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tiggerpolice 06-07-2005 08:28 AM

Joe Horn - Southern Comforts
Joe Horn - Southern Comforts
Saints receiver Joe Horn loves playing in New Orleans, and his new contract ensures he'll be there awhile.

Luke Sacks

Saints wide receiver Joe Horn may hail from the Northeast but after going to high school in North Carolina, junior college in Mississippi and playing five seasons with the Saints, he feels right at home in New Orleans.

"I am from Connecticut but I love the South," Horn said. "Hattiesburg, Mississippi is where I want to retire. I enjoy the Southern living, the slow living. The big city moves a little too fast for me. New Orleans and Hattiesburg are about an hour and 15 minutes apart so I could still be able to help people and organizations in the area."

Perhaps Horn's comfort level in Louisiana helped him grow from a possession receiver with the Chiefs into one of the league's most dangerous weapons with the Saints. In his first four years, all spent in Kansas City, Horn caught a total of 53 passes for 879 yards. In his five years with New Orleans he has averaged 87 catches and 1,257 receiving yards per season while totaling 45 touchdowns.

"I always knew I had it and could play in the NFL. But being in Kansas City amongst the talent we had and the experience there and the way the coaches were running their football team, I didn't have the opportunity to shine the way I really wanted to shine," Horn recalled. "So going to New Orleans and earning a starting position allowed me to establish myself as an elite receiver in the league and it's worked out for me."

Last season Horn posted his best career numbers – 94 catches for 1,399 yards and 11 touchdowns – despite fighting through a knee injury for most of the season. "That's when your pride and your heart comes in on how much you love football," he said of the constant pain. "For me to miss a football game I have to have something torn or I have to have something broken. That's just how I am. My knee was bruised and when you have a bone bruise it takes time to heal. The more you bang on it the more problems you have. But I fought through the problems and got treatments. My football team needed me and I knew that physically I could tough it out and be useful to my team."

Horn's relationship with Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks, who has at times struggled to find his rhythm, has also been a factor in growing as a receiver. "He had to get a knack for me and I had to get a knack for him on and off the football field," Horn said. "Once we did that and put that together, our continuity grew. I'm excited about this year coming up. We golf almost every other day and have gotten to know each other personally. So once we get on the football field and start putting things together, I think it will really help the organization."

Although you won't find him at Mardi Gras or on Bourbon Street in the wee hours of the morning, Horn enjoys living in the Big Easy. "New Orleans is fun and has a lot to offer depending on what you like to do," he said. "I'm not a big partier. I like to golf and also spend my time with my family. We go see movies and things like that. I help my kids with their schoolwork and go to the pool and that kind of thing."

In addition to his accomplishments on the field, Horn is one of the NFL's most community-minded players. While some athletes form an allegiance with specific organizations, Horn has spread his time and efforts out to reach as many different causes as he can. "There are so many thing that you can get involved with so I kind of leave myself open," he explained. "Not for anyone and everybody but I try to help most of the people that call up and ask for me to come out and make an appearance. I try not to limit myself to one organization and be open to talking to anyone."

"I like to share my experiences with other players and let them know that people need them."
Even beyond his own involvement in the community, Horn makes a point to let the younger players know the importance of giving something back. "Some guys can get overshadowed by the money they make when they first come into the NFL. I like to share my experiences with guys like that and let them know that people need them," he said. "I'm sure they know that but it's good for them to see the veterans taking those steps and doing things like that. It will make them feel more gracious."

This off-season has been a busy one for Horn. It started with his fourth Pro Bowl appearance and culminated with a brand new contract which helped put his mind as ease in terms of his future in New Orleans. "I'm happy that is over, done and out of the way," he said of the six-year extension signed May 6. "It's a fair deal for me and my family. I was always going to be relaxed and play football because that's my job and that's what I love to do. I was never going to let a contract stand in the way of me making plays. But I am grateful that it's over with and I'm proud that they said, 'Joe, you're our guy and we believe it you, thanks for what you've done on the football field.'"

For his career, Horn has 490 receptions for 7,168 yards (14.6 yards per catch average) and 52 touchdowns. During his five seasons with the Saints, he has 437 receptions for 6,289 yards and 45 touchdowns, all figures which rank in the top five among NFL receivers during that span.

WhoDat 06-07-2005 08:50 AM

RE: Joe Horn - Southern Comforts

During his five seasons with the Saints, he has 437 receptions for 6,289 yards and 45 touchdowns, all figures which rank in the top five among NFL receivers during that span.

Hhhhmmmm.... let me think, where have I heard that before? LOL

dannymac909 06-07-2005 05:02 PM

That makes sense I live in Hattiesburg and I saw Joe a couple years ago at a party.

spkb25 06-07-2005 05:43 PM

thats a good article

CHACHING 06-07-2005 05:52 PM

We are lucky to have him.............
Gonna get his jersey this season.......

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