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Saints rookie Mark Ingram receives harsh welcome to NFL in first full practice

Mark IngramMark Ingram

METAIRIE – Though the third practice of training camp hardly counts, prized rookie running back Mark Ingram’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 team’s second of two first-round draft picks, not only lost the ball but he also lost his helmet.

Saints’ veteran middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma made the strip and scoop. In addition, Vilma unhinged Ingram’s helmet, giving him football's version of the defensive trifecta - strip, scoop and scrape. Ingram picked himself off the ground, collected his helmet and walked back to the huddle to teasing taunts of "Roll Tide!''

Moments later, Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams’ added insult to Ingram’s bruised ego: “Welcome to the NFL! … Welcome! … Welcome! … Welcome!’’

“I thought the play was over,’’ Ingram explained. “I should have buttoned up but I didn’t. It is what it is. It’s all a learning experience for me. I made sure it didn’t happen again.’’

Sunday morning’s workout was Ingram’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.

Brian Allee-Walsh can be reached at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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