By William Potter on July 18, 2014
Over the course of their existence, the New Orleans Saints have had a medley of fine running backs in their stable. Greats such as Deuce McAllister and Dalton Hilliard became fixtures on the field, and some legends like Earl Campbell and Jim Taylor made brief appearances for the Black and Gold. Here is a list of the five best running back careers for the Saints.
Before being traded to the Miami Dolphins, Williams was the poster child for the Saints. In his three seasons in New Orleans, he amassed 3,129 yards (seventh all-time) and 16 touchdowns (T-11th). Williams did end up being a disappointment to Saints fans, as the team traded all their 1999 draft picks and two in 2000 to get him. He was injured a lot, but he was a beast when he was healthy.
Mayes had one of the best rookie seasons in franchise history, rushing for 1,353 yards and eight touchdowns and ultimately being named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and being selected to the Pro Bowl. During his four years with the Saints, Mayes ran for 3,408 yards (fifth all-time) and 23 touchdowns (T-sixth). Injuries were also the bane of Mayes' career, and he had to sit out two full seasons due to mishaps.
When Mayes had to sit out the 1989 season because of injury, Hilliard was absolutely dominant. During that season, he rushed for 1,262 yards and 13 touchdowns on his way to being named to the Pro Bowl. Aside from that season, Hilliard was the second half of a dynamic running back duo (the other being Mayes) and helped lead the Saints to a division title. He finished his Saints career with 4,164 yards (third all-time) and 39 touchdowns (second).
As the franchise's first Heisman Trophy running back, Rogers put together one of the best rookie seasons in league history with 1,674 yards and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. If Rogers hadn't been traded to the Washington Redskins at the peak of his career, he could have easily finished first on this list. Still, he ranks second in franchise history in yards (4,267) and tied for sixth in touchdowns (23).
When Williams was traded, McAllister was given his chance to shine. He ranks first in terms of rushing yards (6,096) and in touchdowns (49). He did have some injury problems, but he always seemed, to bounce back with another 1,000 yard season (such as the mythic 2006 season). It may be that Saints fans will never forget his 163 total yard and two total touchdown performance that sent the Saints to their first NFC Championship Game.
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