Coming into the NFL as a Heisman trophy winner, Mark Ingram had fairly high expectations. He went late in the first round to the New Orleans Saints, and joined a team that was built around passing. Ingram didn’t join the Saints as a guy who would be a workhorse, he joined a team that had multiple running backs that split time on a pass-heavy offense. Safe to say, he hasn’t exactly gotten a ton of carries in his first two seasons.
It’s too early to tell if Ingram is yet another Heisman bust in the NFL, because we simply haven’t seen a large enough sample size. Over his first two seasons, Ingram has rushed the ball 278 times for 1076 yards, and found the end zone on 10 occasions.
Where Ingram hasn’t fit in with the Saints – the passing game. He’s only caught 17 passes for 75 yards in two seasons. Not exactly what you’d expect from an eligible receiver in New Orleans…
However, I don’t really view that as a bad thing. Ingram is what he is – a running back. He’s a very versatile back, with a good mix of speed and power. He’s an Emmitt Smith-type of running back, that’s just going to get the job done.
I think the Saints need to give Ingram more carries in 2013. It’s time for him to be a bigger part of their offense, because it’s one in desperate need of some balance. Ingram has averaged 10 attempts per game so far in his career, and that number should increase to somewhere between 15 – 20.
Mark Ingram is the best true running back the Saints have, and it’s time they gave him a real chance to show what he can do in the NFL.
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