Saints running back Mark Ingram has been angling to be used more as a receiver and every-down back since he arrived as a first-round draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama in 2011, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com reports. Ingram loves to point out that he was listed as “athlete” instead of running back as a high school prospect.
I know I’m a three-down back,” said Ingram, who proved it last year when the Saints leaned heavily on him in the middle of the season while others were out with injury. “I could do first down, second down, third down, run the ball, catch the ball, pass protect.
“I take pride in being an every-down back, being a back that doesn’t have to come off the field, being a back that can do everything that’s asked of him within the scheme of the offense.”
“I think this year is the first opportunity that I’ve actually had the chance to be able to go do those things. And I’m working on it, continuing to get better at it,” said Ingram, who thinks he has also gained more of quarterback Drew Brees’ trust as a pass-catcher.
“I don’t think he was like, ‘Oh there’s Mark, I’m going somewhere else.’ But I think he’s more confident in me in that area,” Ingram said. “I’ve been working with him all OTAs and for five years now. And he’s seen the improvement that I’ve made in just running my routes, things like that. So when he sees me out there in a passing situation, I think he’s more aware that I’m there now.”