Mark Ingram: ‘They keep mentioning my age, man’

Three days after his 12th NFL training camp, former Alabama ex-Mark Ingram was asked how he felt as the league’s second oldest runner-up.

“They just kept mentioning my age, man,” Ingram said. “No, I’m just a blessed man. I’m grateful. I’m still here playing. To be healthy, have the drive, the commitment, and the determination to do it at the highest level, I don’t have any plans for it – I know the game doesn’t last forever, but I don’t.” I plan to slow down anytime soon. …

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“I feel good, man. Obviously, a lot of experiences, a lot of opportunities, a lot of years, successes, failures, all that stuff. I don’t feel like the second-most returning player in the league. Who is the first?”

In fact, Ingram is the third-oldest player on the NFL training camp roster, but the two older players from the New Orleans Saints ball carrier have not shouldered the burden throughout their Ingram careers.

Taiwanese Buffalo Bills Jones, who turned 34 on Tuesday, hasn’t made a rushing attempt in the past two seasons, although he’s made 515 specials during that time.

Kingon Barner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who turned 33 on April 28, has made four attempts to dash for zero yards in the past two seasons.

Ingram, who will turn 33 on December 21, returned from a phased exit by the Baltimore Ravens in 2020 with a 554-yard run, two touchdowns on 160 holders and 27 passes for 162 yards in 2021, when he played seven games with Baltimore Ravens Team. Houston Texans has seven games for Saints.

The Saints may have to turn back the clock in 2022 with Ingram, who originally joined New Orleans as the 28th player selected in the 2011 NFL Draft and is the all-time accelerating franchise captain.

The Saints face an uncertain situation as the Pro Bowl five times fall behind Alvin Kamara, who could become subject to league discipline.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrested Camara shortly after he played the Pro Bowl on February 6. Camara, Kansas City Chiefs Chris Lamons and two other men face charges of battery causing significant bodily harm and conspiracy to commit battery after an accident at a Las Vegas nightclub on February 5. Camara’s pre-trial hearing, which was twice delayed, is scheduled for Monday.

Under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy, Kamara “can be granted paid leave if she is formally charged with a violent crime or sexual assault, or if the NFL investigation finds sufficient credible evidence that a violation of this policy appears to have occurred.”

After the NFL investigation and criminal proceedings are over, Camara will be disciplined if he is found guilty of a criminal offense or if an NFL investigation concludes that he has engaged in conduct prohibited under the Personal Conduct Policy.

“I try never to worry about things I have no control over,” Saints coach Dennis Allen said when New Orleans opened his training camp. “So, I’m not in control of this situation, so we’ll see how it goes and then we’ll adapt accordingly.”

While Ingram believes the Saints have “an elaborate running room,” Camara’s absence, if it does, appears to make meeting New Orleans’ goals for the 2022 season even more difficult.

“I think we had a great performance,” Ingram said. Added some pieces. Continue to have our key players and add some players who can help us be better, very excited about what could be, what we could achieve as an offense. Obviously we’re only on day three and we have a lot of work to do, but everyone on our squad, everyone in our attacking, coaching staff, we’re all on the same page and we’re all excited about what we can become this year. …

“We have Super Bowl aspirations. We have championship aspirations and nothing less. People can say whatever they want, but we work here, we grind here. We mesh as a team, we work hard with each other, we take care of each other, we need each other and that’s it.” What we need is each other. We believe in each other, and we just stack these days. We stack reps, tap every rep. We don’t have to do it, we have to do it, so we don’t take the opportunity for granted.”

Related: Mark Ingram changes jersey numbers again with Saint

The Saints set a 9-8 record last season. New Orleans had a 5-2 mark, but quarterback James Winston fell with a season-ending knee injury in Game Seven, losing the next five Saints without the former Hueytown High School star under center.

Winston is back at quarterback for training camp.

“James is the man,” Ingram said. “I just think of his development as a quarterback in the league. I think he has confidence in himself, his confidence in the system, confidence in his teammates, his ability to be a leader on and off the field, on and off the field. He cares about his teammates. He’s smart on the field and makes the right decisions. Great arm strength. He has all the intangibles you look for in a franchised quarterback, so being able to share the meeting with him is a fantastic opportunity.”

The Saints begin their three-game pre-season schedule on August 13 against the Houston Texans and begin their regular season roster on September 11 against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Mark Enabinet is a sports reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at Hahahaha.

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