In an interview on Sirius radio, Saints head coach Sean Payton revealed a little more of the thought process behind the Saints not picking up a veteran running back to shore up the position in free agency or even a rookie running back in the draft.
His confidence in the RB positions depth, particularly in 2007 UDFA pickup Pierre Thomas, was clearly expressed when asked “With a guy like (Pierre) Thomas … Is this a guy that you can maybe turn to and let him tote it a little bit sooner than you did a year ago?” Payton responded, “I think so, I think he’s demonstrated that (last year).” Adding, “He’s physical.. getting tougher yards where he does a good job of pushing the pile forward… He’s definitely a guy who’s going to get some more touches, more than he did a year ago.”
Many have speculated that the Saints will pick up a veteran running back late in the year if Deuce McAllister doesn’t progress well from his ACL surgery. However, Payton seemed confident that Thomas and veteran 3rd down back Aaron Stecker can carry the load while Deuce continues to progress. Reggie Bush, considered more of a scat-back by most, was not mentioned in the conversation.
Pierre Thomas was the fan favorite UDFA player who booted 4th round pick Antonio Pittman from the Saints roster by having a spectacular training camp last year.