All of us members of Steelers' Nation love to remember our all-time favorite players.
But, this list is a tribute to the players we loved to hate.
They also filled an important role and aren't always appreciated for the sheer ineptitude they brought to the table.
These are the guys that made us want to throw-up those nachos we were eating while watching the game. These are the guys we cursed as we kept thinking, "Wait until next year. He just needs one more year to develop."
I'll give a tribute to Sergey Zikov who gave me the idea for this one by writing a similar article on the Pittsburgh Penguins. They are not necessarily listed in order.
1. Troy Edwards. The Edwards' 1999 draft pick was one of the most perplexing of the Bill Cowher years. The guy was small and not particularly fast. He wan’t even projected to go in the first round. But, the Steelers were desperate for a wide receiver and when they went on the clock at No. 13, Edwards was their guy.
Even EA Sports knew enough to make this guy a slug on the Madden video game, which is odd since even bust rookies on that game are usually really good.
Edwards would go on to become the go-to receiver for the Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena League.
Scratch that. He wasn’t particularly good for them, either.
Edwards was a poster child for why drafting for need over best player is not always the best idea.
He was one of Cowher's rare misses. But, you have to give it to him. When he missed, he missed huge. The Steelers would add Superman Hines Ward to the roster the next season with a third round pick so, to quote Shakespeare, all's well that ends well.
2. Tim Worley. We all had high hopes for this guy who was selected No. 7 overall in 1989.
And we were in for quite a show since he was a real magician, taking every carry and magically making the ball disappear from his hands, as it rolled somewhere across the football field for any lucky defender to find.
He was slightly worse than Walter "Abracadabra" Abercrombie, the No. 12 pick from 1982 who shared Worley’s magic ability to fumble away seemingly every carry.
Wow did the Steelers have some really bad drafts in the 1980s. Worley was the icing on the cake... their last first round pick of a somewhat forgetable decade.
3. Kordell Stewart. We loved him as a wide receiver and despised him as a quarterback.
To be honest, the Steelers had far worse quarterbacks than Kordell. Kent Graham may have been the absolute worst, beating out such legendary throwers as Mark Malone, Cliff Stoudt, and Bubby "I don't mop up" Brister.
But, Stewart had that odd ability to come up with his absolute worst moments when the stakes were highest. You could bank on it.
And he was a one-man drama production. The enduring image for me of Stewart was him walking to the sidelines after his 73rd interception of the AFC Championship Game against the Broncos with a stunned Bill Romanowski pointing his finger at his head as if to say, "That was the dumbest throw I’ve ever seen…and I have an IQ of 12."
And people wonder why Steeler fans like Ben Roethlisberger so much.
4. Jamaine Stephens. The Steelers were in desperate need of a tackle to replace stud blocker Leon Searcy and took Stephens in the first round in 1996.
The problem with Stephens was that he couldn't even get down into his stance without becoming seriously winded. He may have been the most out of shape person on the planet.
Oh…and he couldn't block.
5. Huey Richardson. I think rock singer Huey Lewis would have been more productive for the Steelers than this first round 1991 pick at linebacker out of Florida. Truth be told, it would have been impossible for him to be any less productive.
There may have been some back luck involved in this pick, or if you are in a less charitable mood, some poor planning. All of the players the Steelers were targeting were picked right before their turn, leaving them completely at a loss for what to do when it became their turn to pick somebody.
I think they scribbled down the first name that crossed their mind. For you conspiracy theorists out there, maybe Chuck Noll, knowing it was his last season, decided to really stick it to his replacement.
If you forget him, you could be forgiven since he played in all of five games for the Steelers during his rookie season not recording a single statistic.
Cowher thought so little of the guy when he took over the team in 1992 that he shipped the No. 15 overall pick to Washington for a seventh round pick, which was more than he expected anybody would give him for the guy he desperately wanted off his roster.
How often does a team give up on a first round pick after one season? Almost never.
6. Ricardo Colclough. I was intrigued when the Steelers drafted small school prospect Colclough (pronounced "cokely") out of Tusculum in the second round of the 2004 draft. All of the draft guides said he was the best small school prospect in the draft and talked about him like he was the second coming of Mel Blount.
I was pumped. Until I saw him play. The lesson: Don't draft a player whose name isn’t pronounced anywhere close to how it is spelled.
His most memorable play was blocking a punt against the Bengals that he promptly mishandled and fumbled right back to them, letting them go on to win the game. I'm not sure if the Bengals have won a game since.
7. Alonzo Jackson. The Steelers almost never miss when drafting a tweener defensive end they plan on converting to linebacker. The key word, though, is "almost".
Jackson was a rare miss, never able to make that transition except during the preseason, when he looked pretty good.
8. Dewayne Washington and Chad Scott. The toast twins get grouped together for this one.
The Steelers had some great defenses when Washington and Scott were in town, but it was not due to the skills of either of these guys.
Washington also gains points for making one of the biggest mistakes in Steelers' playoff history after giving the Titans' a second chance to kick a game winning field goal after he ran into the kicker.
One of the all-time great mysteries of the universe is the fact that, for some inexplicable reason, Deshea Townsend was stuck behind these two guys on the depth chart. They must have had some serious dirt on Cowher.
9. Mitch Berger. The Steelers won the Super Bowl in 2008 with the worst punter I’ve ever seen.
He averaged about twelve yards a punt, which after factoring in the fact that he lined up about ten yards behind center, meant that the Steelers netted about two yards of field position with each punt.
Then again, at times he was a real weapon since his punts were so short that they would bounce off the helmets of unsuspecting opponents just running down the field looking for someone to block.
The Steelers' 2008 defense was so good that it overcame a punter who couldn't net more than five yards per punt and an offense that was stuck in reverse through most of the season.
These guys were constantly put in terrible situations, where they would promptly make a ridiculous game changing play. I suspect it may very well have been the best defense in history, overcoming more than any other defense in leading a team to a championship.
10. Sean Mahan. The Steelers signed Mahan to a relatively sizable five-year $17 million contract to become their next stud center in 2007.
He was destined to follow in the giant footsteps of Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson. Alas, he came up just a bit short of their proud legacies.
Mahan was the worst player on the Steelers’ weakest unit. He could hold off a defender for about .3 seconds when pass blocking, and only after blatantly grabbing that said defender.
And his average push while run blocking was measured in centimeters. The Steelers traded him to Tampa Bay in 2008 for a jug of Gatorade if I recall correctly. They definitely got the better end of that trade.
There you have it. That is my Steelers NOT all-time team. Who did I miss? Who did you have the most fun cursing at while watching your beloved black and gold warriors?
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