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Saints News: 7.05.08

Mike Triplett has an article in the Times-Pic today covering a topic everyone is curious about: McAllister and McKenzie's recovery progress.

I am reposting a good chunk of this article because I think everyone might be interested in this.

Both of them are at similar stages in their recovery, though, because McAllister had more extensive surgery. In addition to the left ACL repair, he also underwent microfacture surgery on his right knee to repair cartilage from a previous injury.

Both players said they are optimistic about the recovery process so far, and they both expect to be on the field for the season opener Sept. 7 against Tampa Bay at the Superdome.

"I'm proud and pleased with (my progress)," said McAllister, who was practicing in a limited fashion with his teammates last month and taking part in the individual position drills. "I don't know if there's really a 'next benchmark' to be met on my part. It's pretty much just getting out there and trying to make plays. That's what I'm looking forward to.

"As far as getting out there and doing something I haven't done already up to this point, that would just be playing the game."

McAllister said he has been able to stay in good shape, but he admitted that his conditioning isn't quite up to "football strength" just yet. That only comes with the rigors of daily practices.

McKenzie said he has done most of his conditioning work on the treadmill. But he said he's just trying to be safe and smart with his timetable, and the only milestone that matters is the first regular-season game.

"That's the schedule I want to stay on. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize being ready for Week 1," said McKenzie, who estimated his current health at about 85 percent. "At the same time, I do have to push it. So I'm looking forward to those preseason games being a real test."

Smith isn't coming off of an injury, but he is eager to bounce back after a season in which he failed to play up to his lofty standards. He said the entire defense feels a responsibility to play better this season.

"(Saints defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs) had a talk with the defense as a unit, and he told us, 'Hey, we didn't do what we were supposed to last year,'¤" said Smith, who also was celebrating his 27th birthday Friday. "Everybody clearly understands that, and everybody's been working hard to get better this year."

Ye Olde Fantasy Master Ross Devonport with the Times-Pic had a Loser's Day (Apparently, thats what British people call July 4th) fantasy football update. He has some info from around the league but here is what he had to say about Saints players.

- Taking a look at where the Saints' Fantasy studs are being taken in CBSSports.com drafts: Drew Brees is going with the 21st pick on average, which makes him the fourth-highest QB; Reggie Bush is being taken with the 39th pick on average, and is the 19th most popular RB; Deuce McAllister is being taken at the 89th spot on average, which makes him the 34th running back; and Marques Colston is going at No. 24 on average, and is the seventh most popular wide receiver.

Seventh most popular!? Please. He's the first receiver I would take. Am I biased?

"I'm not a UFO guy,"

That's all I am going to give you from this article from WWL that I missed the other day. It's all about Ricky Williams and his hopes and dreams and experiences. You know this one has got to be interesting. Check it out for yourself.

I have always liked Cris Carter because of his work on Inside the NFL. I like all those guys actually. Yes, even Bob Costas. Here is a video of an inspirational speech Carter gave at the recent NFL rookie symposium. It's pretty good, I suggest checking it out. Also, I really do think its a great idea that the NFL does this every year.