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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 26

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Deuce's are wild at 26, as the Saints legend highlights our countdown to kickoff today!

New Orleans Saints v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

The 2017 New Orleans Saints are only 26 days away from the beginning of their regular season. This year, they travel north, taking on the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night football. Canal Street Chronicles continues our countdown to kickoff series, today by looking at some of the Saints players that have worn the number 26 throughout their history.

Player information courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Vince Buck (CB/S, 1990-1995)

Buck was a 2nd round pick by the Saints in the 1990 NFL Draft. He had an interception and 2 fumble recoveries his rookie year, while appearing in all 16 games and leading the team in punt return yardage. He started 13 games in 1991, recovering 3 fumbles and tying for the team lead with 5 interceptions while again leading the Saints in punt returns. He scored his only career touchdown on an interception in 1992, but was limited to only 10 games of action. Buck bounced back the next year to start all 16 contests in both the '93 and '94 seasons. Vince Buck's career with the Saints concluded after the 1995 season with a total of 16 interceptions, 1 defensive score, 12 fumble recoveries and 4.5 sacks.

Deuce McAllister (RB, 2001-2008)

Deuce was drafted with the 23rd overall pick in the 1st round of the 2001 draft. He played sparingly in his rookie year, while sitting behind 1999 1st round pick Ricky Williams. When Williams was traded in the offseason of 2002, McAllister took full advantage of his opportunity, rushing for an NFC best 1,388 yards and 13 touchdowns and earning a berth to the Pro Bowl. He showed his versatility as well, by adding 3 receiving touchdowns and finishing second on the team with 47 receptions, even throwing for a touchdown during the season. McAllister increased his production in 2003, rushing for 1,641 yards and 8 touchdowns. His 69 receptions and 516 receiving yards would both be career highs, as he became the first New Orleans running back to earn Pro Bowl berths in back to back seasons. He rushed for over 1,000 yards again in 2004 (1,074), the only Saints running back to accomplish that feat in 3 consecutive years.

An ACL tear in his right knee ended McAllister's season after only five games in 2005, but he bounced back strong in 2006, with 1,057 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. McAllister had one of the most memorable postseason moments in team history that year, when he rushed for 143 yards and scored 2 touchdowns in a playoff victory over the Eagles, propelling the Saints to their first ever NFC Championship game. A torn ACL suffered in his left knee early in the '07 season not only ended his year, but all but ended McAllister's playing career. He did come back to play in 2008, and his 5 rushing scores were 2nd on the team as he shared backfield time with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. The team elected to release McAllister following the year, although he was brought back to be on the roster as an honorary captain for their 2009 Super Bowl championship run.

Deuce McAllister's 6,049 career rushing yards ranks as the top mark in Saints history, and his 55 total touchdowns currently rank 2nd best (behind only Marques Colston). He was a unanimous selection to New Orleans' 45th Anniversary team, and in 2012 he was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame.

Other Saints players to wear No. 26: Jimmy Heidel (1967), Joe Don Looney (1969), Richard Harvey (1971), Margene Adkins (1972), Gene Rogers (1975), Jimmy Stewart (1977), Guido Merkens (1980), Jitter Fields (1984), Willie Tullis (1985-86), Stacey Dawsey (1987), Mickey Washington (1997), Lamar Smith (1999), Fred McAfee (2000), Corey Harris (2000)

Poll

Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 26?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Deuce McAllister
    (215 votes)
  • 4%
    Vince Buck (really good player, but....)
    (9 votes)
224 votes total Vote Now