The New Orleans Saints were founded in 1966 and struggled as most expansion franchises do in their early years. In fact, in the initial 20 years of the franchise, they were only able to reach .500 twice.
They reached the playoffs in 1987, the first time in franchise history, and had some success in the following years. They achieved their first playoff victory in 2000 over the reigning Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams.
Hurricane Katrina changed the relationship between the team and the city of New Orleans, as the Superdome was used as a temporary shelter for the many residents that were displaced due to the devastation caused by the hurricane.
The Superdome was unusable for the entire 2005 season, where the Saints played home games in other cities, including New York, San Antonio, and Baton Rouge. Although there were rumors that owner Tom Benson was going to relocate the team to San Antonio, in the end, they stayed and renovated the Superdome, which was ready for the 2006 season.
That was the season that rookie head coach Sean Payton joined the team, and quarterback Drew Brees who had just left the San Diego Chargers after tearing his rotator cuff the previous season. Since then the Saints have been perennial Super Bowl contenders and won Super Bowl XLIV after the 2009 season.
With a bright future ahead, let us look at some of the top NFL bobbleheads from the New Orleans Saints.
Drew Brees – Quarterback 2001 – Present
Although starting his career in San Diego, there are few players that are more synonymous with their team than Brees is with the Saints. 12 of his 13 Pro Bowl selections were after he joined the Saints, and in recent years he has set many NFL records, including most passing yards, most completions, and most passing touchdowns in NFL history.
Drew Brees also has more 5,000 yard passing seasons than anyone else and has the highest career completion percentage, highest completion percentage in a season, and in a single game.
Alvin Kamara – Running Back 2017 – present
One of the most dynamic backs in the NFL today, Alvin Kamara has helped keep defenses honest against Drew Brees with his ability to score from anywhere on the field. Selected to the Pro Bowl in all three of his seasons, Kamara was also named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2017.
Kamara has gone over 1,300 total yards from scrimmage in each of his 3 years in the league and has a very bright future ahead of him.
Mark Ingram – Running Back 2011 – present
Before Alvin Kamara joined the Saints, Mark Ingram was the main running back to help Drew Brees. Ingram was selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft out of Alabama, where his tough running style fit in perfect for the NFL. Name to the Pro Bowl 3 times in his career.
Reggie Bush – Running Back 2006 – 2016
The speedy running back out of USC, Reggie Bush was selected in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft and second overall. Bush was an integral part of the Saints team that beat the Indianapolis Colts team in Super Bowl XLIV.
Ricky Williams – Running Back 1999 – 2011
If you are talking about the history of the New Orleans Saints, it would be tough to leave out Ricky Williams. Coach Mike Ditka traded all of the remaining picks for 1999, and a first and a third-round pick the following year in order to get the fifth pick to take the Heisman Trophy-winning running back from the University of Texas.
This would be the first (and only) time that a team only drafted one player in an NFL draft, and it would prove to be the end of Mike Ditka’s time in New Orleans. Unfortunately, Ricky Williams never reached his potential in the NFL, although he showed flashes in his 3 seasons with New Orleans.
He reached 1,000 yards in 2 of his 3 seasons, but injuries kept him off the field when the Saints needed him, and eventually, he was sent to the Miami Dolphins, where once again he had limited success but was never quite able to sustain it.
There are the top NFL bobbleheads from the New Orleans Saints, which players would you like to see as a bobblehead? Please let me know in the comment section below!