Pittsburgh Steelers: All-Time Franchise Team
This team is represented by the best players to ever put on a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform.
The players I have selected to this team are Hall-of-Famers and soon-to-be Hall-of-Famers.
This team could be one of the best all-franchise teams out of any NFL franchise in the history of the game.
QB: Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers 1970-1983
Terry Bradshaw was the No. 1 pick selected in the 1970 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In 1972, Bradshaw threw the pass leading to the "Immaculate Reception," which is among the most famous plays in NFL history.
Bradshaw led the Pittsburgh Steelers to eight AFC Central Championships and recorded four Super Bowl rings (IX, X, XIII, and XIV).
In 1978, Bradshaw won Super Bowl XIII against the Dallas Cowboys and was named Super Bowl MVP and 1978’s regular season MVP as well.
He would return to the Super Bowl in 1979 for his fourth Super Bowl win against the Los Angeles Rams (19-31) and be named to his second Super Bowl MVP award.
Bradshaw also went to three Pro Bowls in 1975, 1978, and 1979 and was named to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team.
Terry Bradshaw was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, his first year of eligibility.
RB: Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers 1972-1983
In the 1972 NFL Draft, Franco Harris was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round, as the 13th selection overall.
Harris was a key player in one of professional football's most famous plays, labeled "The Immaculate Reception."
In his first season with the Steelers (1972), Harris was named the league's Rookie of the Year. In that season, he gained 1,055 yards on 188 carries for 10 touchdowns.
Harris was selected to nine consecutive Pro Bowls (1972-1980) throughout his 12-year career with the Steelers, and named to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team.
Harris was a big successor to the four Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, and XIV) during the 1970s. He was the Super Bowl IX MVP, rushing for 158 yards and one touchdown. He also holds the all-time career leading rushing record in Super Bowls with 354 yards.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
RB: Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh Steelers 1996-2005
In 1996, the Pittsburgh Steelers acquired Jerome Bettis on draft (via trade).
He was a six-time Pro-Bowler, four (1996, 1997, 2001, and 2004) of them with the Steelers. He drove the Steelers to a Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.
Bettis is considered one of the best big backs ever because of his amazing footwork and sheer power, and is currently fifth on the National Football League's all-time rushing list.
Bettis won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 1996, and in 2002, he was the recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Jerome Bettis finished his career with 13,662 (fifth all-time) yards for 94 (22nd all-time) touchdowns.
WR: Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers 1998-present
In the 1998 NFL Draft, Hines Ward was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round, as the 92nd selection overall.
He is also a four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection (2001–2004).
In 2002, he set a Steelers franchise record for receptions (112) and touchdowns (12), and was named to his first of two consecutive All-NFL teams (2002 and 2003).
Ward was named MVP in Super Bowl XL as the Pittsburgh Steelers won 21-10 over the Seattle Seahawks.
Ward went on to win another Super Bowl win over the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23, at the Super Bowl XLIII.
Hines Ward holds the Pittsburgh Steelers' career records for receptions (895), receiving yards (10,947), and receiving TDs (78).
WR: John Stallworth, Pittsburgh Steelers 1974-1987
In the 1974 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected John Stallworth with the 82nd pick of the fourth round.
Stallworth is best remembered for his play in Super Bowl XIII when he caught a record-tying 75-yard touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw that would later be an essential touchdown in a win over the Dallas Cowboys (35-31).
Stallworth holds Super Bowl records for career average per catch (24.4 yards) and single-game average, 40.33 yards in Super Bowl XIV.
Stallworth also scored touchdowns in eight straight playoff games from 1978–1983, an NFL record.
He led the AFC with a career-high 1,395 yards gained on 80 receptions in 1984, when he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
John Stallworth was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
TE: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers 2005-present
In 2005, Heath Miller was selected in the first round, as the 30th pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
During a four-game stretch in his rookie season, he caught five touchdown passes and was considered a strong candidate for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Miller is a two-time Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005 and 2008, with wins over the Seattle Seahawks (XL) and the Arizona Cardinals (XLIII).
