The 50 Greatest Pittsburgh Steelers of All Time

Tom DaleCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2010

The 50 Greatest Pittsburgh Steelers of All Time

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    12 Nov 1994: Defensive back Rod Woodson during the Steelers 21-3 win over the Los Angeles Raiders at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.
    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    Before we move on to my list of the 50 Greatest Pittsburgh Steelers of All-Time, it would be worth giving you some insight into my thinking. First, I do not subscribe to the NFL Hall of Fame approach where there can only be a limited numbers of players from the great Steelers teams of the 1970's.

    Second, you will see that there are some current players on the list and, for some of those, their placement is based on my assumption that they will have another season-or-two playing at the same level.

    Lastly, I only considered a player's time with the Steelers and not their career in its entirety.

    Some honorable mentions should go out to Sam Davis (OL), Glen Edwards (DB), Dwayne Woodruff (DB), Merril Hoge (RB), Fran Rogel (RB), Eugene Lipscomb (DL), and Bill McPeak (DL).

    On a final note, I thought about having coaches and front office people on the list but decided that it was comparing apples to oranges. From the coaching and front office ranks it is worth mentioning Art Rooney Sr., Dan Rooney, Chuck Noll, Dick LeBeau, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin, Bud Carson and Dick Hoak.

50. Mark Bruener (TE)

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 10:  Tight end Mark Bruener #87 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during a game against the Atlanta Falcons on November 10, 2002 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The game ended in a 34-34 tie. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Ima
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Mark Bruener spent nine years with the Steelers from 1995 to 2003. In that time he amassed 1,197 yards on 137 receptions, and 18 touchdowns. He also started 108 games over that time.

    Statistics are not all that impressive, but he's on this list as being one of the greatest blocking tight ends in Steelers history.

    I have seen a lot of lists with Bennie Cunningham at tight end. But I remember that for every two balls caught, one bounced off of his hands. So Mark Bruener gets the nod from me.

49. Larry Brown (OL)

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    Brown played 14 years for the Steelers at both tackle and tight end, appearing in 167 games.

    He appeared in a Pro Bowl at the end of the 1982 season and was a part of all four of the Steelers' Super Bowl teams during the 1970's.

48. Bobby Walden (P)

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    I wasn't going to put a punter on the list but broke down at the last minute. Walden had a 14-year career with the Steelers from 1964 to 1977. He was part of the Steelers' first two Super Bowl teams in the 1970's.

    In 716 punts over 10 seasons, Walden's net average was 41.1 yards. I'll give a close second to Craig Colquitt from the 1980s Steelers teams.

    In 2007, Walden was selected by Sports Illustrated to its all-time greatest Steelers team.

47. Barry Foster (RB)

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    7 Jan 1995:  Running back Barry Foster of the Pittsburgh Steelers moves the ball during a playoff game against the Cleveland Browns at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers won the game, 29-9. Mandatory Credit: Simon Bruty  /Alls
    Simon Bruty/Getty Images

    Barry Foster was another Steelers late-round draft gem, coming to them in the fifth round of the 1990 NFL Draft. While he had a short career, he racked up some impressive statistics over those five seasons.

    Probably contributing to that short career was his 1992 season, when he carried the ball a staggering 390 times, gaining 1,690 yards.

    He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and also named first-team All-Pro in 1992.

46. Roy Jefferson (WR)

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    Roy Jefferson was  a two-time Pro Bowl selection and picked as first-team All-Pro after the 1969 season while spending five years with the Steelers. During that time, Jefferson caught 199 balls for 3,671 yards.

    Even more impressive was his 18.4-yards per reception average. He also had 29 touchdowns while in the black and gold from 1965 to 1969.

    In 2007, Jefferson was also selected by Steelers officials and the media as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers Legends to recognize players from the pre-1970's eras.

45. Heath Miller (TE)

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 20: Heath Miller #83 of the Pittsburgh Steelers attempts to break through a tackle by AJ Hawk #50 of the Green Bay Packers during the game on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Get
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Heath Miller was a first-round draft (30th overall) pick of the Steelers in the 2005 NFL Draft. With a few more good years, Miller is poised to move up this list a fair number of slots.

