Friday, October 24, 2014

The Packers Help the Saints

Sorry for the length of time between posts, but the real world of work can get in the way of things that we love. The Packers travel to New Orleans this weekend, and so we have a post about how Green Bay helped get the Saints started. Starting with FB Jim Taylor (above) who played out his contract option for the Packers and became a free agent and then bolted to New Orleans. He was unhappy with his compensation from GM Vince Lombardi, and the Saints were more than happy to have a former local All-American (with LSU) on the roster to sell tickets.  

Taylor (second from right) is seen here on the Saints' bench with his former Green Bay teammate Paul Hornung (see more below).

Taylor and Saints' teammate QB Gary Cuozzo are shown on the cover of Sports Illustrated that summer of 1967. 

In the 1967 NFL expansion draft, each team had to make three players eligible to be drafted by New Orleans. Lombardi put HB Paul Hornung on the list, but due to “the severing of the fifth, sixth, and seventh verterbrae, and damaged nerve roots in the spinal cord of Hornung, it was decided that he would retire and would never play a game for the Saints.” 

Second on the expansion list was C Bill Curry, who played in Green Bay for the 1965-66 seasons. Curry was soon traded from the expansion Saints to the Baltimore Colts, and played as a reserve there in 1967. He finished his career with the Houston Oilers and the Los Angeles Rams.

Third and last on the list was LB Phil Vandersea. Drafted by the Packers, he played in Green Bay for the 1966 season, stayed one year in New Orleans (1967), and then came back north for the 1968-69 seasons.

Source: Wikipedia