Rich played for Joe Paterno at Penn State, as do his sons. Patrick is a wide receiver and Michael a blue-chip linebacker and 2008 signee.
Mauti arrived as a free agent with the Saints in 1977. Besides trying to impress the coaching staff with his versatility, some of his contract included bonuses tied into time on the field. â€œI had to play in 50% of the preseason games (in those days there were six preseason contests) and I had to remind Hank Stram to put me in to earn my pay,â€ Mauti said.
Rich was a â€œJack of all trades,â€ playing all special teams plus running back, wide receiver, tight end and blocking back. He had played only running back and wide receiver for the Nittany Lions.
He excelled on special teams to the point where he became a marked man. â€œI got eight tackles, all on special teams against Cincinnati (1978) and was triple teamed covering kicks against Detroit,â€ Mauti recalled.
With notoriety came respect. â€œMy picture appeared on an opponentâ€™s ticket stub for an away game against the Lions,â€ the ex-Saint fondly remembers. â€œThat meant a lot to me.â€
The one standard that has never changed was the Saintsâ€™ avid fans support. â€œWe played the 49ers and Rams (1979) in back-to-back games on the West Coast and won them both. When we returned to general aviation (in New Orleans) there were over 3,000 fans waiting for us. The playersâ€™ cars were forced to form a single file in order to get through the crowd. The feeling was incredible.â€
Mauti played briefly with the Redskins in 1984 after leaving New Orleans, playing with Joe Theismann, John Riggins, Darrell Green and company.
Although Rich Mautiâ€™s playing career ended nearly 25 years ago, the fan support of Saints fans is among his fondest memories. â€œI still get chills when I think of that.â€
|< Prev||Next >|