Mike Webster, a 6-1, 255-pound All-Big Ten center at Wisconsin, was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fifth-round selection and the 125th player taken in the 1974 NFL Draft. A three-year starter and honor student in college, Webster adapted to the pro game quickly.
For two years, he split time at center with veteran Ray Mansfield while seeing some service at guard and the special teams. However, with a start in the final game of the 1975 season, Webster began a string of 150 consecutive starts that lasted until 1986, when he missed the first four games with a dislocated elbow.
Webster, who was born March 18, 1952, at Tomahawk, Wisconsin, played more seasons (15) and more games (220) than any other player in Pittsburgh history. Webster, who was the team’s offensive captain for nine seasons, was considered to be the strongest Steeler and won the Ironman competition in 1980 to give credence to that belief.
Webster, who joined the team in the same year the Steelers won their first of four Super Bowls, also played in six AFC championship games. Pittsburgh won four of the six title games. Webster was an all-pro choice seven times and was selected to the All-AFC team five times from 1978 through 1982. He also played in nine Pro Bowls, the first five as a starter.
The Steelers made Webster a free agent in 1988 and he quickly signed on with the Kansas City Chiefs, first as an offensive line coach. But within a few weeks, Webster was back at his old center spot, starting all 16 games in 1989. He completed his 17-season, 245-game career after a final 1990 campaign with the Chiefs.