Green Bay Packers: Number countdown continues with 47 and 46

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Jesse Whittenton

The 1962 Packers. Jesse Whittenton is #47.

Here is how John Maxymuk describes Jesse Whittenton:

"In his book, “Run to Daylight,” Vince Lombardi, a man not given to extravagant public praise of his players, called Jesse Whittenton, “as close to being a perfect defensive back as anyone in the league … He can run with any halfback or receiver in the league and … he is a great student of opponents. He has studied everything about all of them, including the expressions on their aces that, when they come up to the line, may tell him something about what they are going to run.” Along with fellow defensive backs Hank Gremminger and Johnny Symank, the three were known as “Hecker’s Wreckers” after secondary coach Norb Hecker. Hecker himself referred to them as the “Katzenjammer Kids” because of the way they kept things happening. And Hecker agreed with Lombardi that Whittenton was the top man of the unit. The Packers were fortunate to come up with Whittenton. He was originally signed by the Rams and spent two anonymous years in Los Angeles before being traded to the Bears. The Bears released him, and the Packers grabbed him early in 1958 to join the rest of the underutilized talent that Vince Lombardi would discover when he arrived in 1959. In Green Bay, Jesse blossomed into a topflight cornerback. He made All Pro in 1961, after making second team in 1960, and played in two Pro Bowls. It was New York, though, that made him a star. The small-town Packers had a wrong rivalry going with the big-city Giants since the 1920s. The teams first played in 1928 when they traded a pair of shutouts – 6-0 Giants and 7-0 Packers. That rivalry continued through the years up until 1959 when Whittenton was with the team … especially starting with the … 12th game of the 1961 season, when Jesse Whittenton was the key performer. He was assigned to cover his former roommate on the Rams, Del Shofner, man-to-man. Shofner was perhaps the premier deep threat in the game at the time and the focal point of the Giants’ attack. Whittenton covered Shofner all over the field and held him to one catch all day. Still the Packers trailed 17-13 in the fourth quarter when Giants fullback Alex Webster took off on a 20-yard run from his own eight yard line. Jesse gambled and went for the ball at the 30 and stole it right our of Webster’s hands in a spectacular play reminiscent of Charley Brock‘s strip plays in the 1940 (or the strip by Clay Matthews of Adrian Peterson during Matthews’ rookie season). In five plays, Green Bay converted the turnover into six points and hung on to win, 20-17. Jesse Whittenton played two more years and then retired at age 30 after the 1964 season when he took the opportunity to run a golf course in his native Texas. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1976."

Here is a list of all Packers players since 1950 who have worn #47:

From To AV
Tyrone Bell 1999 1999 0
Atari Bigby 2005 2005 0
Diyral Briggs 2010 2010 0
Dave Davis 1971 1972 3
Scott Galbraith 1998 1998 0
Matt Giordano 2009 2009 0
Jamari Lattimore 2011 2011 1
Roland Mitchell 1991 1994 12
Jim Bob Morris 1987 1987 3
Dom Moselle 1952 1952 0
David Petway 1981 1981 0
Jarvis Reed 2013 2013 0
Gordon Rule 1968 1969 5
Val Joe Walker 1953 1956 0
Jesse Whittenton 1958 1964 43

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