Ranking the Running Game Part 11: New Orleans Saints

Jeff LittleSenior Writer IMarch 25, 2008

Part 11 of a 32 part series, a running back position analysis of each franchise. The New Orleans Saints were tied for 2nd place in the NFC South division with a 7-9 record.  This is the team that sent shockwaves through the league in 2006, and then turned into one of its biggest underachievers in 2007. New Orleans started the season 0-4 but finished the season strong and were finally eliminated from playoff contention in week 17. Drew Brees has continued to be stellar in leading the Saints & broke the NFL record for completions in a season. Brees passed for 4,423 yards 28 TD’s, and an NFL record-440 completions. Injuries and poor play on defense really set back the Saints in 2007. The Saints lost Deuce McAllister in week 3 with a torn ACL in his left knee. One of the most hyped and talked about draft picks in recent history, Reggie Bush really struggled in his second season and was slowed by a partially torn PCL. To his defense once McAllister went down Bush became a marked man when defenses loaded up to stop him. The Saints wound up averaging just 91.6 yards rushing per game.

Reggie Bush           6’ 0’ 203 lbs.    157 Att.      581 Yards 3.7 YPC Avg.   4 TD’s

Aaron Stecker        5’10” 213 lbs.    115 Att.     448 Yards 3.9 YPC Avg.   5 TD’s

Deuce McAllister     6’ 1” 232 lbs      24 Att.        92 Yards 3.9 YPC Avg.  

Pierre Thomas      5’ 11”210 lbs.      52 Att.     252 Yards  4.8 YPC Avg.   1 TD

Antonio Pittman    5’ 11” 207 lbs.

Jamaal Branch      5’ 11” 230 lbs.     Rookie Free Agent from Colgate

Chris Barclay          5’ 10” 180 lbs.    Rookie free Agent from Wake Forest

The question for the Saints: Can the off-season additions stay healthy and with the players drafted will the group be enough to turn around the defense?