WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Sean Payton stressed how important it was for the New Orleans Saints to keep their Ring of Honor as exclusive as possible when they created it in 2013.
But he said it was an easy choice to add a fourth member this year to that original class of Rickey Jackson, Archie Manning and Willie Roaf. Payton introduced kicker Morten Andersen on Monday as the next inductee.
“And I would say sooner than later this guy’s gonna be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That is a fact,” Payton said of the NFL’s all-time scoring leader.
Andersen, who will be added in a Week 15 ceremony when the Saints host the Detroit Lions on “Monday Night Football,” has made the list of 15 Hall of Fame finalists each of the past two years but missed the cut down to 10 players both times.
The Denmark native, known as the “Great Dane” spent the first 13 seasons of his remarkable 25-year career in New Orleans. He was so prolific that he ranks as the leading scorer in both Saints and Atlanta Falcons history. He was a member of both the 1980s and 1990s all-decade teams.
Anderesen said it’s “humbling” to be immortalized with “three legendary Saints players.”
“A wealth of emotions kind of flood over you in a powerful moment like this,” Andersen said Monday. “Mostly what I come back to, No. 1, is the relationships that I had with the players and coaches and teams that I played for with the Saints. We were pretty good in the '80s. We had the best linebacking corps, I think, in the history of the game [the 'Dome Patrol'], and we won a lot of football games."
Andersen also talked about the special bond with Saints fans, where it was, "God, family, Saints -- and still is."
Andersen wasn’t the only all-time great Saints kicker on hand at Monday’s practice. John Carney has also been in town for the first week of training camp to help coach young kickers Dustin Hopkins and Zach Hocker.
Andersen had a great line when asked what kind of advice he gives to young guys like the, especially with the evolving NFL rules.
“Keep aiming for the middle, because the middle never changes," Andersen said.