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Who were the most notable Steelers to wear number 66?

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In a countdown of the most prolific Steelers jerseys of all time, No. 66 comes in 2nd place.

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

BTSC continues to rank the best numbers in team history on a standpoint of thriving over time throughout multiple players. It seems there are a few numbers which are always represented with quality play in Steelers lore. One BTSC author has wondered aloud “what is the most accomplished number in Steelers history?” Through player and jersey value rankings found in Pro Football Reference, we have ranked the most successful numbers in Steelers history worn by multiple players. You won’t see numbers like 12, 58, 75, 31, 32, 52, 59, 36 and 47 as it would be basically ranking an individual player over the other and not the cumulative effort. In today’s submission, we take a look at those ranked 2nd. Enjoy.


2) No. 66

Current Wearer: David DeCastro 2012-Present

Most Notable: Alan Faneca 2000-2007, Jim Sweeney 1996-1999, Tom Newberry 1995, Donald Evans 1990-1993, Ted Petersen 1977-1983, Bruce Van Dyke 1967-1973

David DeCastro

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

David DeCastro is the latest and current Steelers player two don the double-seis for the Men of Steel. The Stanford guard came to the Steelers as a number one pick in 2012 and has been one of the offensive line’s all-time mainstays ever since. Although DeCastro’s story is still being written, he has exhibited a fierce, punishing and reliable blocking style that is establishing him as one of the best in Steelers lore. Going into his ninth season in the legendary Steeltown, DeCastro has started 108 of 112 games after his rookie year was rife with injury. DeCastro has been elected to five-straight Pro Bowls and is twice an All-Pro.

Alan Faneca

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns - December 24, 2005 Photo by Robert Skeoch/NFLPhotoLibrary

Alan Faneca is one of the best offensive lineman in team history. Drafted out of LSU late in the first round of the 1998, the consensus All-American wore No. 65 as he played sparingly behind Will Wolford and the incumbent No. 66, the aforementioned Jim Sweeney. But injuries to both veterans allowed the rookie to start 12 games and earn him the Joe Greene Great Performance Award. Sweeney left the team after the 1999 season and Faneca grabbed No. 66 to make his own. Al ended up not missing a start for the remainder of his 10 seasons with the Steelers. A devastating blocker, Faneca was a seven-time Pro Bowler and six times an All-Pro. Alan also was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s and the Steelers 75th Aniversary team. One of the defining plays of Faneca’s career was the pulling-block to spring Willie Parker on his 75-yard touchdown ramble in the 21-10 victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XL. That was Faneca’s only ring, as he left for a free agent deal with the Jets in 2008 and two more Pro Bowls. Faneca spent his last season with Arizona in 2010 before retiring after an epic 13-year career. Down by more than 100 pounds since his playing days, Faneca looks fit and trim, far from the legendary beast that protected quarterbacks and bored holes for runners. The original Big Al is on the verge of Canton and could earn Hall of Fame recognition in the very near future.

Jim Sweeney

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

It took a long time for Pitt and Seton-LaSalle’s Jim Sweeney to get back home to play, but after eleven seasons as a Jet and one in Seattle, Sweeney signed on with the Steelers. Drafted by the AFC’s New York franchise in the second round of 1984, the center/guard played in every non-strike game for the Jets in every season besides his rookie year for eleven seasons. After playing for Seattle in 1995, Jim closed out his stellar career with four seasons and 46 games as a key reserve in Pittsburgh. Jim Sweeney closed out the NFL chapter of his life by retiring after the 1999 season. He is now Coach Sweeney and entering his sixth season as the offensive line coach at the University of Albany.

Tom Newberry

San Diego Chargers v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Tom Newberry only played one season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the final year of a Pro Bowl career that lasted ten seasons. But the season that the former 1986 second-round pick of the Rams spent in the Steel City was a good one. After nine years, two Pro Bowls and three All-Madden Team selections in Los Angeles, the Wisconsin-Lacrosse alum didn’t move to St. Louis with the Rams. Instead, he signed a one-year deal with Coach Bill Cowher’s Steelers. Newberry started 15 of his 16 games of the ‘95 regular season and the entire postseason, including the Super Bowl XXX loss to Dallas. In that one year, Newberry provided more experience and grit to the Steelers offensive line. Tom Newberry retired after that 1995 campaign.

Donald Evans

DONALD EVANS

Donald Evans’ first few years in the league didn’t yield too much production after being a second-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 1987. The college linebacker was converted to running back, ended up in Phily and then was cut by the Eagles at the end of training camp in 1989. Evans went to work on a loading dock in North Carolina. The Steelers caught wind of the high-motored Evans availability and signed him as a fourth-string nose tackle to open training camp. His work ethic and determination coupled with injuries and holdouts to Steelers players helped Evans become a starter in the NFL. The future Winston-Salem State Hall of Famer became a team leader for Chuck Noll and then Bill Cowher in his four seasons as a Steelers defensive end, starting all but two of 64 games after catching on in Pittsburgh. After the 1993 season, in which he had 6.5 of his 14.5 sacks as a Steeler, Evans left for a free-agent deal with the New York Jets. Donald Evans would retire two years later, with his best years having been as a key but unsung member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ted Petersen

Houston Oilers v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The No. 66er that won the most Super Bowl rings for the Steelers was Ted Petersen. The left tackle from Eastern Illinois was drafted by Chuck Noll in the fourth round of the 1977 draft. Petersen was mostly a backup in Pittsburgh until he was named the primary starter in 1983, but faced some of the greatest defenders in Pittsburgh lore in practices. Ted did start six games in the Super Bowl XIV season of 1979 when Jon Kolb and Larry Brown were held out with injuries. After the 1983 season, the athletic linemen split a season with Indianapolis and Cleveland and then was out of football. But so he thought. When the NFL players went on strike in 1987, Petersen was called back to the site of his glory days for a last hurrah and was a starter in two replacement games. All in all, Ted Petersen was a Pittsburgh Steeler for parts of eight seasons.

Bruce Van Dyke

Bruce Van Dyke was not originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The cross-state Philadelphia Eagles drafted the University of Missouri Hall of Famer in the 12th round of the 1966 NFL Draft, spurning the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs who drafted the guard as well in the 15th frame. The next season, Van Dyke took his talents to the confluence of the three rivers after being acquired via a trade. Bruce spent seven years donning the black-and-gold and was on-the-field for what many recall as the greatest moment in NFL history, the Immaculate Reception. The following season of 1973 (the Three Bricks Shy of a Load season), Van Dyke was named to his first and only Pro Bowl. Bruce missed out on the Steelers dynasty years by being traded again in 1974, landing with the Green Bay Packers and his former college coach Dan Devine. Van Dyke closed out his career by retiring after three seasons in Lambeau. Despite not playing on the Super Bowl teams of the 1970s, Bruce Van Dyke was named to the Steelers Legends team in 2008.

Check back soon for the absolute best number to adorn a jersey in BTSC’s countdown of the most prolific jersey number stables in Steelers history. But first, a recap of the countdown so far.

Honorable Mention: No. 51, No. 93, No. 27 and No. 33
25) No. 24
24) No. 43
23) No. 83
22) No. 67
21) No. 53
20) No. 10
19) No. 20
18) No. 63
17) No. 50
16) No. 34
15) No. 78
14) No. 98
13) No. 68
12) No. 77
11) No. 56
10) No. 86
9) No. 73
8) No. 99
7) No. 55
6) No. 39
5) No. 91
4) No. 82
3) No, 92