J. D. Roberts

For other people named J. D. Roberts, see J. D. Roberts (disambiguation).
J. D. Roberts
Personal information
Date of birth: (1932-10-24) October 24, 1932
Place of birth: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Career information
College: Oklahoma
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season: 7–25–3 (.243)
Coaching stats at PFR

John David "J. D." Roberts (born October 24, 1932) was an American football player and coach, serving as head coach of the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL) from the middle of the 1970 season until his dimsissal after four preseason games in 1973.

Roberts was hired by Saints owner John Mecom on November 3, 1970, replacing Tom Fears after New Orleans began 1970 with a 1-5-1 record. His first game came five days later at Tulane Stadium against the Detroit Lions. The Saints won 19-17 when Tom Dempsey kicked a 63-yard (58 m) field goal, a record which broke the previous NFL mark by seven yards. Dempsey's record was tied by Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos in 1998; Sebastian Janikowski of the Oakland Raiders in 2011 and David Akers of the San Francisco 49ers in 2012, but nobody has bettered the mark until December 8, 2013; when Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos successfully made a 64-yard (59 m) field goal.

The Saints' success did not carry over following Dempsey's miracle kick. A 21-10 loss the next week to the Miami Dolphins started a six-game losing streak which left the Saints with a 2-11-1 mark for the season.

With the second pick in the 1971 NFL Draft, Roberts and Mecom selected Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning, who became the cornerstone for the woebegone franchise for the next decade. In Manning's first NFL game, his two-yard touchdown run on the game's final play gave the Saints a 24-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the same team which defeated the Saints in the franchise's first game in 1967. Four weeks later, the Saints stunned the eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys 24-14, but New Orleans finished the season 4-8-2.

New Orleans regressed sharply in 1972, falling back to 2-11-1, and Roberts was fired shortly after a 31-6 preseason loss to the New England Patriots on August 25, 1973.

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