But then, during the Payton era, that matter of course has turned out not to be so much a... matter of course. Saints fans who endure the agony of fake football have watched Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, and Travaris Cadet grow from exhibition game oddities into regular season contributors and better.
Yeah, Cadet may be sliding back the other way now, but that's at least in part due to the fact that this year's camp hero is beating him out.
Undrafted rookie running back Khiry Robinson made the most of his third-team carries in the first two preseason games. He has 102 yards on 22 carries for a team-leading average of 4.6 yards. Meanwhile, his chief competition for a spot on the roster, Travaris Cadet, is struggling with the second team. He has 35 yards on 18 attempts, and he fumbled twice against the Raiders, losing possession once. Robinson in no way has locked up a spot behind running backs Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas. But he has kept himself in consideration, and Cadet did not help his standing against Oakland.Before the Payton years, we would have dismissed Robinson's pre-season performance as so much irrelevant nonsense. Not so much anymore.