NEW ORLEANS — Will Smith’s name was added to the Saints’ Ring of Honor at halftime of New Orleans’ 31-24 victory against Tampa Bay on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Smith, who was shot to death in New Orleans in 2016, was one of the most productive defensive ends in franchise history and a key player on the team that won the Super Bowl after the 2009 season.
The Saints defensive line did its part to honor Smith by sacking Jameis Winston as all six sacks came from linemen – two by Marcus Davenport and one each by Cameron Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, Malcolm Brown and rookie Carl Ganderson.
“He was the first veteran on the defensive line that really showed me what it was like to be a true veteran,” said Jordan, whose first two seasons with the Saints (2011-12) were Smith’s last two. “He was somebody who had been to the Pro Bowl. He was somebody who won a Super Bowl.
“He was somebody who embodied being a veteran defensive end – not only on the field, but off the field. … Now he is in the Ring of Honor and will always be remembered.”
Smith’s name was added to a list that already featured late owner Tom Benson, quarterback Archie Manning, linebacker Rickey Jackson, tackle Willie Roaf and kicker Morten Andersen.
Crowd chants for Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater had his most productive game of the three he has started since Drew Brees underwent thumb surgery.
Bridgewater threw four touchdown passes for the just the second time in his six-year NFL career, completing 26 of 34 passes for 314 yards.
On several occasions the crowd chanted “Ted-dy, Ted-dy, Ted-dy” after significant throws by Bridgewater.
“That’s pretty cool,” Bridgewater said of the chants, “but the best part was running into the locker room (after the win).”
QB joins small group
Bridgewater became just the third quarterback in franchise history to pass for 300 yards and four touchdowns in the same game.
One of the others, of course, is Brees, who has done it 29 times.
The other is Billy Kilmer, the first starting quarterback in franchise history, who had 345 yards and six touchdowns in a 51-42 victory at St. Louis in 1969.
Trio of passers
Bridgewater wasn’t the only Saint to throw a pass completion Sunday.
Backup QB Taysom Hill completed his first attempt of the season (for 18 yards) and RB Alvin Kamara completed the first attempt of his three-year career (for 13 yards).
It was the first time that three New Orleans players threw pass completions in the same game since Billy Joe Hobert, Danny Wuerffel and RB Lamar Smith did it in the 1998 season opener in St. Louis.
Cook has his biggest game
TE Jared Cook was one of the Saints’ most significant free-agent signings during the offseason, but he didn’t do much in the first four games.
That changed Sunday as Cook, who had eight catches for 90 yards entering Sunday, finished with season-highs of four catches and 41 yards, including his first touchdown on a 9-yard pass from Bridgewater.
“I just go out there and try and do whatever they’re asking me to do to the best of my abilities,” Cook said. “Sometimes you get different, funky looks that you don’t practice all week or the defense might show you something different than you’ve been practicing all week.
“That’s the best thing for us as players to try to do is be consistent and just do what the coaches ask you to do and do what you’ve been practicing to do all week.”
“We’ve got to continue to get him more opportunities,” head coach Sean Payton said.
“That’s on (the coaches).”
Tough game for rookie
Rookie WR/RS Deonte Harris had a rough game Sunday.
Harris, who returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown against Seattle three weeks ago, dropped one punt and fumbled another, though the Saints retained possession both times.
He injured his leg on the fumble and limped off, though he later returned to the game.