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  • Craig Gorbunoff

New York Jets Running Back Dilemma

The New York Jets are coming into the season with the objective to run the football. Head Coach Todd Bowles has said publicly he chose Chan Gailey to run his offense because he likes how he runs the ball. The Jets roster at running back is currently deep with five backs on the roster. Between Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Daryl Richardson, and newcomers Zac Stacy and Stevan Ridley, it’s crowed to say the least. While it’s not impossibly for a team to carry five running backs, assuming they contribute on special teams, I would say one to two of these backs could ultimately get cut. Chris Ivory last season as the lead back had 821 yards and 6 touchdowns. Bilal Powell didn’t contribute much with 141 yards, but was under utilized and was brought back in free agency to a long contract; odds are he isn’t going anywhere. Daryl Richardson did not find game time last season. Zac Stacy struggled in year two with only 293 yards and a touchdown. And Stevan Ridley gained 340 yards before tearing his ACL.

What I begin to wonder is who is the odd man out. They essentially have three backs in Stacy, Ridley, and Ivory that are similar thumper types. Stacy a little more nimble then the others but still more of a thumper then a speed back. Richardson in his preseason action to date looks more like a speed back, and Powell fills a 3rd down back kind of role. Out of all of these backs, Ridley is the only one to have ever eclipsed 1000 yards. However I see him as the back in danger of not making the team.

Seeing as Stacy is young and they traded for him, I imagine he has a prominent role. Ivory as the incumbent to the role, will also be a lock to stay. Powell got a long-term contract and will be a 3rd down back. Richardson is more then likely a practice squad player or special teamer. Unless the Jets decide to carry five running backs, I see Ridley, who is coming off of an incredibly serious injury and is getting up in age (in terms of running backs), as the back more then likely to not be a Jet come September. Which would make his new tattoo a big waste of time. Obviously we have to wait and see, and maybe the Jets decide it’s fine to have three of the same kind of back and cut Richardson, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ridley didn’t make the cut.

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