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All-Time Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers



Introduction

In my endless research of all things football and through my passion for the history of the NFL, I have decided to try and compile an All-Time Team for all 32 current NFL franchises. By All-Time Team I mean a starting roster compiled of the very best players to ever put on each franchise’s jersey. I will be starting in alphabetical order by current franchise location, so Arizona Cardinals all the way to The Washington Football Team, with the goal of releasing one to two All-Time teams a week for the duration of the current NFL season. This is meant to be fun and cause some debate and is based on my opinion after all my research and deep dives into each franchise’s history. Of course, not everyone will agree with who I chose, and I’d love to hear from anyone who agrees or disagrees, but first, let’s lay out some ground rules for how I came up with each team.


1. Each team roster will consist of the following:

Offense - 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 2 OT, 2 OG, 1 C

Defense - 2 DE, 2 DT, 3 LB, 2 CB, 2 S

Special Teams - 1 K, 1 P, 1 Returner

Coach - 1 Head Coach


2. I only considered an individual’s stats and contributions with each specific franchise. For example, Peyton Manning’s years with the Broncos were not considered when deciding on the starting QB of the Colts All-Time Team. As a result, the stats and awards listed with each individual player are only those that were achieved with that specific franchise.


3. A player cannot represent two teams as the starter. Players who spent time with more than one team were considered for the franchise they spent the most time with or had the most impact on. This rule led to some interesting scenarios that I will discuss in detail with each specific article to try and clear up any confusion.


4. A player’s stats and impact were considered in context with their era. This won’t simply be a listing of who passed or ran for the most yards in franchise history.


5. All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference and through the 2021 season. I will also be counting sacks from 1960, though the NFL doesn't officially count sacks until 1982.


6. Players in the "Honorable Mentions" section are ordered by year. It's not an indication of where I believe they rank in franchise history.


Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!


Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team


Franchise Information

First Season: 1933

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates (1933-1939)

  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (1940-1942)

  3. Phi/Pitt Eagles/Steelers (1943)

  4. Chi/Pitt Cards/Steelers (1944)

  5. Pittsburgh Steelers (1945-Present)

Record: 652-563-22 (53.66 W-L%)

Playoff Record: 36-27

Super Bowls Won: 6 (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005 and 2008) (Lost in 1995 and 2010)

Pre-Super Bowl NFL Championships Won: 0

Passing Leader: Ben Roethlisberger 5,440/8,443 | 64,099 Yds | 418 TD

Rushing Leader: Franco Harris 2,881 Att | 11,950 Yds | 91 TD

Receiving Leader: Hines Ward 1,000 Rec | 12,083 Yds | 85 TD Sack Leader: James Harrison 80.5 Sk

Interception Leader: Mel Blount 57 Int

Scoring Leader: Gary Anderson 1,343 Points

Winningest Coach: Chuck Noll 193-148-1


QB: Ben Roethlisberger (2004-Present)

Record: 165-81-1 | 64.4 Cmp% | 64,088 Yds | 418 TD | 211 Int | 1,373 Rush Yds | 20 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 2018 (452) | Led League in Yds 2014 and 2018 (4,952, 5,129) | Led League in Yds/A 2005 (8.9) | Led League in Yds/G 2014, 2015 and 2018 (309.5, 328.2, 320.6) | 6x Pro-Bowl (07, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17) | 2004 Offensive Rookie of the Year | 2005 and 2008 Super Bowl Champion | 2010 AFC Champion

This spot really comes down to two people, Ben Roethlisberger or Terry Bradshaw. For me, the greatest in Steeler's history is Big Ben. Roethlisberger's stats dwarf that of Bradshaw's and although he didn't have quite as much postseason success, he did still win two Super Bowls himself. He's the franchise record holder in every major passing category and led the league in completions once, yards twice, yards per attempt once and yards per game three times. Roethlisberger currently ranks fifth in both completions and yards and eighth in touchdowns in NFL history. During his 18 seasons, the Steelers never had a losing record, made the playoffs 12 times and won two of three Super Bowl appearances. He was also voted to six Pro-Bowls and named the 2004 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Roethlisberger will almost certainly be inducted into the Hall of Fame once he becomes eligible. Bradshaw was absolutely great with the Steelers as well, winning four Super Bowls in the 1970s, but while Super Bowls are very important to a quarterback's resume, they're ultimately a team accomplishment, so I've got to give the edge to Roethlisberger.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jim Finks (1949-1955) | Record: 18-27 | 47.8 Cmp% | 8,622 Yds | 55 TD | 88 Int | 294 Rush Yds | 12 Rush TD | Led League in Cmp 1955 (165) | Led League in Yds 1955 (2,270) | Led League in TD 1952 (20) | Led League in Yds/G 1955 (189.2) | 1x Pro-Bowl (52)

  2. Bobby Laynes (1958-1962) | Record: 27-19-2 | 49.2 Cmp% | 9,030 Yds | 66 TD | 81 Int | 382 Rush Yds | 8 Rush TD | Led League in Yds/A 1958 (8.5) | 2x Pro-Bowl (58, 59) | Hall of Fame All-1950s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1967

