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Countdown to New Orleans Saints kickoff: A History of No. 97

Continuing our countdown to kickoff with a New Orleans Saints history of the number 97.

Jets v Saints  X

Today marks only 97 days until the New Orleans Saints kick off their 2017 season in Minneapolis, MN against the Vikings. Canal Street Chronicles continues our celebration of Saints history by looking at some players who have worn the number 97 during their career with the Saints.

Some player information courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

James "Jumpy" Geathers (DE, 1984-1989)

The Saints selected Geathers with the 42nd overall pick in the 1984 draft. The big defensive end from Wichita State would later be a perfect compliment to the fearsome group of linebackers later to be known as "The Dome Patrol". His six seasons in a New Orleans uniform also led into the high-water mark of the Mora-led teams that saw the first winning seasons in franchise history. Always around the ball, Geathers had 26 sacks as a Saint, along with 9 fumble recoveries; including an incredible 5 in 1989. Geathers moved around the league a bit following his departure from New Orleans, and his career ended with a torn Achilles tendon while with Denver in 1996.

Renaldo Turnbull (LB/DE, 1990-1996)

Turnbull was drafted by the Saints out of West Virginia with the 14th selection in the first round of the 1990 draft. The plan was to bring him along as potential successor to Saints legends Rickey Jackson or Pat Swilling. While Turnbull was never THAT good, he did have a productive 7-year career as a Saint. His first year as a starter was his best, when his 13 sacks led to an All-Pro voting in 1993 following Swilling's departure. Turnbull finished his Saints career with 45.5 sacks. He finished his playing career with one nondescript season in Carolina in 1997.

La'Roi Glover (DT, 1997-2001)

Glover was acquired via waivers from the Raiders prior to the '97 season, and would go on to provide a defensive presence not seen in New Orleans since the breakup of those outstanding Mora units. He had 50 sacks in his five years with the Saints, including a league leading 17 during an All-Pro 2000 season. After back to back Pro Bowl seasons in '00 and '01, Glover departed the Bayou for the Dallas Cowboys, where he had four more Pro Bowl seasons. He played his final three years for the Rams, retiring after the 2008 season. La'Roi Glover is regarded by many as one of the Saints greatest defensive linemen. He was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 2013.

Jonathan Sullivan (DT, 2003-2005)

Sullivan was the 6th pick in the 1st round by New Orleans from Georgia. Despite the fact that he started 12 games with a sack in his rookie year, he never came close to the expectations that come along with a high pick. During his next two seasons in New Orleans, Sullivan started only 4 more games and added only one more QB sack. He was traded to the New England Patriots in the summer of 2006, in exchange for wide out Bethel Johnson. Sullivan's NFL career ended with his release from the Patriots in Oct. 2006. He is viewed as one of the biggest draft busts in team history.

Linebacker/End Al-Quadin Muhammad, a sixth-round pick this spring from Miami (Fla.), will wear number 97 entering training camp. One can hope that he will be capable of some of the performances Saints fans saw out of Geathers, Turnbull, or Glover.

Other Saints players to wear No. 97: Sam Barrington (2016), Tony Steward (2016), Glenn Foster (2014), Jeff Charleston (2008-11), Josh Cooper (2006-07)


Who is your favorite Saints player to wear No. 97?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Jumpy Geathers
    (46 votes)
  • 4%
    Renaldo Turnbull
    (14 votes)
  • 79%
    La'Roi Glover
    (228 votes)
288 votes total Vote Now