We continue with this series after unveiling 80 through 101 previously. You’ll notice the players are starting to get better with some truly special contributions to the team. I hope you’re enjoying it!
79. P Mitch Berger (2003-2006)
Berger was a dominant and elite punter during his time with the Saints. He’s freakish leg power also made him a critical asset on kickoffs as well. If you love Thomas Morstead, you would have loved Berger who was every bit as effective. The only thing that stopped Berger from a longer tenure in New Orleans was a bad pelvic infection that sidelined him for a long time. He made the Pro Bowl in 2004 and was consistently in the league’s top 5 in yards per punt each season. Reached for comment, Berger said: “That’s a very nice honor! My best three NFL seasons with the most dominant special teams in Saints history with Fast Freddie (Fred McAfee), Steve Gleason and Freddie Mitchell.”
78. T Kyle Turley (1998-2002)
The sometimes controversial 1st round pick may not have lived up to the high expectations, but he was still an excellent player and briefly gave with Willie Roaf the Saints a pair of elite bookend tackles. He never made the Pro Bowl but was selected as an All-Pro in 2000. I asked Turley about his favorite memory during his time with the Saints and the since turned country rock musician said: “My favorite moment as a Saint was meeting metal icon Phil Anselmo (singer of Pantera) and the House of Shock Who Dats, family for life ever since!”
77. KR Tyrone Hughes (1993-1996)
Hughes was an electric kick returner who to this day still holds the NFL record for most kick return yards in one game (304 yards). He was able to do this thanks to two returns for touchdowns in the same game. He made the Pro Bowl as a returner his rookie season. He had 5 return touchdowns for the Saints in 3 seasons.
76. K Tom Dempsey (1969-1970)
Dempsey’s claim to fame is a 63 yard game winning field goal at the end of regulation against the Lions that gave the Saints a win at the buzzer in 1970. The field goal gave the Saints their second win of the season (finished 2-11-1). That NFL record held until 2013 when Denver’s Matt Prater converted on a 64 yarder in high altitude. It should be noted that Dempsey’s make was under sea level. Dempsey also made the Pro Bowl in 1969, though his statistics with the Saints were never great. He was born with a club foot, and many felt that helped him get more distance and power on his kicks.
75. ST Steve Gleason (2000-2007)
For the niche role that Gleason had as a gunner, he lasted much longer in the NFL (especially with one team) than anyone could have imagined. As a special teams standout he was truly special. His most memorable play is of course his blocked punt against the Falcons in the Saints first game back in the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina. In 83 games he had 65 tackles, which is astronomical for a special teamer. He was a fan favorite and one of the best special teams players in team history. Despite his lack of size he was a terrific tackler and as tough of a player as the Saints had on the team.
74. FB Tony Galbreath (1976-1980)
A 2nd round pick by the Saints, Galbreath teamed up with Chuck Muncie to form one of the best back tandems in team history. Together they were nicknamed “thunder and lightning”, with Muncie being the fast game breaker and Galbreath being the hard nosed inside runner. Galbreath was a great goal line back as he produced 27 rushing touchdowns in 5 seasons, but he was also a fantastic receiver out of the backfield. He added 6 receiving touchdowns in his career as a Saint, and he caught as many as 74 passes in one season in 1978. His 33 touchdowns scored are 10th all time in team history.
73. CB Mike McKenzie (2004-2009)
McKenzie was acquired by trade from the Packers as an already established successful veteran and he completely lived up to his star status when coming over. He had 13 interceptions in his career as a Saint which ranks 10th all time. He was an excellent cover man and he came back in 2009 from injury to give the Saints a late season productive boost on their way to a Super Bowl title. McKenzie was and continues to be a major contributor in the community.
72. WR Devery Henderson (2004-2012)
Henderson was arguably the best deep threat receiver in team history. He was the fan favorite of many due to his local ties at LSU. Not only was he a fantastic field stretcher due to his speed, he was able to age well with the Saints as he lost speed by improving his blocking, route running and hands which were all three very raw when he came into the league. He’s second in team history in yards per catch (minimum 90 catches) and 5th in team history in yards receiving. He was also a big part of the 2009 Super Bowl championship team.
71. C Jonathan Goodwin (2006-2010, present)
Goodwin was a Pro Bowler in 2009 as a starting center for the Super Bowl team and was a durable and very high quality elite center during his time with the team. He returned to the Saints this offseason to finish out his career in black and gold. Of his favorite memory as a Saint, Goodwin told me: “I wasn’t watching when Tracy Porter picked Peyton Manning. I heard the sideline go crazy, looked up, and saw Tracy running with the ball.”
70. K Doug Brien (1995-2000)
The “post Morten Andersen” era was very unstable at kicker until the Saints brought in Doug Brien. Brien was a reliable kicker that converted on 82.6% of his kicks in 6 seasons. He’s second in team history in field goal percentage behind John Carney, and he’s third all time in scoring.
80. ST Bennie Thompson
81. LB Scott Fujita
82. T Jon Stinchcomb
83. CB Eric Allen
84. P Brian Hansen
85. T Zach Strief
86. CB Jabari Greer
87. WR Donte Stallworth
88. LB Curtis Lofton
89. CB Fred Thomas
90. LB Scott Shanle
91. RB Tony Baker
92. C John Hall
93. QB Jim Everett
94. C Steve Korte
95. TE John Tice
96. FB Mike Karney
97. RB Andy Livingston
98. FB Hokie Gajan
99. LB Keith Mitchell
100. DE/OLB Renaldo Turnbull
101. KR Mel Gray