The First ever Team Portrait of the New Orleans Saints
It was 1967, and the National Football League had just expanded to 16 teams by landing a professional football team in the city of New Orleans. They were named the Saints after the popular Louis Armstrong tune “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In” that was playing across the country at the time. And unlike the NFL expansion teams of recent years, The New Orleans Saints began with a hodge-podge assortment of castoffs and unknowns from other NFL teams that would be soon become near and dear to football fans of the Crescent City.
Some of those names were actually familiar, Names like Jim Taylor and Doug Atkins. Some players had spent many seasons in the NFL as relative unknowns in the NFL and would become instant fan favorites. Players like Billy Kilmer, Steve Stonebreaker, Dave Whitsell and Ernie Wheelwright would find a team where they could contribute. And even others were youngsters and rookies just looking for a chance to compete on a professional level. Those were players like Del Williams, Dave Rowe and Danny Abramowicz seized on a chance to play in the NFL and would end up with long careers.
So, along with head coach Tom Fears, here is the Team portrait of that motley crew that began as the New Orleans Saints. Their very first ever season would end at 3 wins and 11 loses. Actually not a total failure considering that NFL expansion teams back then started off with nothing more than an extra first round draft pick to begin play. Dallas’s first season ended with but 1 win and both the Vikings and the Falcons had but 3 wins their inaugural seasons as well.
Pictured here is the team that started it all. The Saints Team that began New Orleans Saints History.
Get involved in the comments below and let us know how many of the team members you can name.