The Arizona Cardinals have a bit more history with the number 17 jersey
Two weeks and three days. That is all that separate the Cardinals from announcing the first overall pick in the 2019 Draft.
As we get nearer to the draft pick the more antsy people seem to get. More arguments on social media about whether the team should retain Josh Rosen or draft Kyler Murray. As we looked at yesterday during our jersey countdown series, the history of No. 18 is sad and lonesome. The franchises best player to wear the jersey was a punter who was with the team for five seasons.
Number 17 is less of a depressing sad sack to look at. In fact, the older fans of the franchise will likely be able to name one guy off the top of their head.
That player is career passing leader Jim Hart. Hart spent 18 years with the Cardinals organization, all of them while the team was in St. Louis. Hart went 87-88-5 during his tenure, threw for 34000 yards, 209 touchdowns, and 247 interceptions. Hart only had four seasons where he posted more touchdowns than interceptions, having one season where he threw 19 touchdowns compared to his 30 interceptions. He went to four Pro Bowls, all from 1974-1977.
Hart’s best statistical season was in 1974 where he posted 2411 passing yards, 20 touchdowns to eight picks. In his 18 seasons he lead 20 fourth quarter comebacks and 23 game winning drives.
Al Del Greco was the next significant player to wear the jersey. Greco spent four seasons with the franchise. Greco was a kicker who converted 64.6% of his field goals and 96.5% of his extra points with the team.
Chris Chandler would take over after Greco left town. Chandler spent three years in Phoenix, posting a 5-12 record, 3592 yards, 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
Dave Krieg wore the jersey for his only season in Arizona in 16 starts he went 4-12, 3554 yards, 16 touchdowns and 21 picks.
Dave Brown was the last Quarterback to wear the jersey. He had seven starts in two years going 3-4.
After Brown, the following players have worn the jersey:
Tolliver is still with the team. Ross wound up going to the AAF and having a good season there and has since been signed to the Panthers roster. Byrd would bounce around the league and has since been out of the league since 2016. Stuckey would spend a season in Canada after leaving the Cardinals before retiring from football. Berger would be the Steelers punter when they beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl 43.
The Cardinals have had a lot more talented players wear the No. 17 jersey. From Hart to Greco to Tolliver. Perhaps they aren’t household names but they have all contributed to the franchise one way or another.
We will continue our jersey countdown as we get closer to the Draft. So stick with Raising Zona with all our Draft coverage.