New Orleans Saints 1968 Preseason
Some recently uncovered vintage Saints play from the 1968 preseason. This from an inter-squad scrimmage against the then Boston Patriots of the AFL. Young Saints star John Gilliam of South Carolina State – made famous for his opening day kickoff return touchdown the year before to open the 1967 Saints Season – goes up to contend a pass against Patriots defender Jay Cunningham.
At the time this picture was taken John Gilliam was going into his second season with New Orleans. Despite providing such a memorable start to New Orleans Saints legacy his time with us was rather unremarkable. It wasn’t until he joined the St. Louis Cardinals in 1969 that his NFL career began to take off. In his first year as a Cardinal he had more catches, yards and touchdowns than his entire time as a Saint. In 1972 he joined the Minnesota Vikings and was a major contributor during their dynasty years of the mid-70s. He was a 1st-team NFC Pro Bowler each of the 4 years he was there. After a single season with the Falcons and a brief stay with Chicago he would rejoin the Saints for 10 games in 1977 to finish his 11-year career.
- * – Pro Bowl Selection
- ♦ – Led the League