Recent success characterizes Saints’ Mt. Rushmore

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The Saints’ franchise went 33 years without winning a playoff game.  In recent years, they’ve been a consistent contender, winning a Super Bowl.

And so that history is reflected in any effort to identify the organization’s all-time greats.

Half of the Pro Football Talk on NBCSN Mt. Rushmore for the Saints consists of guys who played big roles in securing that championship:  coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees.  Elsewhere on the stone monument is quarterback Archie Manning and linebacker Rickey Jackson, the Saints’ first Hall of Famer.

PFT Planet mainly agreed, replacing Jackson with tackle Willie Roaf.

Brees led the way in the voting, showing up on 92 percent of the ballots.  Manning landed on 60 percent.  Payton and Roaf appeared on 44 percent.

Shaun King, who played college football at Tulane, argued aggressively for owner Tom Benson to be included.  (Shaun has a thing about making the case for guys who didn’t even make it to the 12 finalists.)  But he was shot down even more aggressively, as the video from Wednesday’s show indicates.

Erik Kuselias and Ross Tucker would have omitted Payton.  Which is fine.  I like coaches who transform an organization and take it to unprecedented heights.  They don’t.

36 responses to “Recent success characterizes Saints’ Mt. Rushmore

  1. No Willie Roaf? This is a joke. No Larry Allen for Dallas either. They will never pick lineman , because they don’t have stats, but they pick coaches?

  2. Nice carving of Archie. Reminds me of his playing days, when you would get his autograph in a bar and were lucky if he could scribble an 8.


  3. I still think Goodell should have been an option.

    No doubt he’s left his mark on this franchise.

    We as fans shouldn’t forget that Goodell’s witch hunts have been more about perception than reality.

  4. Big Willie Roaf should be on this list. The horrible Archie Manning should not have come close. Like I always say…. “Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Numbers”. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the US Congress! Perfect example.

  5. Jim Mora turned the franchise around! How many winning seasons did they have prior to his arrival? Payton took over a team that was not bad, merely displaced.

  6. Archie looks like Eli (I know it is the other way around, but I couldnt resist). Same puzzled look on his face.

  7. How about a Lombardi Trophy (with an asterisk in the middle of the football) in place of Jackson or Roaf for a nice compromise? Not only is it historically accurate, it goes along with the recent “success” theme of the rest of the monument!

  8. So, you mercilessly bag on Panther fans for putting up a kicker – but you pick… Archie Manning?

    Not a single winning season or playoff game for the Saints under Archie.. True greatness.

  9. I’m still a bit miffed at Kyle Turley not even getting into the top 12 on this list. Then again, as has been stated, apparently offensive lineman can’t get on the list because they have no “stats,” but if you take them away your team is likely to be crap.

  10. My problem with the PFT Mt. Rushmore is that it should have included 4 players and, optionally, one coach and one owner.

  11. @ showmethemtds:
    Another whining asterisk hypocrite who would have cheered wildly for his team if they had won the SB the way the Saints did. Whether it was bounty-gate and/or the obvious attempts to hurt Favre or the Vikings “giving” the 2009 NFC title game away, I’m sure “his” team wouldn’t have stooped to such depths. Get real.

    My only real gripe, aside from Roaf’s exclusion, is the fact that Jim Finks was never even considered. It’s a long time ago now, but when he took over the franchise in 86, the Saints went from being an NFL joke of bad management and cocaine abuse, to a model franchise. They went from never having a winning season to never having a losing season from 87 to 93. The Saints weren’t a great team then, but they were as tough as any team out there. Just ask Roger Craig and Steve Young.

  12. Archie Manning?
    What did he ever really do?
    The biggest thing he ever did in/for the NFL is have2 boys who grew up to be far better than him, as a player he would have been forgotten long ago without his kids success of today.

  13. At least someone woke up and included Archie.

    And Ricky Jackson looked like he was made out of granite, so I guess he is an automatic qualifier.

  14. Archie didn’t come to the saints Super Bowl parade because he didn’t wanna hurt Payton’s feelings. He lost his place as a face of the franchise to me. Payton of all people should have understood his fathers place in having to be there. He should have sucked it up like a big boy and showed some sportsman like conduct. He’ll he through the game winning touchdown. It was his ownfault he lost!

  15. Threw the td. I would put Bobby over Archie. He’s done way more for the franchise. Ricky over Willie any day! Where’s the love for Mortan Andersen as well? Duuuuuuucccceeeeeee as honorable mention

  16. Rickey is right behind Lawrence Taylor on the all time sack list. But what is forgotten is that for RJs first 2 years in the league, sacks were not counted.

    RJ was a freaking machine!

  17. Bobby Hebert and Iron Head were two reason I used to love the Saints (hate them now because their fans think they are Pats fans or something) and Jim Hasslett is their first HC I remember getting them to the playoffs. Oh and Goodell practically single-handedly save the Saints for NO after Katrina. Without him they would be in Texas or somewhere.

  18. Those of you bagging on Archie must be too young to have ever seen him play. He was one of the best all-time, tied mercilessly to a craptastic steaming turd of a team.

    You guys are way off base.

  19. No love for Morten Andersen? I know it takes a lot for a kicker to make it, but he was about the only thing the Saints had for a long time.

  20. jimmyt says: “…Jim Hasslett is their first HC I remember getting them to the playoffs. ”

    The Saints first-ever winning season – and playoff birth – was 1987 under Jim Mora. He was the HC from ’86 through mid-’96, when he resigned the day after the Panthers dismantled them and Mora famously said “we couldn’t do diddly-pooh” in the post-game presser.

    Sam Mills made the Panthers Mr. Rushmore, but he really should be on the Saints mountain. He played much longer there and was in his prime during his Saints years.

  21. it is more than a shame that nobody thought to include steve gleason.

    even i forgot.

    who is immortalized in a giant bronze statue in front of the superdome?

    who made the most important play in saints history?

    who took all that pressure off your shoulders?

    who made the team and an entire region (because i’ve been to biloxi) believe?

    without steve gleason all new orleans saints fans would be something far less than what they are today.

  22. “PFT Planet mainly agreed, replacing Jackson with tackle Willie Roaf.”

    PFT Planet doesn’t know much about the Saints. Ask L.T. if Rickey belongs there.

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