I had initially considered putting together a complete "all-time" team for the Steelers in honor of their berth in Super Bowl XLIII. However, I ran into quite a problem—the team has had so many good, great, and even exceptional linebackers over the last 40-plus years that narrowing them down to three or four would prove quite an arduous task.
This is not entirely uncommon: some teams just seem to have a knack for acquiring the right players at certain positions (i.e. Packers wide receivers, Chiefs defensive backs, Cowboys offensive linemen, etc...). As for the Steelers, their primary concentration of excellence just happens to be the linebacking position. This, of course, does not imply that the team has lacked in other areas—they've produced an ample amount of talent at defensive line (at least a dozen worth mentioning), offensive line (again, no less than a dozen), defensive backfield (ten or more notables), running back, and so on.
However, the linebacker position stands head and shoulders above the others.
Thus, I've listed 18 players who excelled as Steelers linebackers in one form or another during their careers. I'll leave it up to readers to decide who is the best of the bunch.
Personally, I would choose the three men pictured above and Greg Lloyd for the top positions, but that is just my opinion. Included in the list are long-term but unspectacular performers, short-term, but Pro Bowl caliber standouts, and of course the current unit who've helped the team to their second Super Bowl in four years.
Needless to say, I've probably left off a few players who some readers may deem worthy of inclusion, but I had to draw the line somewhere.
That being said, I welcome and encourage any comments.