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QBREES9 05-21-2010 11:23 PM

New linebacker Clint Ingram is excited about fresh start with New Orleans Saints
 
New linebacker Clint Ingram is excited about fresh start with New Orleans Saints
By Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune

Thanks to a recent knee surgery, new New Orleans Saints linebacker Clint Ingram won't be able to step right onto the field and take over for departed starter Scott Fujita.

But the fifth-year pro is hoping that's exactly where he'll wind up by the end of training camp.

"I'm just now getting off crutches," said Ingram, who will arrive in New Orleans this weekend to sign a one-year contract, then start watching and learning from the sideline next week when the Saints begin their organized team activities (OTAs).

"I'll be there, getting as much as I can in the classroom and doing my rehab and working with the guys. I just won't be running out on the field," said Ingram, who said he had arthroscopic surgery last month to remove a cyst, and that the procedure included a "small microfracture."
Ingram said he hopes to start practicing at full speed early in training camp, and the plan is to be ready in time for a full 16-game season.
If he's healthy, Ingram certainly has the most experience of any candidate for the Saints' strongside linebacker job - a competition that will also include young candidates like Jonathan Casillas, Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Stanley Arnoux.

Ingram (6 feet 2, 240 pounds) was the primary starter in Jacksonville for all four years after he was drafted in the third round out of Oklahoma in 2006. But he never fully realized his potential, thanks to a variety of injuries and inconsistent play.

Last year, in particular, was admittedly disappointing for Ingram after coaches had raved about his progress during the 2009 offseason and expected big things out of him.

"Coming in the way I had ended up the year before and the way I had went through offseason and trained and got myself ready, (the season was disappointing)," said Ingram, who had 52 tackles and one sack in 13 games before being sidelined by a shoulder injury. "I had a minor (ankle) injury in camp, then it didn't seem like I could ever really get going the way I wanted to. Whether it was me pressing or for some reason I was uptight, trying to make plays. I was just trying to do more than just doing my job. I really just can't put my finger at what the problem was.

"I had some on and off games. I wasn't as consistent as I thought I should have been. And our whole season, we just didn't have too many guys who really played that good. We went back and forth as far as a 3-4 (alignment) and 4-3. We were kind of looking for our identity the whole year."
Ingram, 27, said his time in Jacksonville was a blessing, and if he could do it all over again, he would. But he said the choice to start fresh in New Orleans was an easy one.

Ingram had an opportunity to stay with the Jaguars when he began this offseason as a restricted free agent, but he never signed the one-year $1.266 million tender they offered him. Eventually, the Jaguars rescinded the offer after they traded for Oakland Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison, making Ingram an unrestricted free agent.
Ingram said plenty of teams were interested once he hit the open market, despite the knee surgery. After visiting New Orleans, he also visited Detroit and Kansas City. He said St. Louis, Tennessee and Chicago had also expressed interest.

The Saints, however, were his top choice from the start. For one thing, he had played for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in Jacksonville in 2008, and he was excited to work with him again. For another, his visit went great with the Saints late last month - "They really rolled out the red carpet for me," he said.

Ingram also heard plenty of good things from former pro and college teammates and friends, such as defensive ends Jimmy Wilkerson and Bobby McCray and former Saints tailback Mike Bell.
"And of course it doesn't hurt to be heading to the world champions," Ingram said.

Ingram said he's a versatile linebacker who will do whatever the coaches ask in New Orleans. He said when he played for Williams in '08, he did some run-stuffing, some blitzing and dropped back in coverage.
"His style fits the way I like to play. Just all-out get after the ball," Ingram said of the aggressive coordinator who brought a new identity to the Saints defense in 2009. "He likes to get after the quarterback, man, and he likes to get after the ball. When he left, I was like, 'I hope I get to meet u with you again.' And here we go."

New linebacker Clint Ingram is excited about fresh start with New Orleans Saints | - NOLA.com

foreverfan 05-22-2010 01:20 PM

Re: New linebacker Clint Ingram is excited about fresh start with New Orleans Saints
 
Hope he can stay of the bicycle.

http://laughingsquid.com/wp-content/...517-191704.jpg

Rugby Saint II 05-22-2010 05:41 PM

Re: New linebacker Clint Ingram is excited about fresh start with New Orleans Saints
 
Upgrade? At the very least.


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