They both play on the Saints' offense. They both will be counted on to score touchdowns and move the chains for New Orleans.
And both will be asked to become an integral part of the playoff march that begins in September.
To say Lance Moore and Mark Ingram are polar opposites right now might a little exaggerated, but with the Saints trying to get back to the glory of playoff wins and division titles and a possible Super Bowl berth, it is just the way things are.
Moore is unassuming, a second or third option in the Saints’ passing attack, and someone who is always around a football and always around the end zone.
Ingram (who I touted as the breakout player on this team this season), has been hyped since he was drafted in 2011 out of Alabama, the Heisman Trophy winner and the man expected to replace Reggie Bush when he left for Miami.
None of that has happened yet. But there is still hope.
On a team that has Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles as offensive weapons, you can understand how Moore, an undrafted free agent in 2005 who signed after being cut by Cleveland, can get lost in the conversation about New Orleans' offensive weapons.
All he does is catch footballs, kind of like the unassuming player on the team.
Ingram has a much higher profile and because of his talents, his name and his pedigree, more is expected of him. He came from Alabama, after all and his father was a star receiver in the NFL.
Polar opposites, yes. Underrated (Moore) and overrated (Ingram), yes.
Both will be a barometer of how the Saints' season plays out? Yes.
New Orleans missed the playoffs last season because of a 0-4 start to the season, the loss of their head coach (Sean Payton) and a defense that needed to be woken up on several occasions. For anyone who did not notice, even in those conditions, Moore caught 65 passes for over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. Ingram has over 1,000 yards rushing in two seasons combined.
The 5’9”, 215-pound runner will be asked to carry more of the load this season in the backfield and share more time with Pierre Thomas. All indications in camp are he might finally be ready to take that next step.
Moore already has and with that, has become one of the more underrated stars in this league.
The Saints hope that is the case for Ingram this season, which could help return this team to the playoffs once again.