LA Chargers countdown to 2020: Best number 66 in team history

(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

We are 66 days away from the LA Chargers scheduled Week 1 game.

Counting today, we are officially 66 days away from the LA Chargers kicking off the 2020 season against first overall pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. That is as long as everything goes as planned and the 2020 NFL season starts on time.

To count down the 2020 season, we have been naming the best players in franchise history to wear every number coinciding with the number of the days remaining. Thus far, ironically, Sam Tevi is the only current Charger to earn the honor for the number 69.

Tevi will continue to be the only current player to earn the honor as the current number 66 on the Chargers roster is Dan Feeney. Despite being one of the longer-tenured players on the Chargers, Feeney has not done nearly enough to be considered the best number 66 in team history. He is not even in the top three.

Instead, the best number 66 in LA Chargers’ history is a long-tenured left tackle who won a Super Bowl with another team.

Best number 66 in LA Chargers’ history: Billy Shields

Billy Shields was selected by the LA Chargers in the sixth round of the 1975 NFL Draft and had a bigger impact than the team would have ever expected. Shields did not start a single game in his rookie year but once he got the starting nod he never lost it.

Shields started all 14 games for the Chargers in the 1976 season and kickstarted his run as the team’s starting left tackle for the next seven seasons.

RELATED: Legendary numbers that deserve to be retired

Shields missed a grand total of one game during his tenure with the Chargers. He played 13 of 14 games in his second season and then continued to start every single game that the Chargers played through the 1983 season.

Shields is known for protecting Dan Fouts’ blindside for most of his career. The Chargers’ high-powered offense of the late 1970s and early 1980s was revolutionary for its time and Shields was a huge component of that as he was a well-above-average left tackle.

However, despite playing on a fantastic defense and being one of the better left tackles in the game, Shield never earned a single Pro Bowl nod.

Best number 67 in team history. Next

Shields left the Chargers after the 1983 season and signed with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1984 season and won a Super Bowl despite only starting one game. He played one more season and only appeared in five games for the Jets and Chiefs before calling it a career.