Saints Flashback, Where Are They Now? TE Hoby Brenner
New Orleans Saints tight end Hoby Brenner played his entire 13 year NFL career with the Black and Gold, setting multiple franchise records at the time of his retirement.
Brenner, a California native, was a fan favorite for more than a decade in the Crescent City.
In addition to being a superior blocker, Brenner was a solid pass catcher as well. At a time when the typical NFL tight end didn’t factor into the passing game the way one does today, Brenner reeled in 267 catches for 3,849 and 21 touchdowns. All three were the most by a tight end in Saints history until recently, when current All-Pro Jimmy Graham set new marks.
Before being drafted by New Orleans in the 3rd round of the 1981 draft, Brenner was coming off a solid collegiate career at USC, winning a national championship his freshmen season. Blocking for future Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen, the Trojans preferred to run to the string side of the formation (where the TE would line up) and Brenner worked his way up NFL draft boards.
However, the tight end position was something Brenner had to quickly learn at USC. He played running back at Fullerton Union high school in California, running behind future NFL offensive tackle Keith Van Horne. The two attended USC together, as Van Horne helped Brenner learn the finer points of blocking on an offensive line.
When he arrived in the Crescent City, Brenner joined a Saints team who had yet to experience a winning season. By 1987, he was a major part of the Saints turnaround, starring for the first postseason squad in franchise history, as New Orleans went 12-3. Brenner’s statistics (20 receptions, 280 yards, 2 TD) were modest that season, but it was his blocking that helped propel a dominant one-two punch of Dalton Hilliard and Rueben Mayes. Many took notice, as Brenner was selected to the Pro Bowl.
The Saints made the playoffs three more times during Brenner’s career. As the starting tight end, he played a major role in each run, including an NFC West championship in 1991.
Old Nintendo gamers might remember Brenner’s skill set in one of the most popular video games of All-Time. That’s right, Brenner was stud in Tecmo Super Bowl. Forget the “average” rating. Anyone that played with the Saints locked up with Brenner for a countless number of victories in the world of TSB.
As one of the greatest players franchise history, Hoby Brenner was selected to the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 2001. He further cemented his legacy with the Black and Gold when he was selected as the tight end on the All-Time Saints team in 2011.
Following his retirement, Brenner moved home to southern California. Today, he runs a family business with his wife Alexis. They have two children, Chase and Steele.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that the man rocked a stellar mustache for the majority of his career. Is there anyone in the NFL today that could beat Brenner in a sanctioned mustache contest? Nope.
Many die-hard Saints fans like to wear retro jerseys. I own an old Archie Manning jersey. On gameday, fans will sport plenty of Rickey Jackson, Willie Roaf, Dalton Hilliard, Bobby Hebert, and even a few Hokie Gajan jerseys (I want one of those). If I ever come across a retro Hoby Brenner jersey, I’m buying it on the spot.
Ask any long-time Saints fan that watched Brenner play what they think about him, and you’ll never hear a negative response. It’s a testament to the kind of player Brenner was. All business, and beloved by an entire fanbase. They may mention his mustache too.