Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday …Mike Webster

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I have often said to my friends one of the hardest positions to play in sports is center in football. You not only have to be bent over with someone behind you who you have to protect but you have someone standing right in front of you ready to take your head off to get to the person behind you…the Quarterback. By most account one of the very best at this position is former Pittsburgh Steeler …Mike Webster.

Webster was drafted in the 5th round of the 1974 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Serving as a backup at center and guard for two years while being mentored by veteran center Ray Mansfield, Webster became the team’s starting center in 1976, where he would remain for 150 straight games until 1986. These years included four Super Bowl wins by the Steelers, and Webster and Terry Bradshaw are consequently one of the most well-known center–quarterback pairs in history.

An avid weightlifter, Webster was known for playing with bare arms to keep opponents from grabbing his sleeves.

Webster is also perhaps the best-known of a long line of All-Pro centers for the Steelers. From 1964 to 2006, just four men started at that position: Mansfield, Webster, Dermontti Dawson, and Jeff Hartings. In his last year in Pittsburgh, Webster returned the favor by mentoring the then-rookie Dawson in the same manner Mansfield mentored Webster earlier in his career.

On a sad note Mike Webster died at age 50 of a heart attack.

Webster was the first former NFL player diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Since his death, he has become a symbol for head injuries in the NFL and the ongoing debate over player safety. His doctors were of the opinion that multiple concussions during his career damaged his frontal lobe, which caused cognitive dysfunction.

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights…Mike Webster.

Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 245
Games started: 217
Fumble recoveries: 6

Published by bklynboy59

Welcome to Smallthoughtsinasportsworld. We keep it fun and we keep interesting and informative. On Tuesdays we go back in time with Old School Tuesdays, on Thursdays we keep it fun by Smallthoughts Trivia Thursday and on Fridays is Smallthoughts: Rant of the Week and Smallthoughts:Rave of the Week and we also post the answer from Smallthoughts:Trivia Thursday. I am a lifelong New York Mets, Knicks and Jets and Giants fan. I root hard for my teams and have rooted for them even when it wasn't and in some cases still isn't easy. I enjoy talking sports, and on here I get to write about it as well. I have my thoughts hence Small thoughts, we will not always agree, but respectfully speak about what we feel. I invite your comments and feedback as well. You can also follow me on twitter @bklynboy59 and facebook Jerry bklynboy Small

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