Chris Ivory has played so well the last two weeks there's almost no way the Saints can go back to shelving him on the inactive list again. If nothing else, he's secured his spot in the rotation as a situational runner for the Saints. But why did it take so long for the Saints to plug him in there, especially when Mark Ingram had performed so poorly, and why are the Saints still reluctant to commit to him? Well, turns out it's pretty simple: ball security.
Ivory has struggled with fumbles in the past, never worse than in preseason and training camp this year. The fact of the matter is, this Saints offense simply can't afford turnovers because they have zero margin for error with as bad as the defense has been. That's why the coaching staff largely feels Ivory is a liability right now. Even in the last two games, you can tell his technique scares them, and it should. Why else would only have seen 7 carries when darted 56 yards for the run of the Saints season? He carries the football far too wide and away from his body when making jukes and cuts. He's fortunate to not have fumbled yet, but you know the more reps he sees that it's coming.
Consider these statistics: Darren Sproles, in 1,098 career touches has fumbled 13 times. That's 1.18% of the time. Mark Ingram, in 206 career touches, has fumbled just once. That's 0.49% of the time. Pierre Thomas, in 851 career touches, has fumbled 4 times. That's 0.47% of the time. Then there's Ivory, who is 236 touches has fumbled 4 times. That's 1.7% of the time. So Ivory has a fumble rate about 3.5 times higher than both Thomas and Ingram.
So when you ask yourself why he hasn't been playing, the answer is pretty simple. The Saints don't trust him to be secure with the football like they trust Ingram, Thomas and Sproles. Ultimately, the benefit you may get in yardage from Ivory over any of those three is in theory negligible enough that it's not worth the extra turnovers. While Ivory is a great back, his lack of playing time has less to do with the Saints coaching staff and more to do with his poor ball security. Fix that problem, as there is no more excuses for not playing him.
Maybe the Packers could use him...we need a feature back. Although, like you guys, we also stress ball security--every damn day.
...Still; I'll take 'only' 4-fumbles out of 236-touches ANY damn day w/ the kind of production Ivory brings. Saints have to keep this balance on offense going, no matter the risk! A team w/ a 4-5 record, trying to get to .500 can't get too conservative. Not now! Not after 2-straight wins w/ some confidence & momentum on their side. RUN IVORY, RUN!!!!!!!!!
Drew Brees throws interceptions; hell he threw an interception on his first pass against the falcAints last week! He can almost be counted on to throw at least one every game!
I understand and agree that turnovers are the quickest way to lose football games, but the Saints run game has been anemic at best. Until the last the 2 games, I was ready to call Mark "2 yards and a cloud of dust" Ingram a bust. But in the last 2 games, which, for those keeping score at home, is also when Ivory saw playing time, his runs have gotten longer.
The Saints didnt start the season 0-4 because of turnovers; you can lay the majority of that on the feet of the defense, which is getting better each week ;in IMO, the offense was the culprit in the Denver debacle.
If Ivory needs work on how he carries the ball, I believe the coaching staff will work on that with him.
@SaintsWillWIn that's the point, they've been trying to work on it and he continues to struggle with it. At some point it's either fix it or don't play. Also, Brees throws 50+ times a game. If Ivory had that many touches he'd be turning it over A LOT more than Brees.
Exactly! As I watched that Falcons game I saw the football hanging out there way too often. It just seemed as though Ivory would run with so much anger that he'd forget he was even holding the football. He just wanted to run over people. Meanwhile, he's scaring the s*** out of me because all it takes is one bump on that ball and its on the turf. Whenever Ingram got in the game that fear went away. So as impressive as Ivory was on Sunday, Im sure it helped Vitt and Pete breathe a sigh of relief to see Ingram hold on to the football like a new born baby.