    His statistics, including this year, are 256 receptions for 2,871 yards and 28 touchdowns.

    He is also a powerful run-blocker, showing versatility in both aspects of the tight-end game. Miller was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2009 season.

44. Tunch Ilkin (OL)

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    HONOLULU, HI - FEBRUARY 4:  Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Tunch Ilkin #62 of the AFC squad laughs during the 1990 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on February 4, 1990 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The NFC won 27-21.  (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
    George Rose/Getty Images

    As a sixth-round draft pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, Ilkin spent 12 years with the Steelers from 1980 to 1992. He probably should be on this list just for surviving most of those seasons on less-than-stellar Steelers teams.

    During his career in Pittsburgh, he played in 176 games and made two Pro Bowls in 1988 and 1989.

    Ilkin currently works as an analyst on the Pittsburgh affiliate of FOX Sports Net where he covers the Steelers.

43. Levon Kirkland (LB)

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    15 Nov 1998:  Linebacker Levon Kirkland #99 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the Tennessee Oilers at the Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. The Oilers defeated the Steelers 16-14. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Al
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    This one may surprise some people but I'm going with it.

    Levon Kirkland was drafted in the second round of the 1992 NFL Draft. His distinguishing characteristic is that he was probably one of the biggest linebackers to play the game, packing anywhere from 275-to-300 lbs on his 6'1" frame.

    He played nine seasons in Pittsburgh, being named to the NFL's Pro Bowl teams in 1996 and 1997. He was also named first-team All-Pro in 1997.

    Over his career in Pittsburgh, Kirkland amassed 18.5 sacks to go along with his 639 tackles and 210 assists. 

42. Bill Dudley (DB)

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    Bill Dudley was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of 1942 NFL Draft with the first overall pick. During that season, he led the league in rushing with 696 yards on 162 carries and was named to the All-Pro team.

    His career was interrupted by military service in the Army during World War II from 1943 to 1945.

    When he returned he spent two more seasons in Pittsburgh, being named the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1946.

    In addition to being a member of the Steelers Legends, Dudley was selected to the NFL's 1940's All-Decade team. He is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

41. Jon Kolb (OL)

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    Kolb was drafted in the third round by Pittsburgh out of Oklahoma State in 1969. He played with the Steelers from 1969 to 1981, starting in 177 games.

    During that time, he was responsible for protecting Terry Bradshaw's blind side and earned all four Super Bowl rings during the Steelers run in the 1970s.

    Kolb pioneered strength training in the NFL and for years was considered the NFL's strongest man.

40. Gary Anderson (K)

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    PITTSBURGH ?? OCTOBER 16:  Place kicker Gary Anderson #1 of the Pittsburgh Steelers follows through on a kick during a NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Three Rivers Stadium on October 16, 1994 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers defeated
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    After being cut by the Buffalo Bills during training camp, Anderson signed with the Steelers and spent the next 12 years in Pittsburgh. He holds about 15 NFL records and has the distinction of being the only kicker with a perfect season where he made all of the PATs and field goals that he attempted.

    While with the Steelers he made the NFL Pro Bowl squad three times, coming in 1983, 1985, and 1993.

    His career statistics in Pittsburgh were 416 extra points made and 309 field goals for a total of 1,343 points.

39. Dwight White (DL)

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    White came to the Steelers in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL Draft from Texas A&M-Commerce, yet another one of the little-known players drafted into what would become the 1970's Steel Curtain.

    Over the course of his 10-year career, White played in 129 games recording 46 sacks.

    He is probably most famous for coming out of the hospital, where he was suffering from pneumonia (he had lost 20 pounds), to play for the Steelers in Super Bowl IX. In that game, he accounted for the only scoring in the first half when he sacked Fran Tarkenton in the end zone for a safety.

