Jan 14, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas (23) warms up before the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Saints 36-32. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

New Orleans Saints Player Spotlight : Pierre Thomas

One player I can’t wait to see back in action is Pierre Thomas, or “PT Bruiser,” as labeled by Yahoo fantasy football analyst Brad Evans.

When I look at Pierre, I see a back that can do anything.  Whether its running up the middle, running to the side, or catching the ball out of the backfield, Pierre has shown that he excels in every way that a running back can contribute to a team.

In 2011 he averaged 5.1 yards per carry,  with 8.2 yards per catch, and 9.7 yards after the catch.  So  basically he’s a great option in almost every situation.

Pierre brings a certain nastiness, and in my opinion, is the centerpiece in a very dynamic backfield. He makes his presence felt by his teammates and his opponents alike with his ability to break tackles, and I don’t think anyone in football would argue that.

Look at what happened to the Saints running game in 2010.  A season that ended with an embarrassing loss to Seattle Seahawks, because the running game was being led by guys I don’t care to bring up.

Yeah they lost Reggie Bush to injuries in 2010, but when they also lost Pierre, that’s when the Saints rushing rank went from 6th in yards per game in 2009 to 28th in 2010!

That’s a huge stat, and it made a difference in how the Saints could game plan, and limited them during games.

Not enough credit goes to Pierre or the rest of the running backs because of myriad of plays and formations the Saints run, which in turn limits the amount of stats they can rack up.

Hopefully this coming season Chris Ivory, Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles, and Pierre Thomas can stay healthy and show the rest of the league that the Saints running game is just as potent as their passing.

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Tags: Brad Evans Chris Ivory Darren Sproles Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints Pierre Thomas Reggie Bush Yahoo! Sports

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