NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Last fall, Saints running back Mark Ingram enjoyed a career season across the board, from attempts (226) and rushing yards (964), to touchdowns (9) and receptions (29). Here in 2015, Ingram wants to continue his upward trend.
"I want to contribute in every aspect," Ingram said. "Running the ball, catching the ball, screens, running routes, whatever. Picking up pass protection. I'm a complete back, I've been saying that since - forever. That's what I was doing ever since I was little."
It's all about balance for the former first-round draft pick who was not only productive but durable last year, logging a team-best 226 carries in 13 games. He came up just 36 yards shy of his first 1,000 yard campaign, and if he stays healthy, he's got a good shot to hit that plateau this fall.
The franchise rewarded Ingram with a four-year, $16 million deal in the offseason, and the fifth-year running back says he just wants to show everyone that he can do it all. His head coach knows that Ingram will be used in several different ways.
"Each week, depending on the plan, we try to package plays formationally as well as what we are trying to do scheme-wise, but he does have that versatility," Sean Payton said. "So the challenge every week is just looking at the plan going into the game you are going to play, and then trying to look at what personnel groups you are going to utilize. They are different type backs [Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller] and yet our job is to take advantage of what we think they do real well."