The Saints currently have five runningbacks on the roster. Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, Lynell Hamilton, P.J. Hill and Chris Ivory (pictured). The first three are virtual locks to make the final 53 man roster. If you read Sean Payton's post practice transcripts, you know he thinks highly of Hamilton's contributions not only in short yardage situations, but how big of an asset he is on special teams as well. Last year four running backs ended up making the roster, so you have to figure there's a real chance for both Hill and Ivory to make a case for their inclusion.
It's not impossible the Saints stick with three backs, or that they find someone else off waivers, meaning Hill and Ivory both would be shown the door come week 1. Remember the Saints looked at several veterans this offseason, including Justin Fargas
right around the time they were losing Mike Bell
. I think the Saints feel good about the five guys they've got for now, but don't rule out the Saints adding a veteran to the mix if they feel these guys aren't cutting it in preseason. I also think that if a fullback not named Heath Evans
makes a huge impact, or if a backup tight end displays worth on special teams, the Saints may elect to keep an extra spot at a position that haven't traditionally done so with. The bottom line is we can't know for sure how it's going to unfold. What we do know is the Saints kept four running backs last year, and right now they've got five. That means P.J. Hill and Chris Ivory both stand a great chance to make this team as they're likely each competing for the one and same spot. Add to that fact the raving reviews both players have gotten through the first two days of camp, and it should make for some really exciting stuff this preseason. We already know Hill from last preseason when he lead the NFL in preseason rushing yardage with the Saints. It was a bummer he got cut, but he was just caught up in a numbers game. Regardless, we know the guy is capable and that he can contribute. While we don't know much about Ivory, who hails from little know Tiffin College, every report has been that he's really turning heads so far. I for one can't wait to see this kid in action.
So what do you think will happen? Saints keep 3 backs? 4? If they keep 4, will it be Ivory or Hill?