The New Orleans Saints are less than 42 days away from their Week 1 clash with the Pack. Here is a look at three Saints that have sported the numbers 42, 41, and 40:
#42 - John Gilliam, WR (1967-1968, 1977)
The New Orleans Saints are the only team in NFL history to score on the franchise's first play. In 1967, John Gilliam returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for the first touchdown in Saints history. The Saints selected Gilliam in the second round of the 1967 expansion draft. He would play his first two seasons (1967-68) with the Saints and returned to play his final 10 NFL games for the Black and Gold in 1977. In three years with New Orleans, Gilliam hauled in 57 rec and two TDs.
His career-best years came between 1972-75 with the Minnesota Vikings. Gilliam earned four consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl and led the league in YPC in 1972 (22). Gilliam made his lone NFL All-Pro appearance when named to the second team in 1973. He ended his career with 382 rec, 7,056 yards, and 48 TDs.
#41 - Alvin Kamara, RB (2017-Present)
Alvin Kamara, 26, is entering his fifth NFL season, all with the New Orleans Saints. Despite a down year in 2019, AK has proven to be an elite talent in the modern game. His unique blend of speed, strength, and balance makes him an impossible task for defenders in the open field and presents one of the biggest mismatches in all of the NFL. The AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2017 has found the end zone 58 times in 60 career games.
Prior to the 2020 NFL season, Kamara and the Saints reached a five-year contract extension worth over $75M. Kamara proved his worth scoring 21 total touchdowns in his fourth NFL season and cracking over 900 rushing yards for the first time in his NFL career.
Kamara is on pace to break the Saints franchise records for touchdowns, currently held by former WR Marques Colston (72), during the 2021 campaign. The new face of the franchise is expected to spear-head the Saints offense in it's first season without Drew Brees in 15 years.
#40 - Delvin Breaux, CB (2015-2017)
Hollywood could not have written a better script than Delvin Breaux's journey to joining his hometown New Orleans Saints. Back in 2006, on kickoff coverage, during one of McDonogh #35 high school's football games, Breaux fractured three vertebrae in his neck. "It was a miracle he was neurologically fine," said Dr. Miguel Melgar. Breaux was set to attend LSU, who honored his scholarship, but was never medically cleared to play. He left school and joined the Louisiana Bayou Vipers of the Gridiron Developmental League before working his way to the Arena Football League and eventually the CFL, where he was a multi-time All-Star selection.
After working out for the Saints in 2015, Sean Payton told Breaux, "he didn't want him to leave the facility until he signed with them." Breaux played in 22 games for the Saints making 66 tackles, 20 passes defended, and 3 INT. He was named the team's defensive MVP in 2015 and the Ed Block Courage Award recipient.
Breaux, a member of the CFL's All-Decade Team, retired from football prior to the 2021 CFL Season after eight professional seasons. The New Orleans Native recently became an International Best Selling Author with his autobiography "UnBreauxKen" and launched an apparel line founded by him and his son.