We now have reached just under two months -- 61 days -- until the Arizona Cardinals play their first regular season game.
And since we have been counting down to the start of the season with a look at a jersey number, today means we look at No. 61.
Guard Jonathan Cooper is the player that now wears it. He was drafted with the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the highest spot for a guard to be taken in nearly 20 years. He missed his entire rookie season with a broken leg he suffered in the preseason. He returns and has high expectations. He has been compared to Alan Faneca with his ability move around and get to the second level. We will see if he turns out that way.
Before Cooper, it belonged to tackle Jason Speredon in 2011, who never played. I do not remember him, so he very well could have been a practice squad player for only a part of the season.
Before that, it was the number that guard Elton Brown wore from 2005-08. He was taken by Arizona in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. He struggled with injuries and started 14 games in three seasons. He did not play in the league after that.
Going back to 2001, 61 was worn by tackle Jason Borum, who played and started one game that season. It was his only NFL experience.
In 2000, it was worn by defensive lineman Tony McCoy. He had a nine-year NFL career that ended with one season in Arizona. He played in six games as a starter and had 18 tackles.
In 1995, it belonged to offensive lineman Eric Floyd, who managed only one appearance for the Cards before his five-year career came to a close.
The iron man of the number was guard Lance Smith, who wore it from 1985-93. He was a mainstay of the offensive line for nine seasons. He was a starter for eight of them. He was at right guard almost all of those seasons, but did play one season at right tackle. He wasn't great, but he was good enough to be a starter for 12 years in the league.
Before Smith, it was worn by tackle Dan Audick. He started his career in St. Louis in 1977, left to play five seasons for other teams and returned for 1983 and 1984. He started two games in those three seasons he played as a Cardinal.
Here are the rest of the guys:
1980 -- G Ron Coder
1979 -- C/G Chuck Brown, LB Chris Garlich
1975-77 -- G/T Henry Allison
1961-69 -- C Bob DeMarco (he was a three-time Pro Bowler as a Cardinal)
1960 -- DE/G/DT/T Tom Day
1958-59 -- LB Jack Patera
1954-55 -- LB/G Fred Wallner (he also wore 68 and 18)
1953 -- G Dan Suminski
1952 -- DE Tony Klimek (he also wore 53)
I think DeMarco would have to be the best to wear the number, with Lance Smith a solid number two. Do you remember any of these players?
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