The New Orleans Saints are just 11 days away from the beginning of a new season. The Saints kick off their regular season on Monday, September 11 on the road, against the Minnesota Vikings. Canal Street Chronicles continues our countdown to kickoff series today, with a peek back at some of the Saints players that have worn No. 11.
Bivian Lee (CB, 1971-1975)
Lee was a 3rd round draft choice by the Saints in the 1971 draft. He played all five of his NFL seasons with New Orleans, appearing in 65 games. Lee led the Saints with 4 interceptions in 1972, and added 3 more in 1973 to tie for the team lead. He ultimately finished his Saints career with 9 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries. Lee passed away from a sudden heart attack in 1984, he was just 36 years old.
Richard Todd (QB, 1984)
Todd makes his second appearance on our countdown, having also worn No. 14 in 1985, his second season as a Saint. He wore No. 11 for New Orleans during the 1984 season, after New Orleans had acquired him in a trade with the New York Jets. He started 14 games for the Saints in '84, finishing with a record of 6-8, while throwing for 2,178 yards with 11 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
John Fourcade (QB, 1987-1990)
Fourcade was the Saints "replacement" quarterback during a three-game player's strike during the 1987 season. The team went 2-1 during the strike, and Fourcade performed well enough, with 597 yards and 4 touchdown passes, that New Orleans kept him as a backup quarterback once the strike was settled. Fourcade's next starting opportunity came during the 1989 season for 3 games, winning all 3, as Fourcade threw for 930 yards with 7 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He started another five games in 1990, finishing with a 2-3 record, and went on to start the Saints 16-6 playoff loss to the Chicago Bears. Fourcade was released in the 1991 offseason, finishing with 2,312 career passing yards with 14 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions, and a 7-4 record as a starter.
Billy Joe Tolliver (QB, 1998-1999)
The Saints signed Tolliver to provide depth after losing starter Billy Joe Hobert to injury early in the 1998 season, Tolliver's 6th team in 8 years. He replaced an ineffective Danny Wuerffel as starter in the season's 5th game, and would start four games for New Orleans that season before being replaced by Kerry Collins over the final half of the season. Tolliver had a record of 1-3 in 1998, while throwing for a team high 1,427 yards with 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
Tolliver was in and out of the starting lineup during the '99 season, as he and Hobert each started 7 games. Tolliver was only 1-6 in his starting opportunities, and even though his 1,916 yards and 7 touchdowns both led the team, he also threw 16 interceptions. When the Saints acquired both Jeff Blake and Aaron Brooks in 2000, they released Tolliver prior to the start of the regular season. They later re-signed him down the stretch as a backup, but he did not see any game action. He signed with Green Bay as a free agent in 2001, but was released in preseason, bringing an end to his career. Tolliver had a 2-9 record in his two years with the Saints, throwing for 3,343 yards with 15 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
Mark Brunell (QB, 2008-2009)
Brunell was a standout quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine seasons, then a starter for the Washington Redskins for three, before joining the Saints as a free agent in 2008. He served as Drew Brees' backup for two seasons, as well as the holder on field goals and extra points. Brunell started just one game, a meaningless regular season finale in 2009, resulting in a loss to Carolina in which he threw for just 102 yards and an interception. Brunell left New Orleans after the Super Bowl victory to join the New York Jets for the final two years of his career.
Other Saints players to wear No. 11: Ronnie Lee South (1968), Jim Ninowski (1969), Ed Burns (1979-80), Corey Fuller (current)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 11?
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Billy Joe Tolliver