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Meet the New Orleans Saints coaches: Joel Thomas

Thomas is entering his eighth season with New Orleans

CP-Coach-Profile-2022-Joel-Thomas

Joel Thomas enters his eighth season as the Saints running backs coach after 15 years of coaching in the college ranks. Since arriving in 2015, the club has led the NFL with 136 rushing touchdowns.

In the past five seasons, Thomas has helped his players earn six Pro Bowl selections – Mark Ingram II (2017) and Alvin Kamara (2017-21). He has been the position coach for three seasons of at least 1,500 total yards of scrimmage by Kamara and one by Ingram. Since his debut in 2017, Kamara is the only player in the NFL with at least 7,500 total yards from scrimmage and at least 65 touchdowns. In total, Thomas' running backs have registered 23 100-yard performances since 2015.

In his seventh season with the Saints, Thomas tutored Kamara to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl campaign, as he led the team in rushing and receiving despite missing four games with a knee injury, carrying 240 times for 898 yards with four touchdowns and catching 47 passes for 439 yards and five scores. Kamara had three 100-yard rushing games for the first time and his 102.8 scrimmage yards per game ranked fifth in the NFL. Kamara finished the season with 4,238 career rushing yards, moving into fourth place in club record books. After being re-acquired by the Saints at midseason, Ingram became the franchise's all-time rushing leader (6,267 yards) and only the second player in club history to have 8,000 career yards from scrimmage.

Joel Thomas coaching career

Table inside Article
TeamPosition HeldYears
Purdue (College)Graduate Assistant2000-01
Louisville (College)Running backs coach2002-03
Idaho (College)Co-offensive coordinator & running backs coach2004-05
Purdue (College)Running backs coach2006-08
Washington (College)Running backs coach2009-11
Washington (College)Associate head coach for offense & running backs coach2012
Arkansas (College)Running backs coach2013-14
New Orleans Saints (NFL)Running backs coach2015-present

Take a look at running backs coach Joel Thomas in action as we highlight the New Orleans Saints coaching staff on the sidelines.

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