Former running back Deuce McAllister will always be tied to the New Orleans Saints, no matter what happens. He now gets to share in a bigger role with the organization in being the next color analyst for WWL Radio alongside commentator Jim Henderson.
After speaking with McAllister on Thursday to talk about an exciting event held locally in New Orleans next week, we also discussed the upcoming season in regards to the Saints and his new role.
A Special Event
On Thursday, September 8, McAllister, the Saints, and Carnival Cruise Line team up to host 100 kids from Kipp Central Primary School in a Scholastic Reading Challenge aboard the 102,000-ton cruise ship that’s nearly three football fields in length. The children will also participate in a Junior Training Camp event arranged by the Saints that will have a QB Challenge, Vertical Jump, and 3-Cone Combine Drill.
These students will also be able to tour the ship, and be served lunch to help celebrate the start of the football season. Needless to say, it’s the first of its kind, and was offered through the New Orleans Saints’ Read & Rise literacy program.
Filling in for Hokie Gajan
McAllister knew the late Hokie Gajan well, but didn’t get to see him play while Gajan was in college or the pros. However, he did see some videos, clips, and readings, and admitted that there was an admiration for himself of Gajan because of how he played.
“He just went to work and he wanted to go out and play,” McAllister said.
“I knew him well enough to know he was a hard worker, he wanted to go out and do a great job. He loved his family and obviously to be a part of an organization for almost 40 years kind of speaks for him on his loyalty.”
In his new role that will reach thousands of faithful New Orleans Saints fans on Game Day, McAllister only wants to make sure he goes out there and do a good job. When he filled in for Gajan in the late part of last season, McAllister couldn’t imagine that this opportunity would transpire.
“I never thought that this would be anything full-time, because I was expecting him (Gajan) fully to recover. But now, obviously we know that situation didn’t end up that way. My goal and my job is to go out and do the best job and to let the fans know what’s going on.”
On the Saints season
With decades of football experience and knowledge, it’s safe to say that McAllister is familiar with what it takes for a football team to succeed. So, his opinion of the 2016 New Orleans Saints is something that carries a ton of weight.
“You got a young team. Hopefully they can grow up a little bit and be able to compete. There are still some question marks on the offensive and defensive line that they’re trying to clean up. I don’t know if they’re good enough to beat Carolina twice. I think they can split with them, but I do know if they can continue to grow and get better week in and week out, if they’re in position by the end of the season they can be a dangerous team.”
In his time with the black and gold, McAllister was certainly not a stranger to being overlooked and counted out. After all, no one bet on the Saints to rebound in 2006 after coming off of a 3-13 season in 2005, which was one of the lowest points in franchise history. However, McAllister can relate to something this Saints squad might be looking at this season.
“It goes back to the ‘06 year. Some question marks, you never know how some young guys are going to respond. Particularly, is the game too big or too fast for them? Some may be fine, but you’re depending on a lot of them. That’s where it makes you a little bit uneasy, but they’re a talented group and they just need to get better each week.”
The pressure is on for the Saints to perform after going 7-9 three out of the past four seasons, and like McAllister stated, let’s hope they grow up quickly before our eyes.