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No French Quarter visits for A-Mac

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; McPherson limits "going downtown" to the ball field 8/1/2005, 4:51 p.m. CT By BRETT MARTEL The Associated Press NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints coach Jim Haslett talks about "the map" he gave to rookie Adrian McPherson, the supremely talented quarterback ...

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Old 08-02-2005, 09:34 AM   #1
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No French Quarter visits for A-Mac

McPherson limits "going downtown" to the ball field
8/1/2005, 4:51 p.m. CT
By BRETT MARTEL
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints coach Jim Haslett talks about "the map" he gave to rookie Adrian McPherson, the supremely talented quarterback who threw away his college career by getting into trouble with the law.


It's really more of a directive that McPherson avoid New Orleans' often rollicking French Quarter and surrounding downtown, Haslett explains like a father, "unless he calls me first."

But Haslett is smiling the whole time, pleased by the fact that McPherson — quiet, humble, friendly and hardworking ever since arriving at Saints headquarters — hardly resembles someone characterized as a risky draft pick.

"I love the kid. He's a great kid," Haslett said. "I just like being around him."

The former Florida State quarterback takes responsibility for his troubled past without hesitation and smiles as he explains Haslett's restrictions on him, adding that most of his free time consists of strolling through a suburban shopping mall near the shores of Lake Pontchartrain.

"I'm here just to do whatever they ask me to do, and if that's not going downtown, then it's not going downtown," McPherson said this week, several days into his first NFL training camp.

One hint about McPherson's approach is the car he intends to buy with his new contract, which pays about $1.1 million over three years. No luxury sport utility vehicle, no sports car, just a mid-sized, affordable sedan known for good gas milage and low maintenance.

"Probably a Toyota Camry," McPherson says. "All the neat cars and things like that don't mean anything to me. I don't want to be flashy. I just want to get the job done."

With his 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash and cannon arm, there are times when McPherson can't help but be flashy on the field, as he often was at Florida State.

He joined the Seminoles as the first athlete in Florida high school sports history to be named both Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball.

In 2002, his sophomore season, he completed 80 of 155 passes for 1,017 yards, 12 touchdowns and only one interception before being booted off the team for allegedly stealing checks and cashing them for more than $3,500. He also faced misdemeanor charges of betting on football games, including his own, but that case was dismissed after a mistrial when a juror refused to convict.

In July of 2003, as part of a plea bargain in the bad check case, McPherson pleaded no contest to all felony charges. He was sentenced to 90 days in a work camp, did 50 hours of community service, and was on probation for 30 months. Probation ended April 18.

"When I went to college, everybody wanted to be around me — kind of wanted a piece of Adrian — and I was letting so many people be around me who shouldn't have," McPherson said. "When I was in trouble, there was no one who wanted to be around me."

While he's only fighting for a roster spot right now, his popularity is growing again. But he has limited what he calls his "circle" to family and a couple of close friends, who are "going to be there for me no matter what."

"I just kind of forgot the way my parents had raised me — to be humble and patient and do the right things," McPherson says. "I kind of lost focus on that part and then the negative things started to happen. So for me it's going back to the way my parents raised me — and that's humble and respectful."

He's one of the more soft-spoken people in the locker room, but usually smiling, knowing for the first time in more than two years that there's a good chance his life could turn out how he had hoped.

He still has to live with the regret of what could have been at Florida State, where he fully expected to play for a national championship, "but there's nothing I can do about it now."

"I wish things would have worked out a little differently, but my ultimate goal growing up was to get a chance to play in the NFL," he says. "I'm here and I'm just trying to make the most of it."

Currently, the Saints have four quarterbacks. Aaron Brooks will be the starter, backed up by Todd Bouman. McPherson and Kliff Kingsbury are competing for the final roster spot, although Haslett noted that the loser would likely be kept on the practice squad.

Coaches and teammates say McPherson's potential remains obvious.

"Athletic-wise he's got all the tools in the world," Haslett says. "If he can pick up the offense and work hard, he's going to be a heck of a player. We'll see how he plays in the preseason."

McPherson's throws during practice have been strong and accurate, even zipped safely into tight coverage at times. McPherson just needs to adapt to the speed of the NFL, tight end Ernie Conwell says.

"He's late on some things, but that's just the way it's going to be," Conwell said. "He's thinking about the plays, what his checks are going to be, his drop, his mechanics. There's a lot going through anybody's mind right now, especially a rookie at quarterback. Their brains get overloaded."

McPherson's only football experience since college has been one season in the Arena Football League in 2004. Playing for the Indiana Firebirds, he was rookie of the year and fourth in the league in passing. He also rushed for 19 touchdowns.

His first chance to play in the NFL is expected to come in the Louisiana Superdome on Aug. 12, when the Saints host Seattle in their preseason opener.

