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Saints Countdown to Kickoff: Roby, Erxleben, and Thomas

Saints News Network's Countdown to Kickoff with less than 15 Days until the New Orleans Saints Week 1 Matchup vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 13th, 2020.

The New Orleans Saints are less than 15 days away from their Week 1 clash with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here is a look at three Saints that have sported the numbers 15, 14, and 13: 

#15 Courtney Roby, WR/KR (2008-2012)

The Tennessee Titans selected WR Courtney Roby in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft. In his rookie season, Roby caught 21 passes for 289 yards and 1 TD. The Indiana product spent more time on special teams in 2006, before being released prior to the 2007 season. Roby spent time with the Colts and Bengals before being signed by the Saints in October 2008.

After an injury shortened 2008, the Saints re-signed Roby for the 2009 season. In route to a Super Bowl title, Roby returned a kickoff 97 yards for a TD, and set a franchise record with a 61-yard kickoff return in the NFC Championship game. The Saints awarded Roby the team’s special team’s MVP for the 2009 season and a team captain in 2011 and 2012. In five seasons with the Saints, the return ace racked up over 2,400 kick return yards and 1 TD.

#14 Russell Erxleben, K/P  (1979-1983)

Unfortunately, not every player on our countdown brings back happy memories. The Saints have found little luck in the jersey number 14 (i.e. Richard Todd, Russell Erxleben) but nonetheless the former 11th overall pick is a part of Saints’ history. In 1979, New Orleans shockingly took the Texas punter in the first round of the draft with hopes he would be the team’s placekicker and punter for years to come.

The only three time All-American Punter in NCAA history struggled mightily in his NFL career as a placekicker, making only 50% of his career FG attempts. During his rookie campaign he threw a pick-six in OT against the Falcons, a memory Saints fans would rather forget. Erxleben maintained an average of 40 yards per punt as a member of the black and gold. The Saints released him following the 1983 season.

#13 Michael Thomas, WR (2016-Present)

The New Orleans Saints selected the Ohio State standout in the second-round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The nephew of NFL great Keyshawn Johnson found outstanding success early in his NFL career, earning Pro-Bowl honors in each of the last three seasons. Thomas holds the NFL record for most receptions through the first four years of a career (470).

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Last season, Thomas set the NFL single season receptions record with 149 catches. His efforts earned him NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors and a second consecutive first team All-Pro selection. Thomas has played his entire career with the Saints and is under contract for the next four seasons. In his first four seasons, Thomas has hauled in 470 receptions for 5,512 yards and 32 TDs. Thomas also has 38 receptions for 493 yards and 3 TDs in five playoff appearances.

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