Teddy’s return the latest for former starting QBs facing Saints

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Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo: Parker Waters)

After starting six games for the Saints over the last two years, Teddy Bridgewater returns to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday to face his former team, this time as the starter for the Carolina Panthers.

Bridgewater will become the ninth former Saints starting quarterback to face his former team as a starter. If past history is any indication, it could be a tough day for the home team.

Those previous eight starters combined to post a 16-6 record against New Orleans, with seven of the eight having a .500 record or better against the Saints.

A closer look at the eight signal-callers who have returned to face the Saints:

Gary Cuozzo

An original Saint, Cuozzo started 10 games for New Orleans over the first two years before moving on to Minnesota.

He made one start against the Saints for the Vikings, winning 26-0 on Sept. 27, 1970 in Bloomington, Minnesota. In that game, Cuozzo went 11 for 27 for 191 yards, no touchdowns and one interception as the Vikings relied on their special teams to score two touchdowns and kick four field goals.

Billy Kilmer

Kilmer started 39 games from 1967-70 before heading to Washington.

He went 2-1 as a starter against the Saints, winning 24-14 on Oct. 31, 1971 in D.C., losing 19-3 on Oct. 28, 1973 at Tulane Stadium and winning 41-3 in the 1975 season opener at RFK Stadium.

Against New Orleans, Kilmer completed 33 of 60 passes for 479 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions and also rushed for a touchdown.

Bobby Hebert

After seven seasons in New Orleans, including 75 regular-season starts, Hebert signed as a free agent with the Saints’ biggest rival, the Atlanta Falcons, in April 1993.

Though he did not start either meeting in 1993, he came off the bench in both games – a fourth-quarter comeback in Atlanta that the Saints still pulled out on a last-play field goal by Morten Andersen, and a win in relief of the injured Billy Joe Tolliver in Hebert’s first game back in the Dome.

Hebert was a backup again in 1994 and 1995, but in 1996, Hebert took over as the starter and beat the Saints twice – 17-15 in the Georgia Dome on Nov. 17 and 31-15 in the Superdome three weeks later. Those two wins would account for two-thirds of the Falcons’ win total that season.

In four career games (two starts) against the Saints, Hebert completed 73 of 102 passes (71.6 percent) for 833 yards, 10 touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of 116.2. In the first appearance off the bench in 1993, Hebert posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

Steve Walsh

Acquired in a midseason trade in 1990 from the Dallas Cowboys, Walsh started 19 regular-season games and one playoff game as a Saint before heading to Chicago before the 1994 season, where he earned the starting job.

On Oct. 9, 1994 at Soldier Field, Walsh rallied the Bears from a one-touchdown deficit at halftime for a 17-7 victory. Walsh went 16 of 26 for 174 yards and a touchdown.

Jim Everett

The former Los Angeles Rams quarterback started 47 games for the Saints from 1994-96. He would make one more start after leaving New Orleans, and coincidentally, it came against the Saints the following season as a member of the San Diego Chargers.

Returning to the stadium he called home for the previous three years, Everett completed 17 of 29 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown, more than enough to take advantage of six Saints turnovers in a 20-6 victory.

Kerry Collins

Collins, who had led the Carolina Panthers to the NFC Championship game in 1996, was waived by the Panthers six weeks into the 1998 season and started the final seven games of the campaign in New Orleans, where he posted less-than-pedestrian numbers.

Collins would go on to play nine more years in the NFL, including a sensational 2000 season in which he led the New York Giants to Super Bowl XXXV.

He made two starts against the Saints after departing New Orleans – a 21-13 victory with the Giants on Sept. 30, 2001 (otherwise remembered as the first game back in the New York area after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks), and a 31-26 loss with the Raiders on Oct. 24, 2004. In those two starts, he completed 35 of 63 passes for 485 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

Collins also made a mop-up appearance in relief of Vince Young for Tennessee in a 2007 game in the Dome, a game the Titans won 31-14.

Jeff Blake

After a merry-go-round of starting quarterbacks in the Mike Ditka years, Blake was brought in to stabilize the position for the 2000 season, Jim Haslett’s first as head coach. Blake had started 66 games for the Cincinnati Bengals over the previous six seasons.

Blake started the first 11 games of 2000, leading the team to a 7-4 record, before a foot injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. Aaron Brooks started the final five regular-season games and led the Saints to the NFC West title and the first win in playoff history, then beat out Blake for the starting job the following August.

Blake departed for Baltimore in 2002 and became the starter seven games into the season. On Dec. 8, he and the Ravens faced the Saints in Baltimore, where Blake passed for 316 yards but turned the ball over three times in a 37-25 New Orleans victory.

Jake Delhomme

Half of the starts against the Saints by former starters were by Delhomme, who signed with the Panthers following the 2002 season looking for a chance to compete for the starting job.

Delhomme started the final two games of the 1999 season – Ditka’s final two games as Saints coach – but sat behind Blake and Brooks from 2000-02, coming off the bench in four games.

Rodney Peete beat out Delhomme for the starting job in Charlotte, but the Louisiana native came off the bench to lead a second-half comeback in the season opener, and outside of injury, the job remained his for the next seven years. Delhomme also played one season in Cleveland and one in Houston to round out his career.

Delhomme went 8-3 in his career against the Saints, including a 5-1 record in New Orleans and season sweeps over his former team in 2003, 2006 and 2008. The former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun standout completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 2,283 yards and 12 touchdowns against New Orleans, and in nine of those 11 starts, he did not throw an interception.

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Lenny Vangilder


Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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