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2015 NFL Countdown: The History of Arizona Cardinals Jersey Number 71

Only 71 days remain until the kickoff to the 2015 regular season on this 4th of July as we look back at those players who have worn No. 71 on the backs of their Cardinals jerseys.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With seventy-one days remaining until the beginning of the regular season, let's take a look back at those who have worn the No. 71 while we celebrate our country's 239th birthday.  And for those counting, 28 days remain until the beginning of training camp and 42 days until the first preseason game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs on our own training camp turf.

We're now deep into the range of big players who were looked on to block and tackle — and some of them did it quite well. We'll list all the players that have worn today's No. 71 chronologically making note of those players that mattered along the way while leaving plenty of space for your comments below to fill in the gaps after you vote on who you think has worn the BIG SEVEN-ONE best.

Dale Memmelaar 1960-1961

Bob Reynolds (1963-1973) is burned into my mind, and in no small part because he was one of those players I painted up in a Cardinals uniform (complete with the No. 71) that buzzed around the vibrating board (the fastest guy wore No. 8 of course).  Since the first thing you do between plays is to line up your offensive linemen, those 5 numbers become locked into your mind like a combination.

Anyway, Reynolds was a good offensive tackle who started nearly every game over his 11 seasons with the St. Louis Football Cardinals, and is rated as tied for the highest valued Cardinal to wear today's jersey number by Pro Football Reference (they're all subjective of course).

John Richardson 1972-1973
Marvin Upshaw 1976*
Steve Okoniewski 1977*

Joe Bostic (1979-1988) was the player tied with Bob Reynolds (above) by PFR and started 115 games as an offensive lineman in his career with the Cardinals, which spanned 9 seasons in St. Louis and one season as the only Phoenix Cardinal to ever wear No. 71.

The Arizona years

Mark Tucker 1994*
Larry Tharpe 1995*
Thomas Guynes 1997*

Lester Holmes (1998-2000) is pictured above with a teammate as the gun sounded in Dallas when the Cardinals shocked the world by thumping the Cowboys 20-7 on Jan. 2, 1999 to continue on in the postseason.  The biggest victory for the team in many a year and Lester was the team's right guard on that memorable day in Texas.

Andy Bowers 2001*
Teag Whiting 2002*

Alex Stepanovich (2004-2006) started at center in every game he appeared in for the Cardinals — 30 games in 3 seasons.

Joe Tafoya 2007*

Daryn Colledge (2011-2013) is best known for being part of the team that allowed 17 sacks over the span of 5 days in that memorable 2012 season (it was to Kevin Kolb — providing he has any surviving brain cells that is).

The current Cardinal to wear the BIG SEVEN-ONE is Anthony Steen, who going into his second season with the Big Red faces a daunting task — break into the starting lineup of what looks to be the most talented group of offensive lineman that has been seen wearing Cardinals jerseys for many a year.  Most likely a spot on the bench awaits Anthony (but you never know), which might reflect just how deep the depth has become on this new edition of the 'Big Red Line'.


For a listing of the entire collection of stories in the Countdown to the Season series, all you have to do is click here.