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Gleason returns to the Saints for coin toss

POSTED: Monday, September 26, 2011 - 9:52pm

UPDATED: Monday, September 26, 2011 - 10:22pm

Former Saints player Steve Gleason may always be remembered most for his blocked punt on the night the Louisiana Superdome reopened for the first time after Hurricane Katrina.

The retired New Orleans Saints folk hero only hopes he can continue to lift people's spirits by the way he handles what until now has been a private struggle with ALS.

It's a debilitating and ultimately fatal disease for which there currently is no cure.

Gleason was an honorary captain for the coin toss of Sunday's game against Houston, walking with a limp to the center of the field with his hand on quarterback Drew Brees as the capacity crowd cheered.

"It was just good to see him around, to see him involved,” said Saints head coach Sean Payton. “He spoke a little bit to our team on Sunday night and did an outstanding job. We gave him a game ball today afterwards. You know, it’s tough."

Gleason played for the saints from 2000 to 2007.

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