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For all those who want Mark Ingram to be starting in the Saints' backfield from game one, I have one word for you—fuhgedaboutit!
This lockout means the drafted rookies will likely not sign until well after training camp has begun, making it nearly impossible for any rookie to win a starting job from the beginning of the season.
That means Mark Ingram, Cameron Jordan and the rest of the Saints' rookie class will be behind schedule with much of the squad, though so will the free agents who sign this week. The difference for them is they already know the system (I'm making the assumption that Harper, Shanle, Thomas, Bushrod, and Goodwin will all be back in the black and gold).
These guys can afford to miss a couple practices if it comes to that. The rookies are not afforded such luxuries in their pursuit of winning regular season playing time. It is an unfortunate reality for this crop of rookies, but it's likely that none, at least on this team, are going to be starting anytime soon.
But considering the Saints made the playoffs–and won a Super Bowl the year before—with essentially the same group of players, means they don't need a sudden batch of talent to filter through the facility.
Obviously young talent is appreciated and even coveted, but Gregg Williams and Sean Payton are going to go with the guys they feel most comfortable with from the beginning. Down the line, it is possible these rookies will make an impact, but don't expect that to come in 2011.