The Buffalo Bills are known for playing in cold, snowy weather and utilizing the run game often. The QB situation may not have been stable for quite sometime, but they always seem to have their running game in check. Since the legendary Thurman Thomas era, the Bills have had stability at the running back position and have lacked in other areas.
With the team being under the LeSean McCoy era, the team has not had a power back since Marshawn Lynch. The type of back who runs north and south all game long and isn’t afraid to lower their shoulder. While McCoy is arguably a top five back in the league, he’s not one to run defenders over. He cuts on a dime and jukes defenders out of their cleats. This type of versatility only works for a certain period of time before the Buffalo weather plays against it.
The Bills took the chance and acquired Chris Ivory in free agency. Signed to a two-year deal, Ivory has much to prove to Sean McDermott and Brian Daboll. After the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted rookie sensation Leonard Fournette, Ivory was in deep trouble about losing a roster spot.
Before the start of the 2016 season, Ivory left the New York Jets to sign a five-year, $32 million deal with the Jaguars and failed to become the team’s main go-to back. Since 2016, he only averaged 3.6 yards per carry, ran for 821 yards and 4 touchdowns. The biggest factor was him not playing in all of the regular season games in each year. Once Fournette ran off with the spotlight, Ivory was getting closer to being handed a pink slip from the front office.
A New Beginning…
The past is the past…Ivory is onto his new journey with the Bills. A team that relies heavily on the run game. It seems like it’ll be the main reason why the Bills win games as well seeing as how the QB controversy is far from being solved.
When it comes to McCoy, it’s an obvious answer that he’s going to be the biggest role in the offense. With the type of running style that McCoy uses, it will be an adjustment to see someone like Ivory in Daboll’s offense. Ivory is a lower-the-shoulder type of guy who looks for contact. McCoy tries to juke defenders into the prior week. Even at 30 years old, Ivory will have the chance to make crucial plays in do or die situations. McCoy has never been a three down back. This is where Ivory can step in on third downs or inside the ten in their opponents redzone.
With the team signing Ivory to a two-year contract instead of a just a one-and-done deal, the coaching staff might have plans for Ivory for the next two years if he stays on the roster.
What Is Expected of Ivory?
The answer is quite simple. Fight for the extra yardage in crucial moments, protect the man under center in the pass and don’t fumble. With fumbling the ball seven times in the last two seasons, Ivory will be on a short leash when given the opportunity to run the rock. Keep the ball secured, and run anyone over that’s in the way.
No one is expecting Ivory to become a big impact player for the Bills. As long as he follows the system and finds his rhythm, he should be able to find his stride in a Bills uniform.