Hoping to improve on the atrocious defense that plagued them in the early seventies, the Saints traded their #1 draft pick of 1972 to Baltimore for defensive end Billy Newsome. Newsome would stay with the club a total of 2 years. Fortunately though, they were still thinking defense when they took All-American defensive lineman Derland Moore
from Oklahoma. Moore would stay a little longer while going on to set a team record for service with 169 games played in 13 seasons. He led the team in sacks in 1980.
The self-proclaimed “Losingest player in the NFL” is one of seven players to log 13 seasons with the Saints. Though he is the only one to never play in a playoff game as a Saint.
Early in his career, Derland had had enough of losing. In 1975 He marched into [then] head coach John North’s office and demanded to be traded. The story goes that North waited a week before informing Moore, “Nobody wants you”.
So Derland Moore stuck it out as a Saint and endured even more frustration. He had seen a total of 5 head coaches since his arrival into the NFL. J.D. Roberts, the coach who drafted him, didn’t even finish training camp Moore’s rookie season. His most memorable seasons had been 7-9 and 8-8. After the disastrous 1-15 season of 1980, Moore was once again contemplating quitting. He had his house up for sale and was actually looking at buying some farmland in Missouri when he heard about the hiring of Bum Phillips.
Derland stayed around, and while he still didn’t enjoy much winning, he teamed with the likes of Bruce Clark, Jim Wilks, Frank Warren and a young Rickey Jackson to form one of the NFL’s best defenses in the 80’s. In his last few seasons, the Saints defense ranked in the top 5 every year.
It wasn’t until his 14th and final season that Derland finally got to play in a playoff game, but as a New York Jet.