RB Chris Ivory sat with Eric Allen and Larry Hardesty at the "Inside the Jets" radio show from Calandra's in Caldwell, NJ, on Monday night and rapped on many things about his game this year. Here are five Ivory quotes from the interview along with five neat notes about how he and the offense have risen up the charts over the course of this season still filled with great potential.
1. Grand Back?
Quote: "It means a lot, man. It'd be my first 1,000-yard season if I can get it these next few games, and I'm looking to get it this next game. It means a lot. I put in a lot of work and I'm just looking forward to eclipsing 1,000."
Note: Chris has already set his career high for rushing yards this season. Now he needs 49 yards to reach a grand. Odds are good he'll make it vs. the Patriots on Sunday — he's averaging 73 yards/game, including being held to 41 by the Pats defense and a cranky hammy in Game 6. Should he get to 1,000, he'd be the seventh Jet to do it and it would be the 18th Green & White 1,000-yard season overall.
2. Just Hand Him the Rock
Quote: "A lot of people say he hasn't hit 1,000 yards yet, but you have to have those carries. Most of those guys with 1,000 yards, they have 200-plus carries. This'll be my first season where I've had that many."
Note: Ivory has shown decent durability this year. He sat out the Eagles game with a quadriceps injury and was careful with his hamstring during and after the first Patriots game. But he takes care of his body with weekly acupuncture, massage and chiropractic sessions and it's working — his 17.7 carries/game is the most by a Jets back since Thomas Jones (20.7) in 2009.
3. Throw It to Him, Too
Quote:"I'm enjoying just being able to go out and show to people who don't see us practice every day that Chris can catch. I have the hands. I've developed better hands during this offseason. My game is coming together."
Note: Ivory has dispelled that notion that, because he had five catches in his first four seasons combined, you shouldn't throw the ball his way. This season he has 26 receptions for 213 yards and a very nice 8.2 yards/catch. And dare we mention that his second career TD reception came this year vs. the Patriots?
4. The Big Picture
Quote: "The run helps the pass and the pass helps the run. The passing game has definitely helped because it takes guys out of the box and leaves me with a lighter box to work with, and when guys are in the box, it gives the receivers 1-on-1 matchups and they can make plays on the outside."
Note: The Jets Thousand Yard Club already has one member this year in Brandon Marshall and will get another should Eric Decker get 70 receiving yards in the last two games. It seems likely that this will be only the second time in franchise history the Jets have had two 1,000-yard receivers and one 1,000-yard rusher. The first time: 1998 with Curtis Martin, Wayne Chrebet and Keyshawn Johnson.
5. The Punisher
Quote: "That's my mentality, that's my game. That's the way I've been running for a long time. I started playing football in third grade and a coach told me if you let one guy bring you down, you're not running hard enough."
Note: We've been charting yards after first contact for the Jets since 2006. In those 10 seasons, the top three YAFC averages for backs with at least 160 carries (10 per game) are all Ivory — 3.2 in '13, 2.8 last year, 2.7 so far this season. As one opposing coach of some esteem (Bill Belichick) said as recently as this week, Chris Ivory "is as hard and physical a runner as we've seen this year or probably in the past couple of years."