New Orleans Saints rookie defensive back Justin Hardee has won Week 9’s NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Hardee helped the Saints get their first touchdown of the day en route to a 30-10 NFC South victory, courtesy of a blocked punt.
Special teams playmaker @jhardee_19 brings the #SaintsGameday | #TBvsNO pic.twitter.com/UJPsjac6yZ— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 5, 2017
"I just wanted to show everybody that they missed out on me," Hardee said to reporters after the game. "I didn't get drafted. Obviously nobody believed I was good enough to get drafted. ... I'm just glad for the opportunity. Obviously, New Orleans sees something in me that someone else didn't."
Hardee credited Michael Mauti, who went down in Saints history for a nearly identical recreation of the Steve Gleason block, for a technique learned during the week.
.@jhardee_19 on his blocked punt returned for a TD! #GoSaints pic.twitter.com/8Aj5XuvW3u— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 5, 2017
Hardee becomes the second Saints rookie to win awards from the NFL this season, joining Marshon Lattimore.