Metairie, LA - The Saints are coming off an amazing offensive season. Drew Brees looked, at times, as though he was simply playing pitch-and-catch with his receivers.
But, the fact of the matter is... The aerial game was only as good as the ground game allowed it to be.
When you look at what the Saints were able to do offensively last season, a mind blowing 7,424 total yards, it would be easy to say it was because of Drew Brees record breaking passing year and the Saints nearly unstoppable vertical game.
But, don't discount the run game. Their total of more than 2100 ground yards gained was the 6th most in the NFL.
It was a four man attack. Darren Sproles from, well... everywhere. Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram, as well as Pierre Thomas.
The latter had a solid season, but is far from satisfied.
He is looking to improve upon his already steller talents at reading defenses, and knowing where defenders will be before the snap of the ball. Thomas is also looking to hone his blocking techniques.
Mark Ingram had a tough rookie year injury wise...banged up knee and a banged up toe. But, he comes into camp healthy, and closely monitored. Interim head coach Joe Vitt has Ingram on a closely monitored pre season protocol, although the running back arrived in camp healthy. Ingram promises to do what he did at Alabama and when healthy during his rookie campaign. That is to punish tacklers when he carries the football.
The running back position is one of the more demanding in football. Every play is a high speed collision. Injuries will happen, and you can never have enough insurance. The four man running attack becomes all the more dangerous when you figure in Sproles, who may be even more of a threat catching those swing passes out of the backfield
A solid offense demands balance. If the Saints can attain the same equilibrium they had last year when they had the ball, this could be another very fun season.
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