In the countdown to the Arizona Cardinals regular season opener on Monday Night Football, we have reached 55 days remaining.
Now we look at the jersey number 55, which is currently worn by John Abraham. Abraham was signed at the start of training camp last year after 13 years with the Jets and Falcons. He is perhaps a future Hall of Famer and had a great season, collecting 11.5 sacks. He enters the final year of the two-year deal he signed last year.
Before Abraham, in 2012, it belonged to linebacker Stew Bradley. He wore 52 in 2011. He was a big free agent bust. It really was a mystery. He looked good in the preseason, but apparently did not fit with what defensive coordinator Ray Horton wanted. He was released after the hiring of Steve Keim and Bruce Arians, and he got the news as he was returning home from his honeymoon. He signed with the Denver Broncos last year and spent the season on injured reserve.
In 2010 and 2011, 55 was worn by Joey Porter. A stud in Pittsburgh and part of the time in Miami, he was not the same player in Arizona. He played almost every down in the 14 games he played in during the 2010 season and picked up five sacks, but had only one in 2011 and ended up on injured reserve. He was released after the season.
Reggie Walker, who wore 56 most of his time in Arizona, wore 55 in 2009, his rookie season, when he made the team as an undrafted rookie.
Travis LaBoy wore it in 2008, who was a veteran linebacker on the team's Super Bowl squad. He had four sacks that season, after collecting 19.5 in four season with the Titans. He brought some fun to the team with his championship belt for the player that had the most sacks in a game.
In 2007, it was worn by center Chuckky Okobi, who played one game. He had previously played six seasons for the Steelers, so new head coach Ken Whisenhunt knew him well.
In 2005-06, it was worn by linebacker Daryl Blackstock. A third round pick of the team, he also wore 51 in 2007. He never amounted to more than a special teams player, although he had three sacks in 2007, wearing 51.
From 2000-04, linebacker Raynoch Thompson wore 55. He was drafted by the Cards in the second round. He was quite productive in '01 and '02, collecting half a sack and 82 tackles and then three sacks and 109 tackles.
Linebacker Patrick Sapp wore 55 in 1998-99. He was a depth player. He had a sack each of the two seasons he was here and started six games.
It was worn in 1996 by linebacker Devon McDonald. He did not ever start, but played in all 16 games, collecting three tackles.
In 1994, the legendary Wilbur Marshall joined the team at age 32 for one season. He surpassed 100 tackles all five seasons he played in Washington and was an All-Pro in 1992. He played a year in Houston and then followed Buddy Ryan (who was the Houston DC) to the Cardinals when he was hired. He started 15 games and was not nearly as productive at age 32. He had 58 tackles and a sack.
From 1990-92, it was linebacker Jock Jones. I don't remember him either.
The player I remember from furthest back was Anthony Bell, who wore 55 from 1986-1990. He was drafted fifth overall in 1986 by the St. Louis Cardinals. We don't have tackle numbers that far back, but I remember him as a decent player, not one that lived up to what he was expected to be.
Here is the long list of other guys before Bell:
1985 -- LB Danny Spradlin
1984 -- LB Billy Davis (It isn't the same guy that was a Cardinals DC)
1983 -- DB Bill Whitaker
1977-81 -- LB Eric Williams
1975-76 -- LB Ray White
1973 -- C Warren Koegel
1972 -- G Dave Bradley
1962-71 -- OL Irv Goode (longtime starting left guard)
1960-61 -- C/LB Charley Ellzey
1961 -- LB/C Bob Griffin
1957-58 -- C/LB Jim Taylor
1956-57 -- DG/G/CStan West
1950-51 -- G/MGLB Ed Bagdon
Do any of these players stand out to you? Any memories of these players?
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