Deuce on the loose

New Orleans running back Deuce McAllister covers a variety of subjects regarding himself, the Saints and 49ers and Sunday's game at the Louisiana Superdome.

Q: Was it unsettling for the team thisweek to have to pack up and start game planning elsewhere because of the threat of Hurricane Ivan?

McAllister: Yeah, the relocating of the family with the traffic and everything, that was probably the biggest issue. But, I definitely understand that we still got to do our job. So, you really have to focus on getting ready and trying to prepare yourself to play now because regardless of what happens on our end, San Francisco is going to come ready to play.

Q: How much of an effect do you this all will have on your preparation for Sunday's game

McAllister: I think all of our guys are pretty much mature enough and understand that they still have to get themselves, their mind and their body ready to play. Regardless of the obstacles that you have to overcome, you still have to get ready to play."

Q: How disappointing was the season opener against the Seahawks?

McAllister: Well, anytime you lose, it's disappointing. Obviously, we didn't play up to our potential and we didn't feel like we played well. So, we'll try to bounce back, get ready and reload against San Francisco.

Q: What do you see out of 49ers defense?

McAllister: If you look at them, obviously with the moves and Coach Mora, they run basically the same scheme. They are still the same guys. Even though Coach Mora has left, they are still the same guys on defense. They're aggressive.

Q: What are some of your impressions of San Francisco's defensive line?

McAllister: They're aggressive. They're going to get after the ball and they play with a lot of emotion. You definitely have to account for where Peterson is, and obviously with Bryant Young still there and Carter, you have to account for those guys because they could be disruptive if you don't account for them.

Q: Was there any point of the 2001 draft when you thought you would be a 49er

McAllister: Well, I grew up loving the 49ers. Honestly, I thought I would one day play for them. Just meeting with Coach Mariucci then and the whole staff that was there, I thought I would be a 49er. Obviously, it didn't work out that way.

Q: Did you think they might use their first pick in the first round on you?

McAllister: Yeah, I felt pretty confident. All indications, that is what they were going to do.

Q: Have you patterned your game after any 49ers of the past?

McAllister: I grew up and I could tell you every running back that played with the 49ers; Ricky Watters, Roger Craig, Amp Lee, Charlie (Garner). Anytime they were on, I was watching and just trying to steal a move. With Jerry (Rice) being from Mississippi, I just always wanted to be able to watch those guys and be able to play for those guys.

Q: Do you have a goal of being a 1,000-1,000 back?

McAllister: Yeah, I obviously want to be successful and be able to do so. Any good back wants to accomplish that feat as well.

Q: What are your impressions of Seattle, one of the 49ers' top contenders in the NFC West?

McAllister: Obviously, they are a talented group. Offensively, they rank right up there with the top group and they improved last year with their defensive unit. They'll be tough. It will be interesting to see what different teams try to do to them, as far as on the defensive side of the ball and as far as scheme-wise, especially since Chad Brown is out. But, they sure have a lot of guys back and they play hard. That is probably the one thing you notice when you look at film, they play hard every play.

Q: Were you the only guy in your neighborhood rooting for the Niners when you were growing up?

McAllister: No. They're probably a lot of people that always pulled for the Niners. With New Orleans being close and Atlanta being close, those were the local teams. But, the Niners were the team to beat.

Q: When did you apply pass-catching to your game?

McAllister: It's really in action because I had to wait my turn, as far as to be the running back. So, I had to go out and play receiver and I think that only helped me because it allowed me to learn routes basically as a receiver. When I was able to play running back, I honed my skills pretty well.

Q: What are the keys to getting you going?

McAllister: I just have to get involved. Regardless of what people have to say, our team is built around the running game. Sure enough, we have skills on the outside and we have a talented quarterback and talented receivers, but if we let teams take away our running game, then we struggle offensively.


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