In 72 days, on Sept. 11, the Minnesota Vikings will host the New Orleans Saints, in the 2017 season opener for both teams. Canal Street Chronicles continues our own series of countdown to kickoff, today we take a look at a few Saints players that have worn the No. 72. As most sports fans know, this jersey number typically identifies offensive and defensive linemen, making this a pretty short list of large men.
Jim Dombrowski (OT/OG, 1986-1996)
After earning All-American honors in college with the University of Virginia, Dombrowski was selected by the Saints with the 6th overall pick in the 1986 draft. Jim would play all 11 of his NFL seasons with the black & gold and was elected to the Saints 30th and 35th Anniversary teams. In 2008, Dombrowski was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and has also been elected into the Virginia Sports, Buffalo Sports, and National Polish-American Sports halls. Jim is a fan favorite from a time when Saints football became more exciting and presented hope for the future. It doesn’t hurt that his name is perfect for a big bruising lineman who put in work in the trenches in the SuperDome!
Earl Leggett (DT/DE, 1967-1968)
And now we have another appearance of an expansion roster Saints player! Given the fortune provided to the Saints in drafting their first roster, one would imagine that success would have found the team long before it eventually did. The roster is littered with hall of famers (in and out of their prime) and standouts. Leggett joins that list as he was an active member of the 1963 ‘Monsters of the Midway’ Chicago Bears defense and the 1966 L.A. Rams ‘Fearsome Foursome’. Eight years after retirement, Leggett joined the NFL coaching ranks with a career that spanned 22 years. His 33 years in the NFL included 2 Super Bowl championships.
Terron Armstead (OT, 2013-Present)
Armstead was the 75th overall pick in the 2013 draft and was a pleasant surprise when he pushed into the starting line-up in December of 2013. After a rough first half of play, Terron was given a bit of help with his assignment and locked down the starting job to finish the season. Armstead has been at the top of the depth chart since then, but has struggled to remain healthy and could find himself in position battle next spring if his replacement this season can ball out in his absence. He is most famous for his super-fast (for an offensive lineman) 40 yard dash time at the 2013 NFL Combine. Armstead signed a $65 million dollar contract extension in 2016. Somewhere Dave Cariello just blew a gasket (he hates giving players long contracts with high guarantees).
Wayne Gandy (OT, 2003-2005)
Gandy was the 15th overall pick in the 1994 NFL draft but didn’t join the Saints until 2003. Three years into a 6 year deal, Gandy was traded to the Atlanta Falcons for Bryan Scott and draft pick in the spring of 2006. The Saints would have their best season up to that point in his absence and make it to their first NFC Championship Game. Gandy was a member of the 2005 Saints team that was forced to play a season on the road. Wayne is one of many players to be an active player on the rosters of both the Saints and Falcons in their career. Expect quite a few more to appear on the countdown!
Thank you all for continuing down this winding road of tragedy and triumph as we relive the history of our beloved Saints, one jersey number at a time.
Who was your favorite player to wear No. 72?
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