Mike meant more to me than just a teammate because our careers with the Steelers were so intertwined. He was my center for the last nine years of my career, when my career really took off as a quarterback, and I couldn't have asked for a more dependable blocker and leader in front of me. His arrival was the beginning of our Super Bowl run, our four championships.
I know writers have joked about how much Webby helped me with my audibles, and some of that is true. I couldn't have been the player I was without him. We were on the same wavelength during a game. He was so smart, so prepared for everything we would face in a game. We were a pulling team and the line calls started with Webby. He might have been the quickest center of all time. And, boy, was he physically and mentally tough.
We all worked hard, but none as hard as Mike did. It was a great personal honor for me when Mike asked me to present him when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I was blown away when he asked me because I know how deeply personal that moment is. I would have given anything to have been with Mike last week and asked him to bend that beautiful butt over one last time and let me put my hands under the greatest center of all time. I'm sure up in heaven, Johnny U. is doing it for me.
Visitations will be held Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Somma Funeral Home, 5405 Steubenville Pike, Robinson Township.
The funeral will be held 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home. Any donations should be made to the Webster Children's Fund, c/o Parkvale Savings, 1789 Pine Hollow Road, McKees Rocks, 15136.