Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rex says Powell 'earned the right to start'


Chris Ivory was the assumed starting running back the second the New York Jets traded for him in April.

Bilal Powell, meanwhile, was the starter all along.

Powell, the only returning tailback still on the team's roster, was the No. 1 on the team's initial 2013 depth chart, and he's held that position since. Powell is listed as the Jets' top running back heading into Gang Green's Week 1 match against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I think Bilal Powell has earned the right to start," Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters Wednesday. "Bilal did a tremendous job for us throughout training camp and in preseason games as well."

Ryan also stated the obvious, that Ivory would get his fair share of carries, too.

"It doesn’t end with just your top 11 on offense, your top 11 on defense, our guys are going to play," Ryan said. "Whoever’s up for that game is going to play and they’re going to contribute. I think that’s good for guys. It’s not just you feed one guy the football. Chris, obviously is a very talented back in his own right, so we will use his skills as well.

Ivory is a bruiser who will be on the field in obvious running situations. Powell is more well-rounded and has shown he can handle pass protection duties, but both have potential to be good catch-and-runners, which will make for an interesting mix in Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast-style offense.

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