This is the third in my continuing series of articles of the best Green Bay Packers players of all-time by jersey number. This includes players from all 101 years of Packers football. Over the course of the franchise’s history, some of the greatest players in NFL history have suited up for the Packers and made their mark on the team and the league.
Keep in mind the players are listed by how they performed for the Packers only. Many players wore more than one number during their career. On this list, they are considered primarily for how long they wore each specific number and what they did while they wore it.
When possible, other great players who wore each number will get honorable mention. Feel free to comment and say who you feel belongs on this list.
I will release more articles in this series throughout the offseason.
11. David Beverly, Punter 1975-1980
David Beverly spent six seasons punting for the Packers between 1975-1980. No Packers player has more punts in franchise history than Beverly’s 495.
In 1978, he set a team record that still stands when he booted 106 punts during the Packers 8-7-1 season under Bart Starr.
The Auburn product was acquired by the Packers mid-season in 1975 after the team struggled at the punter position that year. His best season came in 1979 when he averaged 40.4 yards on 69 kicks.
Among the other players to wear 11 are backup quarterbacks Ty Detmer (1993-95) and Matt Hasselbeck (1999-2000).
12. Aaron Rodgers QB 2005-present
Aaron Rodgers’ NFL career got off to a less than auspicious start. Most experts thought that either Rodgers or Alex Smith would be the first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft which was owned by the team Rodgers grew up rooting for, the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers picked Smith and Rodgers fell all the way to the 24th spot when the shocked Packers drafted him to be the heir apparent to Brett Favre.
After backing up Favre for three seasons, Rodgers finally got his chance to start in 2008 and he quickly showed his potential. By 2009, he led the Pack to the playoffs and in 2010, he led the team to their 13th NFL title and was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLV.
Rodgers has been named to eight Pro Bowls and was the NFL’s MVP in 2011 and 2014. He has thrown for 364 career touchdown passes while throwing just 84 interceptions and has a career quarterback rating of 102.4, the highest in NFL history among qualified passers.
Rodgers has led the Packers to the playoffs nine times including eight consecutive seasons from 2009-2016. His athleticism and competitive drive helped make him one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game.
Other Packers to wear number 12 include super sub Zeke Bratkowski (1963-68, 1971) who backed up Bart Starr during the dynasty years and quarterback Lynn Dickey who wore 12 from 1980-1985.
13. Chester Marcol, Kicker 1972-1980
The Green Bay Packers struggled at the kicking position after Don Chandler retired after the 1967 season. They were unable to find a reliable kicker until Polish-born Chester Marcol was drafted in the second round of the 1972 NFL Draft.
Marcol had an immediate impact, kicking 33 field goals and 29 PATs as a rookie and leading the NFL with 128 points. The Packers improved from 4-8-2 in 1971 to 10-4 in 1972 in large part due to Marcol’s strong and accurate leg. He was named the NFC’s Rookie of the Year for his efforts.
In 1974, Marcol again led the NFL in scoring with 94 points. He was named to the Pro Bowl for the second time in three seasons.
His most famous moment came in 1980 when he returned his own blocked field goal for the game-winning touchdown in a 12-6 overtime Week 1 win over the Chicago Bears. It was the only touchdown of Marcol’s NFL career.
Marcol struggled with drug and alcohol problems later in his life but is now a drug and alcohol counselor who helps others handle these difficult problems.
Marcol was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1987.
Other Packers to wear number 13 include quarterback Don Horn (1967-70) and kicker Chris Jacke (1989-96).
14. Don Huston End 1935-45
Don Hutson remains the greatest player ever to play for the Green Bay Packers and many still consider him the most dominant player in NFL history.
“The Alabama Antelope” played 11 seasons for the Green Bay and led the NFL in receptions in eight of those campaigns and in touchdown catches nine times. He was twice named NFL MVP and helped lead the Packers to three NFL championships.
In his very first game on his first play from scrimmage, Hutson caught an 83-yard touchdown pass from Arnie Herber that helped beat the Bears.
Hutson helped revolutionize the passing game. He is credited with inventing modern pass patterns. In addition to playing end, Huston kicked and played defense for the Packers. He twice led the NFL in PATs and intercepted 30 passes during his career.
His 99 career touchdown catches remained an NFL record for 44 years before Steve Largent finally broke it in 1989. Seventy-five years after his retirement, Hutson still holds several NFL records.
Hutson was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. He was named to the All-Decade Team of the 1930s and was named to the NFL’s 50th, 75th and 100th Anniversary Teams.
The Packers named their indoor practice facility “The Don Hutson Center” in 1994 and Hutson was present for the dedication. He died at the age of 1997 at the age of 84.
No other Packers player wore 14 after Hutson’s retirement and the Packers officially retired the number in 1951. No player wore the number for more than two seasons prior to Hutson.
15. Bart Starr QB 1956-71
Bart Starr was almost an afterthought when the Packers selected him in the 17th round of the 1956 NFL Draft. Starr struggled early in his NFL career but that all changed when the Packers hired Vince Lombardi as head coach prior to the 1959 season. After Lombardi’s first meeting with the team, Starr called his wife Cherry and told her “we’re going to start winning.”
Lombardi wasn’t initially sold on Starr as the starting quarterback, but the Alabama alum won the starting job by the end of the 1959 season and led the Packers to the NFL title game for the first time in 1960.
The soft-spoken Starr demonstrated an inner toughness that won Lombardi over. After the coach yelled at his quarterback in front of the team, Starr met with Lombardi and explained that if he wanted Starr to lead the team, he needed to yell at him in private, not in front of his teammates. Lombardi never yelled at Starr in front of the team again.
Starr quarterbacked the Packers to five NFL championships in seven seasons between 1961 and 1967 and was named the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. He threw the first touchdown pass in Super Bowl history, a 37-yard touchdown pass to Max McGee.
Starr went 9-1 in the playoffs during his career, throwing 15 touchdowns and just three interceptions in 10 games. His 104.8 career postseason passer rating remains an NFL record.
Starr was named to four Pro Bowls and was the NFL’s MVP in 1966. He led the NFL in passer rating five times during his career.
Starr retired after the 1971 season and joined Dan Devine’s staff as quarterback coach in 1972. He took over the play calling duties and helped the Packers finish 10-4 and win the NFC Central Division title that year.
In 1975, Starr took over the coaching duties for the Packers, taking over a struggling franchise that had traded away many of its top draft picks in ill-advised trades. He led the team to the postseason in 1982 before being fired at the end of the 1983 season.
Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. He was very involved in civic and charitable organizations and remained a big part of the Packers organization for the rest of his life. Starr wrote letters to Packers quarterbacks throughout his life including Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. He passed away on May 26, 2019 at the age of 85.
Perhaps no individual has meant more to the Packers community and fans than Bart Starr.
The Packers retired Starr’s number 15 jersey in 1973. Prior to Starr, other Packers to wear 15 included back Chester Johnson (1935-38) and quarterback Babe Parilli (1952-53).
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