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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 52

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Just 52 days in our countdown to Saints kickoff to go!

Saints v Jaguars Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints have just 52 days remaining until the start of their 2017 regular season. The team begins on the road this year, taking on the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night football. Canal Street Chronicles continues our march towards opening day as well, today with a look at some of the Saints that have donned the No. 52 over the years.

Jim Kovach (LB, 1979-1985)

Kovach was a 4th round draft choice from Kentucky by the Saints in 1979. (Kovach would continue his education at Kentucky during his playing career until earning a degree in medicine). As a player, Kovach was a versatile defender and durable starter for a New Orleans defense that built into a strong unit through his career. He started 54 out of the Saints 57 games between 1981-84. Sacks were not a statistic tracked by the NFL until 1982, but between that year and his retirement in 1985, Kovach had 7.5 sacks to go along with 4 interceptions. He retired during the '85 season to pursue a law degree from Stanford to go along with his medical credentials, and has served on the NFL's Concussion Committee.

Sedrick Hodge (LB, 2001-2005)

The Saints drafted Hodge with a 3rd round pick in the 2001 draft from North Carolina. He became a primary starter during his 2nd season, when he was third among the team's linebackers in tackles. Injuries limited his starts to just 9 in each of the '03 and '04 seasons, but he did bounce back to start 12 more games in the 2005 season. Hodge left New Orleans as a free agent after 2005, but the often injured linebacker was unable to catch on with the Miami Dolphins, and was soon out of the league.

Jeff Faine (C, 2006-2007)

Faine was acquired by New Orleans in a trade with the Cleveland Browns during the 2006 draft. The Saints sent their 2nd round pick that year (later to be LB D'Qwell Jackson) in exchange for the 4th-year center Faine and Cleveland's number 2 selection that year, which would turn out to be safety Roman Harper. Faine would center an offensive line in 2006 under new coach Sean Payton that would be near the top of the league in offensive production, and come within just a game of the Super Bowl. He started 30 out of 32 possible games with the Saints, and was a 2007 Pro Bowl alternate. Faine left the Saints after the 2007 season to sign with Tampa Bay as a free agent, where he would play for 4 years before retiring with Cincinnati in 2012.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Craig Robertson (LB, 2016-current)

Robertson enters his second season with the Saints wearing No. 52. He came to New Orleans as a free agent in 2016, after spending his first four seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Robertson was the Saints leading tackler last year, also proving to be the team's best pass coverage linebacker, and showing an underrated ability as a blitzer. Although he played the last half of 2016 as the Saints starting middle linebacker, Robertson's role entering 2017 looks to be along one of the outside spots in the Saints retooled linebacking unit.

Other Saints players to wear No. 52: Frank Emanuel (1970), Harry Jacobs (1970), John Huard (1971), Dick Palmer (1972-73), Mike Lemon (1975), Skip Vanderbundt (1978), Brian Forde (1988-91), Mike Stonebreaker (1994), Richard Harvey (1995-97), Vinson Smith (1998-99), Jonathan Casillas (2009-12), Kevin Reddick (2013), Moise Fokou (2014), Todd Davis (2014)

Poll

Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 52?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Jim Kovach
    (70 votes)
  • 8%
    Sedrick Hodge
    (18 votes)
  • 27%
    Jeff Faine
    (56 votes)
  • 30%
    Craig Robertson
    (63 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now