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Best Players To Wear Every Number

 

Part 1: Numbers 0-9

The Pug (Anthony Pugliese) takes a look at the best players in NFL history to wear every number from 0(00) up to 99. In the first part of a ten part series, The Pug tells you who the best players in NFL history to wear jersey numbers 0-9 were(or are).

#0: Jim Otto, Center: Although Otto wore 00, technically 00 and 0 are the same number so they have been included together. Otto played 15 years at center for the Oakland Raiders from 1960 -1974, not missing a single game and that includes the preseason. He was an all-star in 13 of his 15 seasons and was named the starting center on the AFL All-Time Team. Otto was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility. Otto punished his body during his career resulting in 74 surgeries and eventually having his leg amputated in 2007. He described his journey in his book Jim Otto: The Pain of Glory, but says that if he could do it again he would do it the same way. Otto is the poster child for toughness that the Raiders have been boasting about since the 1960’s. Honorable Mention: Ken Burrough 

#1: Warren Moon, Quarterback: Warren Moon will always be remembered as one of the most successful undrafted NFL stars of all time. After going undrafted, Moon spent six seasons in the CFL, winning five championships and earning a seat in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Moon joined the NFL most notoriously with the Houston Oilers where he enjoyed a successful NFL career that seen him throw for 49,325 yards and 291 touchdowns(He also had 22 rushing touchdowns). Moon still holds franchise records for the Oilers(Titans) for passing touchdowns, yards, attempts, and completions. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006 making him the first undrafted quarterback, first African American quarterback, and the first player to be a member of both the Canadian and American Hall of Fames. His number has been retired by the Tennessee Titans.                     Honorable Mention: Gary Anderson

#2:Matt Ryan, Quarterback: Matt Ryan may seem like a stretch to make the all-time list,  but without much competition at the number two slot he easily makes the list. Ryan was the rookie of the year in 2008 and was the first rookie quarterback to lead his team to the postseason in 2008(Joe Flacco also did it the same year.) He was elected as a team captain in his second season behind the helm and has enjoyed plenty of NFL success.  Matt has only missed two starts in his eight year career and holds numerous Falcons franchise records.  Ryan has recorded 32,757 yards through the air so far in his career to go with 202 touchdowns. He was given the nickname Matty Ice for his uncanny ability to lead his team back from deficits late in games. Honorable Mention: Aaron Brooks

#3:Jan Stenerud, Kicker: The first kicker to make the list, Stenerud takes the edge as top player to wear the number three due to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He played for 19 seasons in the NFL for the Chiefs, Packers, and Vikings (He wore #10 for the Packers). Stenerud made 6 Pro Bowls and was a First-Team All-Pro in route to a career that saw him score 1,699 points. Honorable Mention: Daryle Lamonica and Russell Wilson

#4:Brett Favre, Quarterback: No brainer pick here. Favre was one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Favre is the holder of numerous NFL records, some good , and some to be forgotten. The definition of an iron man, Favre holds the record for 321 consecutive starts including the playoffs. He is a three time NFL MVP (consecutive seasons) and led the Packers to seven division titles, four NFC title game appearances, and a Super Bowl championship. He was the NFL’s all time leading passer until Peyton Manning broke his record. His performance in a game against the Raiders the day after his father died in 2003, is still one of the most feel good stories in NFL history(399 yards 4 TD’s).  Favre retired after the 2010 season with 71,838 career passing yards and 508 career touchdowns. Brett Favre was honored for his career by being a part of the 2016 Pro football Hall of Fame class. Honorable Mention: Jim Harbaugh

#5:Donovan McNabb, Quarterback: McNabb ‘nabs’ the edge here for #5. The number two pick overall in the 1999 NFL draft, Donovan played 11 years of his 13 year career in Philadelphia leading them to five NFC title games including four in a row. They made it to  Super Bowl XXXIX , but were defeated by the New England Patriots. His on field play was sometimes put second to his constant issues with Terrell Owens when he was a member of the Eagles, and numerous injuries. He is a six time Pro Bowler and finished his career with 37,276 yards and 234 touchdowns as well as 3,459 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns. McNabb owns essentially all Eagles passing records, and had his #5 retired by the team. Honorable Mention: Jeff Garcia and Kerry Collins

#6:Jay Cutler, Quarterback: I’m as surprised as you are trust me. Although Cutler has a reputation of turnovers, he is the best player to put on the #6 jersey in the NFL. Hear me out. Cutler was drafted in the first round(behind Matt Leinart and Vince Young) by the Denver Broncos before being traded to the Chicago Bears before the 2009 season, where he still plays. His raw numbers look good as he has thrown for 31,408 yards and 204 touchdowns with plenty of football left in him. He has only led his team to one playoff appearance, and needs to return to the postseason to solidify his spot here. Honorable Mention: Bubby Brister

#7:John Elway, Quarterback: Plenty of great option to choose for jersey #7, but John Elway is simply elite. Elway’s career accolades are nothing short of phenomenal, and include an MVP and nine selections to the Pro Bowl. He was originally drafted by the Baltimore Colts, but threatened to play baseball if he wasn’t traded, which led to his trade to the Denver Broncos, where he played his entire career. He set numerous Broncos records on the way to leading the Broncos to four Super Bowls, winning two of them. He took MVP honors in Super Bowl XXXIII, the last game he would play in his career. The Broncos retired the #7 and Elway was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2004. He continued to work in the NFL becoming the GM of the Broncos and helping them to their victory in Super Bowl 50. Honorable Mention: Boomer Esiason, Ben Roethlisberger

#8:Steve Young, Quarterback: Another edge pick, Steve Young succeeded Joe Montana in San Francisco, but definitely left his own mark on the town. After a short one year stint in the failed USFL, Young joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and found no success. After figuring him to be a bust, the Bucs traded Young to the 49ers for draft picks. He served as Montana’s backup for four years until taking over the team after Montana injured his elbow in the 1990 NFC title game. Young would lead the 49ers to a convincing Super Bowl XXIX victory, his third ring, but first as a starter, and was awarded the Super Bowl MVP award for his efforts. He put up impressive numbers (33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns passing; 4,239 yards and 43 touchdowns on the ground) and was always willing to take a hit, which led to many concussions that ultimately ended his career. Young was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.    Honorable Mention: Troy Aikman 

#9:Drew Brees, Quarterback: He’s too short. Brees lacks arm strength. He played in a spread system in college, and won’t be as successful in the NFL. Blah blah blah. Drew Brees heard it all and not only made the doubters eat their words, he made them choke on them. After spending five seasons with the Chargers, Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints where he is still the starter. He has been an absolute stud for the Saints, leading the league in passing six times in his ten years with the team. Brees holds impressive NFL records that include seven touchdown passes in one game,and 54 consecutive games with a touchdown pass. The eventual Hall of Famer has a Super Bowl victory under his belt and is the all time leader in completion percentage. Honorable Mention: Sonny Jurgensen and Steve McNair

 

 

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