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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 85

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The countdown to kickoff continues, with a look back at Saints players that have worn the No. 85.

New Orleans Saints v San Francisco 49ers Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

There are just 85 days remaining until the New Orleans Saints begin the 2017 regular season. This year, they start their journey on the road, with a Monday night tilt against the Minnesota Vikings. Canal Street Chronicles continues our own countdown to kickoff, with a look back at the Saints players who have worn the number 85.

Some player information courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

New Orleans Saints

Henry Childs (TE, 1974-1980)

Childs was originally a 4th round draft choice of the hated Falcons in 1974, but was acquired by the Saints towards the end of that season. By 1976, he was an integral part of the New Orleans offense and a favorite target of quarterback Archie Manning. Childs led the team with 518 receiving yards in 1977, and his 9 touchdowns through the air not only led the team, but no other Saints player even had more than ONE receiving score.

His 4 touchdowns and 869 yards in '78 would again lead the team, and would end up being Childs' career best in yardage. Childs finally earned his first, and only, Pro Bowl berth in 1979 with 51 catches, 846 yards and five more touchdowns. He would finish his career in New Orleans after the 1980 season with 3,224 yards on 207 receptions and 27 touchdowns. Voted to the Saints Hall of Fame in 1994, Childs sadly passed away in June of 2016 as one of the most beloved players in team history.

Hoby Brenner (TE, 1981-1993)

Brenner was a 3rd round pick from USC by New Orleans in 1981. By 1982, Brenner was the team's starting tight end, a position he would hold for the next twelve seasons. His top receiving production was 1985, when he led the Saints in both receptions (42), and receiving yards (652).

Playing primarily in conservative, run-first offenses, Brenner was considered among the better all-around tight ends in the league during his career. This was especially recognized during the Saints first ever winning season in 1987, when he was voted into his only Pro Bowl. Brenner was a unanimous selection to the franchise's 45th Anniversary team, and voted to the Saints Hall of Fame in 2001.

Wesley Walls (TE, 1994-1995)

Walls, originally a 2nd round draft choice by the 49ers in 1989, was best known for a terrific seven seasons as a Carolina Panther. His two seasons as a Saint in '94 and '95 revealed a tremendously productive tight end after being underused in San Francisco. His 57 receptions for 694 yards in 1995 were the second most on the team in both categories, and he proved to be a red zone threat as well, scoring four touchdowns in each of his two seasons with New Orleans.

Cam Cleeland (TE, 1998-2001)

Cleeland was a highly regarded tight end at the University of Washington when the Saints selected him with their second-round draft choice in 1998. He started all 16 games his rookie year, and his 54 receptions and 6 touchdowns were tops on the team, while his 684 yards receiving were second. Unfortunately, Cleeland never matched the production of his first year, and by 2005 was out of the league altogether. After Cleeland's retirement, he spoke openly against hazing in the NFL, pointing to a hazing incident that occurred in his rookie year which severely limited his vision for the remainder of his career.

Other Saints players who have worn the No.85: Ray Poage (1967-70), Cephus Weatherspoon (1972), John Beasley (1973-74), Curtland Thomas (1987), Paul Green (1996), Nick Savoie (1997), Ernie Conwell (2003-06), Ronnie Ghent (2007), David Thomas (2009-12)

Poll

Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 85?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Henry Childs
    (52 votes)
  • 64%
    Hoby Brenner
    (147 votes)
  • 8%
    Wesley Walls
    (20 votes)
  • 3%
    Cam Cleeland
    (9 votes)
228 votes total Vote Now