Pittsburgh Steelers unofficial retired numbers that won't be used again

Jan 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers helmet
Jan 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers helmet / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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The Steelers drafted two anchors in the middle of the offensive line about fourteen years apart and an all-time receptions leader

The 1974 draft has come up several times during other discussions; however, for this particular discussion, that draft class represents two numbers, one each on offense and defense, that were worn by players who were icons.

My favorite player when I was growing up was Mike Webster, who happens to still be my favorite player. Although I like several current players, I can't really say that I have a favorite player. That said, number fifty-two for me holds a special place in my heart. The only two jerseys I own are both Webster jerseys.

'Iron Mike' played in two-hundred and twenty games for us, was a nine-time Pro Bowler, a five-time All-Pro, and was, rightfully so, inducted into the Hall of Fame after a distinguished playing career. Another anchor of the offensive line whose number has not been worn since his playing career came to an end is Dermontti Dawson.

Dawson played his entire thirteen-year with us, earning seven trips to the Pro Bowl, six All-Pro honors, and induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Like Webster, Dawson was the 'rock' in the middle of the offensive line for over a decade. His number sixty-three has not been worn in over two decades.

Last but not least is Hines Ward and his number eighty-six. Drafted in the third round of the 1998 draft, Ward, who played a little quarterback in college, would end his fourteen-year career with exactly one-thousand receptions for just over twelve thousand yards.

Ward was a four-time Pro Bowler, a two-time Super Bowl champ, and the most valuable player of Super Bowl XL. What I remember most about Ward's playing days was the physicality with which he embodied and displayed on every play whether he got the ball or not. Ward is the all-time receiving leader in franchise history.

Let's turn our attention to the defensive side of the ball.