2009 Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram Jr. (#22)

Sometimes the analytical and emotional parts of me like to do battle and this blog is one of those times.  Mark Ingram Jr., the 2009 Heisman trophy winning running back from the Alabama Crimson Tide is considered by many to be the number one running back in this year’s draft, I am not one of those many.  Ingram, was a great college running back that as good as he was played for a team and a system that highlights the running back despite having one of the best wide receivers in this year’s draft, Julio Jones.  Terrence Richardson, the other Alabama running back was able to carve up defenses just as much as Ingram did.  They are both solid running backs, but were able to excel on a much better team, it is not like he was doing this at Vanderbilt.  Ingram reminds me a lot of Mike Hart, who was great at the University of Michigan and a running back I loved watching on Saturday afternoons.  Hart, who does not have great NFL speed has been playing for the Colts the past couple of years not causing much of a stir.
Now the emotional side of me is pulling for Ingram, as  he seems to be a class act and very humble for that matter.  His dad has been in jail for the past couple of years and Ingram never shies away from that fact.  He was very emotional when he won the Heisman trophy and it struck me as a guy who I didn’t feel deserved it from a football standpoint, he deserved it as a human being.  So depending on how fast he runs his forty this weekend, Ingram could be looking at a first round draft status.  A part of me thinks that is ludicrous, but a big part of me hopes for the best for this kid, who unlike many of these college divas is a class act and deserves good things to happen.

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Baltimore head coach, John Harbaugh, has come out and stated that Ray Lewis is the greatest middle linebacker in NFL history and still the best in the league today, which means they will not be shopping for an heir apparent at the draft this year.  I for one can’t blame a coach for backing his guy and talking him up in the process, or for that matter I won’t even argue his comment about Lewis being the best ever.  To be honest, he is easily in the conversation and I wouldn’t argue too much against it.  Now, not preparing for the inevitable departure of Lewis is something I would like to argue.  I will spare you the suspense and tell you he is not the best linebacker out there right now, I am not even sure he is still in the top 5.  Much like Brian Urlacher, who I also don’t feel is as good as the credit he gets, they are great leaders and have high football IQ’s, which keep them playing at a higher level than their talent warrants.  Lewis has lost a few steps, I do mean plural, and he seems to miss more tackles than we are accustomed to seeing from him.  To his credit, he still does come up with big plays fairly often and he is a great leader.  That will only get you so far and times are a changing.  My advice to Mr. Harbaugh is if you want to get to the next level you will need to make some tough choices and Ray Lewis knows that.  It is time to start worrying about your team and not the mental state of your veterans.