Thomas Morstead has carved out special place in New Orleans’ heart

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Most punters are an afterthought to fans, most of whom would rather not even see their punter. Out of sight, out of mind.

But it’s not that way with Saints fans and Thomas Morstead.

Morstead loves New Orleans, and New Orleans loves Morstead. The Texas native now calls New Orleans home.

“To give you a single statement to tell you what this city means to Thomas, as well as what Thomas means to this city: When people ask me about Thomas I say, ‘In this city, it’s Drew Brees, then Thomas Morstead,’” Saints kicker Wil Lutz said, via Herbie Teope of the Times-Picayune. “He is that involved.”

Part of it is Morstead’s contributions to the Saints over his 10, going on 11, NFL seasons. His career average of 49.6 yards per punt ranks third in NFL history, and his onside kick at the start of Super Bowl XLIV propelled the Saints to their first championship.

But the other part is Morstead’s off-field contributions.

Morstead arrived in 2009, and he and his wife, Lauren, began their foundation in 2014. The “What You Give Will Grow” foundation has donated more than $2.5 million to a variety of causes and programs, according to the organization’s official website, via Teope.

“You almost feel obligated to give back in really the best way you possibly can because people in New Orleans, they’ll give the shirt off their back,” Morstead said. “I mean, they will do anything for you, and that type of support when you’re making the money I’m making doing the job that you couldn’t have imagined ever having, you just feel like, hey, you better pay it forward.

“You better help out the people that support you, so that’s the big thing for me. When people make a donation to our charity, our foundation, there’s a pressure to make sure you put that dollar to good use, and I just don’t take that lightly.”

6 responses to “Thomas Morstead has carved out special place in New Orleans’ heart

  1. Thomas Morstead is a class act. The Minnesota Vikings discovered this when Morstead, who had been injured making a tackle after a punt, still made his way back onto the field when the winning catch by WR Stephon Diggs required an obligatory extra point kick and the entire Saints team had already made its way to the locker room. This so impressed Vikings fans that they contributed $170K to his “What you give will grow” foundation, which he then in turn presented to a Minneapolis hospital. The NFL has many great players who shine both on and off the field, but Morstead definitely deserves his place among that elite group.

  2. I remember watching the draft back in 2009 when in the 5th round the Saints picked a punter I had never heard of out of SMU. The history of drafting kicking specialist hasn’t been spectacular so when it happened to say I had mixed feeling would be an understatement. I couldn’t have been more wrong about Morstead. Not only has he been a great punter and has held the position for over a decade but you could not ask for a better ambassador off of the field. Glad to have him as part of the team and I look forward to many more years with him holding the position down.

  3. He is a great punter and a better man!

    Does not take much to love a great guy when most of the NFL players in the press are beating women and breaking arms of children.

  4. Morstead is also one of the best open field tacklers on the Saints too. He’s been the last person on the field between the goal line and the returner a bunch of times, and he usually comes up big in those situations.

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