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A Few Reasons For Changing Jersey Numbers

Posted by Matt Terl on September 6, 2010 – 5:59 pm

Two jersey numbers changed after cuts today: Perry Riley went from 53 to 56, and Jammal Brown went from 69 to 77. This kind of thing garners a lot of attention when it’s a newly-acquired superstar buying a number from some relative unknown on his new team (or when it’s a safety managing to sell his number twice in a single season), but minor tweaks like these generally go unnoticed by all by the most die-hard of fans.

Still, it obviously meant something if these guys went to the trouble — switching a number isn’t just about your jersey; almost all of a player’s gear is customized with their number — so I figured I’d ask what motivated the switch.

“This is what I wore in college,” Riley said, “that’s it. I mean, I wanted my number, but I wasn’t gonna go to the point of paying for it. It wasn’t that serious.”

This is his college number, and his Twitter account — @PR56 — still reflects that number choice. “Well,” Riley explained, “that’s why I kept my college picture up on Twitter. I was just gonna leave it at that, and then once I found out they cut Curtis [Gatewood], who had this number before, I just saw an opportunity and I asked [equipment manager Brad Berlin] and he said yes.”

London Fletcher, unquestioned leader of Riley’s position group, approved of the change. “He said 53 was ugly,” Riley said.

“You gotta be taller to play at 53,” Fletcher clarified, no doubt fearing the wrath of Marcus Washington and Marvcus Patton. “56 is better for him than 53.”

Riley tried to fire back with a, “59 is the ugliest linebacker number there is,” but Fletcher pretty much shrugged it off.

“I make it look good, though,” Fletcher said.

Riley tried again: “Might as well be wearing 60 out there.”

“Then I’d make 60 hot,” Fletcher said.

At the core of this banter, though, is a truth of the NFL locker room: some numbers are “good” and others … less so.

Take the case of practice squad wide receiver Terrence Austin. Read more »

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Redskins Add An Eighth To The Practice Squad

Posted by Matt Terl on September 6, 2010 – 1:54 pm

The Redskins announced the eighth member of their practice squad today, linebacker Mike Balogun. Balogun spent the preseason with the San Francisco 49ers, where he tallied eight tackles, one interception, and two special teams tackles in his four preseason games.

There are quite a few interesting notes about Balogun: Read more »

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