  3. Terry Bradshaw (1970-1983) | Record: 107-51 | 51.9 Cmp% | 27,989 Yds | 212 TD | 210 Int | 2,257 Rush Yds | 32 Rush TD | Led League in TD 1978 and 1982 (28, 17) | Led League in Yds/A 1977 and 1978 (8.0, 7.9) | 3x Pro-Bowl (75, 78, 79) | 1x All-Pro (78) | 1978 MVP | 1978 Bert Bell | 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979 Super Bowl Champion | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1989

  4. Neil O’Donnell (1991-1995) | Record: 39-22 | 57.1 Cmp% | 12,867 Yds | 68 TD | 39 Int | 323 Rush Yds | 3 Rush TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (92) | 1995 AFC Champion

  5. Kordell Stewart (1995-2002) | Record: 46-29 | 56.5 Cmp% | 13,328 Yds | 70 TD | 72 Int | 2,561 Rush Yds | 35 Rush TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (01)


RB: Franco Harris (1972-1983)

4.1 Yds/A | 11,950 Yds | 91 TD | 306 Rec | 2,284 Rec Yds | 9 Rec TD | Led League in TD 1976 (14) | Led League in RRTD 1976 (14) | 9x Pro-Bowl (72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80) | 1x All-Pro (77) | 1972 Offensive Rookie of the Year | 1976 Walter Payton Man of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1990


First up at running back is the great Franco Harris. Harris was a key cog in the machine of the great 1970s Steelers that won four Super Bowls. He had at least 1,000 yards rushing in eight seasons and over 10 touchdowns in five seasons. When he retired in 1984, Harris was ranked third in both rushing yards and touchdowns in NFL history. Harris led the league in touchdowns in 1976 with 14 and was named to nine straight Pro-Bowls from 1972-1980. He was also named to the All-Pro Team in 1977 and named the 1972 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Harris was named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.

RB: Jerome Bettis (1996-2005)

3.9 Yds/A | 10,571 Yds | 78 TD | 125 Rec | 806 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (96, 97, 01, 04) | 1x All-Pro (96) | 1996 Comeback Player of the Year | 2001 Walter Payton Man of the Year | Hall of Fame Class 2015


"The Bus" is the clear choice as the other running back for the All-Time Steelers. Bettis had six 1,000-yard seasons and two 10+ touchdown seasons during his 10 years in Pittsburgh. He's second behind only Franco Harris in franchise rushing records and currently ranks eighth in yards and 11th in touchdowns in NFL history. Bettis was named to four Pro-Bowls and was also named the 1996 Comeback Player of the Year. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bill Dudley (1942, 1945-1946) | 4.1 Yds/A | 1,504 Yds | 10 TD | 5 Rec | 133 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD | Led League in Yds 1942 and 1946 (696, 604) | Led League in Yds/G 1942 (63.3) | 1x Pro-Bowl (42) | 1x All-Pro (42) | 1946 MVP | Hall of Fame All-1940s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1966

  2. Joe Geri (1949-1951) | 3.6 Yds/A | 1,500 Yds | 10 TD | 4 Rec | 92 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (50, 51) | 1x All-Pro (50)

  3. Lynn Chandnois (1950-1956) | 3.3 Yds/A | 1,934 Yds | 16 TD | 162 Rec | 2,012 Rec Yds | 7 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (52, 53)

  4. Fran Rogel (1950-1957) | 3.6 Yds/A | 3,271 Yds | 17 TD | 150 Rec | 1,087 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (56)

  5. Ray Mathews (1951-1959) | 3.5 Yds/A | 1,057 Yds | 5 TD | 230 Rec | 3,919 Rec Yds | 34 Rec TD | Led League in Yds/Tch 1952 and 1955 (8.7, 9.6) | 2x Pro-Bowl (52, 55)

  6. Tom Tracey (1958-1963) | 3.7 Yds/A | 2,717 Yds | 15 TD | 96 Rec | 1,322 Rec Yds | 14 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (58, 60)

  7. John Henry Johnson (1960-1965) | 4.4 Yds/A | 4,381 Yds | 26 TD | 106 Rec | 814 Rec Yds | 6 Rec TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (62, 63, 64) | Hall of Fame Class 1987

  8. Dick Hoak (1961-1970) | 3.5 Yds/A | 3,965 Yds | 25 TD | 146 Rec | 1,452 Rec Yds | 8 Rec TD | 1x Pro-Bowl (68)

  9. Rocky Bleier (1968-1980) | 4,2 Yds/A | 3,865 Yds | 23 TD | 136 Rec | 1,294 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD

  10. Frank Pollard (1980-1988) | 4.2 Yds/A | 3,989 Yds | 20 TD | 104 Rec | 872 Rec Yds

  11. Merril Hoge (1987-1993) | 3.8 Yds/A | 3,115 Yds | 21 TD | 241 Rec | 2,054 Rec Yds | 13 Rec TD

  12. Barry Foster (1990-1994) | 4.3 Yds/A | 3,943 Yds | 26 TD | 93 Rec | 804 Rec Yds | 2 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (92, 93) | 1x All-Pro (92)

  13. Willie Parker (2004-2009) | 4.3 Yds/A | 5,378 Yds | 24 TD | 84 Rec | 697 Rec Yds | 5 Rec TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (06, 07)

