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2014 NFL countdown: 54 days left and a look at the Cardinals history of No. 54

Just one day closer to the start of the season.


No. 54. That is how many days that remain until the Arizona Cardinals commence their regular season. It is also the number of the day.

It is the number that linebacker Kenny Demens wears. He wore 45 last year while on the practice squad. It looks like that he will have a solid shot at making the 53-man roster this season.

In 2012, it was worn by Quentin Groves. Groves was an absolute draft bust, but finally produced some in 2012, picking up four sacks.

In 2011, it belonged to linebacker Quan Sturdivant, who lasted only a year with the team after being drafted in the sixth round. He never cracked the rotation and was cut the next season at the end of training camp and the preseason.

Gerald Hayes wore it from 2003-2010. A third round pick, he was a reserve his twos three seasons and started the rest of his career. He was a thumper` that got lots of tackles. He ended up having back problems and spent much of his last season injured.

In 2000 and 2001, it was worn by linebacker Sekou Sanyika, drafted in the seventh round of the 2000 Draft. He played two seasons as a bench player.

From 1996-99, 54 belonged to center Aaron Graham. He was drafted in the fourth round and was a spot starter for two seasons before playing two more for the team as its starting center, including the 1998 playoff year.

Linebacker Daryl Hardy wore it for four games in 1995.

Linebacker David Braxton wore 54 from 1990-93. He was a backup linebacker. That's all I know.

From 1981-88, it was worn by linebacker E.J. Junior, who was the fifth overall pick in '81. He started eight seasons, went to two Pro Bowls and had 24.5 sacks for the Cardinals, including 9.5 in 1984.

Before Junior, from 1971-80, it was the number that center Tom Banks wore. He was a starter for 10 years, nine at center and one at guard. He was a Pro Bowler from 1975-78 and was an All-Pro in 1976. He was the center for the team's record-setting 1975 offensive line.

Before Banks, it was worn by G/TE Ted Wheeler.

That concludes the history of 54. As for who the best was, you would probably lean towards Banks, but Junior was also very, very good.