Counting the days until the start of the 2017 New Orleans Saints regular season. Just 88 days remain until we find out if Sean Payton's squad will be ready to reverse the trend of three straight 7-9 finishes. Canal Street Chronicles continues our own countdown, looking over the Saints players that have worn the No. 88 in team history.
Some player information courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Floyd Turner (WR, 1989-1993)
Despite being the team's 6th round draft choice in the 1989 draft, Turner appeared in 13 games over his rookie year. He would provide a deep threat compliment for Saints quarterbacks over his five years with the team. His 927 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns were both team highs in a divisional title season of 1991, in spite of the fact that Turner only started four games during the course of that year. Turner also contributed 5 receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown in the Saints playoff loss to Atlanta in that same year. The final two seasons for Turner in New Orleans were plagued by numerous injuries, and he left to join the Indianapolis Colts prior to the 1994 season. Turner finished his career with the Ravens in 1998, but his most productive years were in a Saints uniform.
Willie Jackson (WR, 2000-2001)
Jackson joined the Saints after spending the first five years of his career with the Jaguars and Bengals. He started just seven games his first year in New Orleans, but finished second on the team with 6 touchdown receptions. It was his postseason performance later that year, however, that will live in the happiest memories of Saints fans. The Saints first round playoff matchup in 2000 was against the defending champion St. Louis Rams, and top wideout Joe Horn was out with an injury. Jackson exploded for 6 receptions, 142 yards and 3 touchdowns in helping the Saints to it's first playoff victory in franchise history. He was one of the Saints' few bright spots the following week as well, with 9 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in a playoff loss to Minnesota. Jackson followed that playoff performance with the best year of his career in 2001, breaking out for 81 catches, a team-best 1,046 yards and 5 scores. He left New Orleans as a free agent after 2001, and was out of the league by 2004.
Jeremy Shockey (TE, 2008-2010)
The Saints obtained Shockey in a trade with the New York Giants just before training camp in 2008. The talented former 1st Round pick provided immediate stability for quarterback Drew Brees, and the team's young receiving corps. Injuries limited him to 11 starts in 2008, but he still contributed 50 catches for 483 yards. During the Saints Super Bowl championship season of 2009, Shockey actually had even less catches (48), but went for 569 yards and 3 touchdowns. He continued to be a red zone threat through the playoffs, going for a touchdown in the team's first round win over Arizona, then the go-ahead touchdown in the Saints Super Bowl victory over Indianapolis. Despite another productive season in 2010, Shockey was released by the team the following offseason to make room for an exciting young tight end named Jimmy Graham. Shockey would finish up his career with the Carolina Panthers in 2011.
Entering this summer, wearing number 88 for the Saints will be wide receiver Justin Thomas. Thomas is an athletic and exciting former quarterback for Georgia Tech, that will look to give coach Sean Payton another explosive element to the Saints dynamic offense.
Other Saints players to wear No. 88: Ben Hart (1967), Dave Szymakowski (1968), Fred Hyatt (1973), Andy Dorris (1973-1974), Joel Parker (1975-1977), Brooks Williams (1978-1981), Don Bass (1982), Eugene Goodlow (1983-1986), Mike Waters (1987), Mark Pattison (1987-1988), Derrell Mitchell (1994), Henry Lusk (1996), Andre Hastings (1997-1999), David Sloan (2002), Talman Gardner (2003-2004), Nate Poole (2005), Nick Toon (2012-2014), Rashaun Allen (2016)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 88?
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