Mark Ingram wants bigger role in passing game

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Saints running back Mark Ingram’s father was an NFL wide receiver and the younger Ingram would like a chance to show that he inherited some of his father’s pass-catching skills.

Ingram turned a pass into a 23-yard touchdown in last week’s game against the Titans, the first time that he’s caught a touchdown pass in the NFL during either the preseason or regular season. The passing game has never been seen as one of Ingram’s strong suits, but he says he’s “comfortable” doing more on that front and hopes the Saints feel the same way.

“I hope so. I want to do everything. I want to be involved in the pass game, run game, picking up pass pro. I want to be the most versatile player I can be,” Ingram said, via ESPN.com. “The majority of the time, if you just watch the film, most of the teams think when I’m in the game it’s either gonna be a run or play-action or something like that. But … we had [Darren] Sproles, Pierre [Thomas], a lot of receiving targets. I’m just trying to welcome that role and prove that I can do it. I know I’m an all-purpose back, a complete back. I can do everything.”

The Saints still do have a lot of receiving targets and Thomas is seen as their best pass blocker at running back, so Ingram may not get a chance to channel his father. If he does get the opportunity and makes something of it, though, it would be a positive for the Saints offense as defenses will have to be aware of all the options available to Drew Brees.

It would also be a positive for Ingram, who would enter free agency with a bigger portfolio to show prospective employers inside and outside of New Orleans.