Is it time to officially brand Mark Ingram as a failure?
[Just to set the record straight, I personally think right off the bat, that Mark Ingram is NOT a bust, and still has future success awaiting him in the NFL. But in this FanPost, I am going attempt to break down this subject in the most practical way possible, so you guys can decide whether my points argue for my case or against it.]
Just recently, New Orleans Saints management decided that Mark Ingram would not be one of the lucky ones to get the "fifth-year" option. Though they did say that it was "Strictly business", and that they had "High Hopes" for him this year, their actions seemingly translate into one of three things for Saints fans:
A. We too, think Ingram is a useless piece of sh-t
B. We're Broke
C. Jimmy Graham is about to break our bank and we need every damn penny
So with that said, while some Saints fans are jumping to conclusions about Mark Ingram's future, some of us are still wondering about the Heisman winner's potential, as he remains a wildcard in our minds.
So now, to hopefully put this to rest once and for all, I am going to use do the one of the few things I hate doing more than anything:
First, let's look at the current factors in the Saints' offence in 2013:
1. They had 5 active running backs
2.They rushed 37.52 percent of their time on offense
3.After Pierre Thomas's injury, the Saints utilized the tandem format when it came to rushing, by handing over primary rushing responsibilities to Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson, while turning Tavares Cadet and Darren Sproles into more of recievers.
4. Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram contributed somewhere around 610 rushing yards to the Saint's offense, since Pierre Thomas was placed on injury reserve.
With that aside let's do some math. We are going to compare aspects of the Saint's rushing offense to that of other rushing offenses in the NFL that relied primarily on one back.
Vikings: Since 2011 (same year Ingram entered the NFL), till now, Adrian Peterson had garnered an average of 1,444 yards per season.
Saints: Since Mark Ingram entered the NFL in 2011, he has mustered an average of 487 yards per season
Now mind you, while Peterson has had the luxury of having the rushing responsibilities handed to him (and Gerhart somewhat), Mark has had to rush in tandem with three other running backs in 2011 and 2012, and had to deal with four other running backs in 2013.
So let's see what Adrian Peterson's stats would have looked like if he was in the same system that Mark Ingram was.
If Adrian competed with three other actively rotating running backs (like Ingram did in 2011 and 2012) on the Vikings offense, that means his touches would decrease by 33.33 percent.
This means that his average would drop from an average of 278 touches (average from 2011 and 2012 season), to somewhere around 92-93 touches/attempts.
Now when you apply that same math to his 2011 & 2012 season rushing averages (1,533.5 yds AVG), you are left with a potential average of 533.12 yards per season.
Lets compare that with Mark Ingram's 2011-2012 Avg, (538.0 yards per season) and would you look at that...
Mark Ingram's is BIGGER.
Now just to see if this works both ways, lets see what Ingram's stats would look like if he rushed in the same system as Adrian Peterson during the 2011 & 2012 seasons. This means increasing his numbers by 33.33 percent.
When you do that, Mark Ingram's average leaps from 538.0 to 1,614.2 yards per season. But while where at it, let's look at what Mark's statistics would look like in the individual seasons of 2011 and 2012
When you increase his 2011 stats by 33.33 percent, they grow from 474, to 1,422 yards, obviously bigger than Adrian Peterson's 970 in 2011 (now taking AP's injury into account, I acknowledge that no one could have known what his stats would have been if he was 100%)
Do the same with his 602 rushing yards gained in 2012, his stats climb to somewhere around 1,806 yards
So with that all aside, when you look at Mark's total career stat averages, when you hypothetically put Ingram in the same situation as Adrian peterson, his career stats shoot to 1590 potential yards per season.
Now with that aside, I do understand that Adrian Peterson is a once in a decade type back, and that this is all hypothetical,
But it goes to show Mark Ingram's potential, and why he won a Heismann, and Adrian didn't.
Now does this really mean anything?
Possibly something, but could be very little.
Even though Darren Sproles gone, it doesn't help Mark that much, because in reality, Darren was used more as a reciever than a rusher in 2013,
But...with Lance Moore booted and shipped off to Pittsburgh, and with Cooks still inexperienced, the Saints could possibly move Tavares Cadet to reciever/returner, and turn Khiry Ropinson into the hybrid back/reciever, like Darren Sproles was. This would be efficient, and practical.
So it is possible, but will it happen?
No one knows.
Disclaimer No.2: I'm not taking anything away from AP, as he is one of my all time favorite backs next to FT, and I hope the Vikings never trade him; the point of this was to provide a comparison, and to prove that anything truly is possible in the NFL.
In my opinion, if Ingram wants to put up elite-back type numbers on offense, he has a better chance of accomplishing that on another team.
In case you don't remember, in part three of my 3-part Fanpost series about Colston and Thomas being possible HOFers, I said the same exact thing about Pierre Thomas; if he is already putting up better numbers than Ingram currently in the Saint's offensive system, then imagine what he could do on a team that needed to bolster their running game, like the Falcons, the Titans, or the Cleveland Browns?
But obviously, there are no points FanPost, without hearing from the Fans. Tell me, what do you guys think?
This seems like something to trigger an open discussion.