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Deke Bellavia

Join Deke and the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert for live, local talk about the Saints, LSU, Pelicans and much more on "Sports Talk!" 

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Deke: Which Saints running backs actually have the best run game?

As my lovely co-host the Cajun Cannon and I watched practice from the stands, we began to talk about the Saints running backs. Just like any position, there is more to it than meets the eye.  
RB's have to be able to do far more than just run the football.  You've got to be able to protect the QB, pick up the blitz, catch the ball out of the backfield, etc. but for right now, I am giving you my take on just running the football alone. I'm not breaking down overall game, who's the most complete back on the Saints roster and so on, I'm just giving you my take on how the RB's do strictly running the football.
So in this order, here is how I see 'em.
#1 Khiry Robinson - Robinson has the best first step, and he explodes as soon as the football is placed in his hands. Cadet's not far behind in that regard, but I like Robinson's total package as far as carrying the football.  If there is a RB on this team that can become the featured back that gets the most carries, I think it's Khiry Robinson.
#2 Travaris Cadet - I know in the past he's fumbled the ball, but on just running the ball, the #2 guy is Cadet.  He can cut on a dime, he's as shifty as Robinson and he has a burst of speed that gives him an edge on the other backs behind him on my list.  
#3 Pierre Thomas - PT is the best overall RB on the Saints.  He's a seasoned vet, he's still the total package, is a trusted guy that does not miss blocking assignments, and he can still get those hard 2-3 yards needed on crucial third-down situations. If I was rating the RB's overall, PT would be #1.
#4 Mark Ingram - Ingram is a good RB, but he does not have the burst and does not get the hard 2-4 yards needed like the RB's I have listed above. I think #22 is having a very good camp, but I want to see some of the Mark Ingram from Bryant Deny Stadium. This is not the NCAA, it's the NFL, and sometimes great CFB players take time to adjust.  I'm not ready to say Ingram is not a good RB, but on rushing the football alone, he's not better than the guys above him on my list.  
Timothy Flanders and Derrick Strozier are both good runners and both have made nice place in OTA's mini-camp and in training camp.  But I don't see either in the top four right now. 
Again, this is just one person's opinion on how the RB's run the football. I'm quite sure that in the film rooms this list would get some holes punched, because I'm not taking into account the full body of work.  But as far as running the football is concerned, this is how I see it. 

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People : Derrick StrozierSteve GellerTimothy Flanders

07/29/2014 11:38PM
Deke: Which Saints running backs actually have the best run game?
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