Saints Countdown to Kickoff: Mr. Rogers paves the way for 2 Saints Legends

BtBoylan

The New Orleans Saints are less than 39 days away from their Week 1 clash with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here is a look at three Saints that have sported the numbers 39, 38, and 37. 

#39 - Chris Reis, DB

Chris Reis' time with the New Orleans Saints can be defined by one word. AMBUSH! The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket and NFL Europe standout contributed to one of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl history. Down at halftime in Super Bowl XLIV, Saints HC Sean Payton elected to begin the second half with a surprise onside kick. 

The play, later known as AMBUSH, was supposed to be recovered by Saints Safety Roman Harper, but following a bounce off of a Colt, Reis recovered the kick. Pinning the ball with one hand to his leg, Reis remarkably came away the ball swinging the momentum to the Saints and propelling them to the franchise's first Super Bowl title.

#38 - George Rogers, RB

With the first pick of the 1981 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected RB George Rogers from the University of South Carolina. The 1980 Heisman Trophy winner set a single-season rookie NFL record with 1,674 rushing yards and 13 TD with the Saints. His performance earned Rogers the NFL Rookie of the Year Award for 1981. 

New Orleans Saints RB George Rogers
Credit: Manny Rubio, 1981

 During his four years with New Orleans, Rogers dressed in 51 games, starting 49 and rushed for 4,267 yards and 23 TDs. His 1,674 rushing yards and 13 TDs rushing yards in 1981 both remain franchise rookie records. Rogers was named to three Pro-Bowls, two with the Saints, and won Super Bowl XXII with the Washington Redskins in 1987.

#37 - Steve Gleason, DB

Steve Gleason, 43, provided New Orleans with one of the most influential moments in the City's recent memory. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, the New Orleans Saints spent the 2005 season away from Superdome. During the 2006 season, the Saints returned to the Superdome, playing their first home game on September 25 against the Atlanta Falcons. 

The Falcons went three and out on their first series and were forced to punt. Falcons' P Michael Koenen's punt was blocked by Gleason and recovered in the end zone by Curtis Deloatch for a touchdown. Gleason's punt block captivated the "Rebirth" of the city of New Orleans. Today a commissioned a statue to commemorate Gleason's block. The statue's name is "Rebirth," and it stands outside of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 

Steve Gleason's Rebirth
Sep 26, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints fans take photos at the statue outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome commemorating Steve Gleason's punt block during the first Saints game played after Hurricane Katrina. Tonight is the Tenth Anniversary of that game between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Gleason is battling Lou Gehrig's disease known as ALS. His foundation, No White Flags, helps people living with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with resources and opportunities to battle the disease. According to his website, Team Gleason has provided over $10 million in adventure, technology, equipment, and care services to over 15,000 people living with ALS and countless others through advocacy, support, and ultimately bringing an end to the disease.

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