Draft and Early NFL
With the 2009 NFL Draft, plenty of players who have been crucial for Saints’ success throughout the last decade were selected such as Malcolm Jenkins and recently-retired center Max Unger.
Even one other current Saints player, Jared Cook, was selected in this draft by the Tennessee Titans. Obviously, with names like Clay Matthews, Matthew Stafford, and LeSean McCoy in the draft, Morstead would be forced to wait a while until he heard his name called.
Morstead waited for nearly five entire rounds before finally getting his phone and being selected by the Saints with 164 pick in the draft. Despite being so consistent, Morstead was not the first punter taken in the draft. That title belongs to Kevin Huber of the Cincinnati Bengals, who was taken 22 picks prior to Morstead’s selection.
Despite not being taken first for his position, Morstead proved his worth to the Saints immediately.
Considering his less than stellar field goal percentage throughout college, the Saints decided to primarily focus on punting and kickoff responsibilities.
In his rookie season, Morstead posted the lowest punting yards average of his career with 43.6, but his greatest achievement from that season didn’t come from his punting efforts. Instead, Morstead became a New Orleans legend and arguably reached his crowning achievement on one particular kickoff.
Every Saints fan who at least knows anything about the teams only Super Bowl victory is well aware of the impotence of a certain onside kick. Coming out of halftime in Super Bowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans was trailing six to ten.
However, Sean Peyton had an unexpected idea that involved his rookie punter that would change the momentum of the game.
Morstead, still in his first year of professional football, was the one responsible for kicking the infamous onside kick that would lead to a Saints’ possession and a 31-17 Super Bowl Victory.
Punters don’t always receive the recognition that they deserve, but it is impossible to deny the importance of Morstead’s foot in the Saints Super Bowl win. If it had been Huber kicking or anyone else from that draft, there’s a chance it wouldn’t have bounced the same way and the Saints wouldn’t have that dream-like season finish.