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LA Chargers countdown to 2020: The best number 82 in team history

(Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary)
(Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary)
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We are officially 82 days away from the LA Chargers being back in action.

Counting today, we are 82 days away from the LA Chargers kicking off their 2020 season in Week 1 against first overall pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.

To count down the 2020 season, we have been naming the best players in team history to wear the coinciding number with however many days are remaining. Thus far, no current Charger has taken home the honor of the best to wear their number.

That will continue with the number 82. According to the Chargers roster, the number 82 currently belongs to Stephen Anderson. Anderson has played a grand total of five special teams snaps in his one year with the Chargers.

Instead, the greatest number 82 in franchise history is someone who played on the Chargers a long, long time ago.

The best number 82 in LA Chargers’ history: Steve DeLong

Steve DeLong played for the Chargers from 1965 to 1971 and is the best number 82 in team history. DeLong definitely had a solid career with the Chargers for his time, but him being the best in team history showcases how mediocre the number 82 has been in Chargers’ history.

Unfortunately, because of the time that DeLong played, there are no tackle numbers or sack numbers to go off of. There are only two things at our disposal that we can really analyze to deem him the best number 82 in team history.

First is his Pro Bowl appearances. DeLong is a one-time Pro Bowler, earning the honor for his efforts in the 1969 season in which he put together nine Approximate Value in the season.

That is the other method for judgment that we have — Approximate Value. Of any player in team history to wear the number 82, DeLong has the most career AV in team history. His 30 AV beats out the next best player, Rod Bernstine, by seven.

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Outside of DeLong and Bernstine, no other player to wear the number 82 in team history has more than 20 AV in their career with the team. In fact, 82 is not even that popular of a number to wear as before Anderson, the last player to wear the number for the Chargers in a game was Kory Sperry in 2011.

The most recent player to wear 82 who actually had some sort of a role with the team was Reche Caldwell in 2005. Even then, Caldwell was not all that special and he still has the third-most AV among number 82s in team history.

Next. Best number 83 in team history

Some numbers are not great. 82 is one of those numbers. It is a shame, too, as the number 83 had two extra players who were more than willing of the honor and easily would have beat out DeLong if they wore 82 instead of 83.

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