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Steelers Will Allow Patrick Queen to Wear No. 6



Pittsburgh Steelers Patrick Queen

The Pittsburgh Steelers are usually sticklers for non-traditional positions wearing single-digit numbers, but Patrick Queen confirmed during his introductory press conference that the organization will allow him to wear No. 6.

Queen also wore No. 6 with the Baltimore Ravens, and in college at LSU, he wore No. 8. So, single-digits have always been a thing for Queen.

The Steelers didn’t allow rookie Darnell Washington to wear No. 0 last year and they didn’t grant Patrick Peterson wish to wear a single-digit number.

In an appearance on the All Things Covered podcast with Peterson and former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden last year, Washington said that when he asked to wear the digit, he was told that’s not how things work in Pittsburgh.

“It’s just how the Steelers run things,” Washington said. “That’s just their tradition.”

The Steelers actually do have a tradition with the number zero. Johnny Clement wore the number from 1946-48, before the era of uniform number standardization. He was nicknamed Mr. Zero and played in 25 games and threw 228 times, completing 86 for 1,630 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also ran 239 times for 991 yards and seven scores and also served as a kick and punt returner.

The NFL recently changed its rules to once again allow the number to go into circulation league-wide.

“I figured that,” McFadden said. “They’re not going to have anybody with zero on. Not in the first year. That ain’t happening.”

They also have not been adopters of the league’s previous change, which permitted many more positions to wear uniform numbers in the single digits, teens and 20s. The Steelers have allowed just two players to take advantage of those rules, with outside linebacker Melvin Ingram III wearing No. 8 in 2021 and cornerback Josh Jackson wearing No. 16 in 2022.

That’s something Peterson learned last season coming to Pittsburgh this season from the Minnesota Vikings. He wore No. 7 with the Vikings, which has been taken out of circulation in Pittsburgh since the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger. But instead of getting a different single-digit uniform, Peterson ended up with the same No. 20 that had been worn by McFadden earlier.

“Coach Tomlin said, ‘We don’t hand out single digits to skill position. We don’t go by that rule. We’re traditional,’” Peterson said.

The Steelers obviously felt different in regards to their new linebacker wanting No. 6.