METAIRIE â€“ Though the third practice of training camp hardly counts, prized rookie running back Mark Ingramâ€™s first professional carry with the New Orleans Saints left much to be desired Sunday morning.
After being stopped for a loss around left end, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama and the teamâ€™s second of two first-round draft picks, not only lost the ball but he also lost his helmet.
Saintsâ€™ veteran middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma made the strip and scoop. In addition, Vilma unhingedÂ Ingramâ€™s helmet, giving himÂ football's version of the defensive trifectaÂ - strip, scoop and scrape. Ingram picked himself off the ground, collected his helmetÂ and walked back to the huddle to teasing taunts of "Roll Tide!''
Moments later, Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williamsâ€™ added insult to Ingramâ€™s bruised ego: â€œWelcome to the NFL! â€¦ Welcome! â€¦ Welcome! â€¦ Welcome!â€™â€™
â€œI thought the play was over,â€™â€™ Ingram explained. â€œI should have buttoned up but I didnâ€™t. It is what it is. Itâ€™s all a learning experience for me. I made sure it didnâ€™t happen again.â€™â€™
Sunday morningâ€™s workout was Ingramâ€™s first of training camp. He missed the first two practices while his agent, Joel Segal, and team officials finalized a four-year deal that includes an option year.
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