Deuce McAllister says thanks to New Orleans Saints fans
Posted by Kevin Spain, The Times-Picayune February 17, 2009 12:15PM
He had the sunglasses in his jacket pocket, just in case.
McAllister sat before members of the local media today to talk about how he had been released by the New Orleans Saints.
At no point did McAllister sound angry. He didn’t come across as being upset with what happened. Pro football is a business and he knows it.
He did, however, come across as being humbled. Humbled by the adoration of Saints fans.
The guy can’t go anywhere in New Orleans without being noticed. He can’t go to a Hornets game without getting the best ovation of anyone in the building. He can’t wave to fans without being serenaded with “Deeeuuuuucccceee.”
“I just want to say thanks,” he said, with a hint of a smile. “There is no animosity with me. We had good talks. In the end, it just didn’t work out.
“When you look at it, the life expectancy of a running back is 3.5. I’ve got eight. I’m thankful.”
He said he still wants to play. He admits that he’s not 100 percent healthy. He and his agent will look for a team to play for.
Coach Sean Payton talked about this being a difficult situation — “He’s arguably the best player in this franchise’s history. That’s what makes today so hard.”
General Manager Mickey Loomis said he can’t describe how much McAllister has meant to the Saints.
Rita Benson LeBlanc was here, and after McAllister spoke, gave him a big hug.
He waved as he left the room. We don’t know what he did when the door closed behind him. But it’s likely he put on his sunglases.