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.
Jersey No. 1 has a bit of a stigma to it. Conventional wisdom says that if you're going to wear it you better back it up with spectacular play and swagger.
The Raiders drafted Ronald Curry in the 7th round of the 2002 NFL Draft. Curry, a quarterback at North Carolina, wore this number in college. He put up some impressive numbers at UNC but was unable to crack the Raiders roster as a quarterback. He spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad and was activated for one game – a 23-20 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers on November 3, 2002. Curry was installed as the primary kickoff returner for this game. He returned 3 kicks for 68 yards. He fumbled once.
Curry is the only player to have ever worn jersey No. 1 in a regular season game for the Raiders. In 2003, Curry converted full-time to wide receiver and switched jersey numbers. We'll have more on his productive career as a pass-catcher when we get to the number he is known for – 89.