All about the numbers

April 30th, 2009 - 2:21 pm

ChicagoBears.com reported yesterday what numbers this year’s crop of rookies will wear as well as a number change for second-year wide receiver Earl Bennett.

The following is a list of this year’s Bears draft picks accompanied by which number they will wear:

DL Jarron Gilbert (73)
WR Juaquin Iglesias (17)
DE Henry Melton (69)
CB D.J. Moore (30)
WR Johnny Knox (13)
LB Marcus Freeman (58)
S Al Afalava (46)
G Lance Louis (60)
WR Derek Kinder (83)

And this next list of players includes those that went undrafted:

FB Will Ta’ufo’ou (45o)
S Dahna Deleston (45d)
CB Woodny Turenne (47)
RB Tyrell Fenroy (48)
LB Mike Rivera (59)
G Johan Asiata (62o)
LB Kevin Malast (62d)
G Dennis Conley (70)
WR Eric Peterman (86)

The few numbers that stick out the most to me are Jarron Gilbert’s No. 73, D.J. Moore’s No. 30, Juaquin Iglesias’ No. 17 and, to some extent, Johnny Knox’s No. 13.

Gilbert will be wearing the same number that defensive end Dan Bazuin occupied while a member of the Bears in 2007. Bazuin, as you recall, may be one of Jerry Angelo’s worst draft picks as the GM wasted a second-round pick on him.

D.J. Moore, meanwhile, will have the unenviable task of wearing long-time fan favorite Mike Brown’s No. 30. It’s difficult for fans to adjust to seeing a different player wearing a popular jersey. Of course, sarcastic analysts will say that No. 30 hasn’t been worn all that often the past four years, so what’s the problem?

As for Iglesias and Knox, I’ve never been a fan of receivers wearing numbers in the teens, and with Iglesias figuring to see more playing time this year than Earl Bennett did in his rookie year, it’s going to be odd to see No. 17 out there.

As for Bennett, he actually wanted to switch his jersey to No. 10, which was what he wore in college at Vanderbilt, but the NFL has a rule against receivers making a switch from a number in the 80s to one in the teens. Bennett instead has made the decision to wear No. 80, switching from the No. 85 he wore last season. The reason he gave was a bit interesting.

“Number 80 has so much tradition behind it with Jerry Rice and Cris Carter and those guys, and hopefully I can become one of those guys and be a legend like they were,” Bennett said.

Simply put, if Bennett wants to become a legend like those guys, he certainly better get started right away. And he better hope his rapport with Jay Cutler pays off big dividends.

As for Devin Hester, he will not have to change his No. 23 jersey because the NFL has said that his number does not have to be reported as eligible to the referee when he comes into the game.