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SmashMouth 09-22-2010 06:41 PM

New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas has great chance to show worth
 
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METAIRIE – Pierre Thomas, perhaps, is staring at the biggest opening he’ll ever have as a running back with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.

Now that Reggie Bush is expected to be sidelined at least six weeks recovering from a fractured right fibula, those 10 to 12 touches a game that usually go to him will have to go to someone else.

And what better player to get those touches or the bulk of those touches than Thomas, a.k.a. PT23, one of the most underrated and underappreciated chain movers in the Saints “spread offense.’’

There are four words from the previous paragraph that require elaboration:

- Spread Offense: I use this term only because Saints Coach Sean Payton has a laundry list of primary distribution points in his weekly game plan: WR Marques Colston, WR Lance Moore, WR Devery Henderson, WR Robert Meachem, TE David Thomas, TE Jeremy Shockey, PT23 and Bush. Even FB Heath Evans gets in the act now and then.

- Underrated: PT23 generally is not given his props around the NFL largely because of Payton’s “spread offense.’’ That is not a knock against the head coach, it’s a fact. And who can argue with success? Led by the maestro, QB Drew Brees, the Saints have led the NFL in scoring and yards in three of the last four years.

- Underappreciated: This is where it can get a little dicey. In terms of Payton, the coaching staff and his teammates, I believe they know what PT23 brings to the table on a weekly basis. In terms of salary compensation, a case can be made that PT23 is grossly underpaid, largely because he is merely one working part in a well-oiled machine (see spread offense) and still feeling the effects somewhat of entering the NFL in 2007 as an undrafted rookie free agent who initially made relative peanuts.

And, I understand why Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis towed a hard line with Thomas during the offseason. Loomis merely played by the restricted free agent rules under the current NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. An equal argument could be made, however, that Thomas is worth more than a one-year, $1.684 million contract that he begrudgingly signed June 14.

At least PT23 and his agent, Lamont Smith, think so.

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DrewDat 09-22-2010 08:49 PM

PT has been my favorite player for the past 3 seasons....I like him because he is overlooked and underrated...he has my vote for hardest working man in the NFL..i actually like the fact that teams look at bush before him....and it never surprises me when he makes the big play and teams look confused that it was because of him and not bush

DRsaints 09-22-2010 10:12 PM

Good read, and although I think PT is a pretty good role player, I don't think he's all that underrated. Ask yourself this question, if you put PT by himself, with no Reggie Bush or no third running back, could he handle the load on his own? and could he excel at it? I see him as average at best in this role. So maybe he's a bit underpaid, I'll give you that argument, but underrated? Not in my opinion. Look at his numbers for the past two games and you'll see some of what I'm talking about.

QBREES9 09-23-2010 12:33 AM

Pay the Man.

rich006 09-23-2010 01:36 AM

I thought everyone agreed PT was a pretty dang good back. ??

Rugby Saint II 09-23-2010 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DRsaints (Post 248430)
Good read, and although I think PT is a pretty good role player, I don't think he's all that underrated. Ask yourself this question, if you put PT by himself, with no Reggie Bush or no third running back, could he handle the load on his own? and could he excel at it? I see him as average at best in this role. So maybe he's a bit underpaid, I'll give you that argument, but underrated? Not in my opinion. Look at his numbers for the past two games and you'll see some of what I'm talking about.

I'm going to have to disagree with you about PTs production and how much he's worth.
Your first question- can he be the man and handle the load? We are about to find out. But he has been good whenever Payton calls his number.
Your second question-Can he excel? Once again, we are about to find out. Watch the Superbowl again and you'll see him excel.
Is he underrated? We Saint fans already know the answer to that one. Just look at his film when we need to close out games. He moves the chains.
His avg right now is 3.93 yds. per carry. I'll admit that's not impressive. What is impressive is the way he makes something out of nothing. Some of his runs are inspirational. I can't recall too many 3rd downs that he hasn't come through for us. If you just watch him run he looks like a number 1 to me. I'm sold on him. I'd pay him.


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