In five years with the Steelers, Miller has caught 244 passes for 2,721 yards and has scored 27 touchdowns.
Heath Miller was elected to his first Pro Bowl for his play in the 2009 season.
OT: Tunch Ilkin, Pittsburgh Steelers 1980-1992
Tunch Ilkin was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round, as the 165th pick overall of the 1980 NFL Draft.
He played offensive tackle for the Steelers from 1980 to 1992, earning two Pro-Bowl honors (1988 and 1989).
OT: Jon Kolb, Pittsburgh Steelers 1969-1981
Jon Kolb was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969, in the third round as the 56th overall.
He started at left tackle in 138 games of 177 games in his 13-year career protecting Terry Bradshaw’s blind side.
Kolb was an anchor on the left side of the line that helped the Steelers earn four Super Bowl rings in 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979.
OG: Alan Faneca, Pittsburgh Steelers 1998-2007
Alan Faneca was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round, 26th overall, in the 1998 NFL Draft.
He earned the” Joe Greene Award” as the team's top rookie in 1998.
Faneca is a nine-time Pro Bowler (seven with the Steelers) from 2001-2009.
He helped Pittsburgh win Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks, and was named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team.
OG: Dermontti Dawson, Pittsburgh Steelers 1988-2000
Dermontti Dawson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round, 44th pick overall, in the 1988 NFL Draft.
He played on the offensive line alongside Hall-of-Famer Mike Webster, from whom he took over the role of starting center the next season.
Dawson was named to seven straight Pro Bowls for the Steelers from 1992-1998.
In 1993, Dawson was honored to be co-AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFLPA, and in 1996, he was named the NFL Alumni’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.
He played in 170 consecutive games, which is the second-most in Steelers history.
Dermontti Dawson was one of the 17 finalists in 2008 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
C: Mike Webster, Pittsburgh Steelers 1974-1988
Mike Webster was selected in the fifth round, as the 125th pick overall in the 1974 NFL Draft.
Webster anchored the Steelers' offensive line during much of their run of four Super Bowl victories from 1974-1979, and is considered by some as the best center in NFL history.
Webster was honored as an All-Pro seven times and played in the Pro Bowl (1978-1985 and 1987) nine times.
While the Steelers no longer officially retire jerseys, Webster's No. 52 has not been reissued by the team since he retired, and it is generally understood that no Steeler will wear that number again.
In 1999, Webster was ranked No. 75 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
Webster was the main anchor on the offensive line that produced four Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, and XIV) through the 1970s.
Webster is one of the all-time Steelers and was added to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and was named to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team and NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team.
Mike Webster was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
DE: Aaron Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers 1999-present
Aaron Smith was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round, as the 109th pick overall of the 1999 NFL draft.
Smith was named by Sports Illustrated to their 2000s All-Decade Team and played in one Pro Bowl in 2004.
Smith helped the Steelers win a Super Bowl ring in Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks, and once again against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
Aaron Smith currently has totaled up 385 tackles and 44 sacks in his 11-year career with the Steelers.
DE: L.C. Greenwood, Pittsburgh Steelers 1969-1981
L.C. Greenwood was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 in the 10th round, pick 238th overall.
Greenwood was selected to six Pro Bowls in 1973-1976, 1978, and 1979.
In 1991, Greenwood was named to the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team, and in 2007, he was named to the Steelers All-Time team.
Greenwood was one of the four members of Pittsburgh's famous Steel Curtain defensive line that helped the Steelers to four Super Bowl (IX, X, XIII, and XIV) appearances.
Greenwood was named to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team.
L.C. Greenwood was a finalist in the 2005 and in 2008 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame voting, but did not get elected.
Greenwood has stated that while he would be honored if he were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, he would not be upset if he didn't make it in, feeling that the Steelers already in the Hall (in particular, "Mean Joe" Greene) represent the entire team's accomplishments.
DT: Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers 1969-1981
In 1969, Joe Greene was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the fourth pick in the first round of the NFL draft. He was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year as well.
