Over the past three months, thousands of fans voted in our "Team For the Ages" contest to construct the best imaginable 50-man roster from the NFL’s modern era, which began in 1967. The votes have been counted, and we’re unveiling one player each weekday between now and the kickoff of the 2018 NFL season.
C Mike Webster
No one in Steelers history played more games with the organization than "Iron Mike" Webster, who made 200 appearances across 15 seasons, including a streak of 150 consecutive starts between 1975-1986. Pittsburgh's longtime team captain, Webster commanded the respect of his teammates with his smarts and leadership, and his opponents with unassuming strength for an undersized pivot (6-foot-1 and 255 pounds).
After his tragic death in 2002 at the age of 50, Webster was the first former NFL player diagnosed with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a discovery that changed the sport forever.
They said it
“Do not be afraid to fail. “You're going to fail, believe me. No one's keeping score. All we have to do is finish the game. Then we'll all be winners.” — Webster in 1992 at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony
"Mike was a symbol for our team. When you saw that Pittsburgh offense, he was the first one you saw running up to the line, fists pumping. They knew what they had to deal with right off with Mike." — Webster's teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Joe Greene, to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1992
Webster anchored an offensive line that helped pave the way for Franco Harris and Co. to finish in the top five in rushing yards or touchdowns six times in their first nine seasons together.
Did you know?
At the end of his Steelers tenure in 1989, Webster briefly retired before joining the Chiefs as an assistant coach. That arrangement lasted merely six weeks, after which Webster returned to the field to start all 16 games in '89 and nine more the following season.
After sitting and watching Ray Mansfield in Pittsburgh's first two Super Bowls, Webster made his first of two starts on football's biggest stage in Super Bowl XIII following the 1978 season. After protecting Terry Bradshaw during his finest season, Webster kept the SBXIII MVP clean while Bradshaw registered then-SB records of 318 yards and four TDs en route to a 35-31 conquest of the Cowboys.
Previous "Team for the Ages" player unveilings