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Saints Hall of Famer Jabari Greer has blossomed off the field in post-playing career

'It's just really been cool to see that part of it and seeing his journey'


Roman Harper has an admiration now for Jabari Greer that's deeper even than when they were Super Bowl XLIV-winning New Orleans Saints teammates in 2009, with Harper at strong safety and Greer at cornerback.

Because Harper admits that Greer has excelled at a task that Harper isn't quite so sure Harper could pull off.

Greer, who officially was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame on Friday, singularly has raised his five children since his late wife, Katrina, passed in 2020. It was Katrina, Greer said, who nudged him toward joining the Saints in 2009 and freed him to be the best he could be on the field by ensuring he wouldn't have any worries at home, which propelled him to his most productive professional seasons – nine of his 13 career interceptions and 69 of his 95 passes defended occurring from 2009-13 with the Saints.

Her passing left Greer to be the lone parent for three children they shared (Shia, Elias and Isadore) and two from his previous marriage (Jada and Jeremiah).

"It's probably the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate ability to really show you who he is as a person, who he is as a man," said Harper, a Saint from 2006-13 and fellow member of the Saints Hall of Fame. "And now, to see what he's doing in his life has been really, truly a blessing.

"It's been awesome to see, it's been awesome for me to follow him via social media, and as we talk and check on each other from time to time. It's just really been cool to see that part of it and seeing his journey.

"It's so different. Really, just hats off to him and how much more respect I've gained of him as a man now, than I ever did as a player. And I loved him as a player. But everything he's had to show and do since then, I don't think I could do it."

But then, Harper said that Greer always has had a little something extra about him. As a player, that turned into a needed element for the Saints during their Super Bowl run.

"Sweetest feet of a defensive back I've played with," Harper said. "Nobody had better feet. And he worked at it meticulously every day, and played better off coverage than most people as well.

"That's one thing that really, really stuck out about his game, was how much we improved once we signed Jabari and brought him in that Super Bowl year. Jabari and you combo-ed him with (cornerback) Tracy Porter, we had lights out corners that could play really great man-to-man coverage a lot of the time."

Off the field, that something extra could be seen in the locker room.

"Jabari has always been the guy in the locker room, he always used to want to be a little bit different," Harper said. "It was like he prided himself on just being a little bit different all the time."

How different?

"He wanted to be known as the most interesting man in the room," Harper said, laughing. "That is who he was.

"He wanted to be talking about jazz, and we'd all do these DB (defensive backs) nights and most of the dudes would be hanging out and we're trying to go to, like, ratchet-club type spots and he's like, 'Guys, why don't we go to this art reading?' I mean, we did it like once or twice to support Jabari. But that's what I mean by being the most interesting man in the room.


"And then, when he had another guy come in – (cornerback) Trevin Wade (a Saint from 2013-14), who actually had written a book and some other things – Jabari actually kind of got a little ---- off about it.

"He was like, who's this new guy that's all of a sudden pretty dang interesting? So it was always the inside joke with that team. It never ceases to amaze me, and these are still the same things we laugh and joke about today."

Likely, the jokes still fly about Greer's in-game ritual, too.

"So, pregame meal, we're down at the hotel in New Orleans and I get, like, a ham and cheese omelet or something," Harper said. "And Jabari literally gets some kind of eggs or an omelet as well. He's got sautéed onions, he's got sautéed mushrooms, some tomatoes and all this other stuff he puts in there.

"And then, like, halfway through the first quarter-and-a-half – I don't think we'd even gotten out of the first two or three drives – he ends up throwing up somewhere on the sideline on the field. And I'm standing right beside him as he's starting to come up out of it, I'm like, 'Ooo, there go all those mushrooms you had this morning.'

"He started laughing immediately, but that was almost like his nervous tic. He had to eat to have food in him, but then he didn't want to have food in him. It was weird. But that was kind of who Jabari was. That was another one of his little things. But once he threw up, we knew he was on then. I don't know why, but that was it."

Nowadays, the "on" Greer is the doting parent who posts his children's accomplishments on social media, who brought them with him when his selection to the Saints Hall of Fame was announced and was surrounded by them during his induction.

And that, to Harper, is the most "on" his former teammate ever has been.

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