By the numbers: Taking a look at some new Patriots veterans and their digits
|05.10.13 at 6:30 pm ET|
Last week, we took a look at what some of the numbers for the Patriots rookie class. Now, with the help of the Patriots website, we know what numbers some of the new veterans will be wearing, as well as news on one number change. With the understanding that these numbers can change between now and the start of the regular season — Andre Carter and Dont’a Hightower are examples of two guys who changed their digits between the spring and start of the season — here’s a look at who is currently wearing each number, and some of the recent history behind those digits:
Danny Amendola: 80. A good start to Amendola’s career in New England by landing Troy Brown‘s number. (Of course, it didn’t help those who wore the number in the wake of Brown’s retirement, a group that includes Jeremy Ebert and Visanthe Shiancoe, so who knows if it’ll help.) But seeing a fearless, undersized receiver in the slot should at least help Tom Brady feel familiar.
Kyle Arrington: 25. The slot corner wore No. 24 for the first few years of his career in New England, but may have been persuaded to switch to Patrick Chung‘s old number after new Patriots defensive back Adrian Wilson promised a warehouse full of diapers to the new father if he would give up No. 24, his old number with the Cardinals.
Jake Ballard: 88. The tight end was on the shelf for the entire 2012 season after suffering a knee injury, but it’s been a favorite of popular guys in the locker room over the last decade-plus: Sam Aiken (2008 and 2009), Kyle Brady (2007) and Christian Fauria (2002 through 2005) have all worn the number.
LeGarrette Blount: 29. The newcomer and former Boise State (and Tampa Bay) running back inherits No. 29 with the Patriots. The last guy to wear the number was defensive Sterling Moore. In addition, defensive back Tony Carter, old pal Shawn Springs and Lewis Sanders all wore the number the last few years.
LaVelle Hawkins: 83. Fair or not, lofty expectations come with this number, which has been one of Brady’s faves over the last 10-plus years. Hawkins, a recently-signed free agent wide receiver inherits No. 83 from Wes Welker, who had the number from 2007 through 2012. Prior to that, Deion Branch had No. 83 from 2002 through 2005. Good luck living up to that standard, Mr. Hawkins.
Michael Jenkins: 10. A good, under-the-radar number for New England receivers. Tiquan Underwood had it in 2011, while Jabar Gaffney had it from 2006 through 2008. Kevin Kasper had it for a spell in 2004.
Mike Kafka: 8. Kafka, who currently sits as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart, takes over the No. 8 from Brian Hoyer, who wore it as the No. 2 quarterback in New England from 2009 through 2011. Punter Josh Miller also had it from 2004 through 2006.
Tommy Kelly: 93. The No. 93 was worn with distinction by defensive lineman Richard Seymour from 2001 through 2008 before he departed for Oakland via a Labor Day weekend deal in 2009. Defensive end Andre Carter also did the number proud, switching to No. 93 after spending the 2011 preseason with No. 68.
Kenbrell Thompkins: 85. This number has had an uneven run the last couple of years — Brandon Lloyd had it last season, and Chad Johnson had it in 2011. Aaron Hernandez had No. 85 in his first season in the league before switching to No. 81 in a trade with Johnson prior to the start of the 2011 season. Tyson DeVree (2008) and Doug Gabriel (2006) also wore No. 85.
Leon Washington: 33. Like No. 24 and No. 80, No. 33 has a special place in recent Patriots history, as running back Kevin Faulk had it from 1999 through 2011. Faulk reportedly have Washington his permission to don the number.
Adrian Wilson: 24. As we said earlier, Wilson wrangled the number from Arrington. Ty Law was the most memorable No. 24 in franchise history, as he wore it from 1995 through 2004.