No, this is not a post about the Jersey Shore...but rather the Pontchartrain (South) Shore's 'Situation'. We all know it's coming, but we do not know what it is exactly. But the main point of this "situation" is: What are the Saints going to do about our RB's? Who stays? Who goes? Who Starts? Who sits?...you get the picture, right?
Here is a list of the RBs that were on our 2010 roster (at some point and to my knowledge):
Yes, 10 running backs...I could understand having a couple extra for depth, special teams, etc...but to have 10 different running backs throughout the season is quite ridiculous. Maybe other teams have that many? I picked a couple random teams and did some research:
Chicago Bears - 5
NY Jets - 5
Oakland Raiders - 5
Detroit Lions - 5
...see any pattern? and YES that was 4 totally random teams (2 AFC, 2 NFC) and all 4 teams had exactly half the number of RBs on their rosters than we did last year. I know we had some injury concerns, but 10?? Not to mention we now have Ingram from the draft.
So lets start with who we keep? If we were to go with the "average" 5, the first 4 are pretty easy: Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, Chris Ivory, and Mark Ingram. Who's the 5th? Julius Jones and Ladell Betts got the majority of the work last year (of the backs not mentioned) but both are aging, and well...just not that great. I'd rather take one of the younger guys that could still be used on special teams and also have some room to grow. Lynell Hamilton got some playing time during the 2009 season, including the playoffs. 2010 he suffered a season ending injury before the season even started. Other than him the other backs really do not have much experience.
Next would be who starts? Does it really matter who "starts"? Not really...it's more political or a morale thing to me. I mean in basketball Manu Ginobili didn't start for years...but he is one of the best basketball players. But I guess you still have to name someone the starter at RB. Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory are both coming off injuries. Mark Ingram is a rookie, and might not have enough time to learn the offense (with the possible and probable shortened off-season). The mystery man would probably not have enough experience as well. And that leaves Saint Reginald, who has started 41 (out of 60) games in his career. With everyone coming back from injuries and learning the playbook, I'm sure this will change as the season goes on, but it looks as if the ball will be in Bush's hands to start the season.
As for the rest of the guys we had, I'm sure we'll keep them on speed dial just in case (lets pray we don't need to go there though). The practice squad rules are as follows:
According to league policy, only certain types of players are allowed to sign to the practice squad. Players cannot have played more than nine regular season games or been on the active roster for an entire year, nor can players be allowed to spend more than two seasons on the same team's squad unless that team's active roster never dips below 53 players.
I'm not sure exactly who that would encompass, but I would assume that Joique Bell and maybe PJ Hill could be there. So there you have it folks, will we end up with 10 running backs floating in and out of our roster again this year? Will there even be a "this year" is the real question here, but I'd like not to think about that right now, so let's just hope something gets settled so we can focus on what are RB depth chart will look like instead.