And on we go in our list of great Raiders by jersey number, a nostalgic trip down memory lane. You see the number and the names and it strikes memories of them suited up in Silver and Black. At least that is what it conjures up for me.
We are half way through so if you would like to head back to the beginning of the list and read through to this point, Click Here. Otherwise, let's power on. We began at 00 with the first great Raider, Jim Otto. Now we begin with the player who replaced him and played many great seasons.
50: Dave Dalby- When he became a Raider, he was only the second center to ever start for the team. When he retired 14 seasons later he had three Super Bowl rings to show for it. He anchored a Raider line that already has two Hall of Famers and Dalby deserves to be enshrined with them.
51: Lance Johnstone- Played the first five seasons of his career for the Raiders. Two of those seasons ('98-'99) he started every game and had 11.0 and 10.0 sacks from the defensive end spot.
52: Kirk Morrison- He was chosen by the Raiders in the third round of the 2005 draft and started every single game for five years with the team. He was a tackling machine at the middle linebacker spot averaging around 100 tackles per season.
53: Rod Martin- One of the biggest steals in Raider draft history, Martin played every game of his 12 year career with the Raiders including two Pro Bowl nods and one All Pro. His biggest moment came in Super Bowl XV when he intercepted three Ron Jaworski passes to help the Raiders run away with the win.
54: Greg Biekert- One of the best Raider linebackers ever and arguably the smartest. He was the Raiders' middle linebacker for nine seasons including their 2002 Super Bowl season. He averaged over 100 tackles his final four seasons with the Raiders. He is now the Raiders' linebackers coach.
55: Matt Millen- Exploded onto the scene as a rookie in 1980, starting all 16 games, the playoffs, and winning Super Bowl XV. He would terrorize and bewilder opposing quarterbacks from the inside linebacker spot for nine seasons with two Super Bowl wins along the way.
56: TIE Derrick Burgess, Pat Swilling- Burgess spent four seasons with the Raiders and they were his best as a pro. He had 16.0 sacks his first season and 11.0 sacks his second season, making the Pro Bowl both seasons. He couldn't quite stay healthy after that but still managed 38.5 sacks over those four seasons. Swilling spent his final three seasons with the Raiders. He was already a household name as a two-time All-Pro defensive end. Swilling was a typical Al Davis veteran pick up, starting every game and racking up 19 sacks in his first two seasons, then retiring after the third.
57: Roderick Coleman- A round five draft pick by the Raiders, he spent five seasons with the Raiders. After his rookie year he averaged over eight sacks a season from the defensive tackle spot.
58: Monte Johnson- He played inside linebacker for the Raiders for seven seasons starting nearly every game from '75-'79 and helping the team win their first Super Bowl.
59: Aaron Wallace- Wallace wore the number 51 during his early years and wore 59 his last two seasons with the team. But he spent his entire career with the Raiders and had a few fine seasons along the way including 9.0 sacks as a rookie.
60: Otis Sistrunk- The big defensive tackle went undrafted and stands third all-time with 77 consecutive starts to begin his career, with one trip to the Pro Bowl. He was moved to defensive end in the 3-4 and was instrumental in the Raiders winning their first Super Bowl.
61: Gerard Warren- For a guy who was considered a disappointment as the number three overall pick he sure started a lot of games in his ten year career. He spent three of those years at defensive tackle with the Raiders.
62: Reggie Kinlaw- He was the space eating nose tackle for the Raiders for their two Super Bowls in the eighties and started the entire 1980 season, winning Super Bowl XV.
63: Gene Upshaw- Nicknamed "Highway 63" for the roads he paved from the left guard spot. He was the key component in guys like Mark Van Eeghen running through defenses. Upshaw was a seven time Pro Bowler, five time All Pro, two time Super Bowl champion, and a Hall of Famer for his efforts. He was also the President of the NFLPA for many years until he passed away two years ago. We are all missing him more than ever now.
64: George Buehler- While Upshaw and the left side of the Raider offensive line in the 70's was getting all the publicity, Buehler was locking down the right guard spot.
65: Mickey Marvin- When Buehler (Buehler? Buehler?) retired, Marvin replaced him and the Raiders didn't miss a beat en route to two more Super Bowls with him at right guard.
66: Kevin Gogan- Played three seasons for the Raiders, starting every single game and going to the Pro Bowl in his first season with the team (1994).
67: Russell Maryland- Came over to the Raiders after spending his first five seasons in Dallas. He was a solid defensive tackle in his four seasons in Oakland, playing in and starting all but one game.
68: Bruce Wilkerson- Chosen in the second round by the Los Angeles Raiders and spent eight seasons in LA. When he left LA, so did the Raiders. He signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995, their first year of existence.
69: None- The number itself is more noteworthy than any Raider to wear it.
70: Henry Lawrence- The final piece to that legendary Raider offensive line. He replaced John Vella in 1977 and held down the right tackle spot for 10 years, collecting three Super Bowl rings in the process. The two-time Pro Bowler was a first round pick by the Raiders in 1974 and spent his entire 13-year career with the team.
