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Redskins by the (Jersey) Numbers: #0 - Johnny Olszewski

A productive back from the Redskins’ lean years is the best of a small field

According to Pro Football Reference, there have been exactly two players in recorded Redskins history to have worn jersey number “0.”

One of them was punter Glenn Pakulak, who was on Washington’s roster briefly in 2009. He played in two games and punted thirteen times.

(Sidebar: 2009 wasn’t a great year)

Appropriately enough, Pakulak’s contributions earned him an “approximate value” of zero.

That leaves us with the only other guy on the list: Johnny Olszewski.

Olszewski was actually an accomplished college and pro player. He was only the second thousand-yard rusher in Cal history, and he earned first-team All-American honors as a senior. He went on to become a first-round draft pick of the (then-Chicago) Cardinals.

He found significant success in Chicago, making a couple of Pro Bowls in his first three seasons. The only big knock on him was ball security. In his 56 games with the Cardinals, Olszewski fumbled 38 times. This included an NFL-worst 13 fumbles in 1956.

Nicknamed “Johnny O” for obvious reasons, the running back decided to change his number from 36 to zero when he came to the Redskins in 1958.

Olszewski, who had been born in Washington, D.C., played 31 games for the Redskins in three seasons, starting 15. He amassed 238 carries for 1,164 yards (4.9 average) and six rushing touchdowns during his time with the Skins. He also hauled in 28 receptions for 226 yards (8.1 average). He finished his career with one-year stints in Detroit and Denver before retiring.

In short, Johnny O was a fairly productive contributor to some bad-to-terrible Redskins teams in 1958, 59, and 60. However, that’s easily enough to get him the nod in an extremely small field.

Agree? Disagree? Vote and comment below!


Who is the greatest #0 in Redskins history?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Johnny Olszewski
    (94 votes)
  • 6%
    Glenn Pakulak
    (7 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (comment below)
    (4 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now