Chargers History

Chargers countdown to 2020: Best player in team history to wear No. 57

Fullback Mike Pruitt #43 of the Cleveland Browns taken down by linebackers Linden King #57 and Mike Green #58 of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Fullback Mike Pruitt #43 of the Cleveland Browns taken down by linebackers Linden King #57 and Mike Green #58 of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
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With the Chargers counting down the days until their 2020 campaign kicks off, with 57 days left, let’s explore the best in team history to wear No. 57.

The Los Angeles Chargers have boasted some incredible linebackers over the years, and in the 50s is where you’re going to see a lot of those names.

Coincidentally, that’s where we are in terms of the team’s countdown to the start of the 2020 season.

As of today, there are 57 days left until the Bolts kick off their campaign on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, and we’re also in between two linebacking greats whose numbers were in the 50s, Donnie Edwards and the Hall of Famer, Junior Seau.

For the best player in team history to wear No. 57, though, it’s a bit tougher a pool to choose from.

Linebacker Zeke Moreno had a nice four-year stint in San Diego, primarily as a backup and special teams contributor. Matt Wilhelm was around for a long time and enjoyed being a starter in 2007 and parts of 2008.

But there’s one player who stands out above the rest. Can we get a drumroll, please?

The best No. 57 in Los Angeles Chargers history: Linden King

A little honorable mention here…

Former Chargers linebacker Dennis Gibson needs a little love here even though he only spent two seasons in San Diego to round out his career. But no one can forget what happened on Jan. 15, 1995 during the AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers when Gibson’s clutch pass breakup in the end zone sealed the conference victory for the Bolts.

Yet the true winner here is linebacker Linden King, who spent 1977 through 1985 with San Diego and was a full-time starter in four of those eight seasons, compiling a solid pro profile in the process:

Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original TableGenerated 7/17/2020.

While King was never viewed as one of the league’s best, he did manage to be a starter on two of the four Chargers playoff teams he was with during his tenure. And while seeing him go to the Los Angeles Raiders in 1986 stunk, one has to point out the vast majority of his numbers and impact came from his days with the Bolts.

Once King’s pro days were over, he ended up forming his own band called “Linden King and Southern Steel” while performing various country cover songs and originals in Nashville, Tennessee.

Maybe that reason alone gives King the boost here, as rockstars are always pretty cool.

Next. 30 greatest players in Chargers franchise history

Keep following along as Bolt Beat counts down the remaining days before 2020 kicks off!

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