The New Orleans Saints are just 10 days away from the start of their 51st season in the National Football League. The Saints open the 2017 campaign with a Monday night road game against the Minnesota Vikings on September 11. Canal Street Chronicles continues our countdown to kickoff series today, with a look back at some of the Saints players to wear No. 10.
Charlie Durkee (K, 1967-1968)
Durkee was the very first placekicker in New Orleans Saints history. He actually played in New Orleans for 4 years, wearing No. 10 for his first two seasons. Durkee led the NFL in field goal attempts in 1968, and finished second in field goals made, converting 27 extra points in each of his first two seasons. He successfully kicked 52 field goals and 87 extra points for his career.
Bobby Douglass (QB, 1976-1977)
Douglass is best known for a running threat at quarterback for the Chicago Bears, where he played for his first 7 seasons. He joined the Saints in 1976, after a brief stint with the Chargers the year before. With Archie Manning missing the '76 season with injury, Douglass had the opportunity to start six games that season. His record in those games was 2-4, as he threw for 1,288 yards with 4 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, while adding 92 yards rushing and 2 more scores. Douglass would start two more games for the Saints in 1977, finishing 1-1, throwing for just 130 yards with a touchdown and 3 interceptions. He left New Orleans after the '77 season, playing his final season with the Green Bay Packers.
Brian Hansen (P, 1984-1988)
The Saints selected Hansen in the 9th round of the 1984 draft. His performance in training camp allowed the team to move on from one of the most disappointing 1st round picks in it's history, Russell Erxleben. Hansen repaid the Saints for their faith in him by averaging almost 44 yards per punt in that rookie year of 1984, earning himself both a spot on the NFL All-Rookie team as well as a Pro Bowl berth. He played five seasons with the Saints, averaging 42 yards per punt during that time. He picked up his career with the New England Patriots in 1990, playing for 4 different teams before the end of his career in 1999.
Doug Brien (K, 1995-2000)
Brien was signed by New Orleans halfway through the 1995 season, after he was released by San Francisco. He converted 82.6% of his field goals during his six years in New Orleans (123 out of 149) and missed only one of his 145 extra points. Brien ranked 5th in the NFL in field goals made in 2003, 8th in the same category a year later, and in 2000 he was 8th in extra points. He left New Orleans after the 2000 season, playing for five different teams before the end of his career in 2005.
Brandin Cooks (WR, 2014-2016)
The Saints traded up to the 20th selection of the 1st round in 2014 to select Cooks, the missile-fast wideout from Oregon State. Cooks showed his potential during his rookie season, with 53 receptions for 550 yards, 3 touchdowns receiving and 1 rushing in just ten games, until an injured thumb sidelined him for the year. Cooks had 84 receptions for 1,138 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2015, leading the Saints in all three categories, and causing many to believe that he was on the brink of being considered one of the NFL's elite receivers.
Cooks began the 2016 season with 143 receiving yards in a season opening loss to the Raiders. During the game, he had a 98-yd. scoring reception, setting the team record for the longest offensive play. He again led the Saints in receiving yards, with 1,173. His receptions (78) and touchdown receptions (8) both went down slightly, as he shared targets with Willie Snead and rookie sensation Michael Thomas.
Cooks was unhappy at a slightly reduced role in the New Orleans offense, and publicly vented his frustration at midseason. Ultimately, the Saints decided to move on from Cooks at the conclusion of the season, trading him to the New England Patriots for a 1st and 3rd round draft choice.
Other Saints players to wear No. 10: Julian Fagan (1970-72), Steve O'Neal (1973), Steve Mike-Mayer (1978), Tom Jurich (1978), Tommy Barnhardt (1987), Jamie Martin (2006-07), Skyler Green (2008), Chase Daniel (2010-12, current)
Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 10?
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