''Run PMC'' - Pierre, Mark and Chris - best trio in NFL?
by Deke Bellavia,posted Sep 1 2011 12:05PM
"Hard Times, Rock Box, Sucker MC’s, My Adidas and Walk This Way were all great hits from the most famous rap trio of all time. All hip hop heads know I’m talking about--Run D.M.C.. D.M.C was the best trio ever because of the way they collaborated, flowed and cranked out hit after hit consistently.
Down in the “Big Easy” there’s another trio forming--three New Orleans Saints running backs-- Pierre Thomas, rookie Mark Ingram and second year star Chris Ivory. I personally think they have what it takes to be the best trio of backs in the NFL.
I’m not getting ahead of myself, just pointing out the obvious. Under Coach Sean Payton we’ve seen several combinations of running backs--Deuce and Reggie, Reggie and Pierre, Reggie and Chris and Pierre and Chris. But, have we ever seen a group that brings more valuable assets to the Saints offense than this group?
You would have to go back to the 1980’s when the Saints had Dalton Hillard, Reuben Mayes, Barry Word and Buford Jordan. But due to the style of the game and former Offensive Coordinator Carl Smith, the Saints did not get those solid players on the field enough. That certainly won’t be the case with one of the best offensive minds in the game today-- Coach Sean Payton.
Payton has to be salivating over the PMC combo. The combination of size, speed, power and athleticism is a coach’s dream come true. And, when you toss into the mix a proven player like RB Lynell Hamilton, you can clearly see the Saints have all they need and then some with this stable of backs.
Pierre Thomas has become one of the most versatile backs in the game today, and many think Pierre is the best at running the screen play. In four seasons Pierre contributed on average over 100-yards total per game. Chris Ivory had an incredible season as a rookie in 2010, despite being injured and having difficulties holding on to the football at times.
Then, there’s the big bad, yet humble, Mark Ingram. Ingram won the Heisman trophy two years ago, and over the course of his final two seasons in Tuscaloosa Ingram picked up more yards after contact than any other back in college football during that time span.
What does Pierre have that the others backs don’t? Skins on the wall and the trust of Coach Payton--whether it be running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield or protecting Drew Brees. But I think we can all be confident that Ingram and Ivory will gain the coach’s confidence in a short time.
Like Pierre did in 2007, Chris Ivory came out of nowhere to make a name for himself by running through defenders at practice…and during preseason games a year ago. Then, Ivory amped up his performance last season. Coaches were enthused and fans excited.
In 195 total snaps in 2010 Ivory forced 31 missed tackles and he averaged 5.5-yards per carry. But even more impressive--Chris Ivory averaged 3.3 yards per carry after contact. Only two other NFL running backs accomplished that last season--Oakland’s Darren McFadden and Tampa’s LeGarrett Blount.
Ivory began to pick up the blocking scheme even better. In the 12 plays he was forced to pass protect, Ivory did not surrender any pressure on QB Drew Brees. Now all Chris has to do is hold on to the ball better in 2011, and he will be more of a complete RB for the Saints.
So, as training camp begins we will see an exciting battle at the running back position from day one. And regardless of who becomes the top guy and which players make the squad, GM Mickey Loomis and Coach Sean Payton have produced a group of backs that will give the Saints plenty options this season and seasons to come.
In honor of the greatest rap trio of all time, let’s hope our Saints trio will pump out big runs, physical plays and TD’s like the great Run D.M.C. did hits and hard hitting albums. I can see it now on billboards all across NFL Cities.
Loomis and Payton productions proudly presents “Run PMC” coming to a stadium near you to do what they do! I can’t wait. Can you? Who Dat!