NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The topic I chose to write about for my word press account is the New Orleans Saints which is a football team in the National Football league (NFL). I am a die hard football fan and my favorite team is New Orleans saints even though they give me a heart attack every game they play. Me being from Louisiana who else would I root for. They have one of the top offenses in the league every year even though it hasn’t always been that way. The defense is horrible but sometimes shows up when they want to play which is hardly ever. Seems like we got things backwards because we use to have one best defenses in league back in the day with the Dome Patrol which is barely talked about.

 

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STEVE GLEASON

Steve Gleason will always be remembered for his blocked punt on the night the New Orleans Superdome reopened for the first time after Hurricane Katrina. Steve played for The New Orleans Saints from 2000-2008. In 2011, Steve was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), considered a terminal neuro-muscular disease. Steve is determined to inspire others by continuing to pursue life adventures despite his diagnosis, and has challenged the worlds of technology and science to identify their most promising developments toward new treatments and a cure. Steve and his friends and family started Team Gleason to generate public awareness for ALS, raise funding to empower those with ALS to live a rewarding life, and ultimately find a cure. Steve’s story and the Team Gleason mission have been told countless times throughout the media and in a soon to be released documentary. The NFL Network, ESPN, HBO, ABC, CBS, CNN and many local outlets have all been inspired to share the Team Gleason story in many ways. He was featured in 2 Peter King interviews during Super Bowl pre-game shows, NFL’s A Football Life, Good Morning America, HBO’s Real Sports and more. He was named one of 2 Sports Illustrated’s Inspirations of the Year in 2014 and been a keynote speaker for Microsoft and at 2 United Nations sponsored Social Innovation Summits. Steve was the featured personality on the highly praised and reviewed Microsoft commercial during the 2014 Super Bowl. It has been viewed over 3 million times since airing. Most recently, while in office former President Obama signed “The Steve Gleason Act” to assure the availability of life sustaining communication devices

Drew Brees Franchise Best quarter back

Drew Brees is the 2009 Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. A native of Austin, TX, Brees attended Westlake High School and lettered in football, basketball, and baseball and as a senior in 1996 led his football team to a perfect 16-0 record and the 5A State Championship while garnering 5A Offensive Player of the Year honors. He attended Purdue University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from the prestigious Krannert School of Management while lettering in football from 1997-2000. A two-time Heisman finalist, Brees led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl appearance during the 2000 season. In that same year he won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top collegiate player as well as being named Academic All-American Player of the Year and was a recipient of the National Football Foundation’s post-graduate scholarship. In Brees’ five years with the San Diego Chargers and 10 years with the New Orleans Saints, he has been elected to 10 Pro Bowls while being named 2004 Comeback Player of the Year, 2006 All-Pro Team, 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, 2008 and 2011 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP. Drew Brees is considered to be one of the best free Agent signings in NFL history after being signed by the Saints in 2006 after suffering a shoulder injury while with the Chargers. As much pride as Brees takes in his on-field performance, he takes even more pride in his community service endeavors. Drew and his wife, Brittany, established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 and since then have contributed and/or committed almost $25,000,000 to help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need. Brees has also proudly participated in five USO trips to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Turkey, Djibouti, Dubai, Okinawa, and Guantanamo Bay.

Sean Payton Head Coach

Since he was hired as head coach of the New Orleans Saints in 2006, Sean Payton has established himself as one of the most successful coaches in the NFL. Since coming to New Orleans, Payton has led the Saints to five playoff berths, three NFC South division titles and the franchise’s first World Championship with a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.  Payton has a 93-61 overall record (.604), including a 6-4 postseason mark (.600) after the franchise had won only one playoff game prior to his arrival. Throughout his tenure, Payton holds the franchise’s top winning  percentage (.604) for a head coach and ranks seventh among current NFL head coaches (min. 50 games). He’s one win short of surpassing Jim Mora (93 victories from 1986-96) for the most victories by a head coach in team history despite having coached 17 fewer games than Mora.  As Payton enters the 2017 campaign he continues to represent the Saints as a model of stability not only within the NFC South, as he is the longest tenured head coach within the division, but also within the NFL as only New England’s Bill Belichick (2000), Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis (2003) and Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy (hired one week prior to Payton in 2006) have been with their teams longer. Payton is also one of just seven active coaches to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory. The others are Belichick, Seattle’s Pete Carroll, Baltimore’s John Harbaugh, Denver’s Gary Kubiak, McCarthy and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.

Saints All Time Leading Rusher

One of my all time favorite Saints player is Deuce McAlister. McAllister was drafted by the Saints in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. He became the starting running back after Ricky Williams was traded. He went on to rush for over 1,000 yards in three straight seasons (a first in Saints’ history). He ranks first in team record books with 5,586 rushing yards and 44 touchdowns and is first with 22 100-yard games, including a franchise-record nine straight contests in 2003. McAllister is the only Saints’ running back to be voted to the Pro Bowl in consecutive seasons. I still remember in the Saints first ever NFC Championship game McAllister rushed for 143 yards on 21 carries and a TD and also caught a TD pass in a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. McAllister accomplished all this even while sharing the backfield with the Saints first round pick Reggie Bush. On February 17, 2009 the Saints eventually released McAllister after 8 years due to salary cap issues. After sitting out the entire 2009 regular season, McAllister was re-signed by the Saints on January 15, 2010 just one day before their divisional round playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, to serve as the honorary captain. Although he did not play, McAllister was on the Saints’ roster when they defeated the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, and was also given a championship ring. After 2009 McAllister retired as the best running back New Orleans Saints have in their franchise .

