Metairie, La. -- Over the past two seasons, Saints running back Alvin Kamara has emerged as one of the top backs in the league. But being one of the star offensive weapons for the Saints wasn't the immediate plan after he was drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was coming into a situation where the Saints had two strong options at that position in Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson.
"We had Adrian and Mark and then you bring in Alvin and it was just one of those where he just needed repetition," said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "Early-on a lot of those reps were going to Mark. They were going to Adrian Peterson. During training camp you'd see flashes but I don't think it was until maybe that Miami game in London where all of a sudden Alvin goes off and you realize, man, this could be a feature guy-- not just a third down, scat back, get him out of the backfield, get him into space. He can do everything. I think hence was the decision then to trade Adrian and then Alvin became a staple."
In his rookie season, in which he was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year, Kamara finished with 1,554 total yards (728 rushing, 826 receiving) and 14 total touchdowns. Last season he did even better, finishing with 1,592 total yards (883 rushing, 709 receiving) and 18 total touchdowns. All that while splitting carries with Ingram. For Kamara, his focus going into year three is to continue to challenge himself to get even better.
"That's where the anxiety comes from with me," Kamara said. "It's not like a bad anxiety but like a good anxiety. I'm so anxious to see what else. Where else could I line up? What else could I do? How else could I be successful? That's like the best part of this profession for is like, 'OK, you was good last year. How are you going to prove you are what you are?' What's the next step you're going to take? It's just about taking the next step and getting better."