New Orleans Saints football is that much closer to returning, and the team’s upcoming training camp and preseason is sure to pass the time quickly. The black and gold have had their fair share of interesting moments during the offseason, and the predictions run the gamut of where they’ll finish in 2017. We keep to our countdown series that focuses on the history of some of the players that have worn specific numbers over the team’s existence, and today’s focus is on No. 47.
AV ratings courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Kevin Houser (2000-2008), AV 7
Long snappers are people too. The Saints snatched up Houser with the 228th overall pick in the 7th Round of the 2000 NFL Draft. The Ohio State product would go on to suit up in 144 consecutive games for the Saints for nine seasons, being a big part of some pretty good special teams units in the Jim Haslett and early Sean Payton era squads.
Post-Saints, things got pretty ugly for Houser. Several former Saints teammates including Drew Brees, Mitch Berger, Charles Grant, Jeremy Shockey, quarterback legend Archie Manning, and head coach Sean Payton were some of the many all involved in a deal that Houser helped facilitate through Wayne Read (who eventually served a four-year sentence in federal prison) to purchase $1.9 million in Louisiana state income-tax credits in 2008. The problem was that they didn’t receive these, but throughout the years all cases have been long settled out of court.
Greg Jackson (1996), AV 7
Jackson spent his first 7 seasons in the NFL in the NFC East with the Giants (1989-1993) and Eagles (1994-95). He joined the Saints the following season, reuniting with former teammates Eric Allen and Eric McMillian. He was quite effective in his lone season, playing in all 16 games for a team that turned in a horrid 3-13 campaign. Jackson finished fourth on the team in tackles (72) while tying for first on the defense with three interceptions and forcing one fumble. Jackson departed the Big Easy after one season for San Diego to finish out his career in 2000.
Jackson landed several coaching gigs starting in 2003, including stints with Louisiana schools in UL-Monroe (2004-2006) and Tulane (2007-2009). He presently serves as the defensive backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys, a position held since 2016.
Justin Drescher (2010-2016), AV 6
Long snapper love continues with a player that was once with the Atlanta Falcons. Drescher went undrafted in 2010, but quickly latched on with the team’s hated NFC South rival. Drescher would get cut in mid-June, and eventually get the call in November and play in the team’s final six games of the regular season. He’d become ‘the guy’ entering 2011, and go on to be the man in the middle on special teams for the next 96 games. Drescher wasn’t retained by the Saints for 2017, as the team elected to go in a different direction.
Rookie linebacker Alex Anzalone and veteran long snapper Thomas Gafford currently sport No. 47 entering training camp.
Other players to wear No. 47: Dwight Beverly (1987), Cedric Mack (1992-1993), Virgil Robinson (1971-1972), Jack DeGrenier (1974), Mike Spivey (1980-1981), Marv Woodson (1969), Cliff Austin (1983), Bruce Cortez (1967)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 47?
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