Former players return for Alumni Weekend

The Steelers annual Alumni Weekend will take place when the team hosts the New England Patriots on Sunday Night at Heinz Field.

Former players will attend Taste of the Steelers at Heinz Field on Saturday night, a chance for them to share stories from their playing days with the guests in attendance.

"One of the great things the Steelers have always done is reach out to their former players at all levels, those who played for a short time and Hall of Famers, and bring them back to the organization and include them in events," said former tight end Mark Bruener, one of the attendees. "I think it's great for the current players to see the former players who played for the organization. That is something very unique. Now that I am a former player I get to be a part of that experience and I am honored."

On Sunday the alumni will serve as honorary co-captains for the game and be introduced to the Heinz Field crowd during pregame. Among those joining Bruener will be Brentson Buckner, Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, Wayne Gandy, Levon Kirkland, Dewayne Washington and others.

"I know when I was a current player and I saw the greats come in, from Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Rocky Bleier, Mike Wagner - all of them - I would be in awe of those guys," said Bruener. "For me to be included in the alumni weekend and be able to show gratitude and appreciation to the fans is quite an honor and I am very appreciative of that."

Bruener is looking forward to sharing the experience with his two sons, Carson and Braden, who will accompany him for the weekend.

"I get to let them see what is going on," said Bruener. "They remember I played, now they are old enough to appreciate how passionate and unique the Steelers fan base is."

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