Saints: Ingram thriving in increased role
There has been much discussion about the reason for inconsistent play of Mark Ingram as a New Orleans Saint. The switch from Alabama’s zone blocking scheme to New Orleans’ man blocking is often cited, as is the theory that Ingram simply needed more carries to establish a rhythm and reach his full potential. While Ingram did improve after the team began implementing zone blocking principles last season, Coach Sean Payton’s preference to rotate backs made it difficult to prove the second point.
That all changed during Week 8, when Ingram was forced into an expanded role after Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson were deactivated. In the two games since, Ingram rushed for 272 yards and three touchdowns; his 54 carries were easily the most he has registered in a two game span. Ingram’s+4.3 rushing grade over the past two weeks leads the league, as does his 15 missed tackles, which combine to give him an impressive 81.8 Elusive Rating for those games.
While we cannot make definitive claims based on such a small sample size, it certainly adds weight to the theory that Ingram is at his best with a high volume of carries. If he can continue to perform at a high level, we may be seeing less of the committee approach in New Orleans going forward.