Find out everything you need to know about the newest Jaguars running back, Chris Ivory.
To find out everything we can about new Jaguars running back Chris Ivory, we asked JetsInsider.com beat writer Chris Nimbley a series of questions.
Here were the questions and the responses.
Charlie Bernstein: How effective is Chris Ivory in short-yardage situations? That's where the Jaguars running game had the most problems last season.
Chris Nimbley: This is a tricky area but the short answer is not as good as he should. Part of his problem in short yardage situations was the Jets offensive line wasn't good enough to stop defensive penetration on obvious running plays, the other part of the problem was the Jets predictably in those situations. But as powerful a runner as Ivory is he doesn't slip through small cracks and he couldn't just bowl over big defensive tackles when they knew a short yardage run was coming. One of the more underrated parts of Ivory's game is his quick shiftiness but that can work against him in short yardage situations when he tries to bounce instead of just running straight for the hole.
CB: How much gas does he have left in the tank?
CN: He has plenty of gas left in the tank the problem is he's going to sputter out occasionally throughout the use of that tank and there's no way to predict when that sputtering will come. But I'd guess he has another three years at his current level of play it's just likely to be an inconsistent three years.
CB: He has suffered from some soft tissue injuries in the past. Do you see this as a recurring issue? Would anyone consider him soft?
CN: No one should ever call Ivory soft. He runs with reckless abandon and that's the issue. What makes Ivory so effective is also what leads to his injury issues. He's able to run through, and over, tacklers and break multiple tackles in a run because he is typically the one delivering the hits and inflicting damage. It's a joy to watch but it also means the injury concerns will always be there. He also gets his fair share of hamstring issues and other soft tissue injuries and that's just part of the package with him. The most frustrating part about his injury issues aren't when you know he's going to be out a week or two but when he's questionable and you just don't know what you'll get out of him. Sometimes you're shocked he played and he goes off and other times you expected him to play all week and the injury shows up during the game, the problem is always you never know which way it will go until it's too late.
CB: He will be utilized as part of a tandem backfield. Now that he's been paid, do you believe there will be any problems with him wanting the ball more?
CN: He's always going to want the ball and part of the tightrope the Jags will have to walk is he's at his best when he can carry the ball a lot and start wearing down the defense. All running backs want the ball and talk about getting in a rhythm and that applies to Ivory but his strength is being an incredibly hard runner to tackle which tires defenses out early. You want him to tire the defense out and feast on the tired defense late but you have to balance it out without wearing him out as well. The Jets rode him too hard early last year and it definitely contributed to his late season struggles.
CB: Is he a weapon in the passing game? How good of a blocker is Ivory?
He has developed into a really solid overall back. When he first got to the Jets his hands were bad and his pass protection was non-existent, last year his hands had improved mightily and he was extremely effective on screens — not a route runner though — and his pass protection was good. He's never going to excel at either of those tasks but he's better at them then people expect.