Facts and information about the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Longtime Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s first job in coaching came in 1995 as the wide receivers coach at Virginia Military Institute. His first NFL coaching job came in 2001 as the defensive backs coach with Tampa Bay.
- In a 2014 win over the Texans, Steelers receiver Antonio Brown threw the first TD pass of his NFL career. It came in the second quarter, went for three yards, and was caught by Lance Moore.
- Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s first 300 yard game came in week 14 of his rookie season when he threw for 316 yards in a win over the Giants.
- Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant wears jersey number 10. Other Steelers players who have worn that number over the years include Rudy Bukich, Scott Campbell, Dennis Dixon, Roy Gerela, Santonio Holmes, Earl Morrall, and Kordell Stewart.
- In 1970 the Pittsburgh Steelers became one of three teams to join the incoming AFL teams in the newly formed American Football Conference. The Steelers were paid $3 million dollars for volunteering to change conferences.
- Former Steelers great, and Hall-of-Famer, Franco Harris played his final NFL season as a member of the Seattle Seahawks.
- The Steelers are the only team with a logo on just one side of their helmets.
In 1976, both Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier ran for over 1,000 yards rushing.
- The first quarterback Lawrence Timmons would sack was Joe Flacco of the Ravens in a 2008 game.
- The first two postseason touchdown passes Ben Roethlisberger would throw were both caught by Hines Ward.
- Over the years, the Steelers have selected five quarterbacks in the first round of the NFL Draft. They took Ted Marchibroda in 1953, Len Dawson in 1957, Terry Bradshaw in 1970, Mark Malone in 1980, and Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.
- Through six seasons in Atlanta and another five in Philadelphia, quarterback Michael Vick had worn jersey number 7. After wearing number one for his lone season with the Jets in 2014, Vick came to the Steelers in 2015 and wore jersey number 2. His familiar jersey number 7 was of course being worn by starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Steelers’ fullback Rocky Bleier was drafted in 1968 and played his rookie season for the team before being drafted again, this time by the United State Government, and sent to Vietnam. After being wounded in Vietnam, Bleier had trouble even walking without pain yet came back to work his way into NFL shape and star for the Steelers through the 1980 season.
Quarterback Kordell Stewart, at the time of his retirement following the 2005 season, had the second most rushing touchdowns of any quarterback ever in the NFL. He trailed only Steve Young of the San Francisco 49ers.
Former Steelers quarterback David Woodley had the unique distinction of succeeding a hall-of-fame quarterback in Miami (Bob Griese), and then doing the same thing for the Pittsburgh Steelers (Terry Bradshaw).
The 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers team that won the Super Bowl consisted of no players that had ever played for any other team in the NFL.
In 1989, the Steelers made it into the second round of the playoffs despite losing their first two regular season games by scores of 52-0 and 42-10 respectively.
For a time during the 1974 season, the Steelers starting quarterback was Joe Gilliam… making him the first African-American starting quarterback in the NFL.
Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story was a TV movie made in 1980 about the former Steelers running back, it starred Robert Urich as Bleier and the cast included some of his actual teammates.
Former Steelers star Lynn Swann was the first wide receiver to win the Super Bowl MVP.
Former quarterback Mark Malone set a Steelers team record when he caught a 90 yard touchdown pass during a game.
The Steelers would post losing records in 1969, 1970, and 1971; each of head coach Chuck Noll’s first three years with the team. They wouldn’t put up a losing record again until the 1985 season.
During 13 seasons in the NFL, Steelers quarterback and hall-of-famer Terry Bradshaw only had seven games with more than 300 yards passing. Of those seven games though, three of them were in the postseason.
- To get the first round pick needed to pick Troy Polamalu in the 2003 NFL Draft, the Steelers traded a first, third, and sixth round pick to the Chiefs. The Chiefs used the first rounder on running back Larry Johnson.
- As a rookie in 2013, Le’veon Bell had one 100 yard rushing performance. It came in the second to last game of the 2013 season, in a win over the Packers, when he carried the ball 26 times for 124 yards and a touchdown.
While in high school, Terry Bradshaw appeared in the Sports Illustrated ‘Faces In The Crowd’ section due to his javelin throwing ability, in which he set a then national record with a throw of 245 feet.
When Art Rooney founded the Pittsburgh Steelers (originally named the Pittsburgh Pirates), he paid the $2,500 (at the time) NFL franchise fee from money he had won betting on horse races.
In 2006, former Steelers wide receiver and pro football hall-of-famer Lynn Swann ran for, but lost his bid to be the Governor of Pennsylvania.
Wide Receiver Calvin Sweeney caught the final pass of Terry Bradshaw’s career for a touchdown against the Jets in 1983. This also happened to be the final pro football game played in New York City with the Jets moving to the Meadowlands for the 1984 season.
Pittsburgh’s NFL team was originally called the Pirates and founded in 1933. In 1941 the team was renamed the Steelers and the very next year they had their first winning record.
Quarterback Terry Bradshaw was the first overall pick of the 1970 NFL Draft… the first pick of the 1971 NFL Draft was future Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett. Bradshaw went on to win the Super Bowl MVP following the 1979 season… winning the Super Bowl MVP the next year? Jim Plunkett.
In the final nine games of the 1976 NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers allowed just 28 total points (an average of 3.11 points per game).
- In 1943, due to shortages in manpower because of the needs of World War II, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles temporarily merged, forming the Phil-Pitt Steagles. The next year, 1944, they merged with the Chicago Cardinals and played as Card-Pitt.
- In a 2014 win on the road against the Bengals, Ben Roethlisberger and Martavis Bryant hooked up on a 94 yard scoring toss. This was the longest TD reception of the year in the NFL that season.
- The first quarterback Steelers great James Harrison would sack in the postseason was David Garrard of the Jaguars.
- Ben Roethisberger went to Findlay High School in Findlay, Ohio. He is not the first football player from there to play for the Steelers. Dick Flanagan also came out of Findlay High School and played linebacker with the Steelers from 1953 to 1955.
- In a win over the Ravens in 2008, longtime Steelers defensive back William Gay picked off the first pass of his career when he intercepted quarterback Joe Flacco.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers have won back-to-back Super Bowls twice; 1974 & 1975, and 1978 & 1979.
- Former Pittsburgh Steelers owner Bert Bell also owned the cross state rival Philadelphia Eagles in the 1930s.
- The Steelers are the oldest football team, dating to 1933, in the AFC.
- From 1933 until 1940 the team was known as the Pittsburgh Pirates until a name-the-team contest produced the name Steelers.
- Pittsburgh lost its first game ever 23-2 against the New York Giants.
- Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers Center and Hall-of-Famer Mike Webster is the starting Center on the NFL’s All-1970’s team, as well as the All-1980’s team.
- Hall-of-Fame Center Mike Webster left the Steelers in 1988 to become the Offensive Line Coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, soon after this he came out of retirement to play two more seasons.
- Actor Ed O’Neill, most famous for playing Al Bundy on the popular Fox sitcom Married… With Children, was signed by the Steelers in 1969 but he was released before the 1969 season started.
- In 1938, Pittsburgh signed future United States Supreme Court Justice Byron White to the richest football contract in history. He only played one season in Pittsburgh before joining the Detroit Lions.
- Hall-of-Fame executive Jim Finks, known for his General Manager abