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Jets' Chris Ivory hoping 2015 is his breakout year

Chris Ivory has been getting the majority of the reps with the first team offense in training camp. Elsa/Getty Images

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith has been under intense scrutiny at New York Jets camp, and rightfully so, but quarterback isn't the only question mark on this team's offense.

The starting running back position could be up for grabs, but Chris Ivory appears to have the inside track, getting the bulk of the work with the first team thus far.

Ivory, 27, may finally get the chance to show that he can be an every-down running back in this league.

"Right now I’m doing pretty much everything," Ivory said Thursday. "And I just [want to] make them feel comfortable with me in there with everything they have me doing."

It sounds like new head coach Todd Bowles likes what he sees.

"He’s as advertised," Bowles said of Ivory on Wednesday. "We knew he was tough and he could pound it up in there. But he cuts well, he’s got good vision [too]."

Bowles did mention one area where Ivory needs to improve.

"He’s going to have to become a better receiver," Bowles said. "He has decent hands. He just needs to concentrate a little more."

Ivory is entering his third season with the Jets, after three years of limited usage with the Saints. He's led the Jets in carries in each of his first two years with the team, but not by much. In 2013 he ran the ball 182 times, with Bilal Powell right behind him at 176. In 2014 he got 198 carries, compared to Chris Johnson's 155.

The Jets were third in the NFL in rushing last season. But despite 16 more carries than the year before, Ivory's numbers actually dipped in terms of rushing yards (821, down from 833) and yards per carry (4.1, down from 4.6).

But it's a new year, with a new coaching staff and a new offense -- one that Ivory says he feels "very comfortable" with. And he believes that he can carry the load as the Jets' featured back.

"For the most part I feel like I’ve been doing that," Ivory said. "I’m not sure how it’s gonna work out, but right now I’m just looking forward to going in and [if] my number’s called just performing, make things happen."

The Jets have certainly given themselves other options at the position. Powell is still here, the team signed Stevan Ridley in early April, and traded for Zac Stacy on draft weekend.

Ridley is still on the PUP list coming off knee surgery, but both he and Stacy have proven track records. Ridley rushed for more than 1,200 yards with the Patriots in 2012, and Stacy led the Rams in rushing in 2013 with just under 1,000.

Ivory doesn't sound fazed by the competition, instead complimenting his teammates on Thursday.

"This is my first time getting to see Stacy," Ivory said. "I hadn't really gotten to see a whole lot of him, but I like what I've seen so far."

"I know Stevan's a great back," Ivory said of Ridley. "I know he's gonna come back ready to play."

For now, the starting job is Ivory's to lose. But Bowles isn't committing to a game plan with his running backs -- not yet, anyway.

"If we are running the ball well, and [Ivory's] getting some nice runs in there, he’s getting some carries, he can easily [be an every-down back]," Bowles said. "He’s built to do that. But we have other guys that we don’t want to wear down that we want to play also, so it will be a feel of how the game is going."