Willie Roaf

Willie Roaf began his professional football career with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, who drafted him with the eighth pick of the first round in the 1993 draft. The draft pick was acquired from the Detroit Lions for the rights to Pat Swilling. Willie  Roaf played nine seasons for the Saints; he was named to seven Pro Bowls, and won a spot on both the NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team and the 2000’s All-Decade Team, making him the most awarded player in Saints history.Willie Roaf suffered a season-ending injury in 2001 and then was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in March 2002 for a conditional draft choice. He played four more seasons with the Chiefs, and was selected for the Pro Bowl in each of those four years, for a total of 11 Pro Bowl selections. His election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame was announced on February 4, 2012. On July 28, 2006, Willie Roaf told the Kansas City Star that he was retiring from football. In 2009 Roaf took his first coaching job, as the offensive line coach at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California. Roaf has been elected to sports halls of fame for Louisiana Tech Athletics (2003), Arkansas (in 2007), Louisiana (in 2009), and the New Orleans Saints (in 2008). He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on February 4, 2012, in his second year of eligibility. Roaf was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

 

The Dome Patrol

The Dome Patrol was the linebacker corps of the National Football League’s (NFL) New Orleans Saints during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s

best linebacking crew in NFL History

The Dome Patrol

Under head coach Jim Mora, it formed the second level of defensive coordinator Steve Sidwell’s 3–4 defense, considered to be among the most formidable 3–4 defenses in NFL history. As a unit, all four players were on the Saints roster for seven seasons, from 1986 to 1992, and the players combined for 18 Pro Bowls and ten first-team All-Pro selections while with the team. All four linebackers were invited to the Pro Bowl for 1992, the only time four players at the same position from one team have made a Pro Bowl together. Rickey Jackson was drafted by the Saints in the second round of the 1981 NFL draft. He was the first member of the unit; he played five seasons and was invited to three Pro Bowls before the Dome Patrol was formed. The team did not have a winning record in any of those seasons. In 1985, the Saints defense gave up over 25 points per game, which was seventh worst in the league. In 1986, the Saints selected outside linebacker Pat Swilling in the third round of the draft and acquired middle linebackers Vaughan Johnson and Sam Mills from the recently folded United States Football League (USFL). Also arriving from the USFL was head coach Jim Mora. The defense improved to seventh best in points allowed per game in 1986, allowing an average of 17.9 points. In 1987, the team finished with a 12–3 record, posting the first winning record in franchise history as well as its first playoff appearance. Three members of the Dome Patrol were named to the Pro Bowl in 1991, and Swilling was named the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league with 17 sacks and forcing six fumbles. The Dome Patrol is frequently cited as one of the greatest defensive groups of all-time, and was rated by NFL Network as the number one linebacker corps in NFL history. In 2010, Jackson became the first Saints player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[22] Sam Mills later signed with the Carolina Panthers, with whom he earned a Pro Bowl trip and two All-Pro selections, and later was an assistant coach with the team. Mills died in 2005 after two years of battling intestinal cancer. His jersey number 51 is currently the only jersey retired by the Panthers, and he is the only former player in the team’s Hall of Honor. Swilling played six more seasons in the NFL after leaving the Saints, and made a Pro Bowl trip with the Lions in 1993. All four players are in the Saints Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Aaron Brooks first QB to win playoff game for New Orleans Saints

Aaron Brooks was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1999.  Brooks began his career as a third-string backup to Brett Favre behind second-string quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, taking no snaps during the regular season. The Packers traded Brooks and tight end Lamont Hall to the Saints for linebacker K. D. Williams and the Saints’ third round pick in the 2001 draft ahead of the 2000 season. In his first season with the Saints, Brooks took over as starting quarterback after Jeff Blake was sidelined with a broken foot in the team’s 11th game of the season. In his first NFL start, Brooks was the starting QB when the saints won there first ever playoff game 31–24 victory over the St. Louis Rams, becoming the first QB in NFL history to defeat the defending Super Bowl champions on the road in their first career start. Brooks led the team to a 3–2 record in his five starts for an overall 10–6 record, winning the NFC West. In the playoffs, the Saints defeated the Rams, 31–28. The Saints were without their starting running back, Ricky Williams, and lost their best receiver, Joe Horn, early in the game. Brooks threw four touchdown passes to lead the Saints to their first playoff win in franchise history, becoming the first QB in NFL history to eliminate the defending Super Bowl champions in his first career postseason start. The Saints then lost their Divisional Playoff game to the Minnesota Vikings, 34–16.  Aaron Brooks is also the second cousin of Michael Vick.

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