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Best Quarterback Numbers

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4 is a decent number for a relatively-smaller guy that isn't necessarily a scrambler, but is very mobile.  Like Favre.

 

Receivers are really ruining the teens numbers.  My arbitrary rule is that no receiver should wear 12, 14, or 16.   I'd prefer they didn't wear any numbers in the teens, but 17, 18, 19 don't bother me too much.  Probably because I don't love those numbers for QBs.  I probably feel the most strongly about 12.  That number should be reserved exclusively for QBs.  Receivers look stupid in 12.

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54 minutes ago, BBTV said:

Receivers are really ruining the teens numbers.  My arbitrary rule is that no receiver should wear 12, 14, or 16.   I'd prefer they didn't wear any numbers in the teens, but 17, 18, 19 don't bother me too much.  Probably because I don't love those numbers for QBs.  I probably feel the most strongly about 12.  That number should be reserved exclusively for QBs.  Receivers look stupid in 12.

 

I'll second this.  When I was growing up in the 70s, there were a few stragglers left with numbers in the teens (ex., Charlie Joiner, Harold Carmichael), but there were almost none from 1980s until the 2010s.  As a result receivers with numbers in the teens still look off to me.

 

I feel like the 20s should be the backup set of numbers for receivers (and still remember Cliff Branch and Fred Biletnikoff wearing 21 and 25).  I get that there are a lot more numbers to choose from in the teens since kickers, punters and QBs only account for 5-6 numbers in the 1-19 range on every team.  However, there are plenty of numbers in the 20-49 range for running backs and defensive backs (and the occasional linebacker) to let receivers use numbers in the 20s.

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17 hours ago, dont care said:

I wouldn’t call mark Brunel a scrambling qb. He could run but he was primarily a pocket passer.

 

He was a good scrambler who evolved into a pocket passer--his first two seasons as a starter he averaged 37 and 25 yards rushing per game.

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1 hour ago, leopard88 said:

 

I'll second this.  When I was growing up in the 70s, there were a few stragglers left with numbers in the teens (ex., Charlie Joiner, Harold Carmichael), but there were almost none from 1980s until the 2010s.  As a result receivers with numbers in the teens still look off to me.

 

I feel like the 20s should be the backup set of numbers for receivers (and still remember Cliff Branch and Fred Biletnikoff wearing 21 and 25).  I get that there are a lot more numbers to choose from in the teens since kickers, punters and QBs only account for 5-6 numbers in the 1-19 range on every team.  However, there are plenty of numbers in the 20-49 range for running backs and defensive backs (and the occasional linebacker) to let receivers use numbers in the 20s.

 

Nowadays when you see a receiver with a number in the 80s, it feels like when you see a baseball player with a number in the 60s - like he wasn't good enough to get one of the "real" numbers.  Maybe it's just me, but when I see a receiver with an 80s number, he seems old and slow - and that stinks.

 

As for LBs, I feel like the 40s is going to be the norm sooner than later.  Most of the Eagles LBs are 40s, and I think I've seen a few on other teams too.  I think modern LBs think of themselves as more athletic and "skill position"-like, and don't want the "slow" number of a lineman.

 

 

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1 minute ago, BBTV said:

As for LBs, I feel like the 40s is going to be the norm sooner than later.  Most of the Eagles LBs are 40s, and I think I've seen a few on other teams too.  I think modern LBs think of themselves as more athletic and "skill position"-like, and don't want the "slow" number of a lineman.

 

The Ravens' younger LBs (Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison, Chris Board) all have numbers in the 40s.  I hope that doesn't become the norm because there have been so many great LBs with numbers in the 50s (Butkus, Lewis, Nitschke, Taylor)  The 40s still don't feel right.

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37 minutes ago, leopard88 said:

 

The Ravens' younger LBs (Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison, Chris Board) all have numbers in the 40s.  I hope that doesn't become the norm because there have been so many great LBs with numbers in the 50s (Butkus, Lewis, Nitschke, Taylor)  The 40s still don't feel right.

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I get where you’re coming from, but I agree with @BBTV. The game is changing and teams have been known to utilize LB/S hybrids in recent years. The standard linebackers undoubtedly have to be more athletic than they already are. There’s still going to be those “bruiser” LBs that choose numbers in the 50s, but for the future of the game, more and more are going to want to choose numbers in the 40s.

 

Another note, I find it weird when defensive linemen wear a number that isn’t in the 90s. Especially if it’s in the 50s.

