Deuce McAllister will start on Sunday against San Diego in London. McAllister has been used sparingly this season, but not on Sunday. Some Saints fans may have forgotten just how important McAllister is to the franchise. This is an insider look of what McAllister has done in his career, thanks to exclusive press notes that are only available to the media. Get the scoop by clicking right here.
The New Orleans Saints are just six games into the 2008 season, but it's never too late to start thinking out free agency in 2009. Scout.com's Adam Caplan has confirmed that at least 14 Saints will be restricted or unrestricted free agents in 2009. How will those players fit into the Saints' plans next season and beyond? Saintsinsider.com has already analyzed each potential free agent and their worth to the Saints in 2009. Click right here for the story.
The Saints' all-time leading rusher is loose in London preparing for Sunday's game with San Diego. Get the scoop on how he's adjusting to London, how the team is preparing and more. It's an exclusive Q&A at saintsinsider.com. Click right here for the story.
Only that day, he was wearing the colors of the Chargers. He carved up the Saints' defense in the Chargers' easy 43-17 win, completing 22 of 36 passes for 257 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Brees had a passer rating of 110.8 that day, less than 1 1/2 years before he would join the Saints after being released by the Chargers. It was easy to tell last week that he can't wait until Sunday comes.
"Well, I mean it's something I've been waiting for since two years ago ... so here it is," a wide-eyed Brees said. "I'm not going to try to blow it up and make it any bigger than it already is.
"For us, it's going to be a much-needed game no matter if we're playing the Chargers or anybody else. But just the fact that it's the old team and I know a lot of those guys -- it's just kind of added incentive."
WITHOUT REGGIE: Saints coach Sean Payton said the absence of running back Reggie Bush, who will not play Sunday after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday, will change the way his high-powered offense operates.
Bush, who is expected to be out two to four weeks, leads the Saints in receptions with 42, and he has piled up 660 total yards from scrimmage. He also has 285 punt return yards and scored eight TDs in the first six games.
"We'll have to make some adjustments offensively, and some other guys are going to have to step up and play along with Deuce (McAllister), be it Aaron Stecker or Pierre Thomas," Payton said. "It's a lot like with some of these other guys getting hurt (earlier in the season).
"But he's a dynamic player. It's disappointing. I'm sure he's as disappointed as anyone that he's not here."
While he'll miss having Bush in the game, Brees is confident that the NFL's top-ranked offense will work efficiently.
"Whoever we put back there, I have a lot of faith in," Brees said. "Hopefully, we won't skip a beat. Obviously, we'll miss Reggie like we'll miss any guy who's that productive for us offensively. But early on it was Marques (Colston) missing time and (Jeremy) Shockey and other guys stepped up and did a great job. I felt like we kept rolling."
NESBIT'S RETURN A BOON TO SAINTS: The Saints welcomed the return of veteran left guard Jamar Nesbit to the team when they took the practice field on Wednesday outside of London.
Nesbit started 35 straight games from 2006 to this year for the Saints before he was suspended for four games without pay on Sept. 23 for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Nesbit said he failed a drug test for an over-the-counter product he took this summer that was advertised as an all-natural body-cleansing health product.
The Saints received a roster exemption for Nesbit, but it's likely that he'll be activated before Sunday's game as center Jonathan Goodwin's status is up in the air after he injured his left knee against the Panthers.
While Matt Lehr would likely start if Goodwin is out, Nesbit has also played the position and would have to be the backup there regardless of whether he starts at guard, or if rookie Cark Nicks continues to start.
IT'S BEEN EDUCATIONAL: After arriving in London on Monday, just several hours after his team's 30-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers, Payton got his share of questions about their latest setback.
But not all of the questions were about the disappointing loss to Carolina. At the request of a British reporter, Payton had to explain the basic rules of American football -- including this question: What are downs?
One of his answers, however, probably pained him more because it had something to do with his team's shortcomings against the Panthers.
"I think the basic premise is trying to advance the football into the opponent's end zone," Payton said.
BREES STILL ON TRACK: Brees threw for just 231 yards in last week's setback, ending his streak of 300-yard passing games at four. Still, Brees leads the NFL with 2,224 yards heading into Sunday's game with the Chargers.
In the loss to the Panthers, Brees did not have a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 16 of the 2007 season when the Philadelphia Eagles kept him from throwing for a score.
Brees, however, has at least one touchdown pass in 31 of 39 regular-season games since joining the Saints in 2006.