The offseason is here, and it can be the belle of the ball to some fans: myself included.
To other fans, however, it is the dry season. So, I decided it would be fun to do a series listing the best Steelers players to wear each jersey number from 00 to 99, as voted on by us here at Steel City Underground.
The series begins with jerseys numbered from 00-9 and will continue in ten-number increments until we get to the end, so be sure to check back as we continue to revisit some great, and maybe some not-so-remembered, names from the past
Jersey #20: Rocky Bleier
Robert Patrick Bleier is a Pittsburgh Steelers legend, and his name on this list speaks for itself. So instead I’ll tell you how he got the nickname “Rocky”.
His father's friends would always come over and see Rocky as a babysitting up “like a rock” and they noticed he had a lot of muscles, so they started calling him ‘Rocky’.
Jersey #21: Joe Haden
Joe Haden is a favorite among the fans, and rightfully so. What some fans may not know, is that after saving his younger brother, Jacob, from drowning, Joe has dedicated his life to the Special Olympics, becoming their ambassador in 2015.
Jersey #22: William Gay
Another recent player, “Big Play Willie” Gay is either loved or hated by Steelers nation. His most recent sighting was in Latrobe in 2019 as a coaching intern. His biggest on-field accomplishment was returning 6 straight interceptions for touchdowns, showing off his elaborate celebration dance often.
Jersey #23: Mike Wagner
Donnie Shell has made highlights recently for being elected into the Hall of Fame, but his running mate at safety, Mike Wagner had a Hall-worthy career also. He ended it with 36 interceptions, 12 fumble recoveries and 5 fumbles forced.
Jersey #24: Ike Taylor
Ike Taylor was the greatest cornerback in recent Steelers memory. He has been an open book about his Steelers career in recent years and did an explosive interview with us here at Steel City Underground (link).
Jersey #25: Ryan Clark
The ’20s are DB heavy, as Clark is the fifth straight to land on the list. Clark was a big hitter that was adored by fans. His playing style paired perfectly with Troy Polamalu and the two were close on and off the field. Clark has been on ESPN since retiring.
Jersey #26: Rod Woodson
Rod Woodson is arguably the best Cornerback to ever don a Steelers jersey. This one shouldn’t need to be explained. Just DB#6 in a row.
Jersey #27: Willie Williams
I promise Williams didn’t get the nod just to get another DB on the list, the options just weren’t much more inspiring. Jonathan Dwyer maybe? But that didn’t end so well. Williams however, is the only player to be on the Steelers 1995 Super Bowl losing roster, as well as the 2005 Super Bowl-winning roster.
Jersey #28: Chris Hope
The pre-cursor to Ryan Clark, and DB #8 in a row. Chris Hope was the big-hitting safety to complement Troy for the 2005 Super Bowl team, Hope finished his career totaling 716 tackles. A rather impressive number considering the length of his career.
Jersey #29: Barry Foster
Hey, bookend Halfbacks sandwich the DB’s. Foster holds the Steelers single-season rushing record to this day, sitting at 1,690. His career was a short one, only playing from 90-95, retiring after 1 day with the Bengals.