I took the time today to unveil my all time Saints team, with each position (including kicker, punter and kick returner) accounted for. No backups here, just the starters. Some picks may surprise you while others may not, but taking into account the entire history of the team this is the best possible squad I could assemble. Let me know your thoughts!
QB: Drew Brees – He’s led the franchise to their only Super Bowl, and he leads the franchise in touchdown passes by far despite just 5 short years with the team. He’s been to the Pro Bowl is 4 out of his 5 seasons with the Saints.
WR: Joe Horn – He leads the franchise in touchdown receptions. He also made the Pro Bowl 4 times.
WR: Eric Martin – Leads the franchise in career receptions and yards. He was selected to the Pro Bowl once.
HB: Deuce McAllister – Franchise leaders in rushing yards and total touchdowns. He’s a 2 time Pro Bowl selection.
FB: Tony Galbreath – Formed a formidable tandem with Chuck Muncie in the Saints’ backfield referred to as “Thunder and Lightning”. He was more of a playmaking fullback than a blocker, and he finished one season second in the NFL with 74 receptions. He was a deadly receiver coming out of the backfield. He’s 5th all time in franchise history for receptions.
TE: Henry Childs – This was a tough one between Child and Hoby Brenner. Ultimately, I decided that Brenner’s career numbers were a function of his longevity (13 years with Saints), whereas Childs accomplished just as much in almost half the time (7 years). Childs also had more career touchdowns with the Saints than Brenner. He was selected to one Pro Bowl.
T: Willie Roaf – He should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer, and he’s arguably the best player all time in Saints history. He’s also arguably the best tackle in NFL history. He made the Pro Bowl in 7 of his 9 seasons with the Saints.
T: Stan Brock – He was a first round pick that spent 13 seasons with the Saints, anchoring some terrific offensive lines in the Mora days.
G: Jim Dombrowski – He played with Brock on the same line and played his entire 11 year career with the Saints. He was known as a very high character player on and off the field and a tremendous leader.
G: Jahri Evans – He’s the only other active player on this team besides Brees. In 5 seasons he’s been the best player on one of the best lines in football, making 2 Pro Bowls.
C: Joel Hilgenberg – He played his entire career with the Saints and was a dominant center for 10 seasons, including one Pro Bowl birth.
DEFENSE (4-3 format)
E: Wayne Martin – Played all 11 of his career seasons with the Saints totalling the second most sacks in franchise history. He made one Pro Bowl.
E: Joe Johnson – I had a hard time leaving Frank Warren off this list, but Johnson accomplished more in less time. Warren totalled 52.5 sacks in 14 seasons while Johnson had 50.5 sacks in 7 seasons. It should be noted that sacks weren’t recorded as an official stat in Warren’s first season with the Saints. Still, Johnson made two Pro Bowls and was elected the NFL comeback player of the year in 2000.
DT: La’Roi Glover – He registered 50 sacks in just 5 short seasons with the Saints. He was the NFL defensive player of the year in 2000 when he led the league with 17 sacks. He made the Pro Bowl twice during that span.
DT: Derland Moore – He played 13 seasons with the Saints, making the Pro Bowl once. He spent the majority of his career playing when sacks weren’t officially recorded, but most remember him as one of the most disruptive forces in Saints’ history. Jim Wilks also received strong consideration here, for spending 13 seasons with the team as well, including 45.5 career sacks.
OLB: Rickey Jackson – Currently the only Saints player in the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame. Leads the franchise in career sacks with 115 and went to the Pro Bowl 6 times during his 13 seasons with the Saints.
OLB: Pat Swilling – the only Saints player in team history besides Glover to become the NFL defensive player of the year (1991). Made the Pro Bowl 4 times in his 7 seasons with the Saints. He’s 3rd all time in sacks in franchise history.
MLB: Sam Mills – The heart and soul of the “Dome Patrol”. Made the Pro Bowl 4 times in 9 seasons with the Saints. It doesn’t seem right that Vaughan Johnson not be listed with this squad, so I’ll mention him here as well. He made the Pro Bowl 4 times in 8 seasons.
CB: Dave Waymer – Leads the Saints all time in interceptions with 37. Made the Pro Bowl once in his 10 seasons with the team.
CB: Dave Whitsell – Despite just 3 seasons with the Saints, he still manages to rank 5th most all time in franchise history in team interceptions. He also made the Pro Bowl once. I thought long and hard about Mike McKenzie here, but Whitsell was too dominant to ignore in his short period with the Saints. Tracy Porter is an active player that should make this team before long.
FS: Tommy Myers – Second all time behind Waymer in interceptions by just one. He played his entire 10 year career with the Saints and made the Pro Bowl once.
SS: Sammy Knight (pictured) – Made the Saints’ roster as an undrafted rookie free agent, and immediately became a turnover machine. He’s third all time in team history in interceptions with just 6 seasons played with the franchise. He made the Pro Bowl once in that span.
K: Morten Andersen – Career points leader for the franchise. One of the best kickers in NFL history. Made the Pro Bowl 6 times in his 13 seasons with the Saints.
P: Tommy Barnhardt – Played 7 and a half seasons with the Saints and was consistently a solid punter that always rivaled the best. I believe Thomas Morstead will eventually outperform him.
KR: Michael Lewis – I also considered Tyrone Hughes here, but Lewis played 7 seasons with the Saints (Hughes just 4). While Hughes totalled 5 return touchdowns in his career and Lewis had 4, Lewis set an NFL record in 2002 for combined kickoff return and punt return yards in a season.