"I got a name and I got a number, I've got a line on you"
"I got a name and I got a number, I'm coming after you"
"I got a name and I got a number, I've got a job to do"
These are lyrics powerfully bellowed by the great Phil Collins on the self-titled Genesis album cut called "Just A Job To Do". This nostalgic flashback to an unheralded album track from 1983 has little to do with the Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 draft class, but I couldn't think of a more fitting song to personify what the mindset should be of a group of young warriors already under much scrutiny by sports media and Steeler Nation alike.
As the new group of Steelers arrived on the North Side and began their initial mini-camp as professionals, they also received the numbers that they will sport on their black and gold jerseys, for hopefully a long time. In the world of sports, the number becomes synonymous with the player, as well as sacred to fans. I memorize anything numerical with Steeler numbers. I know my childhood neighbors phone number from 30 years back simply as Lynn Swann/Franco Harris and another as Hines/Heinz (8657).
Here is a detailed list of the 2016 Steelers draftees and their new digits (at least for now as they can change between now and the start of the 2016 season).
#25 Artie Burns - CB
The new No. 1 and former No. 1 (at Miami) arrives in Pittsburgh with a lot to prove. Burns will test the "third time's a charm" philosophy since the previous two men to wear that number as a Steeler CB (Brice McCain and Brandon Boykin) stayed in Steeltown for only a single season each. The desire here is that Artie not just becomes another prolific AB, but as beloved as the most successful No. 25 in recent team lore, Ryan Clark.
#28 Sean Davis - S
The much-maligned Cortez Allen wore the two-eight for five seasons in Pittsburgh. His only true success was robbing the front office of a big money deal before the 2014 season, only to fall apart before the ink was even dry.
Davis wore No. 21 in college, but finds the number and position he covets occupied by Robert Golden. The Maryland Terp will try to best other notable defensive backs to wear the numerals, Chris Hope (2002-2005) and Lupe Sanchez (1986-1988).
It's interesting that the Steelers chose not to give Allen's number to another corner and Clark's to a safety. That seems to be of intelligent design.
#79 Javon Hargrave - DT
Perhaps the most-heralded player to wear #79 of the Steelers modern era was OT Larry Brown in the late 70's and early 80's. After switching positions and numbers, Brown won a couple of titles in his eight seasons in that particular jersey. OT Trai Essex occupied it for seven seasons from 2005-2011 and won two rings himself in it. Now the digits switch to the defensive side of the ball with Hargrave. The man who wore No. 97 at South Carolina State will flip-flop his numbers and attempt to do the same as the men above.
#65 Jerald Hawkins - OT
The big lineman gets to keep the same numbers that he wore at the collegiate level. Hawkins will follow in the jersey-chests of Tom Beasley (1978-1983) and John Jackson (1988-1997). The LSU alum also shares a number with fellow Tiger Alan Faneca. Before making No. 66 legendary, Big Al started his career in No. 65 from 1998-1999.
#41 Travis Feeney - LB
Just like Hawkins, Feeney gets to keep his college number. Feeney, who has a reputation as a hard-hitter, joins the notable fraternity of hitmen that includes Lethon Flowers (1995-2002) and Antwon Blake (2013-2015) in donning the No. 41.
#82 Demarcus Ayers - KR/PR/WR
This number has actual greatness attached to it in the history of Steel City football. Because you can't retire or set aside them all, this number remains in circulation. Hall of Famer John Stallworth immortalized it from 1974-1987. But it was also involved in scores in three other Super Bowls by two Steeler Nation fan-favorites, Yancey Thigpen (SB XXX) and Antwaan Randle-El (SB XL and SB XLV). If Ayers (No. 10 at Houston) can be even close as electric on returns as Randle-El, then Demarcus might join the great trio in the No. 82 Super Bowl End Zone Club.
#46 Tyler Matakevich - LB
This one is a typical training camp set of numerals that rarely sees the regular season. However, Tyler Matakevich (No. 8 at Temple) does not seem like a typical player and it may just stick if he were to make the regular season roster.
So, they got a name, a number and a job to do. The manner in which they do that job may force Steeler Nation to adhere to another Phil Collins tune, "Don't Forget My Number".