seasons. While headlines feature the quarterback battle between maligned incumbent Mark Sanchez and second-round pick Geno Smith, the key to offensive success may be Ivory.
Newly arrived offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is known for leaning heavily on running backs in both the rushing and passing game, having used the versatility of LeSean McCoy for years in Philadelphia.
A productive runner, Ivory will need to develop a better feel for the passing game if he hopes to reproduce that sort of versatility and stay on the field in third-down situations. He had just three receptions for 32 yards in the pass-happy Saints offense, and has struggled in blitz pickups thus far in Jets camp.