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Saints backfield continues to shift because of injuries

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; METAIRIE, La. ― Timing, the old cliché goes, is everything. And for DeShawn Wynn, the Saints’ timing couldn’t have been any better. Hours away from accepting a job in the UFL, Wynn instead said yes to an offer from the ...

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Old 08-23-2010, 08:19 PM   #1
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Saints backfield continues to shift because of injuries

METAIRIE, La. ― Timing, the old cliché goes, is everything.

And for DeShawn Wynn, the Saints’ timing couldn’t have been any better.

Hours away from accepting a job in the UFL, Wynn instead said yes to an offer from the defending Super Bowl champions who were in position to sign another running back after placing P.J. Hill on the injured reserve list with a torn triceps.

Monday morning’s physical at New Orleans’ Metairie headquarters, in fact, was the first face-to-face contact between the two parties.

“I hadn’t done anything,” Wynn said. “Basically, it was a surprise to me. I was actually talking to a UFL team and the guy was talking me into coming out, saying all the benefits of how I can play football and be in football condition.

“I was about to call him back probably two hours before the Saints called and that’s what happened.”

The move keeps four running backs on the Saints’ roster after losing Hill and Lynell Hamilton to season-ending injuries.

For now, Chris Ivory from Division II Tiffin University appears to have the upper hand on the No. 3 running back behind Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas.

Besides being in camp for more than two weeks ahead of Betts and three weeks ahead of Wynn, the other two are coming off knee surgeries that kept them off the field much of the 2009 season.

Betts tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Nov. 22 while Wynn tore a meniscus in October.

But roster shakeups during preseason are much easier to deal with than during the season, Head Coach Sean Payton said.

“It’s harder when it happens in season and a player arrives on Tuesday, study the play book, practices, practices Wednesday and he’s playing in the game,” Payton said. “So, when you have more time like we do right now, it becomes a little bit easier.”

Yet, Ivory isn’t a lock. Though he finished with a team-high 66 yards against the Texans, he had only a 3.3 yard per carry average and only four of his 20 runs gained first downs. Additionally, he was stuffed at the goal line on first-and-goal from the 1.

Payton, for one, believes Thomas can handle the load a No. 1 back normally gets.

“I think certainly he’s going to get plenty of touches,” Payton said. “He’s an important part of what we do. I don’t like to use the proverbial No. 1. ... In our league you've got to have flexibility and you've got to have depth at that position. Does that mean he could carry 22 times in a game? Certainly.”

Still, for Wynn, it’s another opportunity to prove that what he was doing his rookie season in Green Bay wasn’t a fluke. The former Florida running back tallied 203 yards and four touchdowns in seven games with the Packers before injuring his shoulder.

Right now, he just needs to learn Payton’s plays.

“Obviously, I missed out on a lot of installs and playbook and all that, which I’ve got to try to catch up with,” Wynn said. “Mostly on my own I’ll have to get in the playbook because you can’t make no plays standing around trying to learn so that’s the most important thing I’m worried about.”



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