38. Rocky Bleier (RB)

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    Some might think I've got Rocky Bleier a bit low on this list. While I know he's got a great story and is a great speaker, I think his popularity with fans tends to overstate his career when measured against other Steelers.

    Not that it was a bad career. Bleier was the lead-blocker for Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris. He gained over 1,000 yards in 1976 and, when combined with Harris, made only the second tandem to both rush for over 1,000 yards.

    A great threat out of the backfield as a receiver, Bleier finished his career with 3,865 rushing yards, 136 receptions for 1,294 yards and 25 touchdowns.

37. Ray Mathews (WR)

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    During his nine years with the Steelers from 1951 to 1959, Mathews had 230 receptions for 3,919 yards and 34 touchdowns.

    He also rushed for 1,057 yards and five touchdowns in 300 attempts during his 108 regular season games. Mathews was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1952 and 1955.

    In 2007, Mathews was selected by Steelers officials and the media as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers Legends team.

36. Aaron Smith (DL)

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    CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Aaron Smith #91 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is pictured during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Aaron Smith has been a fixture on the Steelers three-man front for the past 12 seasons. In that time he has put up 44 quarterback sacks to go along with 326 tackles and 123 assists.

    Smith was named to the NFL Pro Bowl in 2004, a season which saw him rack up eight of his 44 sacks. That was all the more difficult, and impressive, considering Smith did this without the benefit of two interior defensive linemen, as in a 4-3 defense.

    Perhaps most telling was the impact of his absence on last year's Steelers defense while he was sidelined with a season-ending injury. With his injury this past Sunday, it looks like Steelers fans will get another look at a season without him.

35. Mike Wagner (DB)

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    Mike Wagner is an often overlooked member of the great Steelers defense of the 1970s. Over his 10-year career, he recorded 36 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries.

    Wagner had a knack for the big play in big games, recording interceptions in both Super Bowls IX and X.

    He also appeared in the 1975 and 1976 Pro Bowls, and led the league in interceptions with eight in 1973.

34. Louis Lipps (WR)

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    DENVER ?? NOVEMBER 5:  Wide receiver Louis Lipps #83 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in motion during an NFL game against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium on November 5, 1989 in Denver, Colorado.  The Broncos defeated the Steelers 34-7.  (Photo by Tim D
    Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

    Drafted in 1984, Louis Lipps broke into the NFL with a bang, breaking the NFL record for punt-return yardage by a rookie with 656 yards, and also catching 45 passes for 860 yards with nine touchdowns.

    He was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year and also named to the Pro Bowl for that year. Over his eight years in Pittsburgh he was named to a second Pro Bowl team and the All-Pro team for his season in 1985.

    Lipps caught 358 passes for 6,018 yards and 39 touchdowns in his career with the Steelers.

33. Jerry Shipkey (LB)

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    Jerry Shipkey spent five years of his six year NFL career in Pittsburgh where he was selected to the Pro Bowl three times and named first-team All-Pro twice as a linebacker.

    A two-way player, he also played offense for two of those same years, running for 301 yards on 109 attempts.

    In 2007, Shipkey was selected by Steelers officials and the media as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers Legend team.

32. Dale Dodrill (LB)

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    Dale Dodrill came to Pittsburgh as a sixth-round draft choice in the 1951 draft, where he ended up playing nine years for the Steelers, retiring after the 1959 season. During that time, Dodrill played both middle guard and linebacker.

    He was a four-time Pro Bowler and also named as a first-team All-Pro in 1954.

    He was also named to the 2007 Pittsburgh Steelers Legends team.

31. Bobby Layne (QB)

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    Bobby Layne had a great NFL career. Unfortunately, most of those years were with the Detroit Lions. Layne spent his last five years in Pittsburgh where he was named All-Pro after the 1959 season.

    During that time he compiled a career record of 27-22-2. In any pre-1970's Steelers era a winning record is quite an accomplishment.

    Layne is a member of the Steelers Legends team, the NFL's 1950's All-Decade team, and the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame.

