Michael Mauti's blocked punt 'special moment' with Steve Gleason in attendance

At the point when Steve Gleason hindered the punt against Atlanta to re-open the Mercedes-Benz Superdome after Hurricane Katrina in September 2006, Michael Mauti was playing for mentor Guy LeCompte at Mandeville High School. Much to his dismay he'd perform somewhat Throwback Thursday flashback nine years after the fact in another win over the Saints' adversary, this one 31-21, as Gleason watched from field level.

Michael Mauti's blocked punt 'special moment' with Steve Gleason in attendance

With the New Orleans Saints driving 7-0 late in the first quarter, Mauti went through the Falcons' line on fourth down, pummeled a Matt Bosher punt endeavor to the turf and thundered in 4 yards for a touchdown to send the group into a wild hissy fit.

"That is only one of those plays that doesn't come around frequently," said Mauti, whose father, Rich, was a wide beneficiary and punt returner for the Saints from 1977-83. "I hit the ground, looked and the ball was in that spot. Unexpectedly, I lifted it up and just began running with it."

In spite of the fact that the play didn't have close to the importance of Gleason's 10 years prior, if the Saints have the capacity to return and make something out of this season, it could be the play the group thinks back on as the kick-begin it required.

"Clearly that was an enormous play in the amusement," Drew Brees said. "It gave us a two-ownership lead and the entire stadium ejects. What's more, it was extraordinary that Steve was here to see that."



The Saints asserted Mauti off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings just before the consistent's begin season, and he in a split second turned into an extraordinary groups impetus. Mentor Sean Payton said he prefers the vitality Mauti conveys to the group and he doesn't commit numerous mental errors.

"He's intense, he's brilliant and he realizes what to do," Payton said. "I think you know precisely what you're getting in our class, and that is a really vital quality in our alliance."

Prior to the amusement, Gleason, who was determined to have ALS a couple of years back, got the George Halas Award he won in June, and the group started to move with that tribute and Brees driving the opening Who Dat serenade.

As the amusement finished, Mauti started to ponder the criticalness of Gleason being in the Dome on Thursday and what the play intended to him. He additionally was anticipating seeing his father and offering the minute to him, and perhaps to flippant advise him that he's most of the way to Rich's aggregate of two profession touchdowns.

"That was presumably the most electric games venue I have ever been at," Mauti said in regards to being in the Superdome nine years back for Gleason's piece. "I get the creeps when I consider it, only a desensitizing sound. I have dependably admired Steve Gleason; he's a legend of mine. It's special to the point that he got the opportunity to be here, and I grew up needing to be similar to him.

"(Michael and Rich) going angling this weekend; I may lose it here when I see him. This is just so unique. This is my first touchdown in the NFL, and it has been a while since I have been at last zone. ...

"This has dependably been a fantasy of mine, playing in the NFL anyplace, yet in the event that you would have asked me three months back I wouldn't have let you know I'd be here. You never know how the story is going to play out. You simply continue working and see what happens."
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