History of the New Orleans Saints
In the hard world of politics, horse trading is common practice. I need this, you want this, so let’s make a deal.
That is how life works in politics. When politics collides with sports, as it did with the founding of the New Orleans Saints.
The AFL and NFL wanted to merge, but they needed antitrust protection from Congress for it to happen. The leader of the House Judiciary Committee was reluctant to let the bill out of committee and to a full vote.
Luckily for the NFL, House Majority Leader Hale Boggs was from Louisiana and a college friend of prospective NFL owner David Dixon. Who had nearly purchased the Raiders in 1962 and moved them to New Orleans. Leader Boggs said that he would make sure the AFL-NFL merger made it through congressional approval. But, on one condition, New Orleans gets the next expansion team.
So, the AFL-NFL merger, planned for 1970, was finalized in 1966. The city of New Orleans was awarded a team that same year, set to begin play in 1967.
The opening kickoff was the high point of the Saints inaugural season. It was returned for a touchdown. But by the end of the year the team was 3-11. Saints took an incredible 20 years of football before they finally finished over .500 for a season. The ‘Aints, as they were called in the 1970s and early 80s, were 90-196 over their first 20 seasons.
Jim Mora was hired in 1986, the 11th coach in 20 years, and the losing finally ended.
Under Mora the Saints made the playoffs four times and won their first division title. And since he helped end the era of the ‘Aints. The team has won their division nine total times, and they beat the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
Saints in the Pro Football Hall of Fame include linebackers Rickey Jackson and Sam Mills. Also, tackle Willie Roaf, and kicker Morten Andersen.
NFL Big Changes from Last Season – New Orleans Saints
This will be a season in New Orleans unlike any other since 2005. Before Sean Payton took over as head coach. The most successful coach in the history of the team. One of the top NFL coaches of all-time, retired after last season.
Taking over for Payton is Dennis Allen, the defensive coordinator under Payton since 2016. In each of the last two years the Saints have ranked in the top-10 in both yards allowed and points allowed.
The defense will still be in good hands with Allen as the head coach. With talented players like Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport, Marshawn Lattimore. The addition of Louisiana native Tyrann Mathieu, who spent the last three seasons in Kansas City. Also new at safety is Marcus Maye, who played the last five years with the Jets.
The Questions Marks are on Offense
Pete Carmichael has been the offensive coordinator since 2009, so no one is better equipped to take over the play calling. But just how much he’ll miss Payton’s creativity in game-planning. As well as gameday management remains to be seen.
There are some big additions on offense, most notably top pick Chris Olave. He is an electric wide receiver from Ohio State that should find a good home with Jameis Winston as his quarterback.
The team is also hopeful that former All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas will be healthy for the first time in a season and a half. A healthy Thomas teamed with Olave makes this offense dangerous.
The Saints also used a first round pick on left tackle Trevor Penning out of Northern Iowa. Penning right now is known as the rookie who got kicked out of training camp. He was starting fights in three consecutive days. In the future he should be known for being an excellent backside protector for Winston.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.