Kenny Stabler, Saints Quarterback 1982-1984

37-year-old Kenny Stabler
37-year-old Kenny Stabler
A very aged Kenny Stabler

He was a walking legend in his prime. Ken Stabler had led the mighty Raiders to numerous post-season appearances during his time there. An impressive career at Alabama where he backed up Joe Namath he was drafted with Oakland’s 2nd round pick in 1968. In 1970 he was officially added to the roster where he backed up another Raider great – Daryl Lamonica, and saw spot duty until 1973 when he finally took the reigns of the offense. During his 7 years as a starter the “Snake” was credited with 69 victories including the credit for 12 fourth-quarter-comebacks. In 1976 he helped bring an NFL Championship to Oakland with a victory in Super Bowl XI over the Minnesota Vikings. Even with a brief stay in Houston he led the Oilers to a playoff game in 1980.

So when he was picked up by his former coach Bum Phillips, Saints fans had very high hopes. Unfortunately, like many of Bum’s additions to the team at that time, Stabler’s best days appeared behind him. Though he did play well in 1983, his last season as real starter. Leading the Saints to 7 victories that was without a doubt, the best year the franchise had yet experienced. It was that year that New Orleans narrowly missed the playoffs when the Rams kicked a game-winning last-second field goal on the final play of that season. In Bum’s run-heavy offense he managed to complete over 55% of his 311 passes for 1988 yards and 9 touchdowns. Not his best ever as a Pro but for New Orleans it was satisfactory.

The Saints picked up Richard Todd from the Jets and the 38-year old Stabler played very sparingly in 1984. So sparingly he retired in the middle of the season. Despite his brief time with the New Orleans Saints he still left as the #3 All-Time Quarterback in franchise history. He passed away in 2015 from colon cancer and 8 months later it was announced he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He was chosen #27 of the 100 Greatest Quarterbacks by Football Nation.

 

Check out this Image Gallery of Kenny Stabler at NFLPastPlayers.com.


Ken Stabler

Career Passing with New Orleans Saints

Year Age Games QB Rec Comp Att Comp% Yards TD Int Long Y/A Rating Sacked GWD
1982 37 8 4-4-0 117 189 61.9 1343 6 10 48 7.1 71.8 13
1983 38 14 7-7-0 176 311 56.6 1988 9 18 48 6.4 61.4 18 4
1984 39 3 33 70 47.1 339 2 5 29 4.8 41.3 5
3 years 25 11-11-0 326 570 57.2 3670 17 33 48 6.4 62.4 36 4
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Willie Roaf | Hall of Fame Saints Tackle

Hall of Fame Offensive Tackle Willie Roaf
Hall of Fame Offensive Tackle Willie Roaf
Saints Hall of Famer Willie Roaf

The 1992 New Orleans Saints season ended with a thud. The 4 playoff appearances in 6 seasons and Saints had yet to win a post season game. And with this latest effort fans saw a 16-point 4th quarter lead dissolve in the onslaught of a 26-point scoring spree by the Eagles. Clearly it was time for some changes.

The change that General Manager Jim Finks had in mind though came a complete shocker to Saints fans. All-Pro linebacker Pat Swilling, a major part of the heralded Dome Patrol was sent to the Detroit Lions in exchange for the #8 overall pick of the 1993 draft. It was with that pick the Saints took an offensive tackle from Louisiana Tech named Willie Roaf.

At Tech, Roaf had been one of the top prospects in the college ranks and it didn’t take long for him to start showing he was worth the high investment New Orleans had put up for him. Not only did he start every game that year at left-tackle but he played well enough to be named to the 1993 NFL All-Rookie Team. As a Saint he soon established himself as one of the NFL elite blockers by earning All-Pro Honors in 1994 and 1995 along with 7 consecutive Pro Bowl appearances from 1994 to 2000 while playing in the Saints first-ever playoff victory over the St. Louis Rams.

He finished his career with the Chiefs with another 2 All Pro seasons. By the end of his 13-year career he would be named All-Pro a total of 4 times and make the Pro Bowl 11 times. He was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame All-1990s and All-2000s teams as well. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012 he was only the second true Saint (after Rickey Jackson in 2010) to earn that honor.

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