There are just 86 days until the start of the 2017 regular season for the New Orleans Saints. The No. 86 has not been kind throughout Saints history. The list contains players who might make the NFL's all-time interesting names team, but carried little production. Or players that forged fine careers with other franchises, but were well past their prime by the time they reached the city of New Orleans. Canal Street Chronicles continues our countdown to kickoff with a look at some of the Saints players that have suited up under the number 86 for New Orleans.
Some player information courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Tom Hall (WR/DB, 1967)
Hall just played one season for the Saints; their inaugural season of 1967. He earns a mention on this list because of the fact that he was a two-way player in a day and age where that had become rare, and certainly unheard of nowadays. Hall had 19 receptions for 249 yards, and added a fumble recovery from the defensive backfield in 11 games played for the very first New Orleans Saints team.
Jeff Groth (WR, 1981-1985)
Groth followed head coach Bum Phillips from Houston to New Orleans in 1981, and carried with him the same no-nonsense straightforward style that his coach brought to the Saints. He led the team in receptions and receiving yards in 1982 and '83, and was the team's primary punt returner from '81-'83 as well. His 5-year total in New Orleans was 147 receptions for 2,073 yards and 5 touchdowns. Not the flashiest receiver in team history, but for those that remember those Phillips' teams will remember Groth as a gritty and competitive receiver for a gritty and competitive group.
Sean Dawkins (WR, 1998)
Dawkins came into the NFL as a 1st round draft choice (16th overall) by the Indianapolis Colts. He played five years for the Colts with nice production before joining the New Orleans Saints as a free agent prior to the 1998 season. Dawkins was one of the few bright spots for the 6-10 Saints that year, finishing with 53 receptions and a team high 823 yards with a touchdown. He left New Orleans after just one season to play two years with Seattle before finishing his career in 2002 with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jake Reed (WR, 2000, 2002)
Reed was a terrific wide receiver....in the mid-1990s for the Minnesota Vikings. He had four straight seasons of over 1,000 yards receiving for the Vikings from 1994-97. By the time Reed signed with New Orleans as a free agent in 2000, he was merely a shell of his former self as a player. After a 16 reception, 206-yard output over seven games, Reed returned to the Vikings in the 2001 season.
After that year, he actually returned to New Orleans to play the final year of his career in 2002, where he produced 21 receptions, 360 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Saints most certainly did not get Jake Reed at anywhere near his best, but we still saw glimpses of a consummate professional.
Other Saints players to wear No. 86: Daniel Colchico (1969), Creston Whitaker (1972), Jubilee Dunbar (1973), Richard Williams (1974), Melvin Baker (1975), Jim Thaxton (1976-77), Tom Donovan (1980), Rich Martini (1981), Rich Caster (1981), Mike Jones (1986-87), Vic Harrison (1987), Cliff Benson (1988), Rod Harris (1989), Gerald Alphin (1990-91), Louis Lipps (1992), Marcus Dowdell (1992), Pat Newman (1993), Kirk Botkin (1994-95), Gunnard Twyner (1997), Tony Johnson (1996-97), Kendall Gammon (1999), Walter Rasby (2003), Zachary Hilton (2005), John Owens (2006-07), Buck Ortega (2008-09), Chris Manhertz (2016), John Phillips (2016-present)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 86?
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