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Reggie and Deuce are making a nice pair...

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Riddle: What has four legs, 12 fleur-de-lis and one Heisman Trophy and has accounted for 62 percent of one team's touches from scrimmage? Answer: Unlikely backfield partners Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush. They are the main components of the Saints' ...

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:02 AM   #1
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Cool Reggie and Deuce are making a nice pair...

Riddle: What has four legs, 12 fleur-de-lis and one Heisman Trophy and has accounted for 62 percent of one team's touches from scrimmage?

Answer: Unlikely backfield partners Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush.


They are the main components of the Saints' Pony package, which is unique in its scope and efficacy. "It's a great package they're running with those two," 49ers defensive coordinator Billy Davis says. "It's very challenging to defend because nobody has the combination of those two talents, and they are using those talents very effectively."

It isn't that the Saints have reinvented the wheel, but they have put some absolutely filthy chrome rims on it.

Traditionally, teams have dabbled with two halfbacks on the field at the same time but never majored in it. The Saints aren't majoring in it, either, but Pony is one of many reasons they are on the dean's list. The Saints have had Bush and McAllister on the field at the same time on 124 plays, 14 percent of their offensive snaps.

Most teams shy away from playing two halfbacks simultaneously because the second halfback essentially becomes window dressing on most plays, whereas a tight end or fullback could have a more tangible impact at the point of attack. So the issue becomes how does the halfback who doesn't get the ball positively affect the play?

The Saints have dealt with that issue in a variety of ways, most frequently by applying one-back concepts. In other words, they often treat Bush as a wide receiver -- split him out and have him play patty-cake with a cornerback while McAllister busts up the gut. They also have run a number of fake reverses to Bush, then handed off to McAllister with the hope that Bush would lure defenders into taking a step away from McAllister. In a 42-17 win over Dallas last week, Bush ran a fake reverse and Drew Brees went deep to Devery Henderson and completed a 50-yard pass.

Saints coach Sean Payton has used misdirection the way Paul Prudhomme uses cayenne pepper. Against the Niners, Brees faked a handoff to McAllister, then tossed the ball to Bush, who easily scored one of his four touchdowns. On some plays, McAllister helps his offense most by acting like he's getting the ball and getting tackled while Brees throws a swing pass to Bush.

The Saints won't ask either to spring the other with a lead block on the middle linebacker, as they would fullback Mike Karney, but they will ask either to seal off the backside while the other runs in the opposite direction. McAllister also has been used quite a bit in pass protection while Bush runs a route.

The Pony package wouldn't work with just any two backs. It helps that McAllister and Bush have contrasting styles, and it's critical that both have embraced the concept. "It's hard for a running back to be unselfish, but there aren't any two players who are more concerned with winning," Payton says. "It's easier to sell when you're the No. 1 offense in the league, you're in the top five in scoring, No. 1 in third-down conversions and No. 1 in passing. The end result is we are moving the football and scoring."

The challenge for Payton has been to give McAllister enough carries so he can wear down a defense while still giving Bush enough opportunities to make big plays. Payton's goal is to get Bush 15 to 18 touches and McAllister 20 touches a game, but the reality often is affected by the circumstances of each game. That goal has been reached only three times, but the larger goal of winning has been reached nine times, and the Saints are looking more and more like the NFC's finest team.

The contributions of the two backs have been nearly equal. McAllister has 1,065 yards from scrimmage; Bush has 1,092. McAllister has accounted for 54 first downs, Bush for 46. But their fruits have come from different trees. Payton estimates either back could be used on about 75 percent of the Saints' plays, but 25 percent are designed to take advantage of the unique skills of one or the other.

Many of the plays focus on getting Bush mismatched against a bigger, slower defender through presnap motion. Most defenses intend to have a safety or nickel back over Bush when he runs a pass route, but that isn't always as easy to accomplish as it sounds, especially with McAllister in the mix.

This system won't last forever. In the not too distant future, as Bush gets more comfortable in the offense, his talent will demand that he get the ball more. But in the short term, it's serving the players and the offense quite nicely.

"It's Dalton and Reuben all over again, with the difference being innovative coaching. I think their going to run Bush more and pass more to McCallister to keep defenses off balance and not able to key on certain plays, man what an offense."

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Old 07-03-2007, 10:50 AM   #2
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nice read
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:37 AM   #3
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"It isn't that the Saints have reinvented the wheel, but they have put some absolutely filthy chrome rims on it."

Great line...
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by NOLAmite View Post
"It isn't that the Saints have reinvented the wheel, but they have put some absolutely filthy chrome rims on it."

Great line...
I love that line too this was a good read I think the Deuce and Bush team is just going to improve and I also think Bush is in a good position to learn from Deuce I see Bush just getting better and better
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Old 07-03-2007, 01:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by blacksaint View Post
Riddle: What has four legs, 12 fleur-de-lis and one Heisman Trophy and has accounted for 62 percent of one team's touches from scrimmage?



The Saints have had Bush and McAllister on the field at the same time on 124 plays, 14 percent of their offensive snaps.



14% seems very low.
So 86% of the time either Bush or Deuce is on the sidelines?
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