Commanders season opener in 82 days: Washington’s best No. 82?

Commanders Wire continues a countdown to the Commanders season opener for 2023 in 82 days. Who was Washington’s best player wearing number 82?

There have been some unheralded Washington players who wore No. 82 and one who was a Pro-Bowler.

Here are my top five Washington players who wore No. 82

  • 5. Jimmie Jones was a 6-5, lean pass rusher that George Allen brought to Washington. Jones was part of three playoff teams (1971-73) and was a 3rd down pass rusher for the Redskins whose record on those three teams was 9-4-1, 11-3 and 10-4. Jones enjoyed a significant impact on the 1971 team, not starting, but still collected 7.5 sacks in 14 games.

  • 4. Dallas Hickman (1976-81) never started a game for Washington. But the linebacker made his impact on special teams covering punts and kickoffs. He was an animal and known for his self-sacrificing hustle. He did collect 2.5 sacks in 1980. Drafted in the 9th round (228th) from the California Golden Bears, Hickman played in 91 games for Washington.

  • 3. Current Commanders analyst Logan Paulsen in his five seasons with Washington (2010-14) was a big physical blocking tight end for the most part. Paulsen did collect 28 receptions in 2013 and 25 in 2012.

  • 2. Antwaan Randle El came to Washington (2006-09) following four seasons in Pittsburgh (2002-05).  The former Indiana Hoosier quarterback converted to wide receiver in the NFL and caught 32, 51, 53 and 50 receptions, averaging 11.0, 14.3, 11.2 and 10.6 yards per reception in his four seasons in Burgundy and Gold. He returned a punt for a touchdown in 2006.

  • 1. Michael Westbrook was drafted fourth overall in the 1995 NFL Draft out of Colorado and enjoyed 7 seasons in Washington (1995-2001). Westbrook was gifted physically at 6-3, 220. He caught 285 receptions for 4,374 yards (15.3) and 26 receiving touchdowns.

Westbrook was the leading receiver for the NFC East champs in 1999 when he collected 65 receptions for 1,191 yards averaging a career-best 18.3 yards per reception. He caught 47 first downs that season, as well as 9 touchdowns.

Unfortunately, Westbrook might best be remembered by Washington fans for his attack on teammate running back Stephen Davis during the 1997 training camp. Westbrook suddenly struck Davis several times in the face. Several teammates were upset with the outburst by Westbrook, which left Davis with his right eye swollen nearly shut. Davis was recovering from knee surgery and was in shorts and a T-shirt.

Westbrook was fined $50,000, suspended for the final preseason week, and demoted from starting the 1997 season opener at the Carolina Panthers.




Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire