Rumors continue to swirl online that running back Mark Ingram wants to be traded by the Saints. Today, Ingram addressed the issue head-on. Well, sorta head-on.
"No. Never came from me. I dont know who that came from. But I love New Orleans. It's home to me. I love this organization, love my teammates, love my coaches. I'm happy here. And we're 3-0. So I'm excited about that."
When asked if the report of him wanting to be traded was distracting or hurtful, Ingram said, "It doesn't matter to me. Anybody’s opinion, that’s their opinion. Everybody's entitled to their opinion. It doesn't bother me. I come out every day, work my butt off to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be for this team to help us go out there and have success. I do that every single day. And as long as my teammates, my coaches and everybody in this organization knows that, that's all that matters to me."
OK, he says a request to be traded didn't come from him. Do I believe him? Well, he didn't say that it didn't come from someone else, say, his agent. It could have come from someone close to him, trying to rattle the Saints' cage, which is not a wise move, in my opinion.
Ingram didn't practice today and was listed as having a toe injury. Also not practicing: Wide receiver Lance Moore, and that's an injury you pay attention to. If Lance Moore doesn't practice, it kind of forces the issue with WR Nick Toon. It's very serious when you're dealing with a wrist injury on a receiver. Now, I don't think it's something that keeps him out for weeks on end, but it's something to watch. If Moore's not able to go this week, you pay attention more and more to Nick Toon in this offense.
Following the Saints' victory over a very good Cardinals team, I caught up with Drew Brees for our weekly "Monday Morning Quarterback feature, which you can hear every Monday morning at 7:45 on First News with Tommy Tucker.
Drew, you were able to finish this like you want, in victory formation.
It’s just a great team effort all the way around. Defense played phenomenal, on offense, we sputtered at times, midway through. But we started fast, and finished strong, and that’s what it’s all about.
Talk a little about Jimmy Graham’s outstanding game.
He played great today. There were some favorable matchups, he made some great plays. They played us in a way they were going to single up a lot of guys, and get pressure on the quarterback, and we had to get it out faster than we wanted to. Once we settled in, we started to take advantage of some of those matchups, and get to some of those guys in space. You make one guy miss, and you’ve got the opportunity for the big play. I think we were able to exploit that.
Was it neat connecting with Robert Meachem in the end zone again?
Absolutely! We talked about it, great to get him back involved. I know he’s excited to be back, to be a part of this offense, and we can really utilize his strengths. There’s a lot of familiarity there, there’s a lot of time on task. It’s as if no time has passed, really. So, we just look forward to incorporating him even more.
What was Arizona doing early that gave you trouble?
The looks they were giving us early on were stacking the box, they were going to have an extra guy at times…there were times when we were running into tough looks, but we were trying to get the tough yards. They did a good job, they got some pressure on me, so I think that’s why we were negative rushing yards in the first half. But when you finish with over a hundred yards, it means you did your job in the second half.
You ran for one TD and threw for three, are we going to see the zone-read option coming any time soon?
Not so fast. (laughs) You know, there’s time on third down, and certain situations, where when the QB runs, they’re not accounting for you. If you can steal one or two of those per game, it’s all good. It sustains drives, and it’s tough on a defense when you’re able to add that element.
Tell us about what it’s like for your offense when you have Rob Ryan’s defense out doing what they’ve been doing.
They’re playing exceptionally well. I know they’re thinking, “hey, how do we continue to improve upon what we’ve done so far?” I think we’ve got a lot of prideful guys on that side of the ball that love this scheme, they love what Rob Ryan’s bringing to the table…they were able to do some kind of different things, based upon the personnel we have. Offensively, it’s fun for us to watch, but we also feed off that, from a momentum standpoint. We want to take those opportunities and convert them into points.