The New Orleans Saints couldn’t have asked for much more from their top rookies last year, cornerback Marshon Lattimore and running back Alvin Kamara. The two, who were drafted No. 11 and No. 67 overall respectively, were instant stars as they became the first teammates to sweep the Defensive and Offensive Rookie of the Year awards since 1967.
But don’t expect those two to suffer a sophomore slump due to complacency following their outstanding rookie campaign. After getting their hands on some hardware in Year 1, Lattimore and Kamara already have their sights set on claiming even more awards this year.
“We talk about it all the time, we’re just trying to be the best,” Lattimore said per Joel A. Erickson of the New Orleans Advocate. “We won rookie of the year, now we’re trying to win defensive player of the year, offensive player of the year.”
The Saints will certainly be counting on Kamara, who is expected to take on a heavier workload with Mark Ingram suspended for the first four games of the season. Kamara had a brilliant rookie year as he racked up 1,554 yards from scrimmage with 13 total touchdowns. While he excelled as part of a platoon, it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to his new role as the undisputed lead back.
It will be a big ask for both to be Player of the Year contenders in just their second season, much less winners. But as they showed last year, they clearly have the talent to fulfill those lofty goals in time. Until then, the Saints should be satisfied with incremental improvements that can help the team become playoff contenders once again this season.