Best Saints By The Numbers: #75
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 #74
The pick: Bruce Clark
When deciding who is the best New Orleans Saints player to ever wear #75, the choice is limited to offensive linemen Dave McCormick, Mike Richey, Doug Marone, Baron Rollins, and Jermane Mayberry, and defensive linemen Mike Rengel, Elex Price, Mike Crangle, Bruce Clark, Emile Palmer, and Julian Pittman.
Our pick is Clark, a defensive lineman who played for the Saints for 8 years, from 1982-1988.
A native of New Castle, Pennsylvania, Clark went on to play college football for Penn St., where he won the Lombardi Award, in recognition of the top defensive lineman in college football in 1978, becoming the first junior ever to win that award, while being tabbed a first-team All-American in 1979.
The Green Bay Packers selected Clark with the fourth pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, behind Billy Simms (Detroit Lions), Johnny “Lam” Jones (New York Jets), and Anthony Munoz (Cincinnati Bengals), but Clark refused to play for them, in part because of his reluctance to play nose tackle, and instead signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
In 1982, the Saints traded their first-round pick of the 1983 NFL Draft to the Packers in exchange for the rights to Clark, who they signed to a contract.
In seven seasons in New Orleans, Clark played in 102 games, starting 88, mostly at defensive end.
A 1984 NFL Pro Bowler when he accumulated a career-high 10.5 sacks, Clark totaled 39.5 sacks during his tenure with the Saints, with at least 4.5 every season from 1982-1987.
The 6-foot-3, 273-pound Clark left the Saints following the 1988 season, and spent one season with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989, his last year in the NFL.
Clark had his remodeling business in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2006.
Now 57-years old, Clark is remembered by most Saints’ fans as one of the more underrated players in franchise history.