"That's going to be my Super Bowl," McPherson said. "I'm working real hard to study because I understand whenever I have the opportunity, I might only get one chance."
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:39 AM   #2
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I like his attitude so far. I think the guy has the potential to be something special in the future -- I look forward to seeing him play in preseason
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:14 AM   #3
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"Probably a Toyota Camry," McPherson says. "All the neat cars and things like that don't mean anything to me. I don't want to be flashy. I just want to get the job done."
I was about to fall in love with this kid at this point...

"Athletic-wise he's got all the tools in the world," Haslett says. "If he can pick up the offense and work hard, he's going to be a heck of a player. We'll see how he plays in the preseason."
Then Haslett dropped the hecuva player curse on him. He's probably doomed now. LOL


In reality, this kid has me quietly excited. He has SO far to go and so much to learn before he's ready. That said, I don't know if there is a QB in the league who has purely physical skills that more resemble Michael Vick than this kid. Big difference, from what I hear, is that McPherson is accurate. He can throw. If he's got 1/2 of Vick's escapability and can be an accurate passer... wow. Buh-bye Aaron Brooks. Let's hope this kid keeps up his attitude and hard work.

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Old 08-02-2005, 11:46 AM   #4
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I like the fact that there is no rush on him. Being the 3rd-string QB will benefit him greatly. The spotlight won't be on him much, and he can quietly sit back and learn. Definitely somebody to keep our eyes on over the next 3 or 4 years.
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by WhoDat
Buh-bye Aaron Brooks. Let's hope this kid keeps up his attitude and hard work.
Aah, it would be nice. Mabye we will get lucky and Brooks will lose all his toes in a freak accident involving a manhole cover and an angry squirrel. Then all the Brooks lovers can be happy, cause we can make him the kicker and keep him on the team.

Surely he would get more respect as a kicker! Then everyone will be happy!
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:52 AM   #6
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Surely he would get more respect as a kicker! Then everyone will be happy!
That all depends. Will he ever kick at the wrong uprights? Will he laugh about it? LMAO.


Being the 3rd-string QB will benefit him greatly.
I've got a feeling that if AMac can learn the playbook quickly, he could be the #2 by September or October. I hope the Saints don't rush him, but then again I hope that he develops quickly. AB's contract is going to be a big problem next offseason.
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Old 08-02-2005, 02:50 PM   #7
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I really didn't wanna have to "go there"...but...

All you guys who are thinking Adrian is going to come riding in and take Aaron's place at QB before the year 2007 (at the earliest) might as well just get ready for disappointment. Brooks has been our QB now since the late-fall of 2000, and he isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

2 points:

1. Jake is gone, get over it. He's not coming back.

2. Adrian won't be QBing us unless Brooks get injured. One of the things we can say is most consistent about Brooks is the fact that, thus far, he has avoided major injuries. And Brooks will not have a dreadful year this year, so you may as well get ready to see Brooks as your starter in 2006 as well as this year.

Quit sitting around wishing and hoping that you're magically going to wind up with a new QB anytime soon.
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Old 08-02-2005, 03:16 PM   #8
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Does anybody else have a vision of Willie "Steamin'" Beamen from Any Given Sunday when they think about A-Mac? I know I do. I keep getting this image of Brooks and Bouman going down to injuries and the once playoff hopeful Saints have to put all of their trust into the rook. I don't know, just a thought
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Old 08-02-2005, 03:20 PM   #9
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The Gambler, is your name, per chance, Billy? Just wondering.

My other thought is, why did you bring up Jake? Seeing as how you are new here, or new to posting, it's interesting to note that you would bring up Jake in a thread about A-Mac. Hhhmmm...
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Old 08-02-2005, 03:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheGambler
I really didn't wanna have to "go there"...but...

All you guys who are thinking Adrian is going to come riding in and take Aaron's place at QB before the year 2007 (at the earliest) might as well just get ready for disappointment. Brooks has been our QB now since the late-fall of 2000, and he isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

2 points:

1. Jake is gone, get over it. He's not coming back.

2. Adrian won't be QBing us unless Brooks get injured. One of the things we can say is most consistent about Brooks is the fact that, thus far, he has avoided major injuries. And Brooks will not have a dreadful year this year, so you may as well get ready to see Brooks as your starter in 2006 as well as this year.

Quit sitting around wishing and hoping that you're magically going to wind up with a new QB anytime soon.
I will say this -- AB doesn't produce this year (and I mean more than stats) after we improve the line, simplify the offense etc -- then it will be very tough to justify the bonus that is coming due next year. Whether AMAC is ready or not the Saints will have a new QB brought in to groom him. On the otherhand -- if Brooks and the Saints have the year I think they are going to have then he will be around for a very long time. But believe me -- its either or.
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