Who is the Best Running Back in New Orleans Saints' History?
New Orleans has seen their fair share of running backs since there inception into the league in 1967. This article will bring up the running backs who have made the biggest impact on the team.
Dalton Hilliard was drafted in the second round as the 31st from LSU. Hillard is a home grown product out of Patterson, Louisiana. He managed to play football in Louisiana for his whole career.
Hillard is third on the list of Saints' all time rushing yards. He rushed for 4164 yards. He had a total of 53 touchdowns. He also averaged 3.7 yards a carry.
His best season was 1982 when he rushed for a total of 1,262 yards. He also managed to have a very impressive 18 touchdowns that season.
He would not be able to repeat his success though. He was plagued with injury's for the remainder of his career.
He retired from professional football after the 1993 season. He is listed in the Saints' Hall Of Fame.
If Hillard would of stayed healthy he might of become the Saints' all time leading rusher. He was a key part in there playoff runs in the late '80s and early '90s
His nephew Ike Hillard now plays for Tampa Bay.
George Rogers was the first Heisman trophy winner that New Orleans would select. He was selected with the highest honor as the number one draft pick.
In his rookie season he rushed for an amazing 1,647 yards which became a NFL rookie rushing record. That year he earned rookie of the year honors and was also selected to his first pro-bowl.
He earned another trip to the Pro-Bowl in 1982. He has been given credit for helping New Orleans come out of there perennial cellar.
Rogers while playing for The Saints rushed for 4,267 yards. He did this in only four seasons with New Orleans. Also in his career with the Saints he managed to avg 4.2 yards a carry. He also rushed for 27 touchdowns while playing for the team.
Grant it he only played for New Orleans from 1981-1984 he was the team's all-time leading rusher until another great running back joined the team, who will be mentioned later in this article.
He would leave New Orleans after the '84 season and would play three more seasons for the Redskins and would wind up winning a Super Bowl under coach Gibbs.
If New Orleans would have kept Rogers on the team the Saints might have won their first playoff game in 1987. Rogers is also listed in the Saints' Hall Of Fame.
What a player he was for New Orleans. McAllister was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2001 draft. He was a college star at Ole Miss.
Deuce did not play that much in his rookie season for New Orleans since Ricky Williams was currently still with the team. In 2002 Deuce got his shot. Ricky Williams was traded to the Dolphins for numerous draft picks.
In 2002 Deuce rushed for over 1,000 yards. He would manage to do this for three years in a row. This would be a Saints first.
In 2003 Deuce managed to accumulate over 2,000 yards of total offense. He had 1,641 yards rushing and 516 yards receiving. This could honestly be the best year any Saints player ever had to this point.
In 2005 with hurricane Katrina devestating New Orleans, Deuce was there for his city. He really loved his team and his fans. He was against owner Tom Benson wanting to move the team away to San Antonio. You would see him helping out in anyway he could.
Unfortunately his off the field success that year did not translate to on the field success. Deuce fell to his first knee injury which ended his season. New Orleans would only manage to pull off a 3-13 season.
Deuce was looking forward to the 2006 season to prove himself once more to the team and fans he loved. In April the Saints selected a different type of running back. Reggie Bush was selected with the second overall pick in the draft after Houston passed him up.
The one,two punch of Deuce and Bush proved to be something to reckon with. New Orleans had one of a season. Deuce proved he could bounce back from his knee injury and helped lead New Orleans into having the number one ranked offense.
Even with having a second running back to split time with Deuce still rushed for over 1,000 yards. He would help lead the Saints to the first ever NFC Championship game. Unfortunately as all Saints fans know they were defeated by the Bears.
After coming off the team's best ever finish, Deuce was ready for the 2007 season. 2007 wouldnt be so kind to McAllister though. He would fall to his second knee injury in just three years. He only played in three games that season.
Deuce never seemed to return to complete form in the 2008 season. He did tho break the record for all time touchdown scorer for the Saints that season. He is also the all-time leading rusher for the Saints.
Deuce in his career rushed for 6,096 yards, 49 touchdowns and 4.3 yards a carry.
In 2009 Deuce was released from the team. He will always be remembered by fans as the best running back to play for this franchise. Deuce really did bleed black and gold for this team. New Orleans may never find another player with his type of heart.
My rankings would be McAllister, Rogers, Hilliard in that order.
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