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1981 New Orleans Saints season
Head Coach Bum Phillips
Home Field Louisiana Superdome
Results
Record 4–12
Place 4th NFC West
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season Next season
1980 1982

The 1981 New Orleans Saints season was the Saints' fifteenth season in the National Football League. Hoping past success would bring a bright future to New Orleans the Saints hired Bum Phillips to be their new head coach. With the first pick overall the Saints draft Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers out of South Carolina. Phillips banked on Rogers giving the Saints the same boost that Earl Campbell did when Phillips drafted him out of Texas three years earlier.

Rogers won the Offensive Rookie of the Year, as he rushed all-time rookie record of 1,674 yards, a record which was eclipsed just two years later when Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams rushed for 1,808. However, the Saints would continue to struggle finishing with a 4–12 record. It was the Saints’ thirteenth of fifteen seasons with five or fewer wins, and eighth with double-digit defeats.

Despite the team finishing with a bad record, they did have two special moments. The first was in week eight, when they upset the Cincinnati Bengals, who would go to the Super Bowl after winning the AFC championship. The second came four weeks later when Phillips returned to Houston, where his new team defeated his old one 27–24.

OffseasonEdit

NFL draftEdit

1981 New Orleans Saints draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 1 George Rogers *  Running back South Carolina
2 29 Russell Gary  Defensive back Nebraska
2 51 Rickey Jackson *   Linebacker Pittsburgh
3 57 Frank Warren  Defensive end Auburn
3 71 Hoby Brenner *  Tight end USC
5 112 Louis Oubre  Guard Oklahoma
5 128 Jerry Boyarsky  Defensive tackle Pittsburgh
6 139 Nat Hudson  Guard Georgia
6 144 Johnnie Poe  Defensive back Missouri
6 166 Glen Redd  Linebacker BYU
7 167 Kevin Williams  Wide receiver USC
8 214 Gene Gladys  Linebacker Penn State
8 215 Kevin Evans  Defensive back Arkansas
9 222 Toussaint Tyler  Running back Washington
10 249 Hokie Gajan  Running back LSU
11 277 Lester Mickens  Wide receiver Kansas
12 305 Jim Wilks  Defensive end San Diego State
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[1]

PersonnelEdit

StaffEdit

1981 New Orleans Saints staff
Front office
  • Owner – John Mecom, Jr.
  • Director of Football Operations – Harry Hulmes
  • Director of Player Personnel – Pat Peppler

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches
  • Defensive Coordinator – Wade Phillips
  • Defensive Line – Willie Zapalac
  • Linebackers – John Paul Young
  • Defensive Backfield – Lance Van Zandt

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Harold Richardson

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Russell Paternostro

RosterEdit

1981 New Orleans Saints roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad



Rookies in italics

Regular seasonEdit

ScheduleEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 6, 1981 at Atlanta Falcons L 27–0
57,406
2 September 13, 1981 Los Angeles Rams W 23–17
62,063
3 September 20, 1981 at New York Giants L 20–7
69,814
4 September 27, 1981 at San Francisco 49ers L 21–14
44,433
5 October 4, 1981 Pittsburgh Steelers L 20–6
64,578
6 October 11, 1981 Philadelphia Eagles L 31–14
52,728
7 October 18, 1981 at Cleveland Browns L 20–17
76,059
8 October 25, 1981 Cincinnati Bengals W 17–7
46,336
9 November 1, 1981 Atlanta Falcons L 41–10
63,637
10 November 8, 1981 at Los Angeles Rams W 21–13
61,068
11 November 15, 1981 at Minnesota Vikings L 20–10
45,215
12 November 22, 1981 at Houston Oilers W 27–24
49,581
13 November 29, 1981 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 31–14
62,209
14 December 6, 1981 at St. Louis Cardinals L 30–3
46,923
15 December 13, 1981 Green Bay Packers L 35–7
45,518
16 December 20, 1981 San Francisco 49ers L 21–17
43,639

StandingsEdit

NFC West
view · talk · edit W L T PCT PF PA STK
San Francisco 49ers 13 3 0 .813 357 250 W5
Atlanta Falcons 7 9 0 .438 426 355 L3
Los Angeles Rams 6 10 0 .375 303 351 L1
New Orleans Saints 4 12 0 .250 207 378 L4
[2]

Awards and recordsEdit

  • George Rogers, NFL rushing title, 1,674 yards[3]
  • George Rogers, franchise record, most rushing yards by a rookie, 1,674 yards
  • George Rogers, NFL Record (since broken), most rushing yards by a rookie, 1,674 yards[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "1981 New Orleans Saints draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/nor/1981_draft.htm. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  2. (PDF) 2010 NFL Record and Fact Book. National Football League. p. 385. http://www.nfl.info/download/2010%20NFL%20Record%20and%20Fact%20Book.pdf. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 437

External linksEdit

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NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1981 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XVI

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