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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 68

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Inching our way closer to kickoff, with 68 days to go.

Saints v Buccaneers Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images

The excitement of a new NFL season creeps closer. The New Orleans Saints are 68 days away from opening their 2017 regular season, with a Monday night battle against the Minnesota Vikings. Canal Street Chronicles continues our climb through the countdown, today with a look at some Saints players that have worn No. 68.

Fred Sturt (OG, 1978-1981)

Sturt was signed by New Orleans in 1978 after a number of injuries to their offensive line. The 3-year NFL veteran had just been released by the New England Patriots at the time. Despite joining the Saints at mid-week, he started his new team's game that following Sunday, along with 11 of the Saints final 12 games. After injuries plagued him in 1979, Sturt returned to start 29 of the Saints 32 games between 1980 and '81.

Sturt was part of an offensive transformation, when the Saints changed into a run-based attack in 1981. The change in philosophy helped rookie running back George Rogers rush for 1,674 yards, 13 touchdowns and achieve All-Pro status. Sturt was released by New Orleans during training camp of 1982. He returned to New England, but a serious knee injury suffered in training camp ended his career.

Kyle Turley (OT, 1998-2002)

The Saints drafted Turley with their 1st round draft choice, 7th overall, in the 1998 draft. The selection immediately paid dividends, as the fiery Turley started 15 of 16 games at left guard. New Orleans moved him to the right tackle position the following year, where he started every game and teamed with left tackle Willie Roaf to give the Saints one of the best offensive tackle duos in the league for the next three seasons. Turley's best season was 2000, when the Saints went from "worst to first" in winning their division, and Turley was voted a First Team All-Pro.

He was traded to the St. Louis Rams in 2003, but a serious back injury forced him to miss all of the 2004-05 seasons. Exhibiting the toughness that endeared him to fans, Turley made a two-year comeback with the Kansas City Chiefs before announcing his retirement in 2007. Turley is perhaps most famously known for ripping off an opponent's helmet and throwing it downfield during a game in 2001 while in defense of teammate Aaron Brooks. Sometimes forgotten is the fact that Turley was a Pro Bowl-caliber lineman for five seasons with New Orleans where he started 79 of his team's 80 games. Kyle Turley is deserving of induction into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.

Tim Lelito (OG/C, 2013-2016)

Lelito made the Saints team as an undrafted college free agent in 2013. Although only a part-time starter in his four seasons with New Orleans, Lelito appeared in 63 of the Saints 64 games between 2013-16. His versatility was an asset to one of the most productive offenses in the league. Lelito saw action at all 5 line positions for a Saints passing game surpassed 5,000 yards in 3 of his 4 seasons and ran the ball with underrated effectiveness. Lelito signed with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent in the 2017 offseason.

Wearing No. 68 for the Saints as the team enters the 2017 training camp is a promising undrafted rookie from Auburn, Devaroe Lawrence.

Other Saints players to wear No. 68: Richard Winther (1972), Terry Stieve (1976-77), Richard Neal (1978), Kevin Clark (1985), Pat Saindon (1986), Walt Housman (1987), Paul Jetton (1992), Alan Kline (1995), Victor Riley (2003-04), Matt Lehr (2008), William Robinson (2012)

Poll

Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 68?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Fred Sturt
    (1 vote)
  • 94%
    Kyle Turley
    (197 votes)
  • 4%
    Tim Lelito
    (10 votes)
208 votes total Vote Now