30. James Farrior (LB)

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    PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 29:  Linebacker James Farrior #51 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown after making a interception in the second quarter during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field on August 29, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylv
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    James Farrior was one of the rare offseason acquisitions for the Steelers, coming to Pittsburgh from the New York Jets after the 2001 season. In nine years with Pittsburgh, Farrior has been a leader on one of the NFL's best defenses of the 2000's.

    During his 124 career starts, Farrior has had 22 sacks while making 624 tackles and chipping in with 303 assists.

    Farrior has twice been selected to the Pro Bowl and was also selected as first-team All-Pro after the 2004 season. 

29. Joey Porter (LB)

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 03:  Joey Porter #55 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a sack against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Heinz Field on December 3, 2006 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    One of the more vocal leaders on the Steelers defenses of the 2000s, Joey Porter spent eight years in Pittsburgh after being drafted in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft.

    During that time he appeared in 122 games, recording 60 quarterback sacks. While in Pittsburgh, Porter was a three-time Pro Bowler, and was also selected first-team All-Pro in 2002.

    Arguably his best year came during the Steelers Super Bowl season in 2005, when he tied a career high with 10.5 sacks while adding 56 tackles, two interceptions and four forced fumbles.

    Porter is a member of the NFL's 2000s All-Decade team.

28. Frank Varrichione (OL)

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    Varrichione was selected as a right tackle with the sixth-overall pick out of Notre Dame in the 1955 NFL Draft.

    He played in 72 games over six years with the Steelers when he was selected to four Pro Bowls, including his rookie season of 1955.

    Interestingly he also returned five kicks for 42 yards while in Pittsburgh.

    In 2007, Varrichione was selected by Steelers officials and the media as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers Legend team, and the Sports Illustrated Greatest Steelers of All-Time.

27. Donnie Shell (DB)

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    Donnie Shell spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1974 to 1987, where he was a five time Pro Bowl selection. In addition, he was named three times as an NFL First Team All-Pro.

    One of the hardest hitters on those teams, Shell was a stalwart on all four Super Bowl teams of the 1970s. He retired as the NFL strong safety career leader in interceptions with 51.

    Shell was voted as the Steelers team Most Valuable Player in 1980.

26. Carnell Lake (DB)

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    18 Oct 1998:  Cornerback Carnell Lake #37 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at the Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Ravens 16-6. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /Alls
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    As a defensive back, Lake played 12 seasons in the NFL from 1989 to 2001, ten of which were for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A versatile player, Lake played both strong safety and cornerback.

    Over the course of his career with the Steelers, he recorded 21.5 quarterback sacks, intercepted 16 passes, recovered 16 fumbles, and scored 5 defensive touchdowns.

    He is a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1990's, and the 2007 Steelers All-Time Team.

25. James Harrison (LB)

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    PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 03: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the game against the Baltimore Ravens on October 3, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Where to start with James Harrison? One of the NFL's hardest hitters who at this time is at the epicenter of the NFL's mismanagement of rules to govern what constitutes a "legal" hit.

    Signed Harrison as an undrafted rookie in 2002, he will be best remembered for his 100-yard touchdown return of a Kurt Warner interception right at the end of the first half.

    So far over his eight years, Harrison has been named to the Pro Bowl for the past three seasons, being named a First Team All-Pro in 2008 when he was also named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year. 

24. Elbie Nickel (TE)

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    Elbie Nickel spent his entire 11 year career with the Steelers from 1947 to 1957. In that time he amassed 329 receptions for 5,131 yards and 37 touchdowns as a tight end. A two-way player he also played defensive end during four of those seasons.

    He was named to the Pro Bowl three times and is a member of the Steelers Legends Team.

    Nickel got a late start to his athletic career having served in the Army during World War II.

23. Casey Hampton (DL)

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    DENVER - JANUARY 22:  Casey Hampton #98 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is seen on the field against the Denver Broncos during the AFC Championship Game January 22, 2006 at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The Steelers won 34-17.  (Photo by Andy
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Casey Hampton was the Steelers first round selection during the 2001 NFL Draft. He plays perhaps one of the most difficult positions in football, being the nose tackle in a 3-4 defense where he most often has two offensive linemen assigned to him.