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15 hours ago, DNAsports said:

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I get where you’re coming from, but I agree with @BBTV. The game is changing and teams have been known to utilize LB/S hybrids in recent years. The standard linebackers undoubtedly have to be more athletic than they already are. There’s still going to be those “bruiser” LBs that choose numbers in the 50s, but for the future of the game, more and more are going to want to choose numbers in the 40s.

 

Another note, I find it weird when defensive linemen wear a number that isn’t in the 90s. Especially if it’s in the 50s.

 

I wear the "old man" tag as a badge of honor.

 

In fact, I remember when a defensive lineman wearing a number in the 90s was rare.  Back in my day, they wore numbers in the 60s and 70s (and occasionally the 80s -- see below)*.

 

34112368_1.jpg?v=8D71C1410926DD0spacer.png

 

* -- The Fearsome Foursome is slightly before my time, but is presented for illustrative purposes.

 

As for the present, numbers in the 90s are also common for OLBs, particularly edge rushers.  Just thinking of the Ravens as an example, Matthew Judon, Yannick Ngakoue and Pernell McPhee all wear numbers in the 90s.

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Way back in the day, 80s were for "ends", which could be tight end, split end, or even defensive end.  Then 90s became the defensive end number, with DTs still (mostly) in the 70s.  OLBs in a 3-4 started going with 90s (which kinda made sense since one was usually on the line) and then 90s just became normal for defensive line and edge rushers.

 

I'm glad most LBs have gone away from using 90s.  Since the late 90s, the Eagles seem to always have one or two DEs with numbers in the 50s, so that's normal to me, even if unconventional.  

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I just don’t see numbers in the 40’s as “athletic” numbers. They always look awkward to me and what I think of for full backs and special teams players. Really the only athletic player I can think of is Troy polamalu. 

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1 hour ago, dont care said:

I just don’t see numbers in the 40’s as “athletic” numbers. They always look awkward to me and what I think of for full backs and special teams players. Really the only athletic player I can think of is Troy polumolu. 

 

I guess I'm conditioned to associate "eligible" with "athletic".

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12 hours ago, dont care said:

I just don’t see numbers in the 40’s as “athletic” numbers. They always look awkward to me and what I think of for full backs and special teams players. Really the only athletic player I can think of is Troy polamalu. 

 

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2 hours ago, leopard88 said:

 

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I have no idea who that is. I have a soft spot for 43 being the number I was assigned in high school, but every other number in the 40’s doesn’t belong on a football field unless they are trying to take someone’s head off on a kick return.

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48 minutes ago, dont care said:

I have no idea who that is. I have a soft spot for 43 being the number I was assigned in high school, but every other number in the 40’s doesn’t belong on a football field unless they are trying to take someone’s head off on a kick return.

 

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/S/SproDa00.htm

 

That's 3x Pro Bowl (and 2x First Team All Pro) running back/kick returner Darren Sproles, who holds the following NFL records (according to the good people at Wikipedia):

 

Most combined total return yards in a two-game playoff span (2008): 602

Most All-purpose yards in a single season (2011): 2,696

 

There's also this guy, though he played quite a while ago:

 

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It's a fair point that it used to be reserved more for fullbacks and 4th string TEs rather than quick/nimble guys, but I still think of it as more of a mobile number than anything in the 50s.

 

John Riggins, Keith Byars, and Tom Rathman wore 40s well.

 

44-john-riggins-001303010jpg.jpg xxx-s130125_685-4_3.jpg s-l300.jpg

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I associate 44 in a footballing context almost entirely with Dallas Clark

 

dallas-clark-retire-colts.jpg

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I’ll always have a soft spot for TEs wearing numbers in the 40s. Specifically because of this man. Chris Cooley

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Based off definitive starting quarterbacks (not counting replacements due to injury) from the 2020-21 season, this is how they lined up based on number choice-

 

1-2

2-1

3-2

4-3

5-1

6-1

7-1

8-3

9-3

10-3

11-2

12-2

13-0

14-2

15-2

16-1

17-3

18-0

19-0

 

The most used numbers were 4, 8, 9, 10, 17 at 3 each while the numbers 13, 18, 19 were not used by a definitive starter.

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Does that count Jalen Hurts (2) replacing Carson Wentz (11) as starter?

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2 minutes ago, BBTV said:

Does that count Jalen Hurts (2) replacing Carson Wentz (11) as starter?

No. That switch was made late into the season. Much like it counts Ryan Fitzpatrick instead of Tua Tagovailoa.

 

It gets tricky with a team like Washington who had 4 different starters. However, I designated Alex Smith as the definitive starter over Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, and Taylor Heinicke as he was the only one with a winning record.

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