Saints gained RB edge by not chasing James

September, 28, 2009
9/28/09
2:11
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

Remember back in the offseason when a lot of people were screaming for the Saints to sign Edgerrin James.

Kudos to general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton for not caving into the pressure on that one and signing an aging running back. The Saints did the smart thing by going with what they had -- Reggie Bush, Mike Bell, Pierre Thomas and Lynell Hamilton.

Bell gave them two big games to open the season and Thomas stepped up Sunday even though he had been sick. Hamilton also was a factor, making a big play on special teams.

By staying away from James, who might have been one-dimensional at this point in his career, the Saints have left their backfield with a bunch of different dimensions.

“I think it’s versatile; they have different skill sets and I do like the fact that we have some young players in that room,’’ coach Sean Payton told the media Monday.” I said in the spring that we felt pretty confident that some of our answers might be in the building, and again it’s early in the season, but I’m pleased with how that position group has come along. It’s always a battle of attrition when you look at the long season that you have. Fortunately we have some depth there and some guys that we have confidence in and are gaining confidence in. Take a guy like Lynell Hamilton who made a big play on special teams and had a touchdown and did a good job when we called his number yesterday -- those are all valuable snaps for our team.”

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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