Players excited to honor the tradition

It's not just a jersey. It's a part of history.

And there isn't a player on the Steelers' roster that doesn't respect every little bit of that history.

The Steelers unveiled their Throwback Jersey on Wednesday, one that features block letters and numbers on a traditional looking jersey, a tribute to the historic teams of the 1970s.

The meaning wasn't lost on anyone.

"I like the little differences, the little nuances, but for the most part it's our standard jersey because that is the tradition we hold," said Cameron Heyward. "You see all of the throwbacks that are out there, and they are cool colors and everything, but we have a rich tradition behind it knowing we won so many Super Bowls here. It's special to wear a jersey that resembles theirs.

"This game wouldn't be what it is today without them. They paved the way for us. We're just running with it. We are trying to leave the legacy the way they did. At the end of the day we want to be like them and win a Super Bowl ourselves."

The jersey was selected because this year is the 40th Anniversary of Super Bowl XIII, and next year the 40th Anniversary of Super Bowl XIV. The team will be celebrating those milestones, and what better way than rolling out the jersey those players wore.

"I think it's really cool," said T.J. Watt. "It just shows that even know you can barely tell the difference, it's because we honor the tradition. It means a lot that we can wear the jerseys they wore in Super Bowl XIII and XIV. To be a part of that tradition is awesome."

Ramon Foster, who talked on Wednesday about his strong desire to add Super Bowl champion to his resume, would like nothing more than to repeat what the Steelers did 40 years ago in 1978, when they were once again Super Bowl champs.

"It does amp it up," said Foster, who said he is a fan of the look of the jersey and plans on keeping his. "At the same time we have to make sure we are holding that rope they have given to us. Winning a Super Bowl is what Pittsburgh is all about. This breaths more into it as far as the history that is behind this organization as a whole.

"That is what Pittsburgh is all about, the history. Not just winning games, but winning championships. I am a guy that is all for the history of a team, especially when you are chasing the greats like that. That is why we are playing the game."

JuJu Smith-Schuster wears the latest throwback jersey that honors the Super Bowl XIII and XIV teams.

The team will wear the jerseys when they play the Cleveland Brown on Oct. 28 at Heinz Field, and the players can't wait.

"I like it. It's a classic look," said Stephon Tuitt, who admitted he was a fan of the Steelers 'bumblebee' throwback jerseys. "It's cool to wear a jersey that is something the Steelers old school legends put on too. I like that you get a chance to be a part of that. I want to be a part of the history that comes with wearing that jersey. That is one of the coolest things to be a part of."

Wearing the jersey is just another way the organization has brought the legends who played the game together with the current players, a relationship that is like no other in sports.  

"We get to talk with those guys and hear what made them special, what made those teams special," said Watt. "You see the rings and you can't help it but want a ring for yourself. Those guys still take a lot of pride in what they did, and we take a lot of pride in being able to carry on that legacy and play for the Steelers. That is what makes this organization so special, the true tradition."

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