New Orleans Saints Flashback: Joe Federspiel
For the better part of the entire decade of the 1970’s, middle linebacker Joe Federspiel was a solid force on a New Orleans Saints defense that was anything but.
Selected by the Saints in the fourth round of the 1972 NFL Draft out of Kentucky, Federspiel went on to play nine years for club, starting 111 games, including five years of him starting every single game, from 1975-1979.
Since Federspiel played in an era where tackles weren’t recorded, it’s almost impossible to compare him to past, or present players, but he was one of the bright spots on the Saints’ defenses of the 70’s.
During his time in New Orleans (1972-80), the Saints never had a winning season with Federspiel on the roster, going a combined 29-88-1, including the dismal 1-15 season of 1980.
Federspiel was a consistent, solid player though, who was well-respected by teammates and opponents alike.
The 63-year old Federspiel was inducted into the Saints Hall of fame in 1993.
Federspiel played one year with the Baltimore Colts in 1981, before joiningg the Chicago Blitz of the USFL in 1983, where he played one year.
After retiring as a player, Federspiel worked as an umpire on SEC football officiating crews.
Federspiel, who works in the insurance industry in Lexington, Kentucky, has a son, Mike, who played for the WKU Hilltoppers.