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Ingram not solely to blame for Saints running woes

Mark Ingram AP

This was not what the Saints were expecting when they traded a future first-round pick to get running back Mark Ingram.

Then again, this wasn’t what Ingram was expecting either.

The Saints haven’t found much of a role for Ingram, who has rushed 32 times for 90 yards this season. That 2.8 yards per attempt average is second-lowest in the league.

But they also have him pigeonholed as a short-yardage back, working him with fullbacks and tight ends and what most people call a base offense. Other chances, such as when they spread the field and run at nickel defenses, aren’t available to him.

“Yeah, I mean possibly. There’s only one way to find out,” Ingram said, via Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “But there’s lots of great guys on this team that need to have the ball, that need to have touches. There’s only one football.

“So I’m not the complaining type, I’m not a whining type. My No. 1 goal is to come in here and get better every day and help this team win games on Sundays. We have a lot of great guys, [Darren] Sproles, Pierre [Thomas], the receivers, the tight ends. We have a lot of guys to spread the ball around to, so I don’t complain.”

Of course, the failures aren’t just with Ingram, either. Over the past two games, 28 of their 37 run plays covered three yards or fewer.

“It’s obviously a problem for us. It’s certainly something we’ve talked about,” Saints right tackle Zach Strief said. “I wish we could say, ‘The line isn’t doing this or the backs aren’t doing this.’ I wish I could say that, because it’s easier to fix. But it’s been single breakdowns. When the hole’s there we’re missing it, then the next play the hole’s not there. It’s hard to put your finger on.”

Ingram, on the other hand, has been easy to put a finger on, usually not long after he takes the hand-off. The idea that he’s not a quality back doesn’t square with the scouting report, but you wonder why they invested so heavily in him if they didn’t intend him to have a bigger role.

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19 Responses to “Ingram not solely to blame for Saints running woes”
  1. markbul says: Oct 6, 2012 2:14 PM

    New England used the pick they got from New Orleans as ammunition to move up and get Defensive Rookie of the Month, Chandler Jones. Are you kidding me?

  2. picksix401 says: Oct 6, 2012 2:23 PM

    not a Saints fan, but they should flip either ingram or thomas to get kevin smith from the Lions, who’ve severely under-utilized him the past two seasons for one reason or another

  3. gtorlone says: Oct 6, 2012 2:48 PM

    Have the Saints ever found a role for a “true” running back since Deuce McAllister?

  4. saintsfan26 says: Oct 6, 2012 2:50 PM

    Ingram is averaging 8 carries per game. Its kinda hard for anybody to find a rhythm with that few of carries. Last year the Saints were #6 in rushing. The talent is there to do it, but its pretty obvious the loss of Sean Payton is killing this team. Its Goodell’s fault.

  5. xxwhodatxx says: Oct 6, 2012 2:50 PM

    I’m a Saints fan and hindsight is 20/20 but Ingram was a bad pick they should have used the first rounder on pass rusher.

  6. bsizemore68 says: Oct 6, 2012 3:10 PM

    Didn’t they do this with Reggie Bush. Bill

  7. exibitsman says: Oct 6, 2012 3:19 PM

    I new this guy was going to be a draft “BUST”.
    This guy had 1decent season in collage .
    He’s slow and overweight can’t catch the ball
    he will be out of the league in 2 years.

  8. eventhorizon04 says: Oct 6, 2012 3:33 PM

    It makes no sense to trade up to get a first round running back, in an era where some of the best running backs in the NFL are late round draft picks or undrafted, and then ONLY use him in situational roles like short-yardage and goal-line. It makes sense to use a first round pick for guys like Adrian Peterson and Trent Richardson because those teams intend to give them 200+ touches a seasons.

    As for Ingram, there’s only 2 possibilities:
    1. The Saints originally intended him to get limited snaps, or
    2. Ingram has disappointed them so they’ve been wary of giving him a bigger role.

    In either case, drafting him in the first round was dumb.

  9. neer911 says: Oct 6, 2012 3:34 PM

    @picksix401: Pierre Thomas is an invaluable back, probably my favourite Saints RB on the roster. And Ingram has too much invested in him already to be declared by the Saints as a lost cause.

  10. claymatthewshairplugs says: Oct 6, 2012 4:03 PM

    Maybe if the Saints would actually RUN the ball they’d get more. Watching 3 saints game this year their run/pass ration is a ridiculous like 20/80. On 1st and goal they threw the ball 3 times. no running back can get yards when they run the ball once ever ten plays.

  11. fafaflunky says: Oct 6, 2012 4:04 PM

    when u got drew brees and there te and wr talent whose running any way..trade him to some one thats gonna
    use him..then will see if bust or not..

  12. contract says: Oct 6, 2012 4:10 PM

    At this level his physical talents and skills are pretty run of the mill. There’s nothing special about him except his college resume … and Ingram isn’t in college anymore.

  13. pooflingingmonkey says: Oct 6, 2012 4:15 PM

    Surprised no one has mentioned the loss of Pro Bowl Guard Carl Nicks as a possible factor?

  14. der6495 says: Oct 6, 2012 4:53 PM

    They drafted a player that didn’t fit their style of play or system. Simple as that.

    Green Bay is finally realizing that Cedric Benson needs to be in a 2-back set to be effective. You need to maximize your players’ strengths instead of putting them in situations where they’re not comfortable.

    Look at Asomugha playing last year with the Eagles in off coverage. Didn’t work out so well.

  15. draculalambert says: Oct 6, 2012 5:09 PM

    Yea, doesn’t make sense. They draft this guy so, so high and barely use him… idiots

  16. ampats says: Oct 6, 2012 5:11 PM

    The New England Patriots were glad to help the Saints secure the rights to Mark Ingram. In exchange, we thank the Saints for allowing the Patriots to be in a position to draft Chandler Jones.

    Signed,
    Bill Belichick Head Coach/GM

  17. blueballzny says: Oct 6, 2012 8:27 PM

    When the Saints drafted Ingram, they also picked up Darren Sproles in free agency that year. I don’t think even they knew how valuable he would become. Sproles is the perfect fit in their up tempo, passing offense. Once Sproles excelled, the Saints went with what was working and Ingram was left as a situational back. Combine that with how bad the o-line is and you have this current mess of a running game. Pooflingingmonkey hit the nail on the head. They miss Carl Nicks more than they realize. He is a top 3 guard in the league. The Saints have been awful in the draft the last few years and we are now seeing the results.

  18. freggiebushrod says: Oct 7, 2012 1:31 AM

    As a saints fan, it is torture to watch the saints give ingram even 8 touches per game when he struggles to get 3 yards per. Its even worse when we have proven backs such as pierre thomas and CHRIS IVORY(who hasnt even been on the active roster this season)

  19. Savage Lizard says: Oct 7, 2012 11:55 AM

    Ingram is barely allowed to touch the ball in an offense designed to pad Drew Brees’ stats and get him records.

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