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Pierre Thomas believes Saints backfield roles will be more defined

New Orleans Saints running back Thomas looks at Dallas Cowboys linebacker Connor as he carries ball in first half of their NFL football game in Arlington Reuters

The New Orleans Saints cycled through four different running backs last season as they tried to find something to spark a struggling running game.

The Saints finished last season 25th in the league in rushing. Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Chris Ivory all received at least 40 carries last season with Ingram’s 156 carries being the most of any Saints running back. The revolving door made it difficult for any one of the Saints ball carriers to develop a rhythm and become consistent.

With the departure of Ivory and the return of head coach Sean Payton to the sidelines, Thomas believes the Saints backfield will be more defined with specific roles for each of the backs.

I think there’s going to be a lot of guys used a lot more because it’s a little shorter in our running back depth,” Thomas said, via Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “We’re going to be used a lot in different ways. I know I’ve heard we’re going to change-up a whole lot of things this year.”

Thomas said Payton has re-emphasized the running game for the Saints since returning from a year-long suspension for his role in the Bountygate investigation. Despite being one of the most prolific passing offenses in the league, the Saints feel they still need to be able to run when necessary to take another step forward.

“It’s a little less crowded now, but we was all weapons and used in different ways,” Thomas said. “Now, we’re still doing the same thing and having that nice little rotation (with Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles) and having that same tempo. We’re happy in our room and happy to get everything back going.”

Fantasy football owners may appreciate a steady, defined rotation from the Saints backfield as well.

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18 Responses to “Pierre Thomas believes Saints backfield roles will be more defined”
  1. cardsfann1 says: May 8, 2013 11:20 PM

    Should’ve kept Ivory and let Thomas go. Ivory ran the ball hard! Thomas seems to dance around to much instead of hitting the hole hard. Jets got better with The addition of Ivory.

  2. musicman495 says: May 8, 2013 11:20 PM

    I think Saints will be beasts running the ball this year, which will show that Aaron Kromer was a flop as running game coordinator.

  3. letmesetyoustraight says: May 8, 2013 11:34 PM

    Should’ve kept Ivory and let Thomas go. Ivory ran the ball hard! Thomas seems to dance around to much instead of hitting the hole hard. Jets got better with The addition of Ivory.

    Ivory cannot pick up the blitz or catch the ball very well. Those are two “musts” in Sean Payton’s offense. Thomas, Ingram and Sproles do well in all phases.

  4. msand13 says: May 8, 2013 11:38 PM

    Mark Ingram is terrible. How this guy keeps getting looks is beyond me.

  5. sloppydogg says: May 8, 2013 11:40 PM

    I truly agree with musicman I always thought our running game could an should have been more beastly with such a awsome passing game. With the departure of Kromer I bet the running game will be a whole lot better.

  6. goawayeverybody says: May 9, 2013 12:05 AM

    I’m glad the Saints kept Thomas, he is much more versatile and he is very hard to bring down and is good at breaking tackles. Ivory is talented, but can be very impatient at times. Also, Thomas is a much better receiver.

  7. sportsbastard says: May 9, 2013 12:37 AM

    Not real sure why they dealt the good young RB and kept the two average ones.

  8. brettto73 says: May 9, 2013 12:57 AM

    Most of these comments make me realize that none of you watched the Saints SB run. Pierre Thomas was a difference maker. I don’t think he’s lost that at 28, not yet anyway.

  9. aldavis4president says: May 9, 2013 1:45 AM

    Pierre Thomas > Chris ivory any day of the week.

  10. discosucs2005 says: May 9, 2013 1:49 AM

    Lol every Saints fan was in here before Ivory got dealt talking about how great he was, and how the Saints should play him more.

    He couldn’t pick up the blitz and was unproven as a pass catcher then too.

    It’s almost as if something changed that decreased Ivory’s potential in Saints fans eyes.

  11. Savage Lizard says: May 9, 2013 2:54 AM

    Hard for any of the running backs to do much when the entire game plan seems to be about making sure Brees pads his stats and breaks records.

  12. louhudson23 says: May 9, 2013 3:39 AM

    Ivory had no hands and no concept of blocking blitzers…..which is a very important thing for the Saints….repeat:Ivory had no hands and no concept of blocking blitzers…..which is a very important thing for the Saints….Ingram will have a bounce back year with Peyton’s return….Thomas still seems a bit shy of contact since the hit to the head he suffered against San Fran in the playoffs season before last…

  13. j4man1 says: May 9, 2013 5:34 AM

    And on the defensive side bounties will be back since they obviously can’t make the playoffs without them.

  14. prmpft says: May 9, 2013 6:38 AM

    the worse thing is going to be watching them force feed the ball to the non-producing ingram again with the same result – make sure Brees is on your ffb team…

  15. thankslittlebrandonbanks says: May 9, 2013 7:23 AM

    Thomas is clearly the best heavy use guy they have. Sproles is an amazing weapon to spring on people when needed. Ivory had one game last year that he looked good in (and he did look great ) the rest of the time he was missing blocks and dropping passes. He will though be the best player on the laughable jets squad.

  16. mm7966756 says: May 9, 2013 9:00 AM

    So are those of you that are saying trading Ivory and keeping Thomas think you are smarter than Coach Peyton? How many Super Bowls have you won?

  17. swampdawg80 says: May 9, 2013 10:03 AM

    I think all three will do well this year. And if Ingram start catching passes, it will only help. Saints need to bring the screen pass back full force.

  18. goodolebaghead says: May 9, 2013 12:38 PM

    Anyone who thinks Pierre Thomas is not the best RB on the Saints offense, obviously doesn’t watch any Saints games, or just doesn’t pay attention to football when they do watch. The dude is one of the BEST utility backs in the game. Throw him in any situation as a RB and he is solid. Add in Sproles and you are very dangerous. Get Ingram running well and they will be unstoppable. Ivory is fun to watch, but he is ONLY good at running and that is ONLY when he doesn’t hurt himself doing it.

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