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Countdown to New Orleans Saints Kickoff: A History of No. 1

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Finally! We are just 1 day away from the start of the 2017 season for the New Orleans Saints!

New Orleans Saints v Denver Broncos Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints are just 1 day away from beginning their 2017 regular season. Tomorrow night, the Saints open their year with a road game against the Minnesota Vikings. Canal Street Chronicles helps us lead through the finish line of the offseason with our countdown to kickoff series. Today, we look back at the 3 players who have worn the No. 1 in a regular season game for the Saints.

Garo Yepremian (K, 1979)

Yepremian may be best known for the bobbled pass on a botched field goal attempt during Miami's Super Bowl VII victory in their undefeated season of 1972. He actually had an accomplished nine-year career as the Dolphins kicker after beginning his first two seasons with the Detroit Lions. Yepremian joined the Saints in 1979, kicking in fourteen games for New Orleans. His 75% field goal percentage finished 6th in the league, and he ranked 8th with 39 extra points. He left the Saints after the season, playing his final two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yepremian died of cancer in 2015 at the age of 70.

Benny Ricardo (K, 1980-1981)

Ricardo joined the Saints in 1980 after kicking for 3 seasons with the Detroit Lions. In two years with New Orleans, Ricardo scored 124 points, converting 54% of his field goals and kicking 55 extra points. He was out of football in 1982, joining the Minnesota Vikings in 1983 for one year before ending his career with the Chargers the following season. Ricardo has been a sportscaster and stand-up comedian since the conclusion of his playing career.

Martin Gramatica (K, 2007-2008)

Gramatica, originally a 3rd round draft choice in 1999 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, kicked for 3 different teams before being signed by New Orleans in 2007. The Saints had signed him late that year to replace injured kicker Olindo Mare, and he was perfect on his 5 field goal attempts and 8 extra points over the season's final three games. He began the 2008 season as the Saints placekicker, but missed two field goals in an early season, 2-point loss to the Denver Broncos. Two weeks after that loss, Gramatica missed one field goal, and had another blocked and returned for a touchdown in a 3 point loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He was placed on injured reserve after that game, later to be released and bringing an end to his career.

Poll

Who was your favorite Saints player to wear No. 1?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Garo Yepremian
    (54 votes)
  • 22%
    Benny Ricardo
    (29 votes)
  • 36%
    Martin Gramatica
    (47 votes)
130 votes total Vote Now