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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 31

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An NFL icon, promising young coach, and a colossal failure personnel move highlight today's countdown to kickoff.

The 2017 season is just a little over a month away for the New Orleans Saints, who this season start a day later than the majority of the league. The Saints will travel north, to face the Minnesota Vikings in a nationally televised game on Monday night football.

Canal Street Chronicles continues our trek towards the first Saints kickoff of 2017 by looking back at a few of the Saints players that have worn the No. 31.

Jim Taylor (RB, 1967)

Taylor was best known as the rugged fullback of the Green Bay Packers through the late 1950s and '60s. He was one of the faces of the Lombardi championship Packer teams, a five time 1,000-yard back on one of the most dominant NFL dynasties of all time. As his hall of fame career was winding down, Taylor signed on to play with the expansion New Orleans Saints in 1967. A native of Baton Rouge, LA and college star at LSU, Taylor led the expansion Saints in rushing, and was second on the team with 38 receptions. His skills diminishing, Taylor retired from football early in the 1968 season. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976, and his number 31 was not to be used again by a New Orleans player in a regular season game until 2001.

Aaron Glenn (CB, 2008)

Glenn was a multiple time pro bowl cornerback for 15 years in the NFL, primarily with the New York Jets. His final professional season was in 2008 with New Orleans. He only appeared in 4 games as a Saint that final season, not causing a single turnover. Glenn is not on this list for what he did as a player for New Orleans while wearing No. 31, but what he will hopefully do for the Saints now. Hired as the team's secondary coach in 2016, eyes are on Glenn as he tries to rebuild a young Saints defensive backfield.

Jairus Byrd (S, 2014-2016)

Many Saints fans were downright giddy when the Saints signed Byrd, the ballhawking all-pro safety from Buffalo, to a 6-year, $56 million dollar contract in 2014. What the team got in return was three seasons of questionable effort on the field, appearances on the highlight reels of opponents, and a total of just 3 interceptions in three seasons. Much has already been written about Jairus Byrd in multiple outlets over his tenure in New Orleans, which mercifully came to an end with his release from the team in the spring of 2017.

Wearing No. 31 at the beginning of Saints training camp in 2017 was safety Chris Banjo. Banjo was signed as a free agent near the end of the 2016 season, and looks to make his mark on the Saints with his solid special teams play and work his way into the team's safety rotation.

Other Saints players to wear No. 31: Richard Newsome (2001), Pierson Prioleau (2009-10), Jerome Murphy (2012), Chris Carr (2013)

Poll

Who was your favorite player to wear No. 31?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Jim Taylor
    (119 votes)
  • 22%
    Aaron Glenn
    (40 votes)
  • 8%
    Jairus Byrd (but why?)
    (15 votes)
174 votes total Vote Now