For those who haven't been following along or who might have forgotten during our hiatus, we've got a full 64-person bracket packed with all the ghosts from Saints past that you love to hate. We're going matchup by matchup, choosing the more hated Saints figure each time, until we've finally crowned a winner as the most hated person in Saints history.
The full tournament can be found directly below. Our next matchup today is between the No. 10 ranked Grady Jackson vs. No. 55 ranked and Gary Cuozzo.
Your decision can be based on anything you'd like, whether it's on the field performance, off the field antics, or anything in between. I highly encourage those veteran fans to share there memories of some of the older persons in question and make their arguments for or against. Younger members may want to wait and read what the veterans have to say before placing their vote.
To help you make your decision here's a little more info on today's contestants, courtesy of BewareofDog:
Grady Jackson (DT 2002-2003) - Just like Hobert and Tolliver should have been included in this tourney as "The Two Billy Joes", Grady Jackson should not bear the brunt of this alone and we should have "The Heavy Lunch Bunch" as a group in this bracket.
The most dominating defense in the NFL during the early Haslett years were the Baltimore Ravens. Yeah, sure, they had Ray Lewis at MLB who got all the accolades but that defense was anchored down in the middle by two huge behemoths at the DT position, Sam Adams (350) and Tony Siragusa (330). This is what Jim Haslett was trying to bring to the Saints with the acquisitions of Norman Hand (310), Martin Chase (310), and Grady Jackson (345).
Before Haslett was hired as Saints coach, he spent three seasons in the old AFC Central as DC in Pittsburgh. The Steelers and the rest of the squads in that division played tough, physical, football based on having a "meaty" presence upfront and he tried to bring that same style of play to New Orleans. Things worked out fine in that first season in 2000, the Saints went 10-6 with the first playoff victory in team history and had the #8 ranked defense in the NFL. But, they also had an All-Pro DT in La'Roi Glover who led the league in sacks with 17 (from the DT position!!) and who was a little smallish for Haslett's taste at "only" 285 pounds. So, following the 2001 season, the Saints parted ways with Glover (who was at the beginning of 6 straight Pro Bowls) and went "all in" on The Heavy Lunch Bunch.
The Saints never made the playoffs again under Haslett. Okay, yeah, that had to do with other factors, but the Saints defense was never again as tough in the middle without Glover. And because "The Three Fatasses" (as I prefer to call them) were so inept at maintaining any kind of self-discipline, let alone containment in the run game, the Saints went reaching in 2003 to draft another big body at DT with their 1st round pick, Jonathan Sullivan. We all know how that turned out.
You wanna know how bad the HLB were? Haslett could only put up with it for one season - 2002. Yeah, sure, Norman Hand and Martin Chase looked decent playing next to Glover during those first two seasons in 2000 and 2001, but, after running off Glover and bringing in Jackson in 2002, they all looked like crap as a unit. Yeah, there were flashes of potential here and there, like the game against Washington when Big Grady completely bull rushed the Redskins OL for several yards all the way back to the QB. But, those moments were usually sandwiched between plays in which all three guys got their big asses handed to them by opposing lineman. Norman Hand and Martin Chase were gone following the 2002 season and Grady Jackson lasted until 7 games into 2003.
Gary Cuozzo (QB 1967) - Um, for some reason, Cuozzo is thought by some folks as being the first starting QB in Saints history. He's not, that was Billy Kilmer. Cuozzo took over the starting job after the team went 0-3 to start the season with Kilmer having 1 TD and 5 INTs in those games. The first ever victory in franchise history came in week 8 with Cuozzo at QB in a 31-24 victory over the Eagles. Kilmer would reclaim the starting job later on that season.
Maybe that idea comes from the fact that the Saints traded away the #1 overall pick in 1967 to the Colts for Cuozzo and folks now just assume he started those first three games. Okey dokey. Anyway, he spent one season with the team and was then traded to Minnesota.
Cuozzo is an Orthodontist who spends time lecturing teens on the dangers of drugs ever since his son Gary Jr. was murdered while trying to buy narcotics. He was also National Chairman for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Yup, lots of reasons to hate this guy.
Voting will be open for exactly 48 hours from the time of publish. Voting results and brackets will be updated as we go along.