The New Orleans Saints offense is known for its dominant passing game. However, the team has also managed to build a solid running game with four quality running backs in Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory. Now, following final roster cuts, a fifth runner has been added to the crowded backfield in the form of undrafted rookie Travaris Cadet. As a Saints fan I am excited about the running game heading into the 2012 season, and I love what Cadet brings to this team.
Cadet made it impossible for the team to cut him by having a great preseason. His 30 receptions and 246 receiving yards led the league, while he also added two receiving touchdowns and 132 rushing yards. He increased his total yardage with 253 on kick returns and another 29 on punt returns.
In my opinion, Cadet was not going to make it to the Saints' practice squad. He showed enough on the field during the preseason to earn a roster spot in the NFL, and the chances are good that a team would have grabbed him. Furthermore, he can help this team immediately. Quarterback Drew Brees has shown the ability to utilize as many weapons as the front office wants to place around him.
The Saints have also proven that a team can never have too many running backs. Injuries occur each season; for example, last year the team lost Ingram during the regular season and Thomas in the postseason. Saints fans can now feel more confident that if an unfortunate injury should happen, reserves are ready. Also, if any of the running backs are banged up week to week, it will now be easier to leave a player inactive for a game to allow him to heal. Overall this can help to keep everyone fresh and ready to go. With five good runners, the team can essentially rotate them in and wear opponents down.
I think it was a great move to keep Cadet, and I can't wait to see him on the field this year. While he will likely contribute mostly on special teams, I am confident that he can produce when he gets his chance.
Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints' first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.