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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 35

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Saints opening kickoff is only five weeks away! Can you feel it?

The New Orleans Saints will begin their 2017 season on the road, traveling north to Minneapolis, MN. The Saints will take on the Minnesota Vikings in the first Monday night football game of the season. The game is September 11, just 35 days from today. Canal Street Chronicles continues our march towards opening day as well, today by looking back at some of the Saints players that have worn the No. 35.

Bob Gresham (RB, 1971-1972)

Gresham was selected in the 8th round of the 1971 draft out of West Virginia. His first season saw him lead the team in rushing touchdowns (6), and his 383 rushing yards was second. He also led Saints running backs with 17 receptions for 203 yards. He again led the team in rushing the following year, with 381 yards and 3 scores, while also catching 29 passes. Gresham departed New Orleans after the '72 season, going on to play two years each with the Houston Oilers and New York Jets through the rest of his career.

Earl Campbell (RB, 1984-1985)

Campbell, one of the most punishing runners in NFL history, began the first seven years of his Hall of Fame career with the Houston Oilers. Midway into the 1984 season, the Saints traded a 1st round draft choice to the Oilers to acquire Campbell, and reuniting him with his first coach in Houston, Saints coach Bum Phillips. The move took many by surprise, since New Orleans already had an All-Pro running back in George Rogers.

The two split time in the backfield for the remainder of 1984, before the Saints traded Rogers to the Washington Redskins the following spring, making Campbell the feature back. The 1985 season was Campbell's last in the NFL. He would end up splitting carries with fellow running back Wayne Wilson, finishing second on the team in rushing with 643 yards. It was obvious that Campbell's punishing style and heavy workload in Houston had taken it's toll, as he just simply wasn't the same back in New Orleans. Campbell retired from the NFL in the preseason of 1986, and in 1991 was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Fakhir Brown (CB, 2002-2005)

After beginning his career in the Canadian Football League, Brown had spent two years with the San Diego Chargers before being signed as a free agent by New Orleans. Brown played four years with the Saints as mostly a reserve defensive back. His best season was 2004, when he started 10 games, intercepted 2 passes, forced 2 fumbles, and tied for the team lead with 11 passes defensed and 3 fumble recoveries. Brown departed the Saints after 2005 as a free agent, signing with the St. Louis Rams, where he would play the remaining three years of his career.

Austin Johnson (FB, 2014-2016)

Johnson joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2014. During his two years with New Orleans, he gave the team solid special teams play was a quality lead blocker for Saints running back Mark Ingram. Although used sparingly as a ball carrier and receiver, Johnson scored one touchdown rushing and one receiving during his New Orleans career. He joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent in 2016.

Other Saints players to wear No. 35: Ted Davis (1967-69), Jim Otis (1970), Henry Matthews (1973), Jim Van Wagner (1978), Bobby Morse (1989-91), Shane Pahukoa (1995), Reggie Howard (2000), Chris Canty (2000), Jamaal Brown (2006-07), DeShawn Wynn (2010), Korey Hall (2011), Robenson Therezie (2016-current)

Poll

Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 35?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Bob Grisham
    (16 votes)
  • 60%
    Earl Campbell
    (100 votes)
  • 7%
    Fakhir Brown
    (12 votes)
  • 22%
    Austin Johnson
    (37 votes)
165 votes total Vote Now