Kamara no longer a secret weapon

*Alvin Kamara is the Saints first 'Rookie of the Month' since 2006. He won the rookie of the week award 3 times in 4 weeks in November. The rookie running back racked up 303 yards on just 35 carries, an unbelievable 8.7 yards per carry, and scored three touchdowns on the ground. Kamara also added 291 yards on 23 catches, averaging 12.7 yards per catch and adding another three touchdowns there. 

LOS ANGELES -- Alvin Kamara is never down until he’s down.

“Slippery” is how Rams linebacker Mark Barron describes the knack.

Kamara, the Saints rookie running back, has taken the league by storm with his dazzling display of balance and agility to extend plays – just when it appeared there was nowhere to go.

He was at it again during the Saints’ 26-20 loss against the Rams, when he caught six passes for 101 yards and a score, and rushed for 87 yards, including a 74-yard TD jaunt.

There was one play in the second quarter when Kamara took a little swing pass in the flat and made four Rams defenders miss, netting 6 yards out of what looked to be a sure loss.

On the next drive, he topped that. At least five Rams, or maybe six, whiffed on another pass to the flat. Kamara wiggled, twisted, spun, dipped and dashed for 21 yards.

Part of what makes him special is an ability to use the momentum of a hit to propel him with the flow as he stays on his feet.

“You definitely have to tackle him a certain way,” Barron said. “If not, he’ll break the tackle.”

And what’s that certain way?

“Personally, the way I’d tackle him is to just get his legs,” Barron said. “I wouldn’t try to bump him. He’s got a center of gravity, and he gets low. You’ve got to wrap him up.”

With Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s spectacular season cut short by a knee injury, Kamara – drafted out of Tennessee with a third-round pick – has likely emerged as the frontrunner for offensive rookie of the year honors.

Through 11 games, splitting duty with starter Mark Ingram, Kamara has rushed for 546 yards and 7.1 yards per carry, then caught 54 passes for 548 yards. He’s scored nine touchdowns.

“He’s nice,” Barron said, referring to the skill set. “Some of the stuff he did against us was the stuff he’s been doing all year ... breaking tackles, making spectacular plays and just being a playmaker.”

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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