Curtis Martin will go down as likely one of the greatest running back to ever wear a New York Jets uniform.
From 1995 to 2004 Martin reached at least 1,450 rushing and receiving yards every season and scored double digit TDs in half of those seasons.
Those days are long gone and the Jets have been searching for help at running back ever since.
I was a personal fan of the Shonn Greene plan. Coming out of Iowa I thought Greene had what it took to play with the big boys. The Big Ten has some of the roughest players and strongest lines in college football. But when Greene got his chance with the Jets, he didn’t capitalize.
There are now rumors that Chris Ivory could likely be traded from New Orleans to New York for a fourth round draft pick. Another FN writer has taken the task of pointing out why Chris Ivory would thrive in New York. I had to take the opportunity to point out the four biggest reasons why that simply will not be the case.
No. 4: Chris Ivory is built exactly like Shonn Greene.
At 6’0" and 222 pounds, Ivory is a near mirror image of Greene (5’11", 226). They have the same build and would be used very similarly in the Jets’ offense. Greene was never able to use that strong frame to burst through non-existent holes. Neither back has the speed to be the type of player to make moves on the edge or juke someone out of their shoes. The Jets already tried a power back and it didn’t work.
No. 3: The Jets' offensive line is weak.
The Jets’ offensive line can neither open holes for players nor can they protect their quarterback. In four years with the Jets, Greene averaged 4.2 yards per carry. That isn’t terrible, but it’s nothing to boast about either.
What is even more reflective of their lack of effort is the sack totals for Mark Sanchez and Greg McElroy. In 2012 Sanchez was sacked 34 times, 11th most in the league. Add McElroy’s playing time and you get another 11 sacks added to the total. But it’s even worse than that when you consider than Sanchez and McElroy only combined for 474 pass attempts. The Jets allowed a sack once every 10.5 pass attempts! That is the fourth-worst in the NFL!
Even if Ivory where to be a stronger and better back than Greene was, he doesn’t have the help around him that is needed for success.
No. 2: Mike Goodson.
Even if the Jets decided to beef up their offensive line to protect their quarterback and open holes for their running back, Ivory has immediate competition with Mike Goodson, another back at 6’0" and around 212 pounds.
Goodson was signed during the offseason and is currently at the top of the depth chart for the position. Even if Ivory became the starter, it will certainly be at best a running back by committee situation and Goodson would see just as much of the goal line work as Ivory.
Goodson is by far the better receiving showing his skills as such in 2010 with 40 catches for 310 yards to go with 450 rushing yards in limited use on a Panthers team that was full of running backs. Goodson is the better player.
No. 1: Chris Ivory is a bad, injury-prone running back.
Ivory fans boast about his career 5.1 ypc mark, but they fail to recognize that Ivory has only carried the ball an average of 85 times per season in his three years with New Orleans. But that is only a fraction of the story.
Chris Ivory spent three years at Washington State University. During that time he only played in 22 games because of injuries and only carried the ball 91 times for 534 yards and four scores! Heck, AP reached 576 yards and four scores on 76 carries from weeks 13-15 this season! After violating team rules, Ivory was dismissed from the team.
Ivory then played one year at a division two school and even there he only carried the ball 39 times for 223 yards in five games before having a season ending knee injury. He has continued to see injuries eat up his time in the NFL including starting the 2011 season on the PUP list.
Ivory has shown that he is fragile and cannot compete at a high level on a consistent basis. His solid ypc stats at New Orleans were thanks to a system that opened the field and allowed single or no coverage at all on him out of the backfield.
Knowing what we know about the Jets, they may actually make this trade. They seem to love wasting picks on players that will make their team worse. Oh, and they will probably pay Ivory some crazy amount to be their “feature back” in a system where Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore would likely struggle.