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QBREES9 11-18-2009 11:11 PM

Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
METAIRIE, La. (AP)—Hobbled and disenchanted, Chris McAlister(notes) wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL any more.

Suddenly, the 10-year veteran cornerback has been snapped up by the New Orleans Saints—one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL—and he’s glad to be back in pads again.

“Earlier in the offseason I wasn’t ready or (didn’t) have the mindset to come back and play football,” McAlister said Wednesday, his first day with the club. “For it to take as long as it did, I’m happy it happened before I had no other opportunity.”



At 32, McAlister was bitter about being cut by Baltimore, the only team for which he’d played during a highlight-filled career that included three Pro Bowl invitations, a victory in the 2001 Super Bowl and a famous 107-yard touchdown return of a missed field goal.

“He’s a veteran player that understands defense and is someone that we think can come in and help us,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He worked out yesterday and did a good job.”

McAlister injured the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the middle of the 2007 season, but tried to play through it. He wound up playing in only eight games two seasons ago and six games last season before having season-ending surgery last November.

In February, while undergoing rehab, he was released by the Ravens. In June, he needed arthroscopic surgery to clean up debris in the same knee and he remained unsure about whether he wanted to attempt a comeback until the preseason rolled around.

“It was a bitter divorce in Baltimore, the way I was no longer a part of the club and for my first time in 10 years, didn’t have any place to call home,” McAlister said. “The offseason took on a new life for me. There was a transition period for me to figure out exactly if I’m going to come back and play football or am I not.

“The first preseason game started and I got butterflies like I was supposed to be coming out of a locker room somewhere,” McAlister said. “I knew I was supposed to be somewhere else instead of on my couch.”

Payton said the Saints are trying to get McAlister ready to play this Sunday, though it’s unclear how much they’ll need him. New Orleans knows it will be without starting cornerback Tracy Porter(notes), who badly sprained his left knee last weekend against St. Louis.

The other starting cornerback, Jabari Greer(notes), said his pulled left groin is feeling better and that he may return, though he missed Wednesday’s practice. New Orleans’ remaining healthy cornerbacks are rookie Malcolm Jenkins(notes), Randall Gay(notes) and Leigh Torrence(notes).

McAlister has not played in more than a year. His last game was on Oct. 19th of last season. He remained on the active roster three more weeks before finally deciding to have surgery.

McAlister said he expects to catch on to the Saints’ scheme quickly, given that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, like former Baltimore coordinator Rex Ryan, were both disciples of Ryan’s father, Buddy Ryan.

“They do the same thing,” McAlister said. “There’s just terminology difference.”

Saints safety Darren Sharper(notes) was noticeably pleased by the acquisition of McAlister, who played with Sharper’s brother, Jamie, in Baltimore.

“He’s a guy that’s going to be an experienced player, who has played in this league and has been a top, elite player in this league for many years,” Sharper said. “He fits our system perfectly.”

McAlister said his body feels about as good as it has in several years, noting that he passed physicals before and after his workout with New Orleans.

“It’s unfortunate, but fortunately I’ve been out almost a whole season with last year playing six games, the year before played eight games. And it’s like my body is fresher,” McAlister said. “Everything besides my knee is 100 percent fresh. I feel like I’ve still got a lot of bounce in my legs, and covering and doing my drills today I feel good.”

NOTES: Free safety Darren Sharper practiced on limited basis and said he also could return from the sore left knee that sidelined him last weekend. … Payton rested Reggie Bush(notes) and David Thomas(notes), who both had sore knees. … Starting defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis(notes) returned to practice for the first time in three weeks. He was limited but hopeful of returning in the next week or so. … The Saints waived reserve quarterback Chase Daniel(notes) to make room for McAlister, but could re-sign him to the practice squad or to the regular roster if another spot opens up later.

Saints acquire veteran DB McAlister - NFL - Yahoo! Sports

C17-BING 11-18-2009 11:48 PM

Re: Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by QBREES9 (Post 177530)
“Everything besides my knee is 100 percent fresh. I feel like I’ve still got a lot of bounce in my legs, and covering and doing my drills today I feel good.” [/url]

Please tell me this sentence isn't what he REALLY said ...

SmashMouth 11-19-2009 05:32 AM

Re: Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by C17-BING (Post 177542)
Please tell me this sentence isn't what he REALLY said ...

I know what you mean ... perhaps it is 90%?

foreverfan 11-19-2009 05:43 AM

Re: Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
98.6?

Tobias-Reiper 11-19-2009 06:02 AM

Re: Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
He said everything besides his knee is 100% fresh , so I take it he meant to say no other body part is or has been injured where he needed surgery or extensive rehab, not that his knee is bad.

RealDeal37 11-19-2009 08:04 AM

Re: Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
LoL, i noticed a few of yall's comment's reguarding McAlister's health... Wut he wuz say'n is that he is 100% body whise & that it's rested up good & that his knee was the only part that wase'nt, but wut he meen's by that is that since he had surgery on it awhile back that it was the only problem he had since last season... His knee is 110%, nuthing 2 worry about... Not 2 mention, we all know one thing, if his knee was not healed or or anything like that, then coach Payton NEVER would have signed him... He's healthy & ready 2 go... I expect him 2 play a bit this week in Tampa. Im willing 2 bet they wont let Greer play just play it safe & make sure he's good 2 go against NE... Look for Greer starting & McAlister on the other side against MOSS... He alway's covered Moss whenever they played & surprisingly kept him in check!!!
GEAUX SAINT'S!!!

RealDeal37 11-19-2009 08:06 AM

Re: Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
Thats exactly right TOBIAS... McAlister is READY 2 GO!!!

jn671 11-19-2009 08:30 AM

Re: Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
Hopefully he will do good. Kinda excited to see what ge Gots.

skymike 11-19-2009 08:53 AM

Re: Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
Brett Favre goes thru the same thing every year.

I want to play. (picks petal off flower)
I want to play not. (picks petal)
I want to play. . . .

McAlister makes sense to me. He feels good all over, just his knee is ****** up. Wait till youre in your 40's. It will make perfect sense.
I feel great. My body's just ****** up.

Just sounds like he's been playing football to me.

nutria 11-19-2009 10:17 AM

Re: Chris McAlister wasn’t sure he wanted to play in the NFL
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tobias-Reiper (Post 177563)
He said everything besides his knee is 100% fresh , so I take it he meant to say no other body part is or has been injured where he needed surgery or extensive rehab, not that his knee is bad.

His knee is stale, kind of like 2 day old French bread.


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