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Saints' Horn confident with McAllister's backups

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints' Horn confident with McAllister's backups SAN ANTONIO -- New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn won't get a sinking feeling when quarterback Aaron Brooks hands off to Antowain Smith or Aaron Stecker and not Deuce McAllister against Atlanta on Sunday. ...

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Old 10-13-2005, 12:01 AM   #1
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Saints' Horn confident with McAllister's backups

Saints' Horn confident with McAllister's backups


SAN ANTONIO -- New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn won't get a sinking feeling when quarterback Aaron Brooks hands off to Antowain Smith or Aaron Stecker and not Deuce McAllister against Atlanta on Sunday.
"I'm not going to blink one second with Aaron in or Antowain," the Saints receiver said Wednesday.

But that might be easier said than done after McAllister, the Saints' career rushing leader, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Sunday's 52-3 loss to Green Bay.

McAllister had his sixth-best rushing game two weeks ago with 130 yards on 27 carries in a 19-7 win over Buffalo. He will miss the season after being placed on injured reserve Wednesday.

"Yesterday guys were moping around because Deuce got hurt," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "But I was talking to Aaron (Brooks), and I said, 'How did you get your job? Guys got hurt. You didn't have any remorse, didn't have any regrets. You came in and led us to our only playoff win ever.'

"I think this team will rally around something like this. I really do."

Haslett said the team has to play better to compensate for the loss of McAllister. And it will start with Smith and Stecker, after Haslett said the duo will share the running back duties.

Smith, 35, is in his ninth season and with his third team in three years. He admits his career is "winding down."

Stecker is trying to come back from an ankle sprain sustained when he fumbled the opening kickoff three weeks ago against Minnesota.

When healthy, he failed to convince the Saints last season that he should be the primary backup to McAllister. That's why the Saints signed Smith as a free agent during the offseason -- and why he's carried the ball 26 times compared to Stecker's two this year.

Stecker started two games last year while McAllister was injured. New Orleans was 1-1.

He gained 106 yards on 18 carries, including a 42-yard touchdown run, in a 28-25 overtime victory over St. Louis. He also returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown during the season.

"I thought I showed enough, but in the offseason they got Antowain," Stecker said. "This is a team game. If that's what the team decides, I'll go out there and perform and help the team out, regardless of how I feel.

"I won't be pouting. If I did, I wouldn't be prepared."

Smith, a former first-round draft choice, 23rd overall, of the Bills out of the Houston, is far from his heyday. He gained 2,139 yards combined in two seasons with New England in 2001-02.

His carries have fallen each season, from 287 in '01 to 137 last year as a backup to Chris Brown in Tennessee. He hasn't had a 100-yard game since the 2003 AFC championship game.

"I think I can do it -- I know I can do it," Smith said. "I just have to go out there and play within myself, just do things that I know I'm capable of doing."

Haslett said he'll count on Smith because he fits the pound-it-out offense the Saints employed with McAllister. Smith is 6-2, 232, almost identical to McAllister's 6-1, 232.

"He's been a starter for a long time, and he's a guy who's been very productive with 1,000-yard rushing seasons," Haslett said. "He's maybe not as fast as he used to be, but he's a very big man."

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Old 10-13-2005, 12:03 AM   #2
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RE: Saints

"Yesterday guys were moping around because Deuce got hurt," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "But I was talking to Aaron (Brooks), and I said, 'How did you get your job? Guys got hurt. You didn't have any remorse, didn't have any regrets. You came in and led us to our only playoff win ever.'
Feelin the Hasbeen love on that comment ........

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Old 10-16-2005, 09:58 PM   #3
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RE: Saints

Boy Horn was right on that one...
Stecker and Smith looked great...(minus the fumble)
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