We are only 87 days away from the start of the New Orleans Saints 2017 regular season. The Saints open this year with a nationally televised game against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football. Canal Street Chronicles continues our countdown to kickoff with a look at some of the Saints players that have worn the number 87.
Some player data courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Richard Neal (DE, 1969-1972)
Neal was drafted by New Orleans in the 2nd round of the 1969 draft out of Southern. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound lineman would be a fixture in the starting lineup for the Saints during the first four years of his career, leading the team with 4 fumble recoveries in 1971. Neal was traded to the New York Jets after the 1972 season, where he would play the next five years. The Jets traded Neal back to New Orleans in 1978, where he would play 2 games wearing number 68 until he elected to retire. Neal would join the Saints public relations department briefly before becoming an executive with Popeyes chicken. Tragically, Neal passed away in 1983 at the young age of 35 due to heart failure.
Lonzell Hill (WR, 1987-1990)
Hill joined the Saints as a 2nd round draft choice in 1987 from the University of Washington. After a relatively quiet rookie year of 322 receiving yards, Hill provided a terrific complement to Saints star wide out Eric Martin in the 1988 season. Hill's 66 catches for 703 yards were second only to Martin, and his 7 touchdown receptions tied for the team high during the franchise's second consecutive winning season. His 636 yards in 1989 were also second on the team. Hill was released by the Saints after the 1990 season, and never caught on with another team.
Joe Horn (WR, 2000-2006)
Horn played with the Kansas City Chiefs during the first four years of his NFL career after a stint in the Canadian Football League. His best year with them was his last there. His 35 catches for 586 yards and 6 touchdowns with the Chiefs in 1999 more than doubled the entire total of his first three years combined. Considered an afterthought as a free agent signee with New Orleans in 2000, Horn exploded into the public eye with 94 receptions, 1,340 yards and 8 touchdowns, ranking in the league's top 10 in all three categories.
Horn went on to top the 1,000-yd. receiving barrier in four of his first five seasons as a Saint, only falling short with 973 in 2003. He had double digits in touchdown receptions in two seasons, and earned Pro Bowl honors on 4 different occasions. "Hollywood" Joe Horn had 523 receptions, 7,622 yards and 50 touchdowns over his seven seasons as a Saint. He was a unanimous selection for the franchise's 45th Anniversary team, and elected to the Saints Hall of Fame in 2010. He remains active in several charities around the Gulf Coast region to this day.
Tommylee Lewis enters his second season wearing number 87 for the New Orleans Saints. Lewis was an undrafted college free agent in 2016, and the diminutive speedster will attempt to replace the explosive potential of the departed Brandin Cooks.
Other Saints players to wear No. 87: Monty Stickles (1968), Mike Kelly (1973), Don Herrmann (1975-1977), Larry Hardy (1978-1985), Malcolm Scott (1987), Frank Wainright (1991-1993), Lee DeRamus (1995-1996), John Farquhar (1997-1998), Adrian Arrington (2010-2012)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 87?
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