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The Steelers announced the jersey numbers for the whole roster a few weeks ago, and the jersey number that stood out the most was Steelers third-round pick Kendrick Green getting No. 53.
That number, obviously, belonged to former Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who announced he was retiring back in February. Some were surprised that the Steelers gave Green No. 53 being that Pouncey recently retired
Green told the media at the first rookie minicamp practice that he asked for No. 53 and the Steelers just gave it to him.
“I wore No. 53 since high school. Obviously, at Illinois, I wore it, as well, so I kind of requested it," Green said. "I got big shoes to fill. I’m gonna work toward that.”
“It’s just a number -- the memories are never given away. My jersey number on every level after I left was given back out. It’s all a part of football.”
Pouncey told ESPN that he gave his blessing for Green to wear No. 53, “It’s just a number -- the memories are never given away. My jersey number on every level after I left was given back out. It’s all a part of football.”
Bob Labriola of Steelers.com recently mentioned that following Jack Ham's last season with the Steelers in 1982, the Steelers used their third-round pick on a linebacker from San Diego State named Todd Seabaugh, who was issued No. 59. And Ham is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and one of the best linebackers to ever play the game. So, these kinds of things tend to happen when it comes to jersey numbers of iconic players. It's a 90-man roster in training camp and there are only so many numbers that you can pass around.
The Steelers have officially retired just two numbers in franchise history -- Ernie Stautner's No. 70 and Joe Greene's No. 75.