1967 New Orleans Saints season

1967 New Orleans Saints season
Head coach Tom Fears
General manager Bert Rose
Owner John W. Mecom, Jr.
Home field Tulane Stadium
Record 3–11
Division place 4th Capitol
Playoff finish did not qualify

The 1967 New Orleans Saints season was the inaugural season for the franchise. The team went 3–11, finishing in last place in the four-team NFL Eastern Conference Capitol Division.


Expansion draft

The Saints made a splash in the expansion draft by selecting Green Bay Packers running back Paul Hornung. Lombardi was distraught when the Saints selected Hornung in the draft.[1] In later years, Hornung revealed that he spoke to Saints coach Tom Fears prior to the draft. Fears was a former assistant in Green Bay and Fears felt that Hornung would help sell tickets in New Orleans.[1] Several weeks later, the Saints also signed Packers running back Jim Taylor. Taylor had felt underpaid and under-appreciated under Lombardi.[2] An examination at the Scripps Clinic in California found the severing of the fifth, sixth, and seventh vertebrae, and damaged nerve roots in the spinal cord of Hornung. It was decided that Hornung would retire and he never played a game for the Saints.[2]

NFL draft

Main article: 1967 NFL draft
1967 New Orleans Saints draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 26 Les Kelley  Linebacker Alabama
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career




1967 New Orleans Saints staff
Front office
  • President – John W. Mecom, Jr.
  • Executive Vice President/General Manager – Bert Rose
  • Director of Player Personnel – Vic Schwenk

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches


Regular season

Things couldn't have looked better for the Saints and their inaugural season. A 5–1 preseason record was followed by a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by rookie John Gilliam to begin the 1967 season against the Los Angeles Rams. (There is a rumor in the annals of New Orleans Saints legends that following this play many fans allegedly heard another fan in Tulane Stadium shout out aloud "This is going to be the greatest football team in history!" – thus jinxing the Saints for their first 20 years of existence). Apparently the Rams were not informed of this declaration as they quickly recovered from the opening blow to win 27–13. The first-ever win for the Saints came in week 8 when rookie wide receiver Flea Roberts scored 3 touchdowns in a 31–24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. With additional triumphs over Atlanta and Washington the 3 wins for the year matched the most for an expansion team. Former Green Bay great Jim Taylor led the team with 390 yards rushing and 17th round pick rookie Danny Abramowicz from Xavier College led in receiving with 50 grabs for 721 yards and 6 touchdowns. Defensive back Dave Whitshell led the team as well as the NFL in interceptions with 10 steals—still a New Orleans Saint season record.


Date Opponent Result Attendance
September 17Los Angeles RamsL 13–27
September 24Washington RedskinsL 10–30
October 1Cleveland BrownsL 7–42
October 8at New York GiantsL 21–27
October 15at Dallas CowboysL 10–14
October 22at San Francisco 49ersL 13–27
October 29Pittsburgh SteelersL 10–14
November 5Philadelphia EaglesW 31–24
November 12Dallas CowboysL 10–27
November 19at Philadelphia EaglesL 28–41
November 26Atlanta FalconsW 27–24
December 3at St. Louis CardinalsL 20–31
December 10at Baltimore ColtsL 10–30
December 17at Washington RedskinsW 30–14

Game summaries

Week 14

1 234Total
Saints 0 7914 30
Redskins 0 077 14


NFL Capitol
Dallas Cowboys 9 5 0 .643 4–2 8–2 342 268 L1
Philadelphia Eagles 6 7 1 .462 3–2–1 5–4–1 351 409 W1
Washington Redskins 5 6 3 .455 2–3–1 4–5–1 347 353 L1
New Orleans Saints 3 11 0 .214 2–4 2–8 233 379 W1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.


  1. 1 2 When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss, p. 407, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  2. 1 2 When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss, p. 408, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 978-0-684-84418-3
  3. "1967 New Orleans Saints draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  4. "All-Time Roster". NewOrleansSaints.com. Retrieved June 23, 2012.

External links

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