Mark Ingram is coming off a career year in 2016. The former first-round pick eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau and averaged at least 5 yards per carry for the first time in his six-year stint in the league.
It’ll be a tough climb for Ingram to reach both of those marks again with Peterson’s presence in The Big Easy. But as someone who has already competed against the likes of Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory and Tim Hightower for carries throughout his career, Ingram appears nonchalant about the newest challenge thrown in his direction.
“It is what it is,” Ingram said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “… I don’t really feel one way or another about it. I just play the hand that’s dealt to me. I just work my butt off and that’s about it.”
Adding Peterson’s Hall of Fame credentials certainly builds intrigue leading up to the season for one of the most explosive offenses over the past decade. While the former Viking figures to boost the entire Saints offense, Ingram feels he’s already a benefactor from A.D.’s acquisition.
“This guy is one of the best backs that has ever walked on this planet, especially in this generation,” Ingram said. “I’ve admired him ever since he was a freshman at Oklahoma. We’re in the same backfield now and we’re competing, we’re making each other better. And that’s just what it is.”
Ingram, Peterson and third-round rookie Alvin Kamara make up arguably the most intriguing stable of running backs in the NFL. New Orleans coach Sean Payton isn’t worried about distributing the ball between the trio, calling the abundance at the position “a good problem to have.”
Drew Brees led the league in passing last season, but the team is hoping that a boost in the ground game can prevent a fourth straight losing campaign.