Ingram can also catch out the backfield arguably just as good as Pierre, which was an area he excelled. Thomas also ran the screen better then anyone on the roster. Should Ingram make some splash plays, then Thomas might lose those touches as well.
The Saints drafted Ingram because he is a thick, sturdy every down running back. It’s debatable how well he is going to perform his rookie season, but should he set the league on fire, Thomas is likely to spend more of his time watching from the sideline then actually running the ball.
One can also make a case for Chris Ivory to see more playing time in 2011. Let’s face it, the kid earned the right to play more after his season last year (716 yards, 5 TD, 5.2 YPC), and these types of numbers cannot be ignored. There is no way he should spend the bulk of his time on the bench after exhibiting such explosive downhill running.
In fact Ivory’s 5.2 yard per carry average ranked him 4th in the NFL. He was also a leader in yards after contact, twenty + yard runs, and more impressively garnered the highest percentage of broken tackles to carries in the NFL. Thomas is good, but Ivory seems to be the better pure rushing threat.
Thomas is valuable to the Saints and he has always been a fan favorite since his break out performance in the 2007 game against the Chicago Bears. Ingram and Ivory are too good not to steal carries away and it’s likely the days of Thomas being the Saints “primary” back are over. Come mid season if Ivory and Ingram are tearing it up, will the Saints consider a trade once more?