BORN: March 20, 1958 in Pahokee, Fla.
JOINED SAINTS: NFL draft: 1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 51
YEARS WITH SAINTS: 1981–1993
Rickey Jackson's career background
One of the most productive linebackers in NFL history, Jackson served as the linchpin of one of the most dominant linebacker corps the league has ever seen. Jackson was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010, where he was inducted by Saints Owner Tom Benson.
Jackson was the first Saint to have spent the majority of his career with New Orleans to receive this honor, the sixth overall. He spent 13 years with the Saints and his 195 appearances as a force in the Black and Gold are the second-highest total in franchise history. He missed only two games out of a possible 229 regular season games in his career. The Pahokee, Fla., native finished his career with 128 sacks (his eight sacks in his rookie season of 1981 are not included since sacks did not become an official statistic until 1982) ranked 10th all-time in NFL history. With 115 as a Saint, he is second on the franchise's all-time list and he led the club in takedowns six times. He is also the franchise's all-time leader in fumble recoveries with 26.
As a show of respect by opposing coaches and players for his dominating pass rush abilities and sideline to sideline play, Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl six times (1983-86, 1992-93), tied for the second-most by a Saint. He was an All-Pro selection six times (1984-87, 1992-93). After failing to post a winning season in the franchise's first 18 seasons, Jackson's Saints did not have a losing season in his final seven campaigns with the club from 1987-93, qualifying for the playoffs four times.
Jackson was drafted in the second round (51st overall) by the Saints in 1981 out of Pittsburgh. He made an immediate impact, as he led the team with 125 tackles and eight sacks. In his second season, he recorded 4.5 sacks in a nine-game strike shortened campaign as the Saints narrowly missed the postseason. In 1983, Jackson earned a Pro Bowl trip for the first time as he established himself as one of the NFL's top pass rushers, leading the team with 12 sacks, while defending a career-high 21 passes. This would be the first of four consecutive seasons where he would be selected to the Pro Bowl. In 1984, he led NFC linebackers with 12 sacks, while forcing four fumbles and recovering four, as he was named an Associated Press All-Pro selection for the first time.
In the next three seasons, Jackson would post successive sacks totals of 12, 11 and nine as he was named to the Pro Bowl each time. In a contest at Atlanta on Dec. 24, 1986, he set the club record with four sacks.
"The Saints and our fans have been part a huge and very important part of my life since 1981. To be honored by being inducted in the first class with Archie and Willie means the world to me," Jackson said about his Ring of Honor induction. "We're the first guys but we all know that none of us would be there if it wasn't for the support the organization and our teammates and coaches gave to us. It will be our names up there but I know we proudly represent a lot of people that were key parts of our journeys."
Rickey Jackson's College Career
Jackson attended Pittsburgh from 1977-1980, finishing his college career with 290 tackles (166 solo), 21 sacks, four passes defended, and three interceptions. As a senior, Jackson was a second team All-America selection and a first team All-Big East selection. Pitt's defense was ranked No. 1 nationally in 1980.
Rickey Jackson's career honors
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Super Bowl champion - 1995 with the 49ers
Second Team All-Pro - 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992, 1993
Pro Bowl - 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1993
NFL forced fumbles leader - 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986
New Orleans Saints Ring of Honor
New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame
New Orleans Saints 50th Anniversary Team
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame
Second Team All-American - 1980 (Pittsburgh)