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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 49

We sit just 49 days away from the Saints season opener!

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

The New Orleans Saints are just 49 days away from the beginning of their 2017 regular season. This year, they begin their journey with a trip north, to face the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night football. Canal Street Chronicles continues our journey with a look back, today looking at some of the Saints players that have worn the No. 49.

Ralph McGill (S, 1978-1979)

McGill began his career as a 2nd round draft choice with the San Francisco 49ers in 1972. He would join New Orleans in 1978, where he would see action in 29 of the next 32 games over the final two seasons of his career, recording an interception and a fumble recovery during the 1979 season. Unfortunately for both McGill and Saints fans, he will be more remembered for two plays he did not make in 1978.

The Saints lost both of their matchups to the Atlanta Falcons in heartbreaking, last second fashion by the identical scores of 20-17. In the first loss, McGill was one of the two New Orleans defenders involved when the Falcons attempted a desperation pass in the final seconds. The ball was batted into the air, and caught by Atlanta wideout Alfred Williams, who eluded McGill's tackle attempt on his way to the end zone and the Falcons victory.

During the team's second matchup two weeks later, McGill this time came up with an apparent interception on another last second Atlanta pass attempt. This time, a penalty on a different New Orleans defender nullified the play, giving the Falcons new life, as they pulled off another improbable win. Sadly, Ralph McGill passed away in 2015 at the age of 64.

Frank Wattelet (S, 1981-1987)

Wattelet began his NFL career with New Orleans in 1981 out of the University of Kansas. He saw action in all 16 games of his rookie year, starting three and finishing second on the team with 3 interceptions. He took over the starting free safety position the following season, and started all 72 of the Saints games from 1982-86. Wattelet finished his Saints career with 12 interceptions, 10 fumble recoveries, and 2 defensive touchdowns.

Chase Dominguez will enter the 2017 training camp wearing the No. 49 for New Orleans. Dominguez comes in as an undrafted free agent from the University of Utah, and will be attempting to win the job as long snapper for the Saints.

Other Saints players to wear No. 49: Major Hazleton (1970), Bob Wicks (1974), Artie Owens (1980), Tommie Stowers (1992-93), Ty Zimmerman (2014), Shiloh Keo (2016)

Poll

Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 49?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Ralph McGill
    (15 votes)
  • 88%
    Frank Wattelet
    (117 votes)
132 votes total Vote Now