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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 89

Minicamp is in full swing for the Saints, and as we approach the mid-part of June, we’re that much closer to the NFL returning.

Quinn Early carries a reception for touchdown Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

We are officially less than three months away from the start of the 2017 NFL season. The New Orleans Saints will begin their campaign on the road, playing the Vikings in Minnesota as one of the two games on a Monday night football double-header. Canal Street Chronicles continues our own countdown to kickoff by looking at some of the Saints players that have worn the number 89 throughout the team's 51-year. history.

Some player data courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Dave Long (DE/DT, 1969-1972)

Long played his final four seasons for New Orleans after spending his first three with the St. Louis Cardinals. He played for a Saints team that was still largely made up of unwanted cast-offs from the other professional franchises. Neither tackles or sacks were tracked during Long's playing career, but he did start all 26 of the team's games from 1970-71, and had four fumble recoveries for the '71 squad.

Wes Chandler (WR, 1978-1981)

New Orleans took Chandler with the 3rd overall pick in the first round of the 1978 draft to add to quarterback Archie Manning's arsenal of weapons. The move paid almost immediate dividends, as Chandler added an explosive element to the receiving corps, as well as kick returns. He exploded in 1979, leading the team with 1,069 receiving yards on 65 receptions and 6 touchdowns, earning a Pro Bowl berth and helping the Saints finished with their first non-losing record in team history at 8-8.

He finished 1980 with the same number of catches and scores, with only a slight dip in yardage (975), but the team bottomed out with a record of 1-15. This caused ownership to make a coaching change from the more open offensive style of Dick Nolan, to a conservative approach brought by Bum Phillips. Chandler was traded to the San Diego Chargers early into the 1981 season, where he would go on to have a very productive 7-year career in their wide-open offense, ending up in the Chargers Hall of Fame.

Quinn Early (WR, 1991-1995)

Early came to the Saints prior to the 1991 season after spending his first three years in San Diego, and his production would increase each of his five years in New Orleans. Although he would spend 12 years as an NFL wideout, Early's best years were in New Orleans. His 82 catch, 894 yard and 4 touchdown output in 1994 was followed up by an 81 reception, 1,087 yard and 8 touchdown campaign the following season. Early departed for Buffalo after 1995, spending the next three seasons there before ending his career with the Jets in 1999.

Josh Hill (TE, 2013-present)

Not much was necessarily expected from Hill when the Saints signed him as an undrafted college free agent in 2013. Hill has proven to be a solid number 2 option and red zone threat at tight end over his four seasons in the league. He was well on his way to career bests in both receptions and yards in 2016, before suffering a broken leg just 9 games in that ended his season.

Other Saints players to wear No. 89: Kent Kramer (1967), Bert Askson (1973), Gil Chapman (1975), Leonard Willis (1977), Aundra Thompson (1981-1982), Tyrone Young (1983-1984), Joe Thomas (1987), Robert Clark (1987-1988), Derrick Shepard (1989), Mike Jones (1989), Mercury Hayes (1996-1997), Brett Bech (1997-1999), Dave Stachelski (2000-2001), Wane McGarity (2001), Derrick Lewis (2002-2003), Lamont Hall (2004-2005), Jamal Jones (2006), Sean Ryan (2008), John Gilmore (2011), Daniel Graham (2012)

Poll

Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 89?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Dave Long
    (8 votes)
  • 48%
    Wes Chandler
    (113 votes)
  • 36%
    Quinn Early
    (85 votes)
  • 10%
    Josh Hill
    (25 votes)
231 votes total Vote Now