The New Orleans Saints are now only 65 days away from the start of their 2017 regular season. This year, they open up on the road, against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night football. Canal Street Chronicles continues our countdown to kickoff as well, today with a peek back at the Saints players that have worn the number 65.
Steve Trapilo (OG, 1987-1992)
Trapilo came to New Orleans as a 4th round pick from Boston College in the 1987 draft. He started 11 games as a rookie for a Saints offense that finished 2nd in the league for point production, earning a spot on the NFL's All-Rookie team. He missed some time with injury during the '88 season, starting only nine games. Trapilo bounced back, starting all 32 contests through 1989 and '90. He played his last professional season with New Orleans in 1992. Sadly, Trapilo died suddenly in 2004 at the age of 39 of a heart attack suffered while on vacation with his family.
Chris Naeole (OG, 1997-2001)
The Saints nabbed Naeole with the 10th overall pick in the 1st round of the 1997 draft. The University of Colorado star didn't immediately pay off for New Orleans, starting only four games in his rookie campaign. By his second year, Naeole had worked his way into the starting lineup at offensive guard. It was a position he would hold for the next four seasons, while missing only one start. He would team with star tackles Willie Roaf and Kyle Turley, along with center Jerry Fontenot to give the Saints one of the most formidable offensive lines in the league. Naeole would sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in 2002, where he would remain until his retirement in 2007.
LeCharles Bentley (C/OG, 2002-2005)
Bentley was an All-American at center for "THE" Ohio State University, but the Saints installed him as a starter at right guard to replace Chris Naeole after selecting him in the second round of the 2002 draft. Bentley won Sports Illustrated Rookie of the Year in '02, then was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2003 while starting 27 games at right guard. In 2004, Bentley was shifted to his original position of center, where he would start 30 games in the next two seasons, earning Pro Bowl honors again in 2005. Bentley left New Orleans after the 2005 season as a free agent, eventually signing with the Cleveland Browns. He suffered a serious knee injury early in their 2006 training camp. The injury eventually forced Bentley's retirement, having never played a game with Cleveland.
Senio Kelemete (G/T, 2014-current)
Kelemete was originally drafted in the 5th round in 2012 by the Arizona Cardinals. After seeing action in just one game, Kelemete stayed on the Saints practice squad through the 2013 season, and made the New Orleans active roster the following year. Over the last two seasons, Kelemete has seen action in 31 out of 32 games, earning 14 total starts along the way. He has proven to be one of the Saints most versatile linemen, seeing action at both tackle positions, both guard positions, and at center for one of the NFL's best offenses. Kelemete signed a 2-year contract extension to remain with the Saints through 2017.
Other Saints players to wear No. 65: Tom Carr (1968), Remi Prudhomme (1971-72), Dave Thompson (1974-75), Jeff Hart (1976), Robert Woods (1977-80), Bob Young (1981), Adam Schrieber (1985), David Carter (1984-85), Willie Williams (1994), Matt Tennant (2011), Ricky Henry (2012).
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 65?
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