New York Post
Ivory proves he’s among the ‘best’
Brandon Marshall was mocked this week when he called Chris Ivory the best running back in the NFL.
So Ivory stood up for his teammate the only way he knows — by running through, past and around the Redskins, and leading the Jets to their fourth win in five games, 3420, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
“I feel like that’s a great compliment from him, being the type of player he is,” Ivory said after he ran for more than 100 yards for the second straight game — the first time he has done so in his sixyear career — piling up 146 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. “It means a lot.”
Asked if he agrees with Marshall’s assessment, the softspoken
Ivory said: “I feel like I’m one of them.”
For him, that’s like declaring himself the best player on the planet.
Marshall, who had another big game, catching seven passes for 111 yards and his fourth touchdown of the season, refused to back down from his bold statement.
“There was a couple of guys, I wish I could remember their names, that laughed at me when I said Ivory was the best,” Marshall said. “He is and he proved it again today.”
The numbers are hard to argue. The Jets’ lone loss, against the Eagles at home, came with Ivory on the sidelines, nursing a groin injury. In four starts, he has run for 460 yards, four touchdowns and 5.5 yards per carry. On Sunday, he showed he can be a factor in the passing games, hauling in three catches for 50 yards.
For the first time in his four seasons in New Jersey, Ivory is the unquestioned featured back, receiving 20 or more carries three times this season. The most carries he has had in a single season was 198 last year, but he’s on pace to shatter that mark with 83 already.
Offensive guard Willie Colon believes Ivory’s big start is more the result of new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s system fitting Ivory. The Jets are using all his attributes — speed, power and patience. He was previously pigeonholed as a power back, but Ivory has shown he has the quickness to match.
“Chris has an ability, he can outrun a lot of guys,” Colon said. “A lot of safeties and corners don’t want to tackle him oneonone. When they see him coming, they start backpedaling a little bit. That’s on us to get him going. When we’re able to do that, it puts pressure on the defense.”
Ivory wouldn’t say this is the best he’s played since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2010. But he never has been this patient, which he credits to running backs coach Marcel Shipp. There is no secret. Shipp is always in his ear, telling him to wait until the last possible moment for the hole to open up.
“Once you see it,” Shipp tells Ivory, “hit it.”
“I have a lot of patience, and I’m able to allow things to develop,” Ivory said.