New Orleans Sports Scuttlebutt 5-18-09

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In many ways, Deuce McAllister's "down hill" running style was the archetype for his entire career. It wasn't his initial contact, though more often than not it was all that was needed,  but it was his second effort that made all the difference. Still, whatever the case, his impact was always felt.

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For almost a decade the hulk-like kid out of Ole Miss carried the Saints and would be defenders past some of the most memorable milestones in franchise history. During McAllister's tenure we saw the Saints win their first playoff game ever in 2000. In 06' he and the Saints fell just one game short of the Super Bowl. And just this past season, he was apart of a Saints team that fell just 15 yards shy of putting up the most passing yards in NFL history.

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Far and away the Saints most prolific running back, having amassed a franchise record 6,096 yards rushing and 55 touchdowns, its  McAllister's work in and around the New Orleans area that far exceeded his grit iron accolades and made him a local hero. His Catch 22 foundation has done does charity work in New Orleans and in his home town Mississippi for years. Just  recently it held a golf tournament to raise money for a children's hospital in the city.

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But unfortunately , as we all know, football is a business and it can be just as brutal off the field as it is on the field. So it came as no surprise that McAllister, hobbled by multiple knee surgeries, was released after posting just 510 yards in his last two seasons.

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Now, its Saints' running back Reggie Bush who's taken on the leadership role during this off-season. New Orleans is left wondering which tailback will step up and fill in the void that McAllister has left behind. The Saints currently have eight backs on their roster- Bush and Pierre Thomas being the most notable.  Deuce hasn't ruled out a possible come back to the Saints-however unlikely.

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But with a stable of young thoroughbreds it seems clear that the Saints are moving in a totally new direction. So with McAllister searching for a fresh start elsewhere and the Saints young studs jockeying for position the only question seems to be  who among them will play with the same kind of passion and heart that McAllister displayed over the last nine years? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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