Former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister spoke with FanSided about his first impressions of Drew Brees and how the team will run without him in 2021.
The 2021 season is going to feel mighty different for New Orleans Saints fans, because quarterback Drew Brees will not be starting under center for the first time since 2005. Long after the team was eliminated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional Round this past season, Brees officially announced his retirement from the NFL, ending his career after 20 years.
Former Saints running back Deuce McAllister spoke with FanSided’s Matt Verderame and Mark Carman and discussed what his first impression of Brees was once he signed with the Saints back in 2006.
Deuce McAllister speaks on his first impression of Drew Brees
“Just win,” said McAllister. “I think that was the biggest thing for myself and then also if you go back and remember, that was right after Hurricane Katrina. So there was a lot of uncertainty around us as far as a franchise, an organization. I had some personal success but not a lot of team success. So to be able to bring in a guy of Drew Brees’ character and what he had done, obviously, at Purdue, what he was able to achieve in San Diego. You talk about having [the Chargers] draft Philip Rivers, so there were, career wise, some challenges there. For him to come in and just be a leader, obviously we know how the story kind of ended, but at that time it was like ‘Look I just want to win.’ So if he could come in and help us do that, then I was all for it.”
After his tenure with the Chargers reached its end, Brees signed a six-year, $60 million contract with the New Orlean Saints in 2006. That turned out to be one of the best free agency signings in NFL history, as Brees showcased his Hall of Fame talent down in the Big Easy.
In his 15 years with the Saints, Brees threw for 68,010 yards, 491 touchdowns and 190 interceptions while completing 68.8-percent of his passes. He led the team to a 142-86 overall record and, most importantly, to the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl victory in the 2009 season.
Deuce McAllister speaks about Saints’ expectations without Drew Brees
With Brees making the transition from NFL quarterback to a studio analyst role for NBC, the Saints will now pivot to signal callers Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston to take the reins under center. McAllister spoke about the Saints’ chances in the 2021 season without Brees starting at quarterback.
“I think the biggest thing for those guys is, there is still enough talent on that roster that they can go out there and be competitive,” said McAllister. “We’ll just see. Obviously it will be different. You know that he won’t be able to come in and save you as far as a team is concerned. But at the end of the day, there is enough talent where guys have to step up and really be able to go out there and be dedicated to it. But we’ll see how it ends.”
The Saints do have talent on both sides of the ball to make some noise, but will have to contend with the reigning Super Bowl champions in the Buccaneers and a rival on the rise in the Carolina Panthers in the NFC South.
Regardless of who starts at quarterback, they will have Terron Armstead blocking their blindside, star wideout Michael Thomas to target downfield and a running back in Alvin Kamara to tire out defenses on the ground and through the air. That’s a solid group of talent for the QB1 to be surrounded by at the start of the 2021 season.
Deuce McAllister spoke with FanSided on behalf of the Official Sausage of the SEC, Johnsonville.