    So far in his career he has appeared in 132 games, has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times, and is a member of the Steelers All-Time Team.

22. Alan Faneca (OL)

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 22:  Alan Faneca #66 of the Pittsburgh Steelers moves on the line during the game against the Atlanta Falcons on October 22, 2006 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Alan Faneca was picked by Pittsburgh a first round draft pick (26th overall) in the 1998 NFL Draft. Over the course of his 10 years with the Steelers he appeared in 158 games and was a member of the Super Bowl XL team.

    His appeared in seven Pro Bowls and was named a First Team All-Pro six times while with the Steelers.

    Faneca is a member of the Sports Illustrated and Steelers All-Time Teams, as well as the NFL's 2000's All-Decade Team.

21. Greg Lloyd (LB)

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    23 Nov 1997:  Linebacker Greg Lloyd #95 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during the Steelers 23-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mandatory Credit: David Seelig  /Allsport
    David Seelig/Getty Images

    Greg Lloyd was my favorite player from the Bill Cowher teams in the 1990's. He spent 10 years in Pittsburgh leaving for the Carolina Panthers after the 1997 season.

    While with the Steelers, Lloyd appeared in 131 games where he recorded 53.5 quarterback sacks. He also recorded 659 tackles.

    He appeared in five Pro Bowls, but far more impressive are his three selections to the NFL First Team All-Pro squad.

    Not exactly a media favorite, he was still elected to the Sports Illustrated Greatest Steelers Team, and he was also a member of the Steelers All-Time Team.

20. John Henry Johnson (RB)

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    John Henry Johnson was part of the Pittsburgh Steelers for six years of his NFL career being named to the NFL All-Pro squad for three consecutive years from 1962 to 1964.

    While in the black and gold, Johnson ran for 4,381 yards on 1,006 carries for a 4.4 yards per carry average.

    He is a member of the Steelers Legends Team and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1987.

19. John Stallworth (WR)

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    1984:  John Stallworth #82 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sits on the sideline during a 1984 NFL game.  (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    John Stallworth was a 4th round draft pick from the Steelers legendary draft class of 1974. Over a 14-year career, he caught 537 passes for 8,723 yards, a 16.2 yards per reception average.

    He was a four time Pro Bowl selection and First Team All-Pro in 1979.

    His highlight moment was when he caught an long pass from Terry Bradshaw bent backwards while running full speed in Super Bowl XIV to put the Los Angeles Rams away for good.

    Stallworth is a member of both the Sports Illustrated and the Steelers All-Time greatest squads, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

18. Ben Roethlisberger (QB)

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass as the Steelers are called for a safety for a holding on the offensive line during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Ben Roethlisberger may be a bit high on this list right now, but with another Super Bowl and couple of more seasons like he has already had he will move up to being one of the all-time greats on any list.

    In six and a half years he has compiled a 61-26 record as a starter while throwing for 16,559 yards and 133 touchdowns. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion, and at 23 years old was the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl [XL].

    He currently ranks 9th all-time in NFL passer rating (92.0), 5th in yards per attempt (8.02), and 9th in completion percentage (63.25%) among quarterbacks with a minimum of 1,500 career attempts.

17. L.C. Greenwood (DL)

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    L.C. Greenwood was one of the more flamboyant players on the great Steelers teams of the 1970's earning the nickname "Hollywood Bags."

    Over his 13 year career, Greenwood was an Pro Bowler six times and was twice named to the NFL All-Pro squad. A founding member of the Steel Curtain, his 73 sacks are the most ever by a Steelers defensive lineman.

    He is a member of the Sports Illustrated Greatest Steelers team, the Steelers All Time Team, and the NFL's 1970s All Decade Team.

    While Greenwood have been on the ballot 6 or 7 times, he has yet to be elected to Canton. Absurd that he is not in, and a great example of the bias that currently exists against 1970's Steelers.

