Steve: Could Travaris Cadet be the new Darren Sproles?
Even with the departure of Darren Sproles, the Saints running back corp remains loaded with talent this year. Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson headline the group, while Travaris Cadet is entering his 3rd year with the team, and is looking to expand upon his role, which has been limited thus far.
Out of the four guys I just mentioned, only Ingram was selected in the NFL draft. The other three are all undrafted free agent finds by the team.
“It’s just like Coach Payton says; it doesn’t matter how you get here, it’s what you do when you are here,” says Cadet. “It’s all about gaining respect in the locker room and from the coaches.”
So far, Cadet has really just been involved with special teams on the Saints. He has acted as a returner and also covered on kicks. But, now that Sproles is gone, Cadet could easily be that pass receiving threat out the backfield.
“I just try and take advantages of my opportunities. You know, I’m here for a reason; I’m not here by mistake. I don’t want to waste any days, because the day that you waste you can never get back.”
Now, Cadet is a much bigger player then Sproles. He stands 6 ft 1, 210 pounds, but has a similar skill set. He is fast, elusive and a great pass receiving threat out the backfield.
So, could Cadet run basically the same plays as Sproles?
“I think a year ago, I don’t know that I would have been able to tell you that,” Coach Sean Payton responded. “The focus for him was the running game per se. That element with regards to running routes and catching the football, he would be further ahead, but we saw him last year as a guy who transitioned into someone that we handed the ball to. That’s something he’s worked hard on. He’s a guy with good hands, he’s sudden with a good change of direction, and I think that is one of the things we’ll look for in this upcoming training camp. He’s been able to do a lot of the things we’ve asked Darren to do in the passing game. You just keep building on that. He’s a good young talent.”
Cadet hasn’t seen much action in 2 years in Black and Gold though. He has just one carry - one career carry - for 5 yards, with 7 receptions for 49 yards and 1 touchdown. His standout performances in organized team activities and mini-camp need to carry over into the preseason in order for him to have any hope a gaining a more active role in the offense.
Cadet seems ready of the challenge though.
“I feel like if you dedicate yourself to whatever you do in life, you put the overtime in and you don’t get complacent though success and through hard times, you’ll be the player God wants you to be.”
Photos via Chris Bennett