Former Saints’ running back Deuce McAllister has faith that the struggling Saints will be able to get it together in time to make a playoff run.
"The team will be fine. They just have to try to get better every week. Its not an easy ride but they knew it would not be. They have the right leaders in place and will be getting some guys back soon, he says."
He thinks the running game will be okay, with Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas out, it was apparent that the Saints would struggle running the ball but he likes the lineup of Thomas, Bush, and undrafted free agent Chris Ivory.
"They all bring something different to the game. All are eager to learn and I love working with them. Love to see them play."
McAllister knows a little bit about disappointing seasons. After being taken by the Saints in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, the former Ole Miss Rebel took over after the Ricky Williams experiment went bad.
He then proceded to throw the Saints’ record book out of the window and began to rewrite it.
McAllister was there after Hurricane Katrina and after suffering a season ending knee injury, he watched from the sidelines as the Black and Gold finished the year at 3-13.
He was a member a of a team without a head coach, without a quarterback, and without a stadium.
However, as the 2009 season drew to a close, it became apparent that the team had come full circle. The Who Dats sprinted out to a 13-0 record before losing their last three games to finish the year at 13-3 but Deuce wasn’t on the team.
After suffering another season knee injury in 2007 as well as various other injuries, it became apparent that Deuce’s days as a pro football player were numbered.
He was released before the season began and the Who Dat Nation thanked him for his many years of service.
However, shortly before the Saints were scheduled to play their first playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, a roster spot became available after defensive tackle Rodney Leisle was placed on injured reserve.
The team decided to sign McAllister, he wouldn’t see any action on the field, but he would be a member of the team who they hoped would win the first Super Bowl title in Saints’ history.
There were very few people who disagreed with signing, if any at all.
"He was one of the best players in Black and Gold and one of my all time favorites. He worked hard and played even harder, Saints fan Deirdre Adams says. The face of the Saints, no doubt about it, fan Tres Jackson adds."
The team ultimately got to Super Bowl XLIV and won it in dramatic fashion with cornerback Tracy Porter returning an interception of Peyton Manning for a touchdown which sealed the Saints’ victory.
"Last year was special for me for a lot of reasons. First to be called upon to be apart of something special as a playoff run, then that speaks volume for all parties involved. Even though I didn’t physically play, I was apart of it all, from the practices, to film, and the Super Bowl experience, McAllister said."
Deuce decided to formally retire from the NFL and pursue other things, ending his career with a Black and Gold Super Bowl victory, and even though he didn’t physically contribute in 2009-10, it isn’t a stretch to say that the Saints might not have ever got there had it not been for Deuce and the leadership he demonstrated during their early days as the team was coming together and we can all say “Who Dat!” to that.
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