Saints to unveil Steve Gleason statue

METAIRIE, La. -- There will be a celebration of one of the most significant moments in NFC South history on Friday on the southwest plaza of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

GleasonGleasonThe Saints will unveil a “Rebirth’’ statue at 11:30 a.m. CT.

The statue is of former New Orleans special-teams ace Steve Gleason blocking a punt in the first game the Saints played in the dome after Hurricane Katrina in 2006. The statue will represent more than a moment in time. It represents the comeback of the Saints and the region from the Hurricane. It also represents the popularity of Gleason, who is battling ALS.

The statue comes with implications that ripple throughout the NFC South. I was reminded of that fact as I watched the Saints practice Thursday.

On the wall of their indoor practice facility is a huge photo of Gleason blocking the punt.

It came against the Atlanta Falcons. The punter was Michael Koenen, who now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.