2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Saints RB Ingram eyes big jump in Year 3

    2013-07-28 17:03

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Mark Ingram says he's not concerned about making his third season the first one in which he lives up to his Heisman hype.

He does intend to be a much greater factor in New Orleans offense, whether that shows up in the statistics or not.

``Everyone has expectations all the time,'' Ingram said. ``It's not about living up to what other people expect you to do. It's about being a great teammate, improving every day, and being the best football player you can be to help your team win games and ultimately win a championship."

As the only Heisman Trophy winner in Alabama's illustrious history, and one of two first-round picks by the Saints in 2011, Ingram has spent the past two years in a state full of LSU fans who were eager to enjoy the days when the former Crimson Tide star's success no longer came at their expense.

Based on fan comments on radio talk shows or in internet chat rooms, many of those fans feel like they're still waiting for Ingram to validate the Saints' decision to trade away a 2012 first-round pick in order to acquire him.

``Of course, I have high expectations for myself as far as individual things,'' Ingram said. ``But my number one thing is just coming out here and showing that I can do anything that is asked of me every single time I set foot on that field and be an explosive player for this offense.''

Hampered by injuries during much of his first two years in the NFL, Ingram said he now is as trim and healthy as he has been since turning pro. He looked it on Sunday, the first time this training camp in which players wore full pads and engaged in some contact. His runs included a burst up the left side of the field that might have gone for a big gain had the play not been dead at first contact.

``I have finally had a healthy offseason,'' Ingram said. ``My rookie year I missed some games. Last year and (the 2012) offseason, I was just recovering from some offseason surgeries, but I played all sixteen games and I finished strong. I'm not frustrated. I can definitely improve in different aspects and things like that, but I am trying to get better.''

Ingram missed six games his rookie season with heel and toe injuries, finishing with 474 yards and five touchdowns.

Last year, he started slow following rehabilitation from knee surgery, but began to look stronger in the second half of the season. He still has yet to gain 100 yards in a single game, but his yards per carry averages were strong when he saw action against Philadelphia (6.3), Oakland (5.6), the New York Giants (5.2) and Tamp Bay (6.4).

He finished his second season with 602 yards on 156 carries - an average of nearly 4 yards per rush - and scored five TDs. During the Philadelphia game, Ingram also caught two passes out of the backfield for 23 yards, and coaches are hoping to see more of that from him this season.

``He catches the ball well out of the backfield,'' coach Sean Payton said. ``I think he's someone that does a lot of things well. We're not just limited to a certain type of offense when he's in the game.''

Payton said there were reasons to be patient with Ingram the past two seasons, including his injuries and the fact that the Saints not only pass a lot, but had been splitting carries among four running backs, including Chris Ivory, who was traded to the New York Jets during the 2013 draft.

``Year 3 is important'' for Ingram, Payton said. ``To his specific case, he's healthier than he's been and his weight's down. We expect him to play well and have a good season. ... Some guys, it happens right away. The challenge at running back here is sometimes those snaps are being split and it's a little different from'' other positions.

The 5-foot-9 Ingram said his weight is around 215 pounds, and that his goal is to remain below 220 this season. He expects that trimming down will make him more dynamic.

``I can do everything. I can run inside, outside, pass block, catch the ball, and be an explosive player,'' Ingram said. ``That's what I try to show them every time they put me out there in practice. ... I definitely want to show that I am more versatile.''

Notes: Undrafted rookie LB Ray Shipman left practice early with what Payton described as a mild hamstring pull. ... WR Jarred Fayson still has yet to practice after the team said he became dehydrated during last Thursday's conditioning test. ... WR Marques Colston (foot), CB Patrick Robinson (knee) and LB Victor Butler (knee) remained listed as physically unable to perform. Colston and Robinson are expected to return during the preseason. ... Safety Kenny Vaccaro, the Saints' first-round pick, threw running back Travaris Cadet to the turf during 11-on-11 drills in which players were supposed to avoid finishing tackles. Afterward, Payton gave Vaccaro mixed reviews as it related to the rookie's enthusiasm. ``He is someone that flies around,'' Payton said. ``He is someone who is very instinctive. We don't necessarily want to throw our own players on the ground, that's not the drill. We will get that cleaned up, but he is an instinctive player and I know he is anxious to be in the pads. One of the things you find with a young player, especially rookies ... they feel that sense of urgency to make an impression and so the key thing is making it the right way.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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