Well, here it is you little babies. I know all zero of you have been waiting patiently at your computers for today's "Position by Position" installment: Running Backs. So, I will thank you in advance for taking time out between porn surfing, self-violating sessions to have a look at this year's running backs class, which has changed a whole lot of nothing since last year, save for a rookie free agent making the squad. Alas...
Starting Tailback: #26, Deuce McAllister (Mr. Fantasy); Madden 08 rating of 89
In the 2006 season, Deuce rushed 244 times for 1,057 yards (a solid 4.3 yards per carry average) and 10 rushing TD's, while managing to catch 30 balls for 198 yards in the Saints' intriguingly diverse offense. Known as a fan favorite in the Dome, and a native of nearby Lena, MS, Deuce was accepted by the Superdome crowds as soon as he was drafted out of Ole Miss in a surprise first round selection by former head coach Jim Haslett in 2001, a year in which incumbent headcase running back Ricky Williams was still on the roster. Since then, Deuce has been a predominately power-style runner, when healthy, and a model citizen throughout his career. Never a problem child, Deuce welcomed the apparent movie star man child that is Reggie Bush last year and the two have teamed up to be one of the most formiddable one-two punches in the NFL since Draft Day 2006. Deuce has always been a team player for the Saints, and I hope that he can finish his career here, even though it may seem that Reggie is the heir-apparent to the throne in New Orleans. The Dome loves Deuce, and so does Mrs. Nutsack. 'Nuff siad.
Second String Tailback, #25 Reggie Bush; Madden 08 rating of 89
God bless the bumbling morons in Houston, TX. First, they help us after Hurricane Katrina, then they decide that some schmuck on the defensive line would be better for them than all-world running back Reggie Bush. Though, Reggie may be disliked and despised by some, he's done nothing while with the Saints to prove the notion. Hailing out of Southern California, one would assume he reeks of Leinartesque flamboyance and sporting the Pete Carrol smirk of "I'm better than you," however overconfident Reggie might seem, as long as he leaves it on the field, he's fine by me. Keep up the good work, Reggie.
Third String Tailback/Return Blocker, #27 Aaron Stecker, Madden 08 rating of 74
Stecker was primarily a backup third-down back last year, however playing a major role in special teams as a return blocker for Michael Lewis. Always giving 100% on the field, Aaron has proven his worth with reliable hands and a versatile power/shifty running style. He's a reliable backup for carrying the load if Deuce gets hurt, and it would be very interesting to see how Coach Payton uses him if that happens.
Fourth String Tailback, #23 Pierre Thomas; Madden 08 rating of UNRATED (Not in the game)
Pierre who? I'll tell you who. Thomas went undrafted out of Illinois this year, and the Saints signed him to a free agent contract after the draft. Despite the Saints picking former Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman in the fourth round of the Draft this year, what was considered a high value selection, Thomas beat him out hands down. Maybe the final straw was the Kansas City preseason game, where Pierre rushed for over 100 yards and showed the ability to break tackles and displayed superior footwork to Pittman's. Ultimately, Thomas may prove to be a good return man at best, but beating out a fourth-rounder for a roster spot is a vicotry in and of itself. Well done, young man. I sincerely hope you get your chance.
Starting Fullback, #44 Mike Karney; Madden 08 rating of 88
Karney's been with the Saints his entire career, an original draftee of the Jim Haslett era. A fine pickup he was, as he's been one hell of a lead blocker for Deuce and the gang. His coming out party may have been in Dallas last season, where he scored three touchdowns in that game, the only three of his career. Karney's one of the most underrated backs in the NFL, but I assure you he's widely known among the NFC South's defensive units. He's been a beast so far for the Saints, and I hope he'll continue his success for years to come. He's one of my favorite Saints, and a peculiar one I must admit. A smash-mouth blocker that will eat children, piss excellence, fart awesomeness, and crap asskickery, Karney is perhaps the best pure blocking fullbacks in the NFC, and maybe only second to San Dieog's (in French, it means "a whale's vagina") Lorenzo Neal, a former Saint himself (1993-1996).
Well, there you have it. Next up, a look at the Saints' receiving corps, which might take up all the space on the front page. I hope you knucklebrains are ready.
SIDE NOTE: The Cubs beat the Astros 3-2 in Houston last night, amidst the looming fury of then Tropical Storm Humberto. They moved back into a first place tie with the Beermakers, and with only 17 games to go in the campaign, who really would have thought they'd be this close? Go Cubs, Go Saints!!!