Top-100 New Orleans Saints of All-Time: 60-51
That question is asked, and those debates happen every day amongst sports fans.
Trying to compare players of a common position and era are tough enough. Once you introduce grouping all positions together, regardless of when they played, what the talent pool was or what the rules were during their NFL careers, the answers get arbitrary.
We combined four sources to come up with our list of the Top-100 New Orleans Saints players of all time. Rankings for all players were averages comprised of contributions from pro-football-reference.com (Twitter: @pfref), Jeremy Trottier of the canalstreetchronicles.com (Twitter @ClutchWDN), Billy Gunn of the ‘Taking the Over with Billy Gunn’ Podcast (Twitter and Instagram: @takingtheover) and John Butler of canalstreetchronicles.com and the Saintjohnbutler YouTube channel (Twitter and Instagram: @Saintjohnbutler).
This is our list of New Orleans Saints 60-51:
60: Mark Fields, LB (1995-2000)
The Saints first-round draft choice in 1995, Fields made an immediate impact to a needy defense and was awarded to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. Fields finished with over 100 tackles four times in his career and was twice a Pro Bowler. Fields also had a career-high 8.0 sacks in 1997. Most notably for Fields, he was sidelined for a year after discovering he had Hodgkin’s Disease in and missed the 2003 season. He returned in 2004 and started 15 games.
59: Jake Kupp, G (1967, 1968-1975)
Kupp was selected in the fifth round of the 1967 expansion draft, making him one of the inaugural New Orleans Saints and was waived after 5 games played. Kupp returned for good in 1968 and finished his career in New Orleans. Kupp made the most of his second chance and would ultimately put together a remarkable career. Kupp would end up a Pro Bowler, a member of the 25th Anniversary, 40th Anniversary and 50th Anniversary All-Time Saints teams and is also a member of the Saints Hall of Fame. Kupp is also father to former NFL quarterback Robert Kupp and grandfather to current NFL wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
58: Gene Atkins, S (1987-1993)
Playing a 10-year NFL career, Atkins spent his first 7 years in New Orleans. Atkins played his share of both strong safety and free safety and had a nose for the ball. Atkins abilities afforded him to be among team leaders in tackles as well as interceptions for several years in the Big Easy. Now, Atkins is suffering from the early stages of dementia due to the head injuries suffered throughout his football career.
57: Brett Maxie, S (1985-1993)
Maxie went undrafted in 1985 and was signed by the Saints, where he spent the first 9 years of his 13-year career. Maxie was a versatile option in the secondary for New Orleans was part of a very influential moment in Saints’ history. Maxie’s pivotal play on fourth and goal versus the Pittsburgh Steelers locked up the Saints first ever winning season.
56: Jumpy Geathers, DT (1984-1989)
Geathers was the Saints’ second-round pick in 1984. During his career, he amassed 62.0 sacks and 273 tackles. The 6’7”, 300-pound defensive lineman was famous for his patented “forklift”, where he would literally pick up offensive linemen and move them out of his way.
55: Reggie Bush, RB (2006-2010)
Bush was part of the major culture shift in New Orleans. A first-round selection in 2006, Bush made impacts in the running game, passing game and on special teams. Bush is a Saints Hall of Famer as well as a Super Bowl Champion (XLIV). Bush compiled plenty of video game-like highlights during his time in New Orleans and was always a threat to score.
54: Tony Galbreath, RB/FB (1976-1980)
Like Bush, Galbreath spent 5 years as a running back for the Saints. Galbreath had a nose for the end-zone during his days in New Orleans, accruing 33 touchdowns in those 5 seasons (27 rush, 6 rec). Galbreath was a great combination of size and burst and was also a valuable blocker for Chuck Muncie. Galbreath is a Saints’ Hall of Famer.
53: Hoby Brenner, TE (1981-1993)
Brenner was arguably one of the greatest tight ends in Saints’ history. Playing his entire 13-year NFL career in New Orleans, Brenner was a mainstay of the Saints offense and prospered under several head coaches and philosophies. Brenner’s prototypical tight end blocking in conjunction with his offensive successes made him a valuable asset in both the run game and passing attack. Brenner was a Pro Bowler and is a Saints’ Hall of Famer.
52: Renaldo Turnbull, DE/OLB (1990-1996)
Another first-round selection by the Saints (1990), Turnbull made an immediate impact on the field, recording 9 sacks as a rookie and landing on the PFWA All-Rookie Team while only starting 6 games. From 1993-1996, Turnbull recorded 33 sacks, including 13.0 in 1993, which earned him Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro honors.
51: Scott Shanle, LB (2006-2012)
Shanle served as one of the important pieces in the ultimate shift in culture in 2006, arriving at the same time as Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Shanle accumulated 673 tackles (top 10 in team history) during his time in New Orleans and was also named Defensive MVP and was a Super Bowl Champion in 2009.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the top-100 list.