We are now at 68 days until the start of the regular season for the Arizona Cardinals. Naturally, that means looking at another jersey number -- No. 68. It happens to be another not so stellar number historically.
Let's look at now and before.
The number is now worn by a player we all hope becomes the best to wear it -- left tackle Jared Veldheer. He was an offseason addition in free agency. He is under contract for five years and it is hoped he becomes the anchor of the offensive line for years to come.
Before Veldheer, the last player to wear it was Adam Snyder in 2012. He was signed to a five-year deal in 2012 and then was a bit of a flop. He struggled with his health and effectiveness. He was cut after just one season.
Tackle Tom Pestock wore 68 in 2011, but never played. He was a practice squad guy. There was some hope for him, but it never materialized into anything real.
You have to go back to 2005 for another, and even then it is a guy I don't recall. It belonged to tackle Dante Ellington. He appeared in two games. He never played with anyone before or after that.
Back in 2002, it belonged to guard Tony Wragge. I don't remember him, but he lasted in the league a while. He was an undrafted rookie for the Cardinals in 2002. He appeared in two games and started one. He didn't play from 2003-2005, but starting in 2006 played five years for the 49ers and one for the Rams.
From 1999-2001, guard Yusef Scott donned 68. He was a Cardinals fifth round pick out of the University of Arizona in 1999. His NFL career lasted the three seasons with the Cardinals. He played 24 games, all as a reserve, playing I believe only on special teams. I recall the name, but not the player.
The next guy is an interesting player. Versatile offensive lineman Joe Wolf wore 68 from 1989-1997. He was actually a first round pick back in 1989 and was a starter his rookie season. The only other season he was a regular starter was 1996. All the rest of the seasons he was a spot starter that player both guard and tackle. He obviously never lived up to his first round billing, but the fact that he had a nine-year career for one team and managed to stay on the roster under many coaches -- Gene Stallings, Hank Kuhlmann, Joe Bugel, Buddy Ryan and Vince Tobin -- tells you he was a solid guy to have on the team.
In 1987, as now we hit the St. Louis years, two players had it at different times. G/T Charles Vatterott played in two games and started one. C/G Mike Morris appeared in 14 games. Vatterott never played in the league after that. Morris played 12 more years, never as a starter. He was a long snapper.
From 1978-1984, the number was worn by guard Terry Stieve. He was a starter at guard (he played both sides) for six years.
Now for the rest:
1973 -- T Mike Taylor
1971 -- DT/T Paul Dickson
1970 -- DT Mike Siwek
1966 -- G Frank Roy
1965 -- DT Ed McQuarters
1960-62 -- G Mike McGee
1954-55 -- G/LB Bill Lange
1953 -- LB/G Nick Chikillo
1952 -- LB/G Fred Wallner
1951 -- G/LB Cliff Patton
1950 -- G/T/DL Plato Andros
Are there guys in this group that you remember in particular? Would you say that Stieve is the best of the group? Do you hope Veldheer is?
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