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News

100 Days of 100 Jersey Numbers - 53

Posted Mar 8, 2014

Eleven players have worn No. 53 in Raiders history, including the team’s current starting middle linebacker.

For a total of 100 days, we'll take a look at the men who have played for the Raiders jersey number by jersey number. This series will highlight some of the greatest players in NFL history. In some cases, the player and jersey number are synonymous. In other cases, the jersey number represents sustained greatness at a particular position. Some players are superstitious about their jersey number. Whatever the case may be, jersey numbers are an important part of the fabric of professional football.


Rod Martin had a long, successful career with the Raiders.


Rod Martin had a long career with the Raiders.

Eleven players have worn No. 53 in Raiders history, including the team’s current starting middle linebacker.

Al Bansavage – LB – 1961

Bansavage joined the Raiders after a year with the Los Angeles Chargers. He played in 14 games for Oakland.

Dan Birdwell – DT/DE – 1962-69

The Raiders selected Birdwell in the 6th round of the 1962 AFL Draft. He played in 96 games and recorded three interceptions for 23 yards and recovered two fumbles. He was named 1st Team All-AFL by the Associated Press in 1968.

Rod Martin – LB – 1977-88

The Raiders selected Martin in the 12th round of the 1977 NFL Draft. He played in 165 games with 147 starts and grabbed 14 interceptions for 225 yards and 4 TDs. He won two Super Bowls and set a then-Super Bowl record with three interceptions in Super Bowl XV as the Raiders topped the Eagles 27-10. Martin was selected to two Pro Bowls and named 1st Team All-Pro in 1984.

Mike Noble – LB – 1987

Noble played in one game with one start for the Raiders in 1987 and recovered one fumble.

Rob Fredrickson – LB – 1994-97

The Raiders selected Fredrickson in the 1st round of the 1994 NFL Draft out of Michigan State. He played in 58 games with 50 starts and recorded one interception for 14 yards, five sacks, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries and 225 solo tackles. He went on to play for Detroit and Arizona.

Travian Smith – LB – 1998-01

The Raiders selected Smith in the 5th round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He wore No. 53 from 1998-2001 and No. 56 from 2002-04. He played in 84 games with 16 starts and recorded 8.5 sacks, one interception and three fumble recoveries.

Bill Romanowski – LB – 2002-03

Romanowski joined the Raiders after six years with San Francisco, two with Philadelphia and six with Denver. He played in 19 games with 19 starts and recorded 6.0 sacks, one interception and 79 solo tackles.

Thomas Howard – LB – 2006-10

The Raiders selected Howard in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of UTEP. He played in 76 games with 62 starts and recorded four sacks, seven interceptions for 169 yards and 2 TDs, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 320 solo tackles. He also played for Cincinnati and Atlanta.

Carl Ihenacho – LB – 2012

Ihenacho saw action in three games with the Raiders in 2012.

Omar Gaither – LB – 2012

After five years with Philadelphia and one with Carolina, Gaither joined the Raiders as a free agent and saw action in seven games with four starts and recorded eight solo tackles. He spent time with Atlanta in 2013.

Nick Roach  - LB – 2013-present

Roach joined the Raiders after six years with the Chicago Bears. He played in 16 games with 16 starts, played every defensive snap and recorded 5.5 sacks, his first career interception, four forced fumbles and 82 solo tackles.

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