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Sad news for all of the New Orleans Saints family as former linebacker of the famed "Dome Patrol" linebacking corps Vaughan Johnson passed away Thursday night.

Johnson was 57, he passed away at his home in North Carolina as he was battling kidney disease.

He played for the Saints for eight of his nine years in the league and was said to be one of the hardest hitting linebackers in the history of the game. "I don't know if there was anybody who hit harder,"  said former Saints coach Jim Mora back when Johnson went into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. "But he hit with some impact. He combined that size and strength and speed, and when he hit somebody, they felt it."

He wasn't just a hard hitter he was also a terrific person says Pat Swilling, another member of the Dome Patrol. "Vaughan was a special guy, you always hear that about people, but Vaughan really was. For a guy who would knock your head off on the field, his demeanor wasn't like that. He always had a great smile on his face and was just a great guy. He will be missed."

Vaughan recorded 669 combined tackles, 12 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, and four interceptions in his career.

Sam Mills was the first member of the Dome Patrol to leave us too soon back in 2005 and now there were two. Rickey Jackson and Pat Swilling are the living members of that incredible linebacking corps.

Thoughts and prayers to Johnson's family and friends.

Rest in peace Vaughan Johnson.


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