16. Andy Russell (LB)

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    Andy Russell played on some bad Steelers teams during 1960's, but fortunately had a long enough career to experience the Steelers first two Super Bowls.

    While he missed the 1964 and 1965 seasons during his Army service, he still managed 12 seasons and 168 games in the NFL. He was named to seven Pro Bowls, including six straight from 1970 to 1975.

    Russell is a member of the Steelers All-Time Team.

15. Jack Butler (DB)

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    Jack Butler is one of the most honored Steelers of all-time having been named to the Sports Illustrated, Steelers Legends, and Steelers All-Time Teams.

    Butler was also named to the NFL's 1950's All Decade Team.

    In nine years with the Steelers he intercepted 52 passes and accumulated 827 return yards.

    He was named to the Pro Bowl four times and was a First Team All-Pro three times.

    Another one of the former Steelers that should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

14. Dermontti Dawson (OL)

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    10 Dec 1995:  Offensive lineman Dermontti Dawson of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action on the field as he looks to the sideline for a play call during the Steelers 29-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders at Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  M
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Dawson was picked by the Steelers in the second round of the 1988 NFL draft, to replace Hall of Fame center Mike Webster. Huge shoes to step into but ones that Dawson was able to fill.

    He played in 170 consecutive games, and over a 13 year career was a seven time Pro Bowler and named First Team All-Pro six times. He is also a member of the NFL's 1990's All-Decade Team.

    Dawson continues to be a finalist for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, should already be in.

13. Lynn Swann (WR)

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    Any kind of All-Time Steelers list will have the Swann vs. Stallworth argument and I am coming down on the side of Swann. While Stallworth had all of the statistics, Swann had his greatest moments in the biggest games.

    In nine years he caught 336 passes for 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns, but his impact was even greater in the playoffs.

    Known for his circus catches, Swann gained 364 receiving yards and 398 all purpose yards in his four Super Bowls-both Super Bowl records at the time. His selection as MVP in Super Bowl X was the first for a wide receiver.

    Swann was selected to both the Sports Illustrated and Steelers All-Time Teams and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.

12. Troy Polamalu (DB)

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Safety Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With just a few more seasons, Troy Polamalu will cement his place in Canton with the rest of the Steelers greats. He has single handedly redefined what a strong safety can be in the NFL, continually causing havoc for opponents as to where he is and what he is going to do on any given play.

    In only seven full seasons (one missed by injury), Polamalu has appeared in five Pro Bowls, and made the All-Pro Team in 2005 and again in 2008.

    He has recorded 22 interceptions, but is more importantly a force against the run with 362 tackles and 120 assists.

    He was selected as a member of the Steelers 2007 All-Time Team and is also a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2000's.

11. Jerome Bettis (RB)

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    Steelers Jerome Bettis during Super Bowl XL between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on February 5, 2006.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Pittsburgh's Super Bowl XL  victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit was the perfect homecoming and fitting way for Jerome Bettis to end his career in Pittsburgh.

    Coming to the Steelers after the 1995 season from the St. Louis Rams, Bettis spent the next 10 years in Pittsburgh gaining 10,571 yards on the ground and another 806 in the air.

    The "Bus" finished his 13 NFL seasons as the 5th all-time leading rusher with 13,662 yards and 91 touchdowns.

    In 1996 he earned First Team All-Pro honors and was selected for the Pro Bowl in five of his Steelers seasons. He was picked for both the Sports Illustrated and Steelers All-Time Teams and the Hall of Fame should not be too far off.

10. Hines Ward (WR)

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Wide receiver Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs for yards after the catch on a 38-yard reception in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Ultimately Hines Ward may be better known for his crushing blocks than anything else, but Ward is the Steelers all time leader in receiving yardage with 11,116 and counting. Ward was selected in the 3rd round of the 1998 NFL Draft and has played all of his 13 seasons in the black and gold.

    From 2001 to 2004, he was selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls, for the 2005 season he was selected as the MVP in Super Bowl XL where he had five receptions for 123 yards, one TD and one rush for 18 yards.

