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The Ascension of Mark Ingram

Saints running back Mark Ingram is on the verge of having his first ever 1,000-yard season in the National Football League. If Ingram can accomplish this feat, Ingram will be the first 1,000-yard rusher in the Sean Payton era since Deuce McAllister in 2005. Head coach Sean Payton is noted for having a running back by committee as a part of the air arsenal in New Orleans.

Payton still runs the running back by committee system, but Ingram still manages to put up big numbers for the Saints this season. As of right now he is currently ranked 8th in the league with 661 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

Last year Ingram felt short of rushing for over 1,000 yards when he ran for 964 yards. Ingram has come a long way in the Saints offense; he has continued to improve his skills as a runner and receiver coming out of the backfield.

The ability to have Ingram come out of the backfield as a receiver makes him one of the most versatile backs in the league in my opinion. It makes you wonder why Sean Payton needs to have a running back that is similar to Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles on the roster.

Mark Ingram is only 25 and is in the prime of his young career in the National Football League. For a running back of his stature, he has done an outstanding job of grasping Sean Payton’s offense. The reason, is because it can tough to understand concepts of the Saints offense. In the Saints offense, a running back can be called upon to become a receiver at any moment. So far Ingram has accomplished those tasks successfully.

For Saints fans that may disagree with this notion, they should ask C.J. Spiller how’s the transition going in regards to learning the assignments of a running back in Sean Payton’s volatile screen game. Spiller was expected to be the guy that took the role that Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush used to have in New Orleans. So far the C.J. Spiller Experiment has been a failure in the “Crescent City.” I will have more on that to come in the future.

As for right now, Mark Ingram is the Saints number one weapon on offense, without him the Saints are not a threat to anyone, and that’s with a healthy Drew Brees under center. I think it’s about time that Sean Payton get rid of the running back by committee system because Ingram can do all of those things that Darren Sproles used to do in the Saints offense.


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Derrick Branch is the founder and lead writer of Tops Sports.Com. He is a die-hard sports fan and keeps it 100 on all things that involve the NFL, NBA, NCAA Football.
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