Player Watch: Chris Ivory

RB Chris Ivory

With long-time Jets running back Shonn Greene joining the Tennessee Titans during free agency, Gang Green could be in store for a breakout year from the recently acquired Chris Ivory. Find out how Ivory could surpass Greene's production from last year and fit in with New York's West Coast Style offense.

Highlights and Low-Lights:

Coming from a pass-heavy offense in New Orleans, Ivory was competing with a loaded backfield that included the likes of Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. Despite not being a featured running back in his career, Chris Ivory has already showed flashes of greatness in his limited carries. He has averaged over five yards per carry through his career, including eight career rushing touchdowns. His best year came in 2010 where Ivory ran for over 700 yards and five scores. The 2010 campaign included a breakout performance from Ivory who ran all over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 158 yards, the most by a Saints back since 2003.

Recipe for Success:

Ivory is being set up for success right away. He is expected to be the featured back for Marty Mornhinweg's west coast offense that will depart from the old "ground-and-pound" style from years past. Mornhinweg's offense will feature more perimeter runs where Ivory excels. In 2012, Ivory ran the ball on the outside 16 times for 113 yards (an average of 7.1 yards per carry). With an offense that is more suited for his style, Ivory is poised for big gains in the 2013 season and should break his personal bests in all statistical categories. Furthermore, Ivory gives the Jets a great redzone advantage. Last year, packages that included Bilal Powell or Tim Tebow all but telegraphed a running play to the opposition. With Ivory in the backfield, the Jets regain their mystique in the red zone and can threaten either a run or play-action pass that can result in points scored.

Prediction Time:

Ivory has the potential to make Jets fans forget all about the pain of losing a player like Shonn Greene. While Greene was capable of producing a 1,000 yard rushing season, Ivory should be able to match that total as the new featured back. As mentioned, the Tiffin alum is in position to surpass his career bests in all categories. Expect to see Ivory top 1,000 yards rushing should he stay healthy. His combination of size and speed also make him a lock to break his touchdown mark, and perhaps even double his career total in just one year. Eight scores is not a long shot for the young back and Ivory is more than capable of reaching double digits in rushing touchdowns.

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