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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 78

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Our countdown to Saints kickoff resumes, with a historical look at the No. 78.

Pittsburgh Steelers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images

Seventy-eight days remain until the New Orleans Saints begin their 2017 season against the Minnesota Vikings. Canal Street Chronicles continues our own countdown to kickoff, and today we will have a look at some of the Saints players that have worn the number 78.

Glen Ray Hines (OT, 1971-1972)

A former AFL All-star, Hines played his first five seasons with the Houston Oilers before joining New Orleans in 1971. He provided excellent pass protection on the right side for the Saints and their young quarterback, Archie Manning. Hines was also a model of durability, starting 115 straight games in his career, including 28 with New Orleans. He left the Saints after the '72 season to play his final year with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Billy Newsome (DE, 1973-1974)

Newsome was traded by the Baltimore Colts to New Orleans in 1973. What was most significant about the trade is that in exchange for Newsome the Colts received the number 2 overall pick in the 1973 draft, where Baltimore would select quarterback Bert Jones of LSU. A draft where notable players such as John Hannah, Dave Butz, and Chuck Foreman, among many others were available for New Orleans.

Sadly, this was not the first time that the Saints would look foolish following a trade with Baltimore (more on that much later in our countdown). Although Newsome did record one of his 2 career interceptions while with the Saints, along with 4 fumbles recovered, he was far from the defensive stalwart he was expected to become.

The Saints did manage to get a first round pick from the New York Jets in return for a trade of Newsome in 1975; where he would play 2 seasons before finishing his career with the Bears in 1977.

New Orleans Saints

Elois Grooms (DE, 1975-1981)

Grooms started his career rather slowly, starting just one game in his first two years. He would wind up starting 78 consecutive games in his last five years as a Saint. Two of his career interceptions, and 7 of his career fumble recoveries came in New Orleans as well. Sacks were not an officially recorded statistic until 1982, once Grooms had left the Saints for St. Louis, but he consistently applied pressure to opposing quarterbacks throughout his career. After playing four seasons with the Cardinals, Grooms played out the final year of his career in 1987 with the Eagles.

Jon Stinchcomb (OT, 2003-2010)

Stinchcomb joined the Saints as a 2nd round draft pick in 2003 from Georgia. After not receiving a lot of playing time in his first two years, he cracked the starting lineup in 2006, and started 80 consecutive games over the next five seasons. He was a staple of an outstanding offensive line that produced 1,000-yard rusher Deuce McAllister, 1,000-yard receiver Marques Colston, and the best passing attack in the league led by Drew Brees. Stinchcomb earned a Pro Bowl berth during the Saints 2009 Super Bowl championship season, but struggled with injuries the following year. The Saints decided to release Stinchcomb after the 2010 season, leading to his subsequent retirement.

Offensive lineman Landon Turner currently wears the No. 78 for New Orleans. He is coming into his second season as a Saint, and is looking to earn increased playing time on the team’s offensive line.

Other Saints that have worn the No. 78: Jerry Jones (1967-69), Kelvin Clark (1972-74), Shawn Knight (1987), Jeff Walker (1988-89), Daryl Terrell (1999-2001), Bobby Richardson (2015)

Poll

Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 78?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Glen Ray Hines
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Billy Newsome
    (3 votes)
  • 15%
    Elois Grooms
    (36 votes)
  • 82%
    Jon Stinchcomb
    (192 votes)
232 votes total Vote Now