Packers.com is letting you, the fan, give us some answers in our “Best by numbers” series. Our website staff has compiled a list of eight numbers worn by notable players from different eras, and it’s up to you to vote for the best player to wear each number.
The ballot is on the right side of the page, and also on the home page.
The vote on the previous installment, No. 36, went to safety LeRoy Butler, who collected nearly 70 percent of the vote against Nick Collins and Mike Michalske. That makes two Pro Football Hall of Famers the voters have passed up: Clarke Hinkle at No. 30 and Michalske at 36.
No Hall of Famer to pick from in this next bunch at No. 63, but a good group of tough guys.
Fuzzy Thurston (1959-67)
His given name, Frederick Charles, hardly remains attached to his identity anymore. For that matter, neither does his last name. Mention Fuzzy in Green Bay and the reference is clear.
As one of the guards on Vince Lombardi’s offensive line, Thurston was a cog in the head coach’s famous power sweep play, which helped the Packers win five NFL titles in the 1960s. Thurston was named first-team All-Pro on the initial two championship teams in 1961 and ’62, and he was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1975.
The Wisconsin native was originally a fifth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1956, and in 1958 he played on the Baltimore Colts championship squad. That makes six titles in a 10-year career, so he must have been doing something right.
James Campen (1989-93)
The Packers’ current offensive line coach was a pretty good player in his day, too, making it to the NFL the hard way as an undrafted free agent. After two seasons in New Orleans, Campen joined the Packers as a Plan B free agent in 1989 and took over as the starting center the following year, when he earned All-Pro honors from USA Today.
Known for his consistent, reliable play, Campen was under center on Sept. 27, 1992, the day that launched quarterback Brett Favre’s consecutive-games streak. He unfortunately never competed in the playoffs for the Packers, as a torn hamstring a month into the 1993 campaign – the first of six straight years Green Bay made the postseason – required season-ending surgery.
Campen’s coaching career began in the high school ranks and he returned to Green Bay as an offensive assistant in 2004.
Adam Timmerman (1995-98)
Practically an afterthought at the time as a seventh-round pick and the 230th overall selection in 1995, Timmerman became the starting right guard on the 1996 and 1997 teams that went to the Super Bowl.
The Iowa native’s down-home, Midwestern personality fit Green Bay well, and the fans were sad to see him leave as a free agent following the 1998 season. He went on to play eight years for the St. Louis Rams, appearing in two more Super Bowls and earning two Pro-Bowl bids.
A better athlete than his 300-pound NFL frame would suggest at first glance, Timmerman always got a chuckle out of reporters asking him about his days on the high school track team, when he qualified for the Iowa state meet – in the 110-meter high hurdles.
Scott Wells (2004-present)
Like Timmerman, Wells was a seventh-round draft pick, taken 251st overall in 2004. Also like Timmerman, he became a starter for a Super Bowl champion.
Wells began his rookie season with the Packers on the practice squad, but he was elevated to the active roster within a month and played both center and guard his first two seasons. In 2006, he became the team’s full-time starter at center, and despite an attempt to replace him early in 2009, Wells wasn’t out of the lineup for long and has started Green Bay’s last 35 games, including postseason contests.
Instrumental in calling out assignments and making protection-scheme adjustments at the line of scrimmage, Wells is a valuable communicator up front for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and helps make Green Bay’s high-powered offense click.
All right, that does it for No. 63. Don’t forget to cast your vote.