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New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) walks off the field after the Saints defeated the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. The Saints defeated the Panthers, 26 - 31.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Darren Sproles has paid enough attention to the Saints this year to see Alvin Kamara become the next evolution of the Joker role that Sproles once played in New Orleans. 

Sproles, like Kamara, was a devastating receiving threat for the Saints, finishing second on the team in receptions once and over 70 catches three times.

But there is a key difference in the role Kamara plays.

"Kind of got the same role, but the thing with him, they give him more carries, though," Sproles said. "They kind of gave me more passes."

Sproles averaged 62.7 carries per year during his three seasons in New Orleans as he operated in a three-back system; Kamara carried it 120 times for 728 yards in a two-back rotation with Ingram this season. 

Not that Sproles is jealous of Kamara, a rookie he respects.

"My time in New Orleans was good," Sproles said. "The way Sean Payton used me. ... I loved it."

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.