  14. Le’Veon Bell (2013-2017) | 4.3 Yds/A | 5,336 Yds | 35 TD | 312 Rec | 2,660 Rec Yds | 7 Rec TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (14, 16, 17) | 2x All-Pro (14, 17)

WR: Antonio Brown (2010-2018)

837 Rec | 11,207 Yds | 74 TD | Led League in Rec 2014 and 2015 (129, 136) | Led League in Yds 2014 and 2017 (1,698, 1,533) | Led League in TD 2018 (15) | Led League in Yds/G 2017 (109.5) | Led League in Yds/Tch 2017 (15.2) | 7x Pro-Bowl (11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) | 4x All-Pro (14, 15, 16, 17) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Antonio Brown gets the last spot at wide receiver for the All-Time Steelers. He's second behind only Hines Ward in all major franchise receiving records and was either the best or second-best receiver in the NFL every year with the team. Brown had seven 1,000-yard seasons and four times had over 10 touchdowns. He led the league in receptions twice, yards twice, touchdowns once, yards per game once and yards per touch once as well. Brown was named to the Pro-Bowl seven times, the All-Pro Team four times and the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team. The only thing that may keep him out of the Hall of Fame is off the field issues, but he is more than deserving of a bust based on his play on the field.


WR: John Stallworth (1974-1987)

537 Rec | 8,723 Yds | 63 TD | 3x Pro-Bowl (79, 82, 84) | 1x All-Pro (79) | 1984 Comeback Player of the Year | Hall of Fame Class 2002


Next up is John Stallworth. Stallworth was the top target for the Steelers for 14 seasons and held all major franchise records when he retired. Three times he went over 1,000 yards and once he had more than 10 touchdowns. Stallworth won four Super Bowls with the Steelers and was named to three Pro-Bowls and one All-Pro Team. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.


WR: Hines Ward (1998-2011)

1,000 Rec | 12,083 Yds | 85 TD | 4x Pro-Bowl (01, 02, 03, 04)


The Steelers have four great receivers, but there's only three spots on this team. Hines Ward is taking the last spot here. He's the franchise record holder in all major receiving categories and was a key member of two Super Bowl winning teams. Ward had six 1,000-yard receiving seasons and three times had over 10 touchdowns. He was voted to four straight Pro-Bowls from 2001-2004 and most likely make the Hall of Fame one day. Yes, that means Lynn Swann is not a starter on this team. Swann was a key member of the Steelers teams that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s and always turned it on in the playoffs, but he never had 1,000 yards in a single season and only went over 700 yards five times. That being said, he was still great. I just can't put him in over Brown, Stallworth or Ward.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Elbie Nickel (1947-1957) | 329 Rec | 5,131 Yds | 37 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 1949 (24.3) | 3x Pro-Bowl (52, 53, 56)

  2. Jimmy Orr (1958-1960) | 97 Rec | 2,055 Yds | 16 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 1958 (27.6) | 1x Pro-Bowl (59) | 1958 Offensive Rookie of the Year

  3. Buddy Dial (1959-1963) | 219 Rec | 4,723 Yds | 42 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 1960 and 1963 (24.3, 21.6) | 2x Pro-Bowl (61, 63)

  4. Gary Ballman (1962-1966) | 154 Rec | 2,949 Yds | 22 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (64, 65)

  5. Roy Jefferson (1965-1969) | 199 Rec | 3,671 Yds | 29 TD | Led League in Yds 1968 (1,074) | Led League in Yds/Rec 1966 (24.1) | Led League in Yds/G 1968 (76.7) | 2x Pro-Bowl (68, 69) | 1x All-Pro (69)

  6. Ron Shanklin (1970-1974) | 166 Rec | 3,047 Yds | 24 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 1973 (23.7) | 1x Pro-Bowl (73)

  7. Lynn Swann (1974-1982) | 336 Rec | 5,462 Yds | 51 TD | Led League in TD 1975 (11) | 3x Pro-Bowl (75, 77, 78) | 1x All-Pro (78) | 1981 Walter Payton Man of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2001

  8. Louis Lipps (1984-1991) | 358 Rec | 6,018 Yds | 39 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (84, 85) | 1984 Offensive Rookie of the Year

  9. Yancey Thigpen (1992-1997) | 222 Rec | 3,651 Yds | 21 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (95, 97)

  10. Mike Wallace (2009-2012) | 235 Rec | 4,042 Yds | 32 TD | Led League in Yds/Rec 2009 (19.4) | 1x Pro-Bowl (11)


TE: Heath Miller (2005-2015)

592 Rec | 6,569 Yds | 45 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (09, 12)

Heath Miller gets the nod at tight end for the All-Time Steelers. He had at least 500 yards in nine of his 11 seasons and holds all franchise receiving records for a tight end. Miller was a favorite target for Roethlisberger and won two Super Bowl rings as well. He was named to the Pro-Bowl in 2009 and 2012.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bennie Cunningham (1976-1985) | 202 Rec | 2,879 Yds | 20 TD

  2. Eric Green (1990-1994) | 198 Rec | 2,681 Yds | 24 TD | 2x Pro-Bowl (93, 94)

OT: Frank Varrichione (1955-1960)

Started 72 of 72 Games | 4x Pro-Bowl (55, 57, 58, 60)


Frank Varrichione is first up on the offensive line. He may not be a household name, but he started every game during his six seasons in Pittsburgh. Varrichione was also named to four different Pro-Bowl teams. He's mainly forgotten due to his tenure with the team coming before they had had much team success.


