Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Brees: Thomas NFL's best all-purpose back
By Mike Triplett
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- It’s still too early in New Orleans Saints training camp to judge exactly how they plan to split the workload among their deep running back corps.
My best guess is that Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson will split carries pretty evenly in base packages and early downs, while Pierre Thomas lines up more with the nickel offenses (sort of the old Darren Sproles role). That would make sense, since Thomas is both the best pass-catcher and the best pass-protector of all the Saints’ running backs.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees offered some lofty praise of Thomas’ versatility Tuesday when asked if throwing the screen pass to Thomas is one of his favorite plays.
“Yes. He’s one of the best screen runners there is, ever,” Brees said. “He does such a great job of timing, setting up his blocks, just hitting those seams and hitting the sidewalk. He does a phenomenal job at it.
“You see these young guys (Ingram, Robinson and Travaris Cadet) starting to pick up on a little bit of those traits, too. Sproles was great at it. But Pierre can do everything. He’s the best all-purpose back in the league in my opinion. Run, pass, screen game, pass protection ... you name it, he can do it.”