Saints running back competition gets tougher by the day

Saints running back competition gets tougher by the day
Chase Daniel is headed to Chicago. Source: Garland Gillen

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - With the newest addition of running back Darius Victor, the competition only gets tougher. Veterans Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram are coveted runners between the tackles, but the race for the "Darren Sproles" role is wide open.

"We'll see as we get closer to the season," says head coach Sean Payton. "Each week, we'll have a plan. (Travaris) Cadet's handled that role and has been really good in that role. We'll have a few guys competing in that area."

But of those guys, you'd have to figure that rookie Alvin Kamara stands a great shot. Both Payton and quarterback Drew Brees praised him on how fast he's picked up different parts of the offense. Not to mention, he had to show something the Saints loved a lot to draft him early in the third round.

Still, Kamara knows he has to earn every touch he gets in a loaded backfield.

"I think that's the standard in our room," says Kamara. "Whenever you get a chance to make a play, whenever your number gets called, everybody expects it. From coach (Joel) Thomas to all of the other guys in the room, we expect it from each other."

Of course, it's not just at running back where Kamara can make an impact. Asked about the special team returners, coach Payton says there are so many candidates that he couldn't even stack them. Kamara finds himself in the thick of the competition with other speedsters like Ted Ginn Jr. and Tommylee Lewis.

Naturally, Kamara remains very focused on the job at hand and learning the offense, but he's also enjoying himself at camp. He says it's surreal playing alongside future hall of famers like Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson.

"I remember playing with those guys on Madden," says Kamara. "I wouldn't say star struck, but I'm like, 'Whoa.' I'm back here with AP and Drew and guys like that."

If Kamara continues on his current path of ascension, maybe someday another rookie will say the same thing about him.

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