In 1972 and 1974, Greene was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Mean Joe was the cornerstone of the legendary “Steel Curtain” defense that thrashed opposing offenses during the 1970s. That defense is what led the Steelers to their four Super Bowl Championships (IX, X, XIII, and XIV).
Greene was elected to 10 Pro Bowls (1969-1976, 1978, and 1979) through his 13-year career with Pittsburgh.
Greene unofficially totaled 181 games, 78.5 sacks (unofficially, as sacks were not an official statistic until 1982), and 16 fumble recoveries.
Greene was honored to be selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team.
Although the Steelers do not officially retire jersey numbers, Greene's No. 75 has not been issued since his retirement, and is understood to be "unofficially retired."
“Mean Joe” Green was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
DT: Ernie Stautner, Pittsburgh Steelers 1950-1963
Ernie Stautner was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round, 22nd pick overall, in the NFL Draft of 1950.
Stautner was selected to nine Pro Bowls (1952, 1953, and 1955-1961) in his 14-year career, only missed six games out of his 173 total games, and was the MVP of the 1957 Pro Bowl.
He helped the Steelers to two Super Bowls (VI and XII).
His three career safeties tied him for a then-all-time high, and his 23 opponents' fumbles recovered placed him third on that list.
Stautner is the only player to ever have his number (70) officially retired by the Steelers.
Ernie Stautner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969.
LB: Jack Lambert, Pittsburgh Steelers 1974-1984
Jack Lambert was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round, pick 46th overall, of the 1974 NFL Draft.
Jack Lambert earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award (1974) as a central figure on a great Steelers defense that went on to win the first Super Bowl by beating the Minnesota Vikings 16-6 in Super Bowl IX.
Lambert was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1976, and in his 11-year career, he was named to nine straight Pro Bowls (1975-1983). Lambert was also part of the Steelers' first four Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, and XIV).
Lambert was selected to be a member of the All-Decade Team of the 1970s and 1980s.
Lambert racked up 28 career interceptions, 1,479 career tackles, and 23.5 sacks, launching him onto the list of the 20/20 Club.
In 2004, the Fox Sports Net series, The Sports List, named Lambert as the toughest football player of all time.
By the time of his retirement, he was widely recognized as one of the great middle linebackers in the history of the game.
Jack Lambert was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
LB: Jack Ham, Pittsburgh Steelers 1971-1982
Jack Ham was the Pittsburgh Steelers' second-round draft pick, 34th overall, in the 1971 NFL Draft.
Jack Ham is considered one of the greatest outside linebackers in the history of the NFL.
Ham won four Super Bowls (1974-1975, 1978-1979) during his 12-year career (he did not play in Super Bowl XIV due to ankle injury), all of it spent with the Steelers.
He was First-Team All-Pro six years and was named to eight straight Pro Bowls (1973-1980), while making the 1970s All-Decade Team.
Ham's career statistics include 25 sacks, 21 fumbles recovered, and 32 interceptions. Those stats place him in the Defensive 20/20 Club (20 interceptions and 20 sacks) and he made the 75th Anniversary Team.
Jack Ham was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.
LB: Greg Lloyd, Pittsburgh Steelers 1988-1997
Greg Lloyd was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round, as the 110th pick overall in the 1988 NFL Draft.
He was named to five Pro Bowls (1991-1995) and three NFL All-Pro (1993-1995) teams during this time, and was widely recognized as the top all-around outside linebacker during the 1990s.
He became the emotional and fiery leader of the Steelers defense after the retirement of inside linebacker David Little.
Lloyd teamed with cornerback Rod Woodson to give the Steelers two of the most dynamic and dominating defensive players in the game.
Lloyd put up some great numbers as a Steeler; 53.5 sacks (fourth), 34 forced fumbles (first), 659 tackles (second) for Pittsburgh’s all-time defensive list.
Lloyd was honored to be selected to the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team.
Lloyd was indeed the most feared player in the league for his time. Jim Harbaugh claims he wasn't afraid of anything until he played against Lloyd, the man he respected and feared on the gridiron more than anyone.
