The New Orleans Saints mourn the loss of former safety Russell Gary, who passed away March 10. Gary was a second round draft pick (29th overall) by the Saints in 1981 out of Nebraska and appeared in 62 games for the Black and Gold from 1981-86, recording seven interceptions and three forced fumbles.
After recording a career-high two fumble recoveries and three sacks in a strike-shortened campaign in 1982, his second NFL season, Gary was selected as a UPI All-NFC selection in 1983, when he posted a career-best three interception returns for 70 yards. In 1984, he posted 189 tackles, 10 passes defensed and a fumble recovery. During this three-season period, the Saints finished ranked in the top five in total defense each year.
Gary finished his eight-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1986-87. After being recruited to Nebraska as a tailback, he moved to the secondary his sophomore season and as a senior was an Associated Press and UPI first-team All-Big Eight selection and an AP honorable mention All-American. Following retirement, the Minneapolis native worked for the city and also served as defensive backs coach at Concordia University, St. Paul since 2004.