It wasn’t long before someone reminded me that Golden was no longer a member of the Steelers. Where is Robert Golden, the safety/special teams ace, these days? Beats me. I’m too busy trying to figure out who No. 20 is.
Thanks to the trusty roster I picked up while at training camp two weeks ago, I now know second-year corner Cameron Sutton is wearing No. 20 this year, which makes sense because rookie and first-round pick, safety Terrell Edmunds, has been sporting Sutton’s old No. 34 since the spring (at least I think he has).
Speaking of this trusty roster I picked up at camp, I literally just found out before sitting down to write this that third-year safety Sean Davis has switched his number from 28 to 21, the number veteran Joe Haden wore last year after signing with Pittsburgh in late August. Haden is now No. 23. But, wait a minute, wasn’t Haden 23 last year? Oh right, that was his number in Cleveland as a longtime member of the Browns.
It took me a while—like a few minutes, while I went over some recent Steelers rosters—to remember that former safety Mike Mitchell wore No. 23 during his four seasons in town.
Oh well, while these new Steelers' numbers on familiar faces (mainly, guys in the secondary) have taken some time to get used to, at least good old reliable Mike Hilton, Mr. Sack, Mr. Slot Cornerback, will still be donning ol’ Donnie Shell’s No. 31 this year.
Wait a minute, you mean he’s not? He’s now wearing Davis’s old No. 28? You mean to tell me Nat Berhe, the new No. 31, already has that much clout?
What in the holy heck is going on here?
Is this some kind of sneaky attempt to make fans forget who gave up huge plays in the secondary last year? Because if it is, it’s working—at least on me. I’m not lying when I tell you that I’ve been studying the Steelers roster for the past hour or so, trying to see if any other players have switched their jersey numbers from a year ago.
I think I’m out of the woods. All players and their numbers are accounted for. Wait a second, why is Stevan Ridley, a running back who’s not affiliated with the secondary in any way, now wearing the No. 22 "Big Play" Willie Gay proudly donned for so many years — including that stretch from 2013 through 2015 when he only had five interceptions, but took them all to the house?
Ridley was signed so late into the 2017 season, I couldn’t even tell you which number he wore, but I know it wasn’t 22, a number that should be off-limits.
I just really want to know why so many Steelers changed their numbers from last year to this year, and if I should expect this to keep happening.
That trusty training-camp roster might not be worth the paper it’s printed on by the time this article is published.