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News » New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2008-12-26

New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2008-12-26

New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2008-12-26
Saints fans and players alike were preparing to deal this week with the possibility that one of the most beloved players in franchise history could be playing his final home game on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Running back Deuce McAllister, an eight-year veteran, has been the face of the franchise since his second season in 2002 when he took over for Ricky Williams and earned the first of two Pro Bowl invitations with his speed, power and work ethic.

Even though he has more than 6,000 rushing yards and 55 touchdowns -- both team records -- McAllister has had a limited role with the NFL's top-ranked offense this season, leading to much speculation that he won't be back in 2009.

While team officials won't make any decisions on McAllister's future until after the season ends on Sunday, his two surgically repaired knees and $7.2 million contract (including bonuses and incentives) for next season may be too much for a role player -- even one as wildly popular as McAllister.

A little more than 15 months after having surgery on both his knees, McAllister has refused to give up. He would like to play another two years even though he turns 30 on Saturday, but even though he's under contract through the 2012 season, the Saints will make the final decision.

"All I can do is go out and play, and whatever happens after that is going to happen," McAllister said Wednesday. "I'm going to play again. There are a couple more years I still want to play. I have a contract, so we'll see what happens."

If Sunday is the end for McAllister, he'll be sent out in style by Superdome fans. They bellow "D-e-u-u-u-c-e" whenever he steps onto the field.

"You want to leave on your own terms. Whether it's good or bad, eventually you have to go," McAllister said. "But I feel like I can still play this game. So whatever happens as far as playing it here, there, wherever it may be, that's going to happen. But I want to be here."

--With Saints offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Doug Marrone leaving the team to become the head coach at his alma mater, Syracuse, speculation has begun on who will take his place next season.

While nothing is official, it's likely that running backs coach Aaron Kromer, who assumed Marrone's offensive line duties for the final two games, will be asked to take the job for the 2009 season.

Kromer coached the offensive line for the Oakland Raiders (2001-04) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2005-07) before joining the Saints this spring.

Also, it's expected that quarterbacks coach
--The Carolina Panthers have made themselves at home in the state of Louisiana the last several years.

The Panthers have defeated the Saints on their last six visits to the state, taking five victories in the Superdome and one in LSU's Tiger Stadium in 2005 when the Saints played four games there after Hurricane Katrina.

The last time the Saints won against the Panthers at home was on Dec. 2, 2001, when they took a 27-23 decision over Carolina -- which was on the way to a 1-15 record.

--The Saints shattered one club single-season scoring record and tied another in their 42-7 thrashing of the Detroit Lions in Ford Field last Sunday.

They broke the old franchise record of 49 touchdowns in a season when they piled up six TDs, which gave them 53 for the season with one game to play.

After Deuce McAllister tied the TD mark with a 2-yard run late in the first quarter, Mike Bell got the record-breaker with a 1-yard blast in the second period. His TD was the 50th of the season, breaking the mark of 49 set in 2002 and equaled in 2006.

The Saints also have an NFL-leading 432 points this season, which equals the scoring record they set in 2002.

--The Saints' 35-point victory over the Lions last Sunday was their most lopsided win since a 45-7 trouncing of the New York Giants on Dec. 14, 2003.

It was also the largest victory margin under third-year coach Sean Payton, topping the 31-point win they had over the Oakland Raiders (34-3) earlier this season.

--The Saints, who are 8-7, will be seeking only their ninth winning season in the 42-year history of the franchise in Sunday's game with the Panthers.

A Saints' win would allow them to join the teams of 1987 (12-3), 1988 (10-6), 1989 (9-7), 1991 (11-5), 1992 (12-4), 2000 (10-6), 2002 (9-7) and 2006 (10-6) with winning records.

BY THE NUMBERS: 50 -- Total sacks allowed by the Saints in the last three seasons, including 11 this year. San Francisco (54) and Detroit (51) have given up more sacks in 15 games this season than the Saints have in the 47 games they've played since Sean Payton took over in 2006.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Our mindset has to be to focus on one more game here, getting ourselves mentally and physically ready to play a good team at home here. That's really where the focus has to be." -- Saints coach Sean Payton, on trying to beat the Carolina Panthers to finish 9-7.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 26, 2008

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Patrick Cobbs Name: Patrick Cobbs
Position: RB
Age: 25
Experience: 3 years
College: North Texas
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