The Saints Running Back Dilemma

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

"In order to gain anything, you must lose everything." - Buddha

Today while doing my daily rounds of Saints news and research, I stumbled upon an article that brings up a completely valid question worthy of debate.

Andrew Doyle of Saints Nation wrote a piece about how to shape up the Saints' running back position. After reading it, I was very interested and thought about the different scenarios myself.

Andrew mentions that the plethora of running backs is a good thing, but it is also a bad thing because it infringes on the growth of each runner by taking away carries. I absolutely agree with him. So with that, I come to the meaning of the introductory quote by Buddha.

I know the Saints obviously can't get rid of every running back they have, but it proves my point. For the Saints to get better in their running attack, some of the players need to be cut loose or switch positions. Chris Ivory was having a career stretch, averaging 4.3, 4.6, 10.3, and 4.8 yards per carry in successive games. Then he mysteriously lost carries. Why? Because the other players were apparently a "better match up" even though Ivory was out rushing them. In a crowded backfield, the best runner was getting pushed aside.

I like where Andrew is going when he insisted the Saints keep Mark Ingram. I think in order for Ingram to be most effective, he needs to get a lot more carries other than just getting the ball on first downs and short yardage situations. I also wouldn't mind seeing Sproles switched to the slot-receiver position. I can see him being a Wes Welker-ish type player due to his quickness and good hands. If he were needed in the backfield due to injuries to other players, he could just slide right back to his old spot.

I disagree with Andrew, however, about getting rid of Ivory. For one, he is four years younger than Pierre Thomas. Second, Ivory is rarely brought down by the first tackler. He reminds me a lot of Adrian Peterson when he runs. His slashing running style is great to watch.

Like I've said before, I would like to see Pierre traded. Pierre may be more of a dual threat in the passing game than Ivory, but that would only give the Saints a better return value. Based off of pure running, I think that Ivory is the more formidable option.

A backfield featuring Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram would be something to watch. Getting these two to split carries would be the best scenario to get the most out of each player. If I were to compare it to a current situation, it would be similar to what the Carolina Panthers have in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. But in order for this to all work out, some changes need to occur first.

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