TP declares Mark Ingram #23 on Saints Top #25

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Follow link: TP declares Mark Ingram #23 on Saints Top #25

New Orleans Saints top 25 countdown: Mark Ingram, No. 23

07/03/12 5:29AM

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Borrowing the popular idea from the NFL Network, The Times-Picayune’s New Orleans Saintscoverage team came up with our ranking of the top 25 players on the Saints’ roster heading into the 2012 season. The idea is to make these rankings as current as possible – essentially deciding who would be the best players on the field if they lined up for a game today. Therefore, past accomplishments and potential are both factored in.

 

SaintsLionsTJ693.jpgTed Jackson / The Times-PicayuneNew Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (28) runs for yardage during game between the New Orleans Saints and the Detroit Lions at the Louisiana Superdome, Sunday, December 4, 2011.

Obviously, that led to some tough decisions, and that will lead to plenty of second guessing. And we’d love to hear it. Feel free to vote on the rankings and add your comments below as we unveil the list daily leading up to the start of training camp.

No. 23 RB MARK INGRAM

Age 22. Year 2. Ht., wt: 5-9, 215.

SAINTS COLUMNIST MIKE TRIPLETT’S TAKE:

Like 24th-ranked teammate Cameron Jordan, Ingram was difficult to rank because we haven’t seen enough from him on the field yet. Ingram showed some great potential last season, though, flashing that “total package” combination of power, elusiveness, vision and speed that made him a Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama and a first-round draft choice.

Ingram started to find a groove around midseason before his rookie year was derailed by heel and toe injuries. He finished with 474 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games. And it’s easy to imagine him getting that “Year 2 boost” assuming he is fully healed from offseason toe and knee surgeries.

Ingram has the skill set to be an every-down back in the NFL, including the ability to pass protect. But the Saints don’t need him in that role for now, because they’re so deep at the position with Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Ingram and Chris Ivory. Last season, Ingram led the Saints in carries before the injuries, serving as a first- and second-down back and a short-yardage specialist. But that was partly because Thomas and Ivory were coming off injuries. Now, the roles may be reversed.

SAINTS RB PIERRE THOMAS’ TAKE:

“All-around smart guy. All-around good player. Pass pro(tection), running the ball, catching the ball. He’s a smart kid. And with his talent and his ability to pick up things very fast, he’s going to go far in this league. Just like all of us, we have to try to stay healthy. And he’s going get back on his feet, I have no doubt. But I see him as being one of the great running backs in this league as time goes on. He’s a very smart kid. He picked up our offense very fast, very quick. And he’s doing a great job. And I just see nothing but improvement in his future.”

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TP declares Cam Jordan as #24 on Saints Top 25

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Follow link: TP declares Cam Jordan as @24 in Saints Top 25

New Orleans Saints top 25 countdown: Cameron Jordan, No. 24

07/02/12 5:27AM

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Borrowing the popular idea from the NFL Network, The Times-Picayune’s New Orleans Saintscoverage team came up with our ranking of the top 25 players on the Saints’ roster heading into the 2012 season. The idea is to make these rankings as current as possible – essentially deciding who would be the best players on the field if they lined up for a game today. Therefore, past accomplishments and potential are both factored in.

 

02mdSaints26.jpgMichael DeMocker / The Times-PicayuneCarolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is tackled by New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) during the game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers at the Superdome on Jan. 1.

Obviously, that led to some tough decisions, and that will lead to plenty of second guessing. And we’d love to hear it. Feel free to vote on the rankings and add your comments below as we unveil the list daily leading up to the start of training camp.

NO. 24 DE CAMERON JORDAN

Age 22. Year 2. 6-4, 287.

SAINTS COLUMNIST MIKE TRIPLETT’S TAKE:

Jordan might have been the hardest player to rank on this list, because he is still young and unproven and because he isn’t a “sack-master,” which is how most defensive ends are judged. But Jordan has great potential to play an important position for the Saints, and chances are strong that he will move himself into the top 20 on this list by the end of the season.

New Orleans Saints top 25 countdown

No. 25: Devery Henderson

The Saints drafted Jordan because of his size and his versatility. He’s solid against the run and the pass, and he fits at left end or inside at defensive tackle during passing downs. New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has embraced that versatility in early practices and plans to move him around in the rotation.

Jordan played in every game last season with 16 starts in 18 games, including the playoffs. He finally got his first career sack in Week 17, chasing down none other than Carolina Panthers rookie sensation Cam Newton. He had 59 tackles in the regular season, six pass defenses and one fumble recovery. He had nine more tackles in the playoffs, including eight against San Francisco.

SAINTS OT ZACH STRIEF’S TAKE

“I think the biggest thing that stands out when you play Cam is that he’s 6-4, 300 pounds and he moves and runs like a defensive end, which is unusual to see. He really is exceptionally athletic for his size. And the biggest thing I’ve seen this year is his pass rush is developing. He’s becoming a more polished pass rusher.

“A guy like him, I imagine in college ran through and past a lot of people. A lot of of us realize that has to develop when you get into the NFL. But he got thrown into the fire last year. That’s something I’ve seen him develop this offseason. He’s getting better at getting his hands down, getting off his hands, a burst off ball. I expect a lot of improvement in him from year 1 to year 2. …

“As a run player, he’s kind of a nightmare. It’s hard to block a guy like that in space with long arms. He’s a strong guy, smart, explosive.”

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We Take Care of Our Own

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We Take Care of Our Own

From Chicago to New Orleans 
From the muscle to the bone 
From the shotgun shack to the Superdome 
We yelled “help” but the cavalry stayed home 
There ain’t no-one hearing the bugle blown 
We take care of our own 
We take care of our own 
Wherever this flag’s flown 
We take care of our own 

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