Catching passes runs in the blood of Saints running back Mark Ingram . His father, Mark Sr., spent 10 years in the NFL as a wide receiver, most notably with the New York Giants. But the younger Ingram hasn't had many opportunities to showcase soft hands during his career. In 2012 and 2013, Ingram caught six and seven passes, respectively. He basically has nowhere to go but up as a receiver, and he wants to go up this year.
"I haven't caught a lot of passes in the NFL, but in high school I played receiver. If you look at my recruiting thing, it says 'athlete,'" Ingram said proudly to ESPN's Mike Triplett. "And in college, I caught a lot of passes. I haven't done it a lot here, but I've always been confident in my ability to contribute out of the backfield running routes, line up out wide running routes. I'm comfortable doing all of that."
The Saints are testing Ingram's comfort level. He was on the field for a two-minute drill during Monday's practice and caught two passes from Drew Brees . He also recorded a receiving touchdown in a preseason game Friday, his first receiving touchdown in an NFL game no matter the date on the calendar. And Ingram indicates there's more where that came from.
"I know I'm an all-purpose back, a complete back," Ingram said. "I can do everything."
I beg to differ. First of all, let's not act as if Ingram was some sort of pass-catching marvel in college. He says he caught a lot of passes at Alabama; his season high in three years was 32.
Also, while Darren Sproles is gone, the Saints still have Pierre Thomas , one of the best receiving backs in the league. He'll handle most of the route-running duties in this backfield. Ingram should concentrate on earning a lion's share of the carries over Khiry Robinson . Ingram is an RB4/5 and no, he is not a PPR sleeper all of a sudden. If he catches 25 passes this season, consider yourself fortunate.