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Saints | Use of running backs a work in progress

The New Orleans Saints have three talented running backs in Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles, and head coach Sean Payton said the integration of the three on the field is a "work in progress." Payton said the coaching staff thinks a lot about the way the three backs will be utilized during games.

"If you separate Darren's role a little bit, if you start with some nickel packages and a little bit of this 'lighting' term we use where we're wanting him specifically on the field much like with Reggie. I don't want to say that's easy, but that becomes the easy part of the equation. So if we can establish that we have a package that involves Sproles both in the nickel and in the base, then I think the bigger trick is coming up with a ways between Pierre and Mark," Payton said.

Payton said the team tries to give both Ingram and Thomas some semblance of a rhythm, allowing each a couple series at a time on offense. "That whole time there are some times and groupings that might trump whatever the rotation might be. But there's a lot of thought given to it," he added.

He added there may not be an exact science to the rotation and the backs want to see their involvement in the offense with the game plan and how the game unfolds.

Ingram currently leads the team with 91 yards rushing on 27 carries.

2011-09-22 00:25:56 | Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune - James Varney

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