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John DeShazier: Morten Andersen 'humbled' to go into Saints Ring of Honor

All-time great kicker played 13 seasons with the Saints

Morten Andersen attended the Saints walkthrough on Sunday, December 20, 2015. Photos by Alex Restrepo (New Orleans Saints photos)

The heart of Morten Andersen, the only player in NFL history to lead two franchises in scoring, only belongs to one.

Andersen is a New Orleans Saint through and through, and at halftime of the Saints' "Monday Night Football" game against the Detroit Lions, that fact was immortalized via the kicker's official induction into the Saints Ring of Honor.

He became the fourth member of the Ring of Honor, joining the 2013 class of linebacker Rickey Jackson, quarterback Archie Manning and offensive tackle Willie Roaf.

After thanking Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle, Andersen, the all-time leading scorer in NFL history (2,544 points) and games played (383), reflected on the honor before the game.

"It's truly humbling to not only be here and be mindful of the wonderful memories that I have of my 13-year career," he said, "but to go up with Archie, who's undoubtedly the face of the franchise for so many years and to some extent you still are, to go up with Rickey Jackson, who was one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history and a member of that great Dome Patrol, and Willie Roaf, one of the most dominant offensive tackles – to be included in that very, very exclusive group is humbling.

"The Saints have been around for 48 years, and that's a long time. To have only four names up there, that's pretty special. I look forward to sharing this with the fans, the greatest fans in the NFL. (I'm) right back where it all started – unique, special, spicy, just like New Orleans. That's what it's all about. I'm just going to enjoy it, I'm going to honor the fans and the team and all the teammates and coaches that I played with. My family and friends are here, it's going to be a special night."

Andersen was the Saints' fourth-round draft pick in 1982 and spent 13 seasons with the franchise. He remains New Orleans' all-time leading scorer with 1,318 points and the leader in games played, with 196.

Andersen was presented by Manning.

"On behalf of the Saints organization, Rickey Jackson, Willie Roaf and myself, I'd like to congratulate Morten on the induction into the Ring of Honor," Manning said.

As a Saint, Anderson was named to six Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro four times.

"Morten, thank you for all your contributions on and off the field during your time as a Saint," Manning said.

Anderson, who retired in 2008, also is a member of the Saints Hall of Fame. He said if and when he's inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there's no doubt how he'll enter. Thus far, election has been elusive.

However, Andersen said he believes that he fits several of the criteria that he believes constitutes a Hall of Fame player.

"Did that player that you're considering for induction, was he relevant in the context of the history of the game?" he said. "Did he change the way people looked at the position he played? And did he affect change in a positive way? Was he historically relevant?

"The bottom line is, if you're at the top of the list in the game, it's hard to ignore. But I'm not here to debate for or against the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Selfishly, I think I belong. But there's a lot of other guys that belong, too, who've been waiting a long time. I'm a patient man and if it happens, I'm going in as a Saint. Everybody knows that, and we'll be proud and humbled and honored."

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