I have been asking people on the running back situation in New Orleans. I have heard some great ideas, and some not so good ideas.
One guy had it right on, and I will let you know what he said. He thinks Pierre Thomas is young and has a lot of talent to bring to the table, which we did see last year. The only thing he lacks is being the true power back who can carry every down.
Then he said that Reggie Bush better learn how to run, or agree to become a receiver. He is an explosive player, but is not a true running back. In college, he was able to run to the sideline and get yards, but let's face it: in the NFL, it is impossible when you're playing against all outstanding players. Not to take anything away from Reggie Bush, but most Saints fans seem to agree.
Then there is the addition of Mike Bell, who is a power back and is probably the most like Deuce they have on their roster atm. He ran all over us a couple of years ago when he was starting in Denver. I think he is definitely one of the acquisitions that will make a serious impact in the long run.
Then there are the future backs Hamilton, Hill, and Donaldson. I say future backs because they are very inexperienced, but we will see their true talent this preseason. I hope one of them will be the Deuce of the future.
The Saints then toyed with the idea of Edgerrin James, who is a power back and seems to be talented where they are lacking. I think this would be a great pickup and would definitely make a difference. But then it makes you think: why would we replace Deuce if he still has some good years in him?
Well, here is the bombshell that really started to get me thinking. He said, what if the Saints have already been talking to Deuce and knew that as a reserve back, they wouldn't have been able to pay him over seven million with the salary cap? If you still haven't thought about it, the Saints want a power back, and there is a very good one that can still hold his own, barring injuries in free agency. Deuce has made it very clear that when he was cut by the Saints, there was no hard feelings.
So if Deuce doesn't have any better offers, which is what he "wanted," to have a chance to test the market, then he will be back in a Saints uniform with 10-15 carries per game. He will probably end up having to take a cut in his annual salary. I know Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis are wanting to add a true power back to the team. I don't believe that Bell will be what they truly want.
I believe Deuce McAllister will be a New Orlean's Saint this year, and a running back coach when he decides to hang up the old cleats.