42 days until LA Chargers football: Mike Fuller produced in two phases
By Jason Reed
We are 42 days away from seeing the LA Chargers back in action.
We have been counting down the days until the LA Chargers are back in action here at Bolt Beat and counting today, we are now 42 days away from the team’s scheduled Week 1 matchup against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
To properly count down the 2020 season, we have been naming the best players in franchise history to wear each number that coincides with the number of days remaining. Thus far, Melvin Ingram and Sam Tevi are the only two active players to earn the honor.
The number 42 is one of the most iconic numbers in sports because of the great Jackie Robinson. The Chargers do not have anyone that even comes close to making the same kind of impact that Robinson did for not just sports but for the entire country.
However, we can name a distinct best player to ever wear the number.
The best number 42 in LA Chargers’ history: Mike Fuller
Mike Fuller was a strong safety for the Chargers from 1975 to 1980. He was selected in the third round of the 1975 NFL Draft, was never an All-Pro, never appeared in a Pro Bowl game but was still a solid player for the Bolts for six seasons.
Fuller’s impact was felt in two phases of the game: on the defense and in the special teams. Not only was Fuller the team’s starting strong safety, but he took on the duties of being the team’s primary punt returner for six years and the primary kickoff returner in his first two seasons.
In total, Fuller took two punts to the house for the Chargers, one in 1975 and one in 1977 and never took a kickoff to the house. In his 212 punt returns on the Chargers, Fuller averaged 11.3 yards per return.
He was also the primary starter at strong safety in every season except his first and last with the team and even in those years, he started a combined 11 games.
Fuller’s best run with the team was from the 1977 to 1979 season, where he put together three great seasons in which he had a combined 13 interceptions. Fuller only recorded another two interceptions in his career with the team.
Fuller is the franchise leader in career Approximate Value among players who wore the number 42 and has more than double the next-most in franchise history.
He might not be a player that many fans remember or will go down in history books but he was a solid player nonetheless.