    His current total of 912 receptions makes him only the 12th NFL player of all time to surpass 900 career receptions. He is also a member of the Steelers All-Time Team.

9. Rod Woodson (DB)

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    16 OCT 1994:  DEFENSIVE BACK ROD WOODSON OF THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS CARRIES THE FOOTBALL DURING THE STEELERS 14-10 WIN OVER THE CINCINNATI BENGALS AT THREE RIVERS STADIUM IN PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA.  MANDATORY CREDIT:  DOUG PENSINGER/ALLSPORT
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    I am probably going to get some flack for Rod Woodson not being higher, and had he spent his entire career in Pittsburgh we are definitely talking a top five spot. Come on, anywhere but Baltimore. That said, Woodson spent 10 of his 15 years with Pittsburgh.

    While a Steelers he recorded 38 interceptions and 10.5 sacks, scoring five touchdowns. Early in his career he used his world class speed as a dangerous return man amassing 2,362 yards on 257 returns.

    As a Steelers he was a seven time Pro Bowler and selected to the NFL All-Pro team five times.

    One of the highlights of Woodson's career was to return from a season ending ACL injury after only 19 weeks to play for the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX against the Dallas Cowboys.

    Hot Rod is a member of the Sports Illustrated and Steelers All-Time lists, but more importantly the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and number 87 on the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

    He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and can be currently seen as an analyst on the NFL Network.

8. Ernie Stautner (DL)

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    Ernie Stautner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969 after a pretty ridiculous career. Only missing six games during his entire career while playing for the Steelers from 1950 to 1963, Stautner was selected to for the Pro Bowl nine times. This included a streak of seven consecutive selections from 1955 to 1961.

    He was honored on the Sports Illustrated, Steelers All-Time, and Steelers Legends Teams. Stautner is also a member of the NFL's 1950's All-Decade Team.

    While many of the Steelers uniform numbers are not reissued, his number 70 is the team's only uniform number that has been officially retired.

7. Mike Webster (OL)

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    PITTSBURG - SEPTEMBER 4:  Offensive lineman Mike Webster #52 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Three Rivers Stadium on September 4, 1988 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers won 24-21.  (Photo by Mike Po
    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    Mike Webster's life after football is a tragic story, but his resume on the field ranks up there with anyone to ever play the offensive line. He was another player taken during the legendary 1974 collegiate draft [in the 5th round].

    Playing for 15 years with the Steelers he saw action in 220 games and was a key member of all four of the Steelers Super Bowls in the 1970's.

    Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997, he was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times, and named First Team All-Pro on five occasions. Goes without saying that he is also a member of both the Sports Illustrated and Steelers All-Time Teams.

    In 1994, Webster was selected as a member of the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and is listed as number 75 on the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

6. Terry Bradshaw (QB)

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 1:  Quarterback Terry Bradshaw #12 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks for an open man during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Fulton County Stadium on November 1, 1981 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Steelers defeated the Falcons 34-20.
    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Terry Bradshaw has had a bizarre love hate relationship with Pittsburgh. After leading the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories during the 1970's, he refused to set foot in the Steel City for a number of years as a consequence of the frequent fan ridicule he experienced early in his career.

    He came to the Steelers as a result of winning a coin flip with the Chicago Bears before the 1970 NFL Draft, allowing the Steelers to select Bradshaw with the first overall pick.

    Bradshaw's best season was in 1978 when he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player completing 207 of 368 passes for 2,915 yards and 28 touchdown passes.

    MVP of Super Bowls XIII and XIV, Bradshaw holds numerous team records, including All-Time passing yards with 27,989. He is a member of the NFL's 1970's All-Decade Team, elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989, and is a member of both the Sports Illustrated and Steelers All-Time Greatest Teams. In 1999, he was ranked number 44 on the Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

    Bradshaw can currently be seen every Sunday on the FOX Network's NFL pre-game studio show.

