Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson are the two best all-around running backs in the NFL, and it’s not really close. Just don’t tell that to Mark Ingram.
The New Orleans Saints running back thinks he’s on the same level as those guys and wants to keep proving he’s “the best complete back in this game.”
“I just want to keep proving that I’m the best complete back in this game,” Ingram said, per ESPN’s Mike Triplett. You know Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, I feel like I can do the same thing that those guys do, given the opportunity. So that’s my mindset, that’s my goal. I want to be the best back in this league. That’s what I come out here and work for every single day.”
Ingram points to his abilities as a receiver as one of the reasons he styles himself among the NFL’s best.
“I’ve always caught the ball my entire life,” said Ingram, whose father Mark Ingram Sr. was a standout NFL receiver. “So I’ve always known that I had good hands and was able to catch the ball. But early in my career I wasn’t able to be featured that way. So now that I’m able to get a chance, I just want to make sure that I keep excelling in that area of my game, that I keep proving I’m more than capable of coming out of the backfield and catching the ball and running routes and catching the ball with the best backs that do that in this league.”
In three seasons at Alabama, where he won the Heisman in 2009, Ingram caught 60 passes for 670 yards and four touchdowns. In six seasons as a pro, he’s caught 149 passes for 1,012 yards and four touchdowns.
When compared to the likes of Johnson and Bell, those numbers don’t tell the story of the NFL’s best all-around back. Bell, just last year, caught 75 passes for 616 yards and two touchdowns (in 12 games!!!), while Johnson hauled in 80 passes for 879 yards and four touchdowns.
Additionally, those guys are the undisputed primary backs for their teams. Meanwhile, Ingram is going to be one part of a three-headed monster playing with Adrian Peterson and rookie Alvin Kamara out of Tennessee.
Is Ingram good? Heck yes. He’s very good. But last year was a career year for him, and he gained just 1,362 yards total. That’s child’s play for the best backs in the league.