Best Saints By The Numbers: #53
All summer long, we’re going to list the best players in New Orleans Saints history to wear every number, 00-99.
Yesterday, we did #52.
The pick: Vaughan Johnson
When deciding who is the best New Orleans Saints player to ever wear #53, the choice is limited to linebackers Dave Simmons, Dick Absher, Billy Hobbs, Rick Kingrea, Tommy Hart, Sammy Green, Scott Pelluer, Vaughan Johnson, Keith Fourcade, Don Davis, Donta Jones, Roger Knight, Ramon Humber, T.J. Slaughter, and Mark Simoneau.
Our selection is going to be Johnson, a middle linebacker, who played for the Saints for eight years, from 1986-1993.
After playing his college football at North Carolina St., Johnson signed to play for the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Johnson played two years in the start-up league, before being selected in the first round of the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL & CFL Players.
As a member of the “Dome Parol” linebacking corps, Johnson was a seven-year starter for the Saints, compiling 664 tackles, to go along with four interceptions, and 5 fumble recoveries.
A four-time Pro Bowler during his time with the Saints, Johnson was a fixture of one of the top defensive units in the league for almost an entire decade.
After signing with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the 1994 season, Johnson played on season there before retiring.
In all, Johnson played 9 seasons in the NFL, recording 669 tackles, 12 sacks, 4 interceptions and 5 touchdowns, while named to the NFL All-Pro team three times, in 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992.
Johnson was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.