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QBREES9 10-15-2009 09:09 AM

It's full speed ahead for rejuvenated New Orleans Saints' backfield
 
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It's full speed ahead for rejuvenated New Orleans Saints' backfield
By John DeShazier, The Times-Picayune

It's not like the New Orleans Saints have gone begging because they didn't have the full stable of running backs they expected to have the first four games Actually, all things considered, their cup ran over.
Mike Bell bruised and battered his way to 229 yards and a touchdown on 45 carries in the first two games. And before anyone had a chance to miss him because of a sprained MCL, Pierre Thomas came back -- from a sprained MCL -- and ripped off 212 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries in the next two games.
Mix in the 148 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries by Reggie Bush during that time, and well, you get the idea.
Flat out, the Saints have run over all comers this season, for 166.2 yards per game. That's good for second in the league and good for a shock wave, considering no realistic amount of optimism would've had New Orleans running this wild.
Now, the good part:
Bell, Thomas and Bush all are healthy and available together for the first time this season, with the Saints (4-0) and Giants (5-0) playing Sunday at the Superdome, each team ready to give the other its first loss.
Sure, snaps and touches will have to be determined. But obviously that's a pleasant problem to have, an area that has to be sorted out but just as easily can be allowed to sort out itself if the hot-hand-gets-the-carries theory prevails.
"We're just ecstatic to have everybody back in the backfield, " Thomas said. "It's a good rotation. We're going to try to keep the best guy in there."
And the best guy might depend on the situation.
Bush, we know, is the best receiver. He said he has worked hard on running between the tackles, the facet of his game that has received the most criticism. But let's be real: No one pictures Bush as a punishing chain-mover.
Bell and Thomas are more suited for that role. Both have enough speed to score from distance, but if a third- or fourth-and-1 needs to be converted, Thomas and Bell more likely are the options if the Saints run the ball.
Given that Thomas and Bell are similar, they're more likely to share the snaps for the situations that call for their abilities; Bush's time more likely will be unaffected.
"We just play football, " Bush said. "We don't really think about what we bring to the offense individually. We're all -- when we get our opportunities -- we're going to make the most of it."
So far, that's exactly what has happened.
Bell ran for a career-high 143 yards against Detroit. Thomas scored on runs of 34 and 19 yards against Buffalo, and finished with a career-high 126. Bush is averaging 4.1 yards per carry; he never has averaged more than 3.8 as a pro.
And maintaining the production seems feasible. Undoubtedly, opponents will load up to stop the Saints' passing game more than they'll gear up to stop the run. In the past two games, in which Drew Brees hasn't thrown a touchdown pass -- after totaling nine in the first two games -- the Saints have run for 222 and 153 yards against Buffalo and the Jets, and thrown for 156 and 190.
"It just means we have more weapons, more things for a defense to watch out for, " Bell said of the stocked backfield.
But, too, it means he almost certainly won't be getting 22.5 carries per game.
"I'm not one of those guys (that needs a lot of carries), " Bell said. "(Former Denver wide receiver) Rod Smith told me, 'You're not going to be able to get into a rhythm.' You've got to make the best of the carries you get.
"However Coach wants it. He's a smart guy. He knows better (who should be on the field) than we know. I'm going to trust him, same as I have all year. I'm just happy to be out there."
That seems to be the stance they all have adopted.
"As a player, you want to go out and do your best, " Thomas said. "But if you've got somebody on a hot streak, keep him out there."

It's full speed ahead for rejuvenated New Orleans Saints' backfield | New Orleans Saints Central - - NOLA.com

Rugby Saint II 10-16-2009 03:36 PM

Re: It's full speed ahead for rejuvenated New Orleans Saints' backfield
 
When we lost Deuce there was some panicking going on. We are doing a fine job of opening holes for the running backs. I wonder how much our Oline coach had to do with this new ability to run?

NEXTPROBOWLER 10-16-2009 06:34 PM

Re: It's full speed ahead for rejuvenated New Orleans Saints' backfield
 
way better blocking then last year

nutria 10-16-2009 07:23 PM

Re: It's full speed ahead for rejuvenated New Orleans Saints' backfield
 
Now there is not as much pure fear and panic on 4th and one yard to go or on the goal line--What a relief that we have a chance in these situations, due to the O line and backs, and the coach staying with the run game.

Crusader 10-17-2009 04:14 PM

Re: It's full speed ahead for rejuvenated New Orleans Saints' backfield
 
I think a lot of it si from going against our defence in practise. I mean instead of going against the sloppy prevent defence of Gibbs they now have to run against a defence coached by GW. I mean we can se the difference in the games and it should be the same in practise.


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