Now that the New Orleans Saints have won the Super Bowl, take a look back at the cornerbacks who helped lay the groundwork for the Saints’ future success. This article ranks the top five cornerbacks in Saints history.
5. Mike McKenzie (2004-2009)
In 2004, Green Bay Packers cornerback Mike McKenzie held out during the beginning of the season in a contract dispute. Finally, he was traded to the New Orleans Saints in October. McKenzie immediately made an impact at cornerback with five interceptions in just 10 games. McKenzie would continue to play well over the next few years, although injuries eventually took their toll. In 2009, New Orleans resigned Mike McKenzie, who intercepted Tom Brady in the Saints big victory over the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.
4. Johnnie Poe (1981-1987)
Throughout the 1970s, the New Orleans Saints had arguably the worst defense in the NFL. This helps to explain how sixth round draft pick Johnnie Poe immediately became a starter at cornerback for new head coach Bum Phillips. In 1983, when the Saints went 8-8 and almost made the playoffs for the first time ever, Poe recorded seven interceptions at cornerback and returned one for a TD. Johnnie Poe played seven seasons in New Orleans and intercepted a total of 17 passes, sixth all-time in Saints history.
3. Toi Cook (1987-1993)
Toi Cook was an outstanding football player at Stanford in the mid-1980s. But NFL teams had concerns about whether he would play professional football or baseball. Finally, the New Orleans Saints drafted Cook in the eighth round of the 1987 NFL Draft. It would take two years for Toi Cook to impress head coach Jim Mora enough to finally make him a starter. Cook’s best season in New Orleans was 1992 when he intercepted six passes and returned one for a TD. Toi Cook picked off 16 passes as a Saint, seventh in franchise history.
2. Dave Whitsell (1967-1969)
Before joining the New Orleans Saints in 1967, Dave Whitsell had already had a fine career with 27 interceptions in nine seasons with the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. But in ’67, the former 24th round draft pick had the best year of his career with 10 interceptions and two TDs. In fact, Whitsell’s 10 picks still stand as the single season record in Saints history. Whitsell also went to the Pro Bowl as a cornerback that year. In just three seasons as a Saint, Whitsell intercepted 19 passes, fifth in team history. Dave Whitsell is a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
1. Dave Waymer (1980-1989)
Admittedly, the New Orleans Saints do not have the greatest tradition at the cornerback position. But the one who clearly had the best career in New Orleans was Dave Waymer. A second round pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, Waymer played every year for the Saints during the 1980s. In 1986, Waymer had his best year in New Orleans with nine interceptions, just one shy of Whitsell’s club record. The following year, Dave Waymer made the Pro Bowl. Waymer played in 149 games as a Saint, fifth in team history, and he ranks first in team history with 37 interceptions. Waymer is a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame. Dave Waymer died of a heart attack in 1993 at the age of 34.
Statistical data found at pro football reference
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