LB: Andy Russell, Pittsburgh Steelers 1963-1976
Russell made seven Pro Bowl appearances (1969 and 1971-1976).
He was an early member of Pittsburgh's famed Steel Curtain defense, and was named the Steelers' MVP in 1971.
Russell earned two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers in Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X, with wins over the Minnesota Vikings and then over the Dallas Cowboys.
Andy Russell was named to the Pittsburgh Steelers 50th season All-Time Team and the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team.
DB: Rod Woodson, Pittsburgh Steelers 1987-1996
In 1987, Rod Woodson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 10th overall draft pick in the first round.
Woodson was honored to be selected to 11 Pro Bowls in his career (seven with the Steelers) from 1989-1994, 1996, and 1999-2002).
Woodson was named as the 1993 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and was selected to be part of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team.
He holds the league record for interceptions returned for touchdowns with 12, and is tied with 11 other players for the record for most fumble recoveries in a single game (3). His 1,483 interception return yards are also an NFL record. His 32 fumble recoveries are a record among defensive players. Woodson’s 71 interceptions rank’s him third all time.
Woodson was also ranked No. 87 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
Rod Woodson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
DB: Mel Blount, Pittsburgh Steelers 1970-1983
The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Mel Blount in 1970 with the 53rd pick overall in the third round.
He was a five-time Pro Bowler (1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, and 1981) and was the Pro Bowl MVP in 1976.
Blount was also part of the Steelers' first four Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, and XIV).
Blount was name to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1975.
In 1994, he was named to the NFL's 75th anniversary All-Time team. In 1999, he was ranked No. 36 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
Blount is considered one of the greatest defensive backs to ever play in the NFL.
In 1989, Mel Blount was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
DB: Donnie Shell, Pittsburgh Steelers 1974-1987
Donnie Shell was an undrafted free agent in 1974 when he was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Shell won four Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, and XIV), and retired as the NFL’s strong safety career leader in interceptions with 51.
Shell was a five-time Pro Bowler between 1978-1982, and was named to the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team and the NFL Silver Anniversary Super Bowl Team.
Donnie Shell had been in the top 15 in balloting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame once before, in 2002 but with no success.
DB: Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers 2003-present
Troy Polamalu was drafted in the first round, 16th overall, of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Polamalu was awarded with the “Joe Greene Great Performance Award” in 2003.
His first Super Bowl appearance was in Super Bowl XL in 2006, when the Pittsburgh Steelers gained the franchise's fifth Super Bowl with a 21–10 win over the Seattle Seahawks and won again in 2008 against the Arizona Cardinals 27-23.
In only his third season (2005), he tied the NFL record for most sacks, three, in a single game by a safety.
Polamalu is a five-time Pro Bowler for the Steelers (2004-2008, while still an active player in the NFL he should honored with a few more of those awards. He was named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team.
K: Gary Anderson, Pittsburgh Steelers 1982-1994
In 1982, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Gary Anderson as an undrafted free agent.
Anderson was a four-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1993, and 1998), three of which with the Steelers (1983, 1985, and 1993).
Anderson was honored to be selected to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team and the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team.
P: Bobby Walden, Pittsburgh Steelers 1968-1977
Bobby Walden signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968.
Walden was a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl IX- and Super Bowl X-winning teams.
He led the NFL in punting in 1964 with a 46.4 yard average, and was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1969 season.
Bobby Walden still owns the Steelers' all-time record for career punts with 716, and his 41.1-yard average puts him seventh on the team's all-time list.
RS: Antwaan Randle El, Pittsburgh Steelers 2002-2005, 2010-present
Antwaan Randle El was drafted in the second round, as the 62nd pick overall of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers made him their top kickoff returner through the 2004-2005 seasons and their top punt returner.
Rod Woodson may have been the best return man in Pittsburgh’s history, but Randle El was the next best and is currently second all-time for return yards.
Randle El has 1,594 kick return yards with four touchdowns and 1,742 punt return yards with one touchdown.
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