The New Orleans Saints begin their 2017 season in Minneapolis, MN. The Saints face the Minnesota Vikings in the season's first Monday night football game, just 18 days from today. Canal Street Chronicles resumes our countdown to kickoff series, by looking at some of the Saints players that have worn the No. 18.
Hugo Hollas (S, 1970-1972)
Hollas began his NFL career with the Saints in 1970 by leading the team with 5 interceptions. He repeated his 5 interception performance during the 1971 season, finishing tied for the team lead. After adding another interception during the '72 season, Hollas went on to San Francisco the following year to play the last season of his career. Hollas passed away in 1995, at the age of 49.
Dave Wilson (QB, 1981-1988)
Wilson was a 1st round pick in the 1981 supplemental draft by the Saints out of Illinois. He spent all 7 of his NFL seasons with New Orleans as a part-time starter, but was only able to post a 12-19 record, throwing 6,987 yards with 36 touchdowns, but 55 interceptions . His best year was 1986, when he posted a 6-7 record with a career high 2,353 yards passing.
Wade Wilson (QB, 1993-1994)
Wilson's most productive years were his first 10 with the Minnesota Vikings. After then spending a season with Atlanta, he signed a free agent contract with the Saints in 1993. A 14-game starter for New Orleans in '93, Wilson posted a 7-7 record, throwing for 2,457 yards and 12 touchdowns, but throwing 15 interceptions. Supplanted as starter by new acquisition Jim Everett in 1994, Wilson appeared in just four games that year before signing with the Dallas Cowboys at the conclusion of the season. He was with Dallas for three years before ending his career with the Oakland Raiders in 1998.
Jeff Blake (QB, 2000-2001)
Blake was signed by the Saints as a free agent in 2000 after a six-year stint with the Cincinnati Bengals. Blake began the year as the team's starting quarterback, throwing for 2,025 yards with 13 touchdowns in the first 11 games, leading them to a 7-4 record to start the year. Unfortunately for Blake, a broken foot prematurely ended his season, and Aaron Brooks took over down the stretch, and led the Saints to their first ever playoff victory. Unable to regain the starting job from Brooks, Blake departed New Orleans after the 2001 season, playing for 4 different teams over the last four years of his career.
Terrance Copper (WR, 2006-2008)
Copper was signed by the Saints just prior to their season opener in 2006 after spending his first two NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, where his offensive coordinator was new Saints coach Sean Payton. Copper was mainly a special teams standout in New Orleans, but he did contribute 385 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns during his first year with the team, and added another two scores through the air the following year. He was released by the Saints midway through the 2008 season, finishing the year with the Baltimore Ravens. He then signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009, where he would play the final four years of his career.
Garrett Grayson is in his third training camp with the Saints wearing No. 18. Thought by some to be the heir apparent to future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, Grayson has thus far shown no signs of being that player, struggling in the majority of his preseason appearances. He is currently in a battle just to make the team's roster as a 3rd string quarterback.
Other Saints players to wear No. 18: Terry Guess (1996), Saalim Hakim (2012), Jalen Saunders (2014)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 18?
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