LA Chargers countdown to 2020: Greatest number 73 in team history

LA Chargers (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LA Chargers (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

We are 73 days away from seeing the LA Chargers back in action.

Counting today, we are officially 73 days away from the LA Chargers kicking off their 2020 season against first overall pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. That is, as long as everything goes as planned and scheduled with the 2020 NFL season.

To count down the Chargers’ return to action, we have been naming the best players in franchise history to wear the numbers that coincide with the number of days remaining. Thus far, not a single current Charger has taken home the cake.

That will continue with the number 73 as well. Second-year tackle Tyree St. Louis is listed as the current number 73 on the Chargers’ roster. St. Louis has never appeared in an NFL game.

The greatest number 73 is someone who played relatively recent, however and was part of one of the most successful stretches in franchise history in the mid-to-late 2000s.

The greatest number 73 in LA Chargers’ history: Marcus McNeill

Marcus McNeill was drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft and instantly made a big impact on the Chargers. It did not take time for McNeill to settle into the league, as he was one of the best left tackles in the league from year one.

McNeill was named a Pro Bowl left tackle in his first season for his job in blocking Philip Rivers’ blindside on the 2006 14-2 Chargers. McNeill played all 16 games and posted a career-high 15 Approximate Value.

For comparison’s sake, the last time that a Chargers’ offensive lineman posted an AV that high was in 2009 when Kris Dielman posted 16 AV.

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McNeill continued to be an anchor on the Chargers’ offensive line for several seasons. He was a Pro Bowler again in 2007 and posted an AV above 10 in 2008 and 2009 as well, even if he was not a Pro Bowler. He only missed two games.

However, McNeill’s career ended quicker than anyone could have expected. He played in only 11 games in 2010 and was still solid but then played just nine games in 2011 due to his health. McNeill was released by the team and never played another NFL game again.

His tenure was short-lived but he still built up a comfortable lead in terms of the greatest number 73 in team history. McNeill posted a career 61 AV with the Chargers. The next-best number 73 in terms of AV is Charles DeJurnett with 13.

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McNeill may not have lived up to the massive contract that he signed prior to the 2010 season but he still put together a solid career in the powder blue.