Ex-Steelers linebacker and current defensive assistant coach Joey Porter brings a big shadow.
A member of the Steelers' 75th Anniversary team, Porter was the lightning rod of several great Steelers' defenses in the 2000s. As good as he was, he's no Mike Webster - the Steelers' Hall of Fame center from their dynastic days of the 1970s.
Porter instilling 'Big Nasty D' mentality
•Behind the Steel CurtainJoey Porter was brought in to help develop the young Steelers defenders. As fast as they are, the level of "nasty" is what needs to be ratcheted up this year.
When the Steelers' signed ex-Bills linebacker Arthur Moats, the free agent knew he wasn't going to wear his usual No. 52 - one of the few numbers removed from circulation by the Steelers out of respect to their legendary players like Webster. Instead, he wanted No. 55, the one worn by Porter.
Porter even reminded Moats of the expectations that come with that number.
"(Porter) said, 'Can't just anybody wear the number,' " Moats said, as quoted by Scott Brown of ESPN. "He's cool with it. Us having that conversation and being able to talk about it, I definitely felt comfortable with it."
It's not entirely true. Plenty of "anybody" types have worn the No. 55 since Porter left the franchise in 2007. Special teams ace Patrick Bailey wore it from 2008-10, and Stevenson Sylvester wore it after that. But J-Peezy wasn't on hand to advise of the history it takes.
Or perhaps he's just looking to motivate Moats, the team's utility linebacker. Porter was on the outside, and Moats looks to be a back-up both inside and outside after a four-year run of success in Buffalo as a multi-positional player. Moats would have been hugely beneficial last year, considering the injuries suffered by the Steelers linebackers, both inside and out.
Larry Foote was lost for the year in Week 1, leaving the Steelers to essentially replace him with sixth-round rookie Vince Williams and strong safety Troy Polamalu.
Sylvester was in there as well, sporting No. 55, and he sits in free agency currently. Moats, the new owner of 55, has been filling in with the first team in the absence of Jason Worilds, who's been held back by a calf strain he suffered during OTAs last week.