Running back Mark Ingram is an admirable player. Some may call him very good. In 2017, Ingram could become great.
Looking at the career rushing leaders for the New Orleans Saints shows Mark Ingram near the top in almost every category. Incidentally, he’ll pass legendary running back George Rogers in rushing yards next year. Rogers, in my opinion, is the best back to this day to wear the black and gold uniform.
That opinion surely can be debated. Rogers only played three years for the Saints, but he ran like no other every single down. Of course, Deuce McAllister belongs in the same sentence for sure. Deuce McAllister played twice as long too. Another back that older Who Dats will remember is Dalton Hilliard. He ran like the wind and took on defenders head on.
Also, there’s no way a list can be made without including running back Pierre Thomas. He was simply in a league of his own. He was the screen pass KING. Thomas was beloved by everyone. Pierre Thomas was undrafted. So many teams missed out on him.
Meanwhile, Mark Ingram has been the feature back the last few years. No one has been more critical of him than me. The frustration that comes, is not for the lack of appreciation or respect for Mark Ingram. My belief, is that Mark Ingram’s potential has not yet been fulfilled just yet. At 27 years old, Ingram is now a veteran. The time is NOW for Mark Ingram to bring it to the next level.
Rookie Alvin Kamura is gonna come him hungry. In addition, he’s gonna be younger with little miles on his body. On the other hand, there’s also Adrian Peterson. Peterson is still looking for that elusive Super Bowl ring. Arguably, the hunger that Peterson has, may rival Kamara on a different level. Regardless, this is the first time Ingram will be pushed harder than ever before. The fact is, the starting job is Mark Ingram’s for now.
However, both the other running backs want what he has. This is a chance for Ingram to hit his ceiling once and for all. He can silence all the critics including me. The New Orleans Saints need him. Who Dat Nation wants the best back there. In 2017, Payton won’t delay to move Ingram out, if the production doesn’t merit the majority of the carries. It’s up to Mark Ingram. He has the talent and ability. The question is, how hungry will he become in 2017?