Saints legends on links before big game

By Garland Foreman


MARKSVILLE -- Less than 36 hours before kickoff of the Super Bowl XLIV, five of the biggest names in New Orleans Saints football history were in Marksville playing a round of golf this morning, and gave their predictions for Sunday's big game. Two of the players are some of the all-time fan favorite, Ricky Jackson and Dalton Hilliard.

The tournament held at Tamahka Trials is in its second year and is hosted by the former NFL All-Pro linebacker Jackson. He said he will continue to host the tournament, which are for VIPs and Paragon Casino and Resort associates every Saturday before the Super Bowl.

Jackson and Hilliard were joined by former fullback Buford Jordan, lineman Jim Wilks, and kick returner Tyrone Hughes.

For Jackson it was an even more exciting day as he was waiting to hear if he was elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame later on Saturday afternoon. He was one of 15 finalist for six spots on this year’s team and was among those elected and joining the pantheon of the game's elite

Jackson played at Pittsburgh University before being selected in the NFL draft in 1981 by the Saints. he played for New Orleans from 1981 to 1993 and then two years with the San Francisco 49’ers before retiring. Jackson recorded 128 sacks in 13 seasons. He is already in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame an the New Orleans Hall of Fame.

Jackson was leaving Marksville later on Saturday and flying to Miami to watch the Super Bowl. He will be on the field for the coin flip at the start of the game.

All five players talked briefly about this year’s New Orleans Saints compared to the Saints when they played.

Hilliard and the others were quick to point out the biggest difference was the offense. The offense on this year’s team is so much better than the teams in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

“I’m not ashamed to say it, and I played on the offense,” Hilliard added. “We had a great defense, but we couldn’t move the ball of offense.”

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