NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Of all the problems the New Orleans
Saints have faced in the past year, no one could have imagined
their woes would be compounded by a reckless driving mascot.
"T-Rac," the Tennessee Titans' raccoon-like mascot, hit Saints
quarterback Adrian McPherson with a golf cart as he walked onto the
field for the second half Saturday night, bruising him and knocking
him out of New Orleans' 19-16 victory in the teams' exhibition
"He got run over by the mascot," coach Sean Payton said. "I
don't know what to do. We've got to play the Titans. The mascots
and all the other stuff going on, it's crazy."
The good news for New Orleans: Reggie Bush needed all of two
carries to show why New Orleans took him with the second pick
On his second carry, the Heisman Trophy winner was stopped
behind the line while going to his left, but bounced out, turned
right and zoomed past two Titans up the sideline for 44 yards to
the Tennessee 24. He finished with 59 yards on six carries.
"He can bring big plays, and he had a couple of nice runs,"
Payton said McPherson, who was attended by a trainer on the
sideline before walking off to the locker room, had a bruise. He
did not say where the quarterback -- fourth on the Saints' depth
chart -- was hurt.
Bush looked every bit as good in the NFL as he did at Southern
California. Young, who drew cheers when he took the field,
demonstrated that he still needs to learn when to throw the ball
away. White was forced to watch, part of his discipline for
spitting on a teammate Thursday.
Young, the No. 3 pick overall, showed off his strong arm by
throwing a pass 50 yards in the air into the hands of Roydell
Williams -- who couldn't hold on. He was 4-of-11 for 56 yards and
ran four times for 28 yards.
The star out of Texas also failed to throw away the ball as he
scrambled right looking for a receiver and ran out of bounds for a
6-yard loss in the fourth quarter for one of two sacks.
He then scared the fans still left after Saints end Javon Norton
yanked him down from behind. Young walked gingerly to the bench
with a mild ankle sprain and was examined by a team doctor; he
watched the rest of the game from the bench.
Rob Bironas kicked three field goals, including a 48-yarder, and
Travis Henry added a 1-yard touchdown for Tennessee. But with the
Titans' defense unable to stop the Saints in the second half, it
White, the third member of the trio from last January's Rose
Bowl, didn't even dress. Fisher said White will return to work
"I respect Coach Fisher's decision for not playing tonight. I
don't like it just because I like competing ... I understand what's
going on," White said after the game.
Billy Volek filled in well enough in his first start as the
Titans' starter of the moment with Steve McNair now in Baltimore
and Young waiting his turn. Volek was 4-of-7 for 55 yards and left
early in the second quarter with a 10-6 lead.
Chris Brown, whose agent has threatened a walkout without a
trade or extension, carried nine times for 47 yards for
New Saints starter Drew Brees looked a little rusty early and
settled down in completing five of nine passes for 60 yards.
"I like what I saw, and it was important for Drew to get back
on the field," Payton said.
Brees tossed a 9-yard pass to Bush when the Saints got an assist
from Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.
The cornerback celebrated stopping Bush at the sideline by
jumping in the rookie's face, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike
conduct even as Titans coach Jeff Fisher tried to intervene. Jones
broke up a Brees pass to Chris Horn on third-and-7 at the Tennessee
8 to hold the Saints to a 26-yard field goal by John Carney.
"You've got to celebrate with your own guys," Fisher said.
"There's a lot of things to learn from this."
Saints FB Aaron Stecker was carted off after hurting his
ankle in the third quarter. X-rays were negative, and Payton said
it was a high ankle sprain.
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