Deuce McAllister never needs a reason to come back to his home state of Mississippi, but the second-annual Saints Hall of Fame Weekend in Biloxi certainly isn't the worst excuse.
"Anytime you can get to come back home and then particularly with the team that you played for (it's great)," McAllister said. "A lot of fans, obviously, Mississippi guys have grown up pulling for the Saints, so to be able to hold this event here in Biloxi, I think it's outstanding for the Gulf Coast."
It may be nearing a decade since McAllister hung up his cleats for good, but the memories still remain fresh.
After a record-breaking collegiate career with Ole Miss, Deuce got loose in eight years with the Saints. The 2001 first round NFL Draft pick broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark four different times for New Orleans, and at the time, set the all-time franchise mark for career touchdowns with 55 (later broken by Marques Colston).
Now several years removed from his playing career, McAllister found a new home in the radio booth as the color commentator for Saints radio broadcasts on WWL.
"You try not to make a lot of mistakes," McAllister said on his approach to his commentary. "You try to give the best information that's possible. Just having a relationship with that team and those players and really the administration side of it as well (helps). They've always had open arms for me, and so to be able to tell the stories on Sundays to our fans, that's what, hopefully, I'm doing a pretty good job of."
Knowing the ins-and-outs of football as well as anyone, the two-time NFL Pro Bowler aims to relay his knowledge of the game from his playing days into his broadcasts.
"You see it, you still understand it, you know what the offense is trying to do," McAllister said. "So for me, I just want to be able to give a little bit of that to our fans so they understand it, you know, whether it's a check, whether it's a situation, managing the game, different things of that nature."
It may now be from the sidelines, but Deuce stays as close as ever with the Black and Gold. He believes with some luck, and maybe a bit of a hot start, the 2017 Saints can finally snap three straight years of 7-9 finishes and get back to the playoffs.
"Well the one thing that they did, not only through free agency but with the draft, they got faster," McAllister said. "The biggest thing for them is to stay healthy and to be able to start somewhat fast. The schedule-makers didn't do them any favors, but if they can start fast, I think that they will help themselves to advance to the playoffs."
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