One of the great jersey numbers of all time.
There have been a lot of great jersey numbers through the years. The one pictured to the right, for instance. Solely for being worn by Johnny Unitas, #19 goes down in NFL history as one of the top jersey numbers in NFL history. #16 is another, worn by Joe Montana and Len Dawson. Don’t forget about #12 that was worn by Broadway Joe, as well as an unfortunate gentleman from New England.
So, I got to thinking, what have been some of the best jerseys numbers in New York Jets’ team history? So that is what I bring to you now. Over the next couple of days or so, we are going to bring you the best jersey numbers in team history. The criteria for the list? If more than one memorable player wore the jersey number. There will be exceptions, for example, the aforementioned #12. If someone wore the jersey and is in the Hall of Fame, they make the list. But, for the most part, it takes more than one memorable player to make this list.
So, starting at the highest jersey number and working backwards, we begin our look back:
MEMORABLE PLAYERS TO WEAR: Mark Gastineau, Hugh Douglas, Jason Taylor
Mark Gastineau was one of the top pass rushers in league history, much less the team. He held the single season sack record until Michael Strahan broke it with his very cheap sack of Brett Favre in 2001. Gastineau was a dominant force until he walked away from the team in 1988.
Hugh Douglas was also a dominant pass rusher for the team in his short time with the Jets, recording 22 sacks in three years. OK maybe dominant is a strong word, but certainly solid.
Jason Taylor had a couple of memorable moments in his one season with the Jets as well.
JERSEY NUMBER: 88
MEMORABLE PLAYERS TO WEAR: Richard Caster, Al Toon
Our readers that go back to the Namath days will remember Richard Caster quite well. As a TE/WR, he played eight seasons with the New York Jets from 1970-1977, recording 36 TDs, 245 receptions, and 4,434 receiving yards.
Al Toon was a wonderful player to watch. In 8 seasons with the New York Jets, from 1985-1992, he played the perfect possession receiver to Wesley Walker’s deep threat, recording 517 receptions for 6,605 yards and 31 TDs. His career was sadly shortened by concussions, otherwise, there is no telling how good he might have been.
But he was as good as they come anyway.
JERSEY NUMBER: 83
MEMORABLE PLAYERS TO WEAR: George Sauer, Santana Moss
Santana Moss has really made his career a big one with the Washington Redskins, but he had a pretty good four years with the Jets after being drafted in 2001. He racked up 19 TDs over his four years in New York, to go along with 151 receptions, and 2,416 yards.
For those of you who don’t know George Sauer, he played in New York for the lone Super Bowl appearance, from 1965-1970. He played the perfect second fiddle to the great Don Maynard, with three straight 1,000 yard seasons from 1966-1968, posting 14 TDs during that period as well. In Super Bowl III, Sauer posted 8 catches for 133 yards.
Tomorrow, we will continue our backtrack through the jersey numbers, to see which other numbers were influential in New York Jets’ history.