Mark Ingram: I Feel Strong, I Feel Explosive
Free agent running back Mark Ingram says he’s still in prime football shape as he vies for a new contract.
Mark Ingram says ‘splitting time’ throughout his career has protected him from burnout. He enters his 13th NFL season at the age of 33 following a nomadic couple of years.
He played for the Saints for eight years, the Ravens for two, the Texans for half a year before returning to New Orleans for the second half of last season. Mark Ingram made 10 appearances for the Saints last year before missing the last four games due to injury.
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“Splitting time, splitting backfields has been a blessing,” Ingram said.
“But it’s also been frustrating at times because I felt like on several occasions or had I had the opportunity to be a feature guy, a bell cow, knowing I wake up Sunday knowing I’m going to get 20 touches, I think that’s a little different. But I don’t have any regrets. Every time, I just try to take advantage of my opportunities, try to take advantage of my role within the offense and maximize my touches any time that I had the opportunity to touch the ball.”
Ingram’s best season came six years ago when he made the 2017 Pro Bowl. That year he had 1,124 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. His 8,111 total rushing yards ranked 50th in NFL history.
Unfortunately, he has stiff competition for a place on a new team. Fournette, Hunt and McKinnon are also free agents this year with a deep upcoming draft in the running back position.
“I think sharing backfields, I think not getting overloaded with 300 carries a season for like five or six seasons in a row, I think that has helped me make it to Year 13 and still have a good body where I feel strong, I feel explosive, I feel like I can contribute and produce at a high level.
“But also just mentally as well — physical, emotionally, all that. That’s why I think I still have that drive and that hunger and desire and I think that has something to do with me sharing the ball, splitting time over the years, even in college.”