We are inside 48 hours until the Raiders kick off the 2017 season. That’s just two days. The number two has been number two for the Raiders in their history. The most recent guy to wear it was kicker Giorgio Tavecchio this offseason. He was released with the final roster cuts.
There was also a time this offseason where rookie Gareon Conley was wearing it while he awaited an eligible number to come available. Once the team released Taiwan Jones on the eve of camp, Conley took the number 22.
Charles Woodson did the same thing for his first few practices until he was able to get his number 24 and allow all those Raiders fans who still had his old jersey to don it anew.
In both of those cases, the players were sure to get that number off their back before training camp hit. It’s cursed in these parts.
The last player to wear it in a regular season game was Terrelle Pryor. He switched to the number in the 2013 offseason before being named the starter for the season. He had four decent games early in the season before the Chiefs shook him, sacking him nine times and he did a nose dive.
The following four games, he had historically bad passer ratings. It was the second worst four game stretch by a Raiders quarterback in 50 years. Who had the worst? The man who wore number two before Pryor.
You see, Pryor wanted the number two when the Raiders selected him in the third round of the supplemental draft prior to the 2011 season. But the Raiders wouldn’t give it to him because they were just a season removed from the big steaming pile of number two to wear the same number — JaMarcus Russell.
Russell was the Raiders’ number one overall pick in the 2007 draft who had no intention of being great. Or at least he had no intention of working for it. He held out for big money on his rookie contract which meant he wouldn’t start immediately.
He would eventually get the start and over three seasons in Oakland, was abysmal. In 25 starts, he threw 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions with a 52.1 completion percentage and a 65.2 passer rating. He also ballooned up to 300 pounds at one point. He played his last game in 2009 and then took his purple drank and rode off into the sunset.
Even before Russell, it was not a good number. Aaron Brooks signed with the Raiders in 2006 and started part of the worst offensive season in Raiders history. He was eventually replaced by Andrew Walter — who wasn’t much better — but before that he had thrown just 3 touchdowns in 8 games to 8 interceptions for a 61.7 passer rating. His last game in Oakland was the last of his NFL career.
You have to go back nearly 20 years to take the stink off that jersey.
Who wore it best: P Leo Araguz (1996-99)
Leo Araguz was a fine punter for the Raiders in the late nineties, setting a record which stands to this day for punts in a game with 16 in a 7-6 win over the Chargers in 1998. He is the sixth-leading punter in Raiders history, with 12,023 yards on 280 punts. He attended Stephen F. Austin State and last played in the NFL in 2005 with the Seattle Seahawks.