Need a rooting interest to keep up with the NFL playoffs? The New Orleans Saints have some connections with nearly every team playing in the divisional round this weekend, though those ties are greater with some outfits — like the Cincinnati Bengals — than others. That’s already prompted some Saints fans to throw their support behind hometown heroes. Let’s survey each remaining playoff team and their links to the Saints and Louisiana:
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Cornerback Jackrabbit Jenkins signed with Tennessee in the offseason and has taken on a leadership role in their secondary. His 602 coverage snaps this season are second-most on the team (behind standout safety Kevin Byard). He’s spoken highly of his time in New Orleans, calling the Saints the best organization he’s played for.
Additionally, former Saints head coach Jim Haslett is the current Titans linebackers coach. He climbed the ladder in New Orleans as their linebackers coach (in 1995) and defensive coordinator (1996), being named head coach in 2000. He was recognized as Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year after his first season, then went 46-52 over the next six seasons and won the franchise’s first playoff game.
Other players with Louisiana ties include former Grambling State wide receiver Chester Rogers, Tulane running back Dontrell Hilliard, plus two LSU products in cornerback Kristian Fulton and wide receiver Racey McMath. Rookie fullback Tory Carter, also out of LSU, is on their injured…