The #62 might have been more slimming for Daniel McCullers but he’s apparently turning in that jersey for one with a #93 on the front and back.
Looking at the Steelers’ roster on the team website, the third-year nose tackle is now listed with that new number. Cam Thomas previously wore that number last season. So maybe that isn’t a good omen.
A #93 jersey is actually quite rare in team history, worn just eight times since the franchise’s inception in 1933. Most famously, Keith Willis and Joel Steed donned it. Jason Worilds is the last well-known example. James Harrison actually had #93 in 2003, moving to #92 the following year. If you’re into football-astrology, there’s your connection.
McCullers’ old number of 62 is occupied by UDFA defensive end Johnny Maxey. Tryout tackle Wade Hansen is also wearing it for this weekend’s mini-camp.
Big Dan, Shade Tree, whatever your nickname of choice, has an undefined role going into 2016. While the team is likely to frame a competition between he and Javon Hargrave, Hargrave is clearly the more talented player with the larger investment.
He’ll certainly be used in sub-package football, McCullers won’t, leaving him to fight for nose tackle snaps. But McCullers struggled to see the field consistently last year and his overall play didn’t make the jump anticipated. McCullers may get the initial veteran deference but if Hargrave is a quick study and able to make the jump to the NFL without much of an issue, he should jump the new #93 in the pecking order at nose.
This is McCullers third NFL jersey. He wore #74 during training camp of his rookie year.