Pittsburgh Steelers: The Top 10 of All Time
Creating a top 10 list for the greatest Steelers players in the 78 seasons of existence is like trying to order a sandwich at Primanti Bros without slaw and not catching hell for it.
In other words, it's next to impossible.
A top 10 list for such a great team with such illustrious history is obviously discriminatingly subjective; a top 20 list would not be able to do all the great players who have worn the black and gold justice.
Nonetheless, here are the Top 10 Greatest Steelers.
10. John Stallworth
A four-time Pro Bowler and two-time team MVP, John Stallworth makes the list at NO. 10. A magnificent wide receiver with every tool needed, Stallworth played 14 seasons for the Black and Gold. Although overshadowed by the more-celebrated tandem partner Lynn Swan, Stallworth still managed to rack up 8,723 yards, 63 touchdowns, and 537 career receptions—a franchise record at the time.
Stallworth's play in Super Bowl XIII against the Los Angeles Rams enshrined him among the elite of the team and earned him his Hall of Fame induction in 2002.
9. Hines Ward
A current player today, and as many can vouch for, Hines Ward has earned his spot on this list of Steeler greats.
Drafted by the Steelers in 1998, Ward's play as a wide receiver only improved—and still does to this day. Known as the greatest blocking wide receiver in the game, Ward has earned the respect of teammates and opposing defenders.
A man with more than enough heart, Ward has been selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls and was the Super Bowl XL MVP. Ward has compiled 10,886 receiving yards, 78 touchdowns, and 887 receptions— all franchise records.
Ward is entering the last year of his contract, and at the age of 34, he will likely retire at the end of the 2010-11 season. He is a definite future Hall of Famer.
8. Franco Harris
A player with the Steelers for 12 seasons, Harris is most remembered for his part in the "Immaculate Reception," which got the Steelers to their first AFC Championship.
Harris is the franchise leader in career touchdowns, with exactly 100. He rushed for 12,120 career yards and was a nine-time Pro Bowler. He was a part of the All '70s Decade Team and Super Bowl IX MVP. He was the 1972 offensive Rookie of the Year and won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 1976.
Needless to say, Harris' illustrious career earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame and the No. 8 spot on the list.
7. Jerome Bettis
The face and focal point of the franchise for nearly a decade, Jerome Bettis rushes in to No. 7 on the list.
Acquired in a trade in 1996 from the Los Angeles Rams, Bettis quickly made Pittsburgh his home. Known as "The Bus" for his size and running style, Bettis rumbled and bumbled his way into six Pro Bowls and one Super Bowl victory.
He scored an outstanding 94 times and stands as the all-time rusher in Steelers history with 13,662 yards—fifth most in NFL history.
6. Jack Ham
Known as the "fastest player for the first 10 yards" to his teammates, Jack Ham sprints into No. 6 on this list.
An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and part of the All '70s Decade Team, Ham earned his Hall of Fame bid, and his statistics prove it: 25 sacks, 21 fumble recoveries, and 32 interceptions, which earned him a spot in the 20/20 Club.
5. L.C. Greenwood
Although he is not a member of the Hall of Fame (and should be), Greenwood earned his way on to this list at No. 5.
As part of the feared "Steel Curtain," Greenwood dominated his defensive end position. He was a six- time Pro Bowler and part of the All '70s Decade Team.
Although he was known for his play as he finished his career with 73.5 sacks, he was more known for his appearance. His gold shoes always made him stand out on the field.
Greenwood established himself as elite when Joe Greene went down early in the 1976 season. Greenwood continued as a standout player and excelled, especially in the the playoffs and Super Bowl.
4. Terry Bradshaw
Known as the "Blond Bomber," Terry Bradshaw lived up to his nickname.
A three-time Pro Bowler, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, part of the All '70s Decade Team, and the 1978 NFL MVP, Bradshaw's name has been enshrined in NFL history.
Throwing for 27,989 yards and 212 touchdowns, he earned his way onto this list at No. 4 and into the Hall of Fame.
3. Jack Lambert
Jack Lambert was a dentist's worst nightmare—as well as an offense's. With his four front teeth missing and his dominant style of play, he could scare anyone.
Although he was undersized for a linebacker, his intensity and heart made him one of the most feared and hardest-hitting defenders in the game.
Elected to nine consecutive Pro Bowls, Lambert was the prime linebacker of the Steelers and the '70s. He was elected to the All '70s and '80s Decade Teams.
He compiled 1,479 tackles, 23.5 sacks, and 28 interceptions, earning him a spot in the 20/20 Club, a Hall of Fame induction, and No. 3 on the list.
2. Rod Woodson
A player for the Steelers for 10 seasons, Rod Woodson has earned himself quite an honorable name in the City of Pittsburgh and throughout football.
As a cornerback/safety, Woodson was a feared defender and a hard hitter. Woodson once gave Hall of Famer Warren Moon a concussion on a corner blitz—one of his 13.5 sacks. He compiled a franchise record-high 71 interceptions and finished with 1,163 tackles.
He holds NFL records with 12 interceptions returned for touchdowns and 1,483 for interception yards.
He was an 11-time Pro Bowler, the 1993 Defensive Player of the Year, a member of the All '90s Decade Team, and a 2009 Hall of Fame Inductee. Woodson also earned a spot on the All NFL Team.
1. Joe Greene
Nicknamed "Mean Joe," Joe Greene did nothing but make that nickname prolific: He was a nasty, hard-hitting nose tackle known for his intensity and creation of the stunt.
He is arguably the most influential player to ever play for the Steelers. Drafted in 1969 with the fourth pick of the draft, Greene hungered for a championship—little did he know, he would lead his team to four.
He was a 10-time consecutive Pro Bowler, the anchor of the "Steel Curtain," the 1969 Defensive Player of the Year, a two-time NEA NFL Defensive MVP, a two- time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Greene racked up 78.5 sacks in 13 seasons and even recorded an interception.