5. Franco Harris (RB)

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    1984:  Running back Franco Harris #32 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs during a game in the 1984 NFL season.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Franco Harris started his career in Pittsburgh by being named the NFL's Rookie of the Year gaining 1,055 yards on 188 carries, with a 5.6 yards per carry average. In a 1972 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders, he was involved in what was the most memorable play in NFL history. The "Immaculate Reception" that set the stage for the great Steelers teams of the 1970's.

    During his career with the Steelers, Harris rushed for 11,950 yards, and 91 touchdowns on 2,949 carries.

    He broke Jim Brown's record by rushing for more than 1,000 yards in 8 seasons, and finished within a few games of eclipsing what at that time was the NFL's All-Time rushing yardage mark held by Cleveland's Jim Brown.

    In 1975, he was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl IX; in that game he rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown. n 1999, he was ranked number 83 on the Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

    A nine time Pro Bowl Team member, it goes without saying that he was also a member of all of the All-Time Steelers team, furthermore being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.

4. Jack Ham (LB)

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    Jack Ham was drafted out of Penn State in the 2nd round of the 1971 NFL Draft. I recently saw a clip where Joe Paterno was asked what Jack Ham's best game was and his answer was that he couldn't answer it since Jack Ham never had a bad game.

    According to Steelers Head Coach Chuck Noll and teammate Andy Russell, he was the "fastest Steeler for the first ten yards, including wide receivers and running backs."

    Equally adept and run and pass coverage, Ham was a fixture at left linebacker for his entire 12 year career where he had 32 interceptions. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988, Ham was a eight time Pro Bowler and selected six times to First-Team All-Pro squad.

    He was ranked number 47 on The Sporting News'list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, and is a member of any Steelers All-Time team you can think of. He was also selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. 

3. Mel Blount (DB)

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    You probably don't need to know anymore than the rules of the game of football were changed because of Mel Blount's prowess at locking receivers up at the line of scrimmage. A unique combination of size and speed, Blount played 14 years for the Steelers where he intercepted 57 passes.

    He was named the Associated Press Most Valuable Defensive Player in 1975, was a two time First-Team All-Pro, and a five time Pro Bowl Selection.

    Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989, Blount is also a member of the Sports Illustrated and Steelers All-Time Teams.

    In 1994, he was selected as a member of the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and in 1999, he was ranked number 36 on the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

2. Jack Lambert (LB)

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    Jack Lambert was the 2nd round draft pick in the 1974 draft, coming after the Steelers had selected Lynn Swann. Through his entire career, Lambert displayed an intelligence and intensity that made his relatively small size an non-issue.

    An immediate starter, Lambert went on to earn the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. During his 11 year career, he was named to nine straight Pro Bowls, was a six time First Team All Pro, and was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year once.

    The Steelers top tackler in 10 of his seasons, he recorded 1,479 total tackles to go along with, 28 interceptions and 23.5 sacks.

    One of his most infamous moments was during Super Bowl X where after the Dallas Cowboys' Cilff Harris patted kicker Roy Gerela on the head for a missed field goal, Lambert threw him to the ground in defense of his teammate.

    Considered one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game, he was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, is number 30 on The Sporting News'list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, and is a member of all the Steelers All-Time teams.

1. Joe Greene (DL)

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    "Mean" Joe Greene was the player that started it all in Pittsburgh as Chuck Noll's very first draft pick {4th overall} in the 1969 NFL Draft. He was the NFL's Rookie of the Year on a Steelers team that finished 1-13.

    Greene had no tolerance for losing, and his intense desire to win was the cornerstone of the great Steelers teams in the 1970's. He was an innovator in the "stunt 4-3" defense where he would line up at an angle to the offensive lineman-exploding into the backfield and resulting in opponents having to use two and at times three blockers to contain him.

    In a 13 year career, Green was selected to the Pro Bowl in 10 consecutive years and was also First Team All-Pro for five of those seasons.

    He was ranked number 14 on the Sporting News'list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, and was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

    Joe Greene was the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970's and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1987.