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Mark Ingram Will Rush For 1,000 Yards This Season

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Saints RB Mark Ingram has shown flashes of potential, but has not been able to contribute on a consistent basis. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images.
Saints RB Mark Ingram has shown flashes of potential, but has not been able to contribute on a consistent basis. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images.

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram has dealt with several obstacles (some of his own doing) during his two-year NFL career. Being a former Heisman Trophy winner and a first-round pick does not make the expectations on him any less daunting.

The fact that he went from being loved and praised in Alabama to not being a fan favorite in New Orleans also had to come as a huge shock personally for Ingram.

Well, that is all about to change as Ingram is set to have a breakout year in 2013.

One reason is because of Ingram’s improved running style. During his first season and a half, Ingram ran tentatively and without conviction which resulted in terrible results both on the field and on the stat sheets.

Midway through the 2012 season however, Ingram ran the ball better than he ever had before. He was hitting the hole harder, using his power and speed to break off bigger runs. Ingram ended his season with 602 total yards, 424 of them coming in his last eight games.

Ingram will also benefit greatly from improved play from the offensive line. The Saints offensive line had a very up and down year in 2012. More downs than ups for sure, it was probably the sloppiest season many have seen a Saints line play in years. With head coach Sean Payton coming back after serving his suspension and assistant coaches returning to their natural duties without all of the outside distractions, the offensive line should improve immensely.

Probably the biggest reason why Ingram will achieve his first 1,000-yard season in 2013 is the fact that he is finally healthy. Over the course of the last two seasons, Ingram has had to put up with nagging injuries. In his rookie campaign, he dealt with a heel injury that forced him to sit out for two weeks before a turf toe injury caused him to be placed on the injured reserve list and miss the playoffs.

Ingram also had minor knee surgery before the 2012 season. Although he did play in all 16 games, it took him a few weeks to regain trust in his knee and foot but he gained strength as the season went on.

Ingram will be going into this season completely healthy with no preseason surgeries or nagging injuries to deal with. Provided he stays healthy and he continues to take advantage of every carry he is given, this will be the season that Mark Ingram finally meets the expectations of the organization, coaching staff and fans.