Jun 11, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) hand the ball off to running back Mark Ingram during organized team activities at the Saints practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Saints have a stable of running back ready to contribute once more in 2013, even after the loss of Chris Ivory.
Sean Payton and the coaching staff have stated more than once that the team is looking to get back to the running game more in 2013 rather than relying on the passing game so much.
Meaning Mark Ingram’s time is now.
The “Bust” label has been thrown around a lot in regards to Ingram, but it’s hard for any back to put up ridiculous statistics when he rarely sees handoffs because the offense is in love with the passing game.
Last year, Ingram carried the ball just 156 times and gained 602 yards, scoring five times. Not horrendous numbers by any means, but more has been expected of him at this point.
More is what you’ll get in 2013. Ingram is going to receive the majority of the carries, and if the coaching staff is smart, it’ll be by a wide margin. Ingram is the type of runner who gets better as you keep feeding him the ball.
While Darren Sproles is a nice change of pace and Pierre Thomas has handled the load well thanks to his versatility, 2013 has to go to Ingram. If the coaching staff ups his carry total from 2012 by 50 or more touches he’s a candidate to burst through the 1,000 yard mark.
There’s no excuse for Ingram to have a down year. He plays in a vertical passing offense where defense cannot afford to commit a lot of resources to stop him. The Saints need his bruising running style to carry the load and keep the defense off the field.
Ingram is the most important running back for the Saints in 2013.