Saints Pivotal Moments
1967: Abramowicz Refuses to Be Cut
When Danny Abramowicz was a 5'10" 155lb senior wide receiver at Catholic Central High School in Steubenville OH, the only school that offered him a football scholarship was Xavier University in Cincinnati.
He grew 3" taller and gained 35lb at Xavier, where he set school records for receptions in a season and in a career, yards gained receiving, and touchdown passes in a season and a career. Nevertheless, Danny did not attract much attention from pro scouts because of his lack of speed.
As an expansion team, the Saints were allowed to make two picks every round. They selected Danny with their first pick in Round 17 - the last round.
When he reported to the Saints training camp in San Diego, Danny told head coach Tom Fears that all he wanted was a fair chance to make the team. As a new team, the Saints were allowed to play six exhibition games. The only action Abramowicz saw in the first three games was on special teams.

L-R: Danny Abramowicz, Tom Fears, Billy Kilmer
Danny endeared himself to his teammates early in training camp with his toughness. During a scrimmage, S Obert Logan hit him in the mouth with an elbow, knocking four of Danny's bottom teeth out of line. He had to have his teeth wired in place. But the head coach was not impressed.
Danny recalled, "One day 'the turk' came to see me. The knock comes on the door, and he says, 'Bring your playbook; coach wants to see you.' In other words, 'You're fired.' So I left my playbook, and I went downstairs and burst into his (Fears') office and said, 'You never gave me a chance; you told me you were gonna give me a chance.' And he sort of was stunned, and he looked up at me and he said, 'You're serious.' I said "I'm as serious as a heart attack,' and he said, 'OK, I'll give you another chance.' So when I walked out, I sorta went, 'Whew, that one worked.'"
Danny started the next preseason game at split end against the 49ers in Portland OR and caught four passes in the first half for 46y. He also threw a "wracking block" to help FB Jimmy Taylor score the Saints' first touchdown. Fears praised Danny after the game. "That rascal sneaked behind those linebackers and made some great catches to keep our drives going." QB Billy Kilmer said that the rookie receiver helped his average. "He caught two passes on his knees."
"Dan" (as he was called in local newspaper articles with an Associated Press article re­ferring to him as "Stan") started the next exhibition game at home against Atlanta. He had only one reception, but it was a crucial one – a diving catch in the end zone of a pass from Kilmer (with the Baton Rouge Advocate's account referring to Danny as "the fullback").
Danny made the roster as one of the three split ends (along with three flankers). He led the '67 Saints in receptions (50), receiving yards (721), and TD catches (6 - which was the most of any Saint).
The 17th round draft pick played six productive years and part of a seventh with the Saints before being traded to the 49ers. He led the league with 73 receptions in 1969, earning first-team All-Pro honors. His totals in New Orleans were: 309 receptions for 5,686y and 39 TD. He joined Archie Manning as the first inductees into the Saints Hall of Fame in 1988.
"You don't see receivers like Danny any more," said Kilmer. "He was tough, he ran great patterns, and he had a great enthusiam for the game. You couldn't lose a guy like that. They made the right choice. It was one of the few right choices they made."