71: Bill Pickel- He replaced the departed Reggie Kinlaw at nose tackle. The Raiders won the Super Bowl in his first season with the team and he was named All Pro in just his second season as the full time starter. He spent eight seasons with the Raiders from '83-'90.
72: Don Mosebar- The third great center for the Raiders. He took over for Dave Dalby in 1985 and held down the position for 10 seasons, making the Pro Bowl three times. When he retired in 1994, the Raiders had just three starting centers in 34 years.
73: Dave Browning- Played five seasons at defensive end for the Raiders, starting every game in 1980 to help them win their second Super Bowl. Then in his final season the Raiders won their third Super Bowl.
74: Tom Keating- He played six seasons with the Raiders from '66-'72. The defensive tackle made the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons with the team and was an All Pro in the second year. He lined up alongside DE Ben Davidson created havoc along the right side and both made Pro Bowls in '66 and '67 and All Pro the same seasons (1967). They were the beginning of the Raiders great defensive line play for years to come.
Notable omissions bumped by even greater greatness:
55: Dan Conners- He began his career in 1964 wearing the number 60. But his third season he changed to 55 and really took over. He would make three straight Pro Bowls at middle linebacker from '66 to '68 and became the Raiders full time starting middle linebacker until he retired in 1974. He is the level of middle linebacker the Raiders' current #55 can aspire to be.
72: Lincoln Kennedy- The man who has vowed never to run for president, was the ultimate in Raider career revival. He is the standard by which we hold all "scrap heap" signings. The former ninth overall selection was seen as a bust by the Falcons and released after three seasons. The Raiders swiped him up and he started nearly every game at right tackle over eight seasons, making three straight Pro Bowls from '00-'02 and was All Pro in the Raiders' 2002 Super Bowl season.
72: John Matuszak- "Tooz" was the ultimate character. He was often seen showing off his toothless smile on the Raider sidelines. That smile was never bigger than when he helped the Raiders win their first two Super Bowls. He also showed his character (literally) when he played "Sloth" in Goonies.
Special thanks to Matthew Sublett for contributing to this list.
Continue on to jersey numbers 75-99
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Great post. One minor revision should be made for Greg Biekert. Biekert was not with the 2002 Super Bowl Team. His last season with the Raiders was in 2001 (final game was during the 'Snow Bowl' in which he recoverd the Brady 'fumble'). He was released in 2002 and signed with the Vikings. The newly drafted Napolean Harris was the starting middle linebacker for the Raiders in 2002.
I agree In the 10 yr period 75-85 the Raiders made 8 playoffs winning 3! Dave was there all the way from age 22 to 35 never missing 1 game ever! in 14 yrs! and UCLA all time center with many famous UCLA players too!
I've really enjoyed reading these articles the past few days. It's really what we need during this awful lock out. Thank you. I really like the idea of Barrett Robbins getting a mention, as TheLoneRaider suggests. He was a truly dominant center in the great Raider tradition and it was simply a tragedy how it ended for him and the team. I'd also consider Derrick Burgess a better pick than Pat Swilling for #56. In four seasons he had 38.5 sacks for the Raiders and was a nightmare for offensive coordinators facing the team. Don Mosebar is the correct choice for #72, but Tooz will always be my sentimental choice. He was the true Raider Maverick during the 1980 Superbowl win in New Orleans, sticking it in the face of Dick Vermeil's bunch of tea-totalers.
@DWalk Now you see why it can be such a hard list. Swilling had a great career and simply was at the tail end of it when he played for the Raiders. Burgess' career was rather short but his best years were in Oakland. It makes for good banter that's for sure. Glad you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
I know we all have our loyalty to the Raiders. That is why I believe that Barrett Robbins does not warrant any recognition. He sold out our team as he flushed his team and career down the toilet and he possibly was the reason we lost that Super Bowl. Life is hard and it is every harder for those that are stupid. No quarter from me even though I hope he finds his salvation somewhere.
This is a fun read. As a side trivia another great Raider wore #50. Jim Otto 1960. That's when the had black helmets. I would take issue with #55. Matt Millen had a good run with the Raiders. But it did not come close to Dan Conners 1964-74 who impressed the Green Bay Packers enough to say he could start on their team after SBII Lastly I would have to have Tom Keating #74 on my list. He was the first of many fast fire plugs in the NFL to anchor the defense on that great D-line 1966-72. Can't wait for your next list...
@RaiderMadness Dan Conners was a great player to be sure. I like Millen a bit more for how quickly he became a leader of the two time Super Bowl winning team. I will add Conners to the list of notable omissions. But I think you are right about Tom Keating. I have not changed a name on this list up to this point. But I will admit I made a misstep not putting Keating at 74. He deserves the nod so I will make the change. Thanks.
I should say that you might want to include Barret Robbins as a notable omission at number 63. Ok, he really messed up the day of Super Bowl XXXVII, but he was one of the main reasons the team got there in first place. He was one of the Great Raiders playing at Center.
@TheLoneRaider I am surprised to see a reader defend Barret Robbins. I have long supported him and been sympathetic of his disorder. I struggled with whether to mention him because he is borderline to me. But I think getting a mention in the comment box shows that there are some who see him as a notable omission.