Has Saints Running Back Mark Ingram Worn Out His Welcome?

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Another disappointing performance by the Heisman winning running back has his name being connected to the words 'trade' and 'cut." But is the criticism warranted?

In early 2013, Mark Ingram has 17 carries for a paltry 31 yards in two games. There are no kind words for these stats. In his first two years in New Orleans, he has 5 touchdowns per season on a combined 276 carries for just over 1,000 yards. That averages just under 3 yards per carry. He did, however lead all backs on the team in rushing last season. Consider also he has his 10 touchdowns on only nine starts in his first two seasons.

Not exactly what the New Orleans Saints were expecting when they reached deep into the draft to grab him but he has shown to be effective in third and short and goal line situations. Is this what the Saints signed him for (28th overall) in the 2011 draft? Many Who Dats are highly unsatisifed. Twitter erupted throughout the game against the Buccaneers this past weekend. There were calls for benching, cutting, and trading him for several hours. There was also a rumor started by a wannabe NFL blogger before the season started that he was on the verge of signing with the Giants. But lets look at why he is such a burr in the Who Dat Nation's side. 8 carries, 20 yards and 2.5 ypc average. Ingram is averaging 1.8 ypc in his first two games. He is no Matt Forte, Ray Rice, or MJD, but should we expect more from him?

Coach Sean Payton has spoken many times about utilizing the running game more and hence, using Ingram in different sets with more production. In a recent Mark Ingram approval poll the field is split between thinking he should be benched or traded and that it is the team's fault as well as his (51%-41%). It doesn't appear, that in year three of his tenure in New Orleans, there has been any change in how he is utilized. The team can make excuses every season and after every game, but Mark Ingram is certainly not only to blame. Yet, how to use him is the question. He does what the smaller statured Sproles cannot do. He may not catch as well as Pierre Thomas, but he has a different, more bruising running style. Let's not forget the offensive line is either atrocious or decent. Not typically outstanding.

Sound off Who Dat Nation. Should he be traded? What would you, as a GM, ask in the trade? How can the team utilize him better?

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