When discussing the Pittsburgh Steelers' center position, the conversation always begins with Mike Webster. Webster was a fifth-round choice by the Steelers in the 1974 NFL Draft, and he anchored the line for the rest of his career. A three-time All-Pro selection and two-time winner of the AP Football Yearly Award as the best center in football, Webster had a remarkable career that lasted almost 14 years and included four seasons in which he scored at least 100 points. The last one of those seasons was 2007 when he had 102 points.
Webster's retirement was announced on April 20, 2008. He ended his career with 12,542 yards from scrimmage and 86 touchdowns. His absence will be felt for many years to come as no other player has ever been able to replace him.
The next most important Steeler is probably Russell "Russ" Wilson. Russ was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 1989 NFL Draft. He played only two seasons before being forced to retire due to neck problems. Russ finished his career with 1,355 yards and nine touchdowns. He also lost a few teeth during his career and used them as rattles to get into games.
After Russ, there are not many prominent centers in Steelers history.
Roethlisberger, Ben In team history, Ben Roethlisberger has the same number of games played as Mike Webster. In 2018, Ben Roethlisberger became the first player in Pittsburgh Steelers history to start more than 200 games. He is now tied with Mike Webster for the most games played in franchise history, at 220.
Webster started every game he played in from 1990 until his death in 2008, finishing with 227 games played. The only other Steeler to ever play in more than 200 games was Mel Blount, who played in 245 games over 15 seasons from 1945-1959.
Ben Roethlisberger has been with the Steelers since 2004, playing in 100 games over five seasons. He's also one of just three quarterbacks in NFL history to start more than 200 games (Peyton Manning being the other). The other two are Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach.
After retiring following the 1998 season, Terry Bradshaw returned in 2003 and played three more seasons. He finished his career with 236 games played. Troy Aikman also returned from retirement after the 1998 season and played one more season. He too finished with 236 games played.
There have been several players who have spent time with multiple teams while trying out for or receiving cut bonuses from other teams, usually during preseason games. Two examples are Jerome Bettis and Chris Henry.
Webster and Terry Bradshaw became one of the most well-known center-quarterback pairings in history, with the Steelers winning Super Bowls IX, X, XIII, and XIV. Webster was named an All-Pro seven times and appeared in nine Pro Bowls. He finished his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers having played in 202 games, starting 187 of them. He threw for 54,409 yards and 36 touchdowns to 42 interceptions.
Bradshaw also had a very successful career as a Steeler, playing in 152 games, starting 137 of them. He completed 589 of 930 passes attempted for 7336 yards, along with 42 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. The Steeler's won three Super Bowls during Bradshaw's tenure.
Webster died at the age of 70 on January 26, 1999 after suffering from cancer. Bradshaw continued to play after learning he had cancer but did not live long enough to see its full effect. He passed away in April 2004 due to heart failure caused by cancer treatment.
They both started out their careers with the Pittsburgh Pirates but moved on to different teams: Webster with the New York Giants and Bradshaw with the Steeler's. They were both great players who helped their respective teams win several championships.
There have been many ideas and discussions over what the club should do in Round 7 of the NFL Draft. The Steelers used their second seventh-round choice in the draft to select Georgia Tech punter Pressley Harvin. At Pick 254, the Steelers choose Pressley Harvin, a punter. Prior to the selection, there had been speculation that they were interested in South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney but he went to the Texans at Pick 10.
The Steelers drafted two more players on Friday: offensive tackle Ereck Flowers from Miami and running back James Wilder Jr. from Florida State. They also signed three players: wide receivers LaMarcus Joyner and Justin Johnson and defensive lineman Michael Hill. Hill was a first-team All-American at Notre Dame while Johnson was a second-team performer. Joyner was a third-team selection by ESPN. He played basketball at Maryland before turning his attention to football. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Joyner has good size for the position he is playing. He had 52 receptions for 910 yards and 13 touchdowns in four years with the Terrapins. Johnson was dismissed from Maryland's program after his second season for violating team rules. He started nine games at receiver for the Seminoles, making 42 catches for 593 yards and five scores.
Flowers was considered one of the best offensive tackles in the country before suffering an injury during spring practice.