New Orleans Breakers Flashback: Dan Ross – VIDEO
The New Orleans Breakers were a United States Football League franchise that played in the Louisiana Superdome for one season, in 1984.The Breakers began their USFL tenure in Boston, in 1983, but a stadium issue forced a move, allowing New Orleans real estate developer Joe Canizaro to buy the team, and move it to New Orleans for the 1984 season.
In 1984, the Breakers began the season 5-0, but went 3-10 the rest of the way, and missed the USFL playoffs.
New Orleans supported the team well, with the Breakers averaging 30,557 per game, but the USFL opted to move their schedule from the spring to the fall in 1986, and with the Saints in town, the franchise elected to move to Portland for the 1985 season.
All summer long, we’re looking back at former players for the New Orleans Breakers.
Today, tight end Dan Ross:
Born in Malden Massachusetts, Ross played his college football at Northeastern University in Boston, where he went on to be one of the all-time greats at the tight end position, compiling 153 career catches for 2,343 yards and 13 touchdowns.
A second round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1979 NFL Draft, Ross spent the first five years of his career there, garnering All-Pro honors in both 1981 and 1982.
Ross has his best season in 1981, totaling 71 receptions for 910 yards and five touchdowns, helping lead the Bengals to Super Bowl XVI, where he caught 11 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
In 1984, Ross left the Bengals, and the NFL, for the USFL, signing with the New Orleans Breakers, where he was part of a potent offense, catching 65 passes for 833 and two touchdowns.
When the Breakers moved from New Orleans to Portland in 1985, Ross had 41 more receptions for 522 yards and five touchdowns.
The 6-foot-4, 238-pounder returned to the NFL in fall of 1985, splitting time between the Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks, before finishing his career with the Green Bay Packers in 1986.
In parts of seven NFL seasons, Ross compiled 290 receptions for 3,419 yards and 19 touchdowns, while catching 106 passes in the USFL for 1,355 yards and seven touchdowns.
Sadly, Ross died in 2006, at the age of 49.
Ross, who has his number 84 retired by Northeastern University, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
Based on his success at the college, NFL, and USFL levels, Ross is arguably the most accomplished player to have ever worn a uniform for the New Orleans Breakers.
Below is a New Orleans Breakers' profile from a USFL game on ABC in 1984:
Below are highlights of Super XVI, featuring the Bengals, with Ross, taking on the San Francisco 49ers: