Saints Countdown to NFL Kickoff 2021: #57 Rickey Jackson

Saints News Network's Countdown to Kickoff: 57 Days until the New Orleans Saints Week 1 Matchup vs the Green Bay Packers on September 12th, 2021.
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The New Orleans Saints are 57 days away from their Week 1 clash with the Pack. Here is a look at one of the greatest players in New Orleans Saints history to wear #57: LB Rickey Jackson

Rickey Jackson, 63, played fifteen NFL seasons, thirteen with the New Orleans Saints. A two-way high school star at DE and TE the Pahokee, FL native attended the University of Pittsburgh as a DE. Early in his college career, Jackson was overshadowed by the multitude of future NFL talent on the roster. However, by his Junior year, Jackson was a well-known member of the Panthers defense bringing home All-Conference honors and an All-America honorable mention. 

As a Senior, Jackson led Pitt's #1 nationally ranked defense in route to All-America honors and a first-team All-Conference selection. He led the team in tackles, 14, in their Gator Bowl victory and was named a captain in the Senior Bowl. Jackson also won the MVP award of the 1980 East/West Shrine Game.

The New Orleans Saints drafted Rickey Jackson in the second round of the 1981 draft. Under HC Bum Phillips, Jackson played in all 16 games as a rookie and made the NFL's All-Rookie team. In 1982, sacks became an official stat. Over the next six seasons (1982-1987) Jackson posted 9+ sacks five times. He also was named to 4 consecutive Pro-Bowls in that span 1983-1986. 

In 1986, the Saints formed the greatest LB corps in NFL History, "The Dome Patrol". NFL Network's all-time best LB group consisted of Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, Vaughan Johnson, and Sam Mills. The group stayed together form 1986-1992. In that span the group combined for 18 Pro-Bowl appearances, including all four LB making the Pro-Bowl in 1992. This remains the only time in NFL history four LBs from the same team were selected to the same Pro-Bowl roster as starters.

In thirteen seasons with the Saints, Jackson missed only two games. He later joined the San Fransisco 49ers, winning a Super Bowl in 1994. In 2010, a day prior to the Saints Super Bowl XLIV victory, Jackson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

At the time of his retirement following the 1995 season, Jackson was second in NFL career fumble recoveries (28), and third in career sacks (128). Jackson currently ranks first in Saints team history in sacks (123) and games played (195). He was the first New Orleans Saint to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Follow Saints News Network’s Writer, Brendan Boylan, on Twitter & Instagram at @btboylan.

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