OT: Jon Kolb (1969-1981)

Started 138 of 177 Games


The other offensive tackle position goes to Jon Kolb. Kolb spent 13 seasons in Pittsburgh from 1969-1981, starting every game in seven different seasons. He was never voted to the Pro-Bowl or All-Pro Team, but he did win four Super Bowls with the Team.

Honorable Mentions

  1. George Hughes (1950-1954) | Started 58 of 60 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (51, 53)

  2. Charlie Bradshaw (1961-1966) | Started 80 of 82 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (63, 64)

  3. Larry Brown (1971-1984) | Started 121 of 167 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (82)

  4. Tunch Ilkin (1980-1992) | Started 143 of 176 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (88, 89)

  5. John Jackson (1988-1997) | Started 130 of 153 Games

  6. Marvel Smith (2000-2008) | Started 108 of 111 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (04)

  7. Alejandro Villanueva (2015-2020) | Started 90 of 96 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (17, 18)


OG: Alan Faneca (1998-2007)

Started 153 of 158 Games | 7x Pro-Bowl (01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07) | 6x All-Pro (01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07) | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2021


Alan Faneca is clearly the first choice at offensive guard for the Steelers. Faneca spent 10 seasons with the Steelers from 1998-2007 and started every game in seven seasons. He was voted seven straight Pro-Bowls from 2001-2007 and six different All-Pro Teams. Faneca was named to the Hall of Fame All-2000s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.


OG: David DeCastro (2012-2020)

Started 124 of 125 Games | 6x Pro-Bowl (15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20) | 2x All-Pro (15, 17)

The other offensive guard will be manned down by David DeCastro. DeCastro started every game in four seasons and was named to six straight Pro-Bowls from 2015-2020. He was also named to the All-Pro Team in both 2015 and 2017. He's quietly put up a Hall of Famer worthy career.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Byron Gentry (1937-1939) | Started 24 of 25 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (38, 39) | 1x All-Pro (38)

  2. John Nisby (1957-1961) | Started 55 of 60 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (59, 61)

  3. Mike Sandusky (1957-1965) | Started 100 of 104 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (60)

  4. Bruce Van Dyke (1967-1973) | Started 93 of 95 Games | 1x Pro-Bowl (73)

  5. Sam Davis (1967-1979) | Started 114 of 168 Games

  6. Craig Wolfley (1980-1989) | Started 102 of 129 Games

  7. Ramon Foster (2009-2019) | Started 145 of 160 Games


C: Mike Webster (1974-1988)

Started 194 of 220 Games | 9x Pro-Bowl (78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 87) | 5x All-Pro (78, 79, 80, 81, 83) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1997


The Steelers have had three different great centers in their history. Unfortunately, there's only one spot here and Mike Webster is the clear choice. Webster spent 15 seasons with the Steelers and started every game in 11 seasons. He was named to nine Pro-Bowls and five All-Pro Teams and also named to both the Hall of Fame All-1970s and All-1980s Team. Webster is widely considered one of the greatest centers of all time and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997. Dermontti Dawson also had a Hall of Fame career with the Steelers and Maurkice Pouncey may join them in the Hall once he becomes eligible.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Chuck Cherundolo (1940-1948) | Started 54 of 63 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (41, 42)

  2. Bill Walsh (1949-1954) | Started 67 of 72 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (50, 51) | 1x All-Pro (54)

  3. Ray Mansfield (1964-1976) | Started 152 of 182 Games

  4. Dermontti Dawson (1988-2000) | Started 181 of 184 Games | 7x Pro-Bowl (92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98) | 6x All-Pro (93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2012

  5. Jeff Hartings (2001-2006) | Started 89 of 90 Games | 2x Pro-Bowl (50, 51) | 1x All-Pro (54)

  6. Maurkice Pouncey (2010-2020) | Started 134 of 134 Games | 9x Pro-Bowl (10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20) | 2x All-Pro (11, 14) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team

DE: L.C. Greenwood (1969-1981)

14 FR | 78 Sk | 6x Pro-Bowl (73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79) | 2x All-Pro (74, 75) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team

Now on to the defensive side of the ball, which is where the Steelers really shine. First up is a member of the "Steel Curtain", L.C. Greenwood. Greenwood spent 13 seasons in Pittsburgh from 1969-1981 and racked up 78 sacks. His 78 sacks were the franchise record until James Harrison broke it over 30 years later. Greenwood twice had over 10 sacks in a season and was named to six different Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams. He won four Super Bowls and was also named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team. He deserves a bust in Canton, but I believe Hall of Fame voters are reluctant to induct another player from the 1970s Steelers since there are already so many in the Hall.


DE: T.J. Watt (2017-Present)

4 Int | 22 FF | 7 FR | 72 Sk | 294 Tackles | 80 TFL | Led League in FF 2019 (8) | Led League in Sk 2020 and 2021 (15, 22.5) | Led League in TFL 2020 and 2021 (23, 21) | 4x Pro-Bowl (18, 19, 20, 21) | 3x All-Pro (19, 20, 21) | 2021 Defensive Player of the Year


T.J. Watt is technically listed as an outside linebacker, but he's a modern-day edge rusher and rarely drops back in coverage. So, I'm taking the liberty to call him a defensive end for this team. Watt has racked up over 70 sacks in his first five seasons and led the league in forced fumbles in 2019, sacks in 2020 and 2021 and he also led the league in tackles for loss in 2020 and 2021. His 22.5 sacks in 2021 are tied for the most ever in a single season and as a result he was named the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year. Watt's already been named to four Pro-Bowls and three All-Pro Teams. He's well on his way to the Hall of Fame after a start to a career like that.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Bill McPeak (1949-1957) | 7 FR | 3x Pro-Bowl (52, 53, 56)

  2. Lou Michaels (1961-1963) | 2 Int | 1 FR | 26.5 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (62, 63)

  3. Ben McGee (1964-1972) | 1 Int | 7 FR | 34.5 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (66, 68)

  4. Dwight White (1971-1980) | 4 Int | 7 FR | 55 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (72, 73)

  5. Keith Willis (1982-1991) | 1 Int | 4 FR | 59 Sk

  6. Aaron Smith (1999-2011) | 1 Int | 7 FF | 9 FR | 44 Sk | 481 Tackles | 84 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (04)

  7. Brett Keisal (2002-2014) | 2 Int | 7 FF | 9 FR | 30 Sk | 408 Tackles | 33 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (10)


DT: Joe Greene (1969-1981)

1 Int | 16 FR | 77.5 Sk | 10x Pro-Bowl (69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79) | 4x All-Pro (72, 73, 74, 78) | 1969 Defensive Rookie of the Year | 1972 and 1974 Defensive Player of the Year | 1979 Walter Payton Man of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1987


Joe Greene is maybe the greatest defensive tackle to ever live. He spent 13 seasons with Pittsburgh from 1969-1981 and was the key defender of the "Steel Curtain" defense that won four Super Bowls during the 1970s. Greene had over six sacks in five different seasons and constantly wreaked havoc on opposing ball carriers. He was voted to 10 Pro-Bowls and four All-Pro Teams on his way to being named to the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team. Greene was also twice named the Defensive Player of the Year, coming in 1972 and 1974. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.


DT: Ernie Stautner (1950-1963)

2 Int | 23 FR | 15.5 Sk | 9x Pro-Bowl (52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61) | 1x All-Pro (58) | Hall of Fame All-1950s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1969


Ernie Stautner is somewhat of a forgotten name because he mainly played on losing teams, but he was one of the best defensive tackles in NFL history and was Pittsburgh's first star. He had 15 sacks in his last four seasons and assumingly many more in his first 10, but we only have sack records from 1960 and forward. Stautner was named to nine different Pro-Bowls and the 1958 All-Pro Team on his way to being named to the Hall of Fame All-1950s Team. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969. Dale Dodrill, Gene Lipscomb, Casey Hampton and Cameron Heyward are other greats at the position worth mentioning here.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Dale Dodrill (1951-1959) | 10 Int | 11 FR | 4x Pro-Bowl (53, 54, 55, 57) | 1x All-Pro (54)

  2. Joe Krupa (1956-1964) | 11 FR | 22.5 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (63)

  3. Gene Lipscomb (1961-1962) | 1 FR | 24.5 Sk | Led League in Sk 1961 (17.5) | 1x Pro-Bowl (62)

  4. Ernie Holmes (1972-1977) | 4 FR | 39.5 Sk

  5. Gary Dunn (1976-1987) | 9 FR | 35 Sk

  6. Gerald Williams (1986-1994) | 3 FF | 4 FR | 24.5 Sk | 334 Tackles

  7. Joel Steed (1992-1999) | 4 FF | 4 FR | 9.5 Sk | 305 Tackles | 1x Pro-Bowl (97)

  8. Casey Hampton (2001-2012) | 4 FF | 2 FR | 9 Sk | 398 Tackles | 39 TFL | 5x Pro-Bowl (03, 05, 06, 07, 09)

  9. Cameron Heyword (2011-Present) | 2 Int | 7 FF | 6 FR | 68 Sk | 540 Tackles | 101 TFL | 5x Pro-Bowl (17, 18, 19, 20, 21) | 3x All-Pro (17, 19, 21)

LB: Jack Lambert (1974-1984)

28 Int | 17 FR | 23.5 Sk | Led League in FR 1976 (8) | 9x Pro-Bowl (75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83) | 6x All-Pro (76, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83) | 1974 Defensive Rookie of the Year | 1976 Defensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1990


Jack Lambert is of course first up at linebacker. He's one of the greatest to ever play the position. Lambert spent 11 seasons in Pittsburgh, intercepting 28 passes and racking up just under 25 sacks. He was a leader on one of the greatest defenses of all time that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s. Lambert was named to nine straight Pro-Bowls from 1975-1983 and six different All-Pro Teams. He was also named the 1974 Defensive Rookie of the Year and the 1976 Defensive Player of the Year. Lambert was named to both the Hall of Fame All-1970s and All-1980s Team and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.


LB: Jack Ham (1971-1982)

32 Int | 21 FR | 25.5 Sk | 8x Pro-Bowl (73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80) | 6x All-Pro (74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79) | Hall of Fame All-1970s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1988

Jack Lambert's teammate for nine seasons, Jack Ham, is he teammate here as well. Jack Ham intercepted 32 passes and compiled 25.5 sacks during his 12 seasons in Pittsburgh and was named to eight straight Pro-Bowls from 1973-1980. He was a key member on all four Super Bowl winning teams and was named to six straight All-Pro Teams from 1974-1979 and the Hall of Fame All-1970s Team. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

LB: James Harrison (2002-2012, 2014-2017)

7 Int | 33 FF | 8 FR | 80.5 Sk | 772 Tackles | 122 TFL | Led League in FF 2008 (7) | 5x Pro-Bowl (07, 08, 09, 10, 11) | 2x All-Pro (08, 10) | 2008 Defensive Player of the Year


I'm going with James Harrison at the final linebacker spot. He's the franchise leader in sacks and authored one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history when he intercepted Kurt Warner and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown. Three times Harrison had over 10 sacks and twice he had over 100 tackles. He led the league in forced fumbles in 2008 and was named to five Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams. Harrison was also named the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, the same year that the Steelers won their most recent Super Bowl. He's a Hall of Famer in my book. The Steelers have had many other great linebackers, including Andy Russell, Greg Lloyd, Levon Kirkland, Kevin Greene and Joey Porter, just to name a few.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jerry Shipkey (1948-1952) | 13 Int | 9 FR | 3x Pro-Bowl (50, 51, 52) | 2x All-Pro (51, 52)

  2. John Reger (1955-1963) | 9 Int | 17 FR | 3x Pro-Bowl (59, 60, 61)

  3. Myron Pottios (1961-1965) | 7 Int | 2 FR | 7 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (61, 63, 64)

  4. Andy Russell (1963-1976) | 18 Int | 10 FR | 38 Sk | 7x Pro-Bowl (68, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75)

  5. Robin Cole (1977-1987) | 5 Int | 14 FR | 26 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (84)

  6. David Little (1981-1992) | 10 Int | 11 FR | 9 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (90)

  7. Mike Merriweather (1982-1987) | 11 Int | 9 FR | 31 Sk | 3x Pro-Bowl (84, 85, 86)

  8. Bryan Hinkle (1982-1993) | 15 Int | 11 FR | 22.5 Sk

  9. Greg Lloyd (1988-1996) | 10 Int | 34 FF | 15 FR | 53.5 Sk | 727 Tackles | Led League in FF 1994 and 1995 (5, 6) | 5x Pro-Bowl (91, 92, 93, 94, 95) | 3x All-Pro (93, 94, 95)

  10. Levon Kirkland (1992-2000) | 11 Int | 14 FF | 8 FR | 18.5 Sk | 849 Tackles | 17 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (96, 97) | 1x All-Pro (97) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team

  11. Kevin Greene (1993-1995) | 1 Int | 6 FF | 6 FR | 35.5 Sk | 184 Tackles | Led League in Sk 1994 (14) | 2x Pro-Bowl (94, 95) | 1x All-Pro (94) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2016

  12. Chad Brown (1993-1996, 2006) | 3 Int | 7 FF | 2 FR | 31 Sk | 307 Tackles | 1x Pro-Bowl (96) | 1x All-Pro (96)

  13. Jason Gildon (1994-2003) | 2 Int | 15 FF | 11 FR | 77 Sk | 507 Tackles | 58 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (00, 01, 02) | 1x All-Pro (01)

  14. Joey Porter (1999-2006) | 10 Int | 17 FF | 8 FR | 60 Sk | 468 Tackles | 75 TFL | 3x Pro-Bowl (02, 04, 05) | 1x All-Pro (02) | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team

  15. Kendrell Bell (2001-2004) | 1 Int | 2 FF | 2 FR | 18 Sk | 240 Tackles | 52 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (01) | 2001 Defensive Rookie of the Year

  16. James Farrior (2002-2011) | 8 Int | 12 FF | 10 FR | 30 Sk | 1,085 Tackles | 82 TFL | 2x Pro-Bowl (04, 08) | 1x All-Pro (04)

  17. Larry Foote (2002-2013) | 3 Int | 9 FF | 7 FR | 21 Sk | 636 Tackles | 48 TFL

  18. LaMarr Woodley (2007-2013) | 5 Int | 9 FF | 10 FR | 57 Sk | 304 Tackles | 68 TFL | Led League in TFL 2009 (20) | 1x Pro-Bowl (09)

  19. Lawrence Timmons (2007-2016) | 12 Int | 13 FF | 7 FR | 35.5 Sk | 983 Tackles | 66 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (14)

CB: Rod Woodson (1987-1996)

38 Int | 16 FF | 21 FR | 13.5 Sk | 671 Tackles | 7x Pro-Bowl (89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96) | 5x All-Pro (89, 90, 92, 93, 94) | 1993 Defensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2009

The All-Time Steelers defense has so many all-time greats. Next up is one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever live, Rod Woodson. Woodson spent 10 seasons in Pittsburgh and intercepted 38 passes and racked up over 600 tackles. He had multiple interceptions in every season but one and had 100 tackles in 1992. Woodson was named to seven Pro-Bowls, five All-Pro Teams and the Hall of Fame All-1990s Team. He was also named the 1993 Defensive Player of the Year and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.


CB: Mel Blount (1970-1983)

57 Int | 13 FR | 0.5 Sk | Led League in Int 1975 (11) | 5x Pro-Bowl (75, 76, 78, 79, 81) | 2x All-Pro (75, 81) | 1975 Defensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame Class 1989

Here's another all-time great cornerback and no surprise he played during the 1970s. Mel Blount intercepted a whopping 57 passes during his 14 seasons and most famously is the reason defensive backs can't get physical with receivers beyond five yards. Blount made it almost impossible for receivers to run a route and was one of the most feared tacklers of his time. He led the league in interceptions in 1975 with 11 and was named to five Pro-Bowls and two All-Pro Teams. Weirdly enough, Blount was actually named to the Hall of Fame All-1980s Team and not the All-1970s Team. He was also named the 1975 Defensive Player of the Year and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989. Jack Butler was another great cornerback for the Steelers and was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Jack Butler (1951-1959) | 52 Int | 10 FR | Led League in Int 1957 (10) | 4x Pro-Bowl (55, 56, 57, 58) | 3x All-Pro (57, 58, 59) | Hall of Fame All-1950s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2012

  2. Dean Derby (1957-1961) | 14 Int | 3 FR | Led League in Int 1959 (7) | 1x Pro-Bowl (59)

  3. Brady Keys (1961-1967) | 14 Int | 5 FR | 1 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (66)

  4. Marv Woodson (1964-1969) | 18 Int | 4 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (67)

  5. J.T. Thomas (1973-1981) | 19 Int | 1 FR | 1x Pro-Bowl (76)

  6. Dwayne Woodruff (1979-1990) | 37 Int | 4 FR | 3 Sk

  7. Deshea Townsend (1998-2009) | 21 Int | 5 FF | 4 FR | 15.5 Sk | 460 Tackles | 27 TFL

  8. Ike Taylor (2003-2014) | 14 Int | 2 FF | 5 FR | 3 Sk | 636 Tackles | 8 TFL


S: Troy Polamalu (2003-2014)

32 Int | 14 FF | 7 FR | 12 Sk | 783 Tackles | 56 TFL | 8x Pro-Bowl (04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 13) | 4x All-Pro (05, 08, 10, 11) | 2010 Defensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-2000s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2020


From one Hall of Famer to the next. Troy Polamalu is one of the greatest safeties of all-time and certainly of the past 20 years. Noticing a trend here? The Steelers have some of the greatest ever at almost every defensive position. Polamalu spent 12 seasons in Pittsburgh and intercepted 32 passes and compiled over 700 tackles. He was named to eight Pro-Bowls, four All-Pro Teams and the Hall of Fame All-2000s Team. Polamalu was also named the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.


S: Donnie Shell (1974-1987)

51 Int | 19 FR | 9.5 Sk | 5x Pro-Bowl (78, 79, 80, 81, 82) | 3x All-Pro (79, 80, 82) | Hall of Fame Class 2020


The final member of the Steelers All-Time defense is Donnie Shell. Shell was a member of all four Super Bowl winning teams of the 1970s and intercepted over 50 passes. He spent all 14 seasons of his career with Pittsburgh and was named to five Pro-Bowls and three All- Pro Teams. Shell finally got a bust in Canton in 2020. Carnell Lake was excellent with the Steelers as well and would be next up at this spot.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Clendon Thomas (1962-1968) | 23 Int | 7 FR | 3 Sk | 1x Pro-Bowl (63)

  2. Glen Edwards (1971-1977) | 25 Int | 8 FR | 0.5 Sk | 2x Pro-Bowl (75, 76)

  3. Mike Wagner (1971-1980) | 36 Int | 12 FR | 4 Sk | Led League in Int 1973 (8) | 2x Pro-Bowl (75, 76)

  4. Carnell Lake (1989-1998) | 16 Int | 15 FF | 16 FR | 21.5 Sk | 734 Tackles | 4x Pro-Bowl (94, 95, 96, 97) | 1x All-Pro (97) | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team

  5. Darren Perry (1992-1998) | 32 Int | 4 FF | 8 FR | 2.5 Sk | 515 Tackles

  6. Lee Flowers (1995-2002) | 4 Int | 8 FF | 7 FR | 12 Sk | 403 Tackles | 22 TFL

  7. Ryan Clark (2006-2013) | 12 Int | 3 FF | 6 FR | 2 Sk | 667 Tackles | 11 TFL | 1x Pro-Bowl (11)

K: Gary Anderson (1982-1994)

78.2 FG% | 55 Long | 1,343 Points | Led League in FGM 1985 (33) | 3x Pro-Bowl (83, 85, 93) | Hall of Fame All-1980s Team | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team


Gary Anderson gets the nod at kicker for the All-Time Steelers. He made just under 80% of his field goal attempts and is the franchise leader in points with 1,343. Anderson led the league in field goals made in 1985 and was named to three Pro-Bowls and both the Hall of fame All-1980s and 1990s Teams. He retired with the most points ever in NFL history and currently ranks 3rd. Anderson surely deserves a bust in Canton, but kickers never get the love they deserve.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Roy Gerela (1971-1978) | 64.3 FG% | 49 Long | 731 Points | 2x Pro-Bowl (72, 74)

  2. Jeff Reed (2002-2010) | 81.9 FG% | 53 Long | 919 Points

  3. Chris Boswell (2015-Present) | 88.3 FG% | 59 Long | 777 Points | 1x Pro-Bowl (17)

P: Bobby Walden (1968-1977)

29,462 Punt Yards | 72 Long | 41.1 Yds/Punt | Led League in Long 1972 (72) | 1x Pro-Bowl (69)


I'm going with Bobby Walden at punter. He averaged just over 41 yards per punt during his 10 seasons in Pittsburgh. He led the league in longest punt in 1972 and was named to his lone Pro-Bowl in 1969. Walden was also a member of the first two Super Bowl winning teams in franchise history. He's also the only Steeler's punter to ever be named to the Pro-Bowl.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Craig Colquitt (1978-1984) | 17,734 Punt Yds | 74 Long | 41.3 Yds/Punt

  2. Josh Miller (1996-2003) | 24,547 Punt Yds | 75 Long | 42.9 Yds/Punt

  3. Jordan Berry (2015-2020) | 17,104 Punt Yds | 79 Long | 44.4 Yds/Punt | Led League in Long 2015 (79)

Returner: Rod Woodson (1987-1996)

2,362 Punt Rt Yds | 2 Punt Rt TD | 9.2 Yds/Punt Rt | 4,894 Kick Rt Yds | 2 Kick Rt TD | 22.2 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League in Punt Rt TD 1990 (1) | Led League in Kick Rt TD 1988 and 1989 (1, 1) | Led League in Yds/Kick Rt 1989 (27.3) | 7x Pro-Bowl (89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96) | 5x All-Pro (89, 90, 92, 93, 94) | 1993 Defensive Player of the Year | Hall of Fame All-1990s Team | Hall of Fame Class 2009


Woodson was such a great cornerback that people often forget that early on in his career he was a great returner as well. He racked up over 7,000 total punt and kick return yards and took four to the house. Woodson led the league in punt return touchdowns once, kick return touchdowns twice and yards per kick return once as well. Antwann Randle El and Antonio Brown were very close seconds for this spot.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Lynn Chandnois (1950-1956) | 312 Punt Rt Yds | 4.7 Yds/Punt Rt | 2,720 Kick Rt Yds | 3 Kick Rt TD | 29.6 Yds/Kick Rt | Led League in Kick Rt TD 1952 and 1953 (2, 1) | Led League in Yds/Kick Rt 1952 (35.2) | 2x Pro-Bowl (52, 53)

  2. Antwaan Randle El (2002-2005, 2010) | 1,650 Punt Rt Yds | 4 Punt Rt TD | 9.1 Yds/Punt Rt | 1,742 Kick Rt Yds | 1 Kick Rt TD | 22.3 Yds/Kick RT | Led League in Punt Rt TD 2003 and 2005 (2, 2)

  3. Antonio Brown (2010-2018) | 1,759 Punt Rt Yds | 4 Punt Rt TD | 9.5 Yds/Punt Rt | 1,173 Kick Rt Yds | 1 Kick Rt TD | 25 Yds/Kick Rt | 7x Pro-Bowl (11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) | 4x All-Pro (14, 15, 16, 17) | Hall of Fame All-2010s Team


Head Coach: Chuck Noll (1969-1991)

Regular Season: 193-148-1 | 56.6 W-L% | Playoffs: 16-8 | 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979 Super Bowl Champion | Hall of Fame Class 1993


The Steelers have been blessed with three great coaches who have guided the team for over 50 years. Chuck Noll is the clear leader of the group. Noll was the leader in Pittsburgh for 23 seasons, guiding them to 15 winning seasons and 12 playoff appearances. Steelers went a perfect four for four in the Super Bowl under Noll, winning in 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979. He's the franchise leader in games won and was inducted into the Hall of fame in 1993. After Noll, the Steelers had Bill Cower who led the team for 15 years, compiling 11 winning seasons, 10 playoff appearances, two Super Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl Championship in 2005. Then after Cowher, the Steelers hit another home run with Mike Tomlin. He's led the Steelers for 15 seasons, never had losing record and won a Super Bowl in 2008. Tomlin will surely join Noll and Cowher in the Hall of Fame once he decides to retire.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Buddy Parker (1957-1964) | Regular Season: 51-47-6 | 52 W-L%

  2. Bill Cowher (1992-2006) | Regular Season: 149-90-1 | 62.3 W-L% | Playoffs: 12-9 | 2005 Super Bowl Champion | 1995 AFC Champion | Hall of Fame Class 2020

  3. Mike Tomlin (2007-Present) | Regular Season: 154-85-2 | 64.3 W-L% | Playoffs: 8-9 | 2008 Super Bowl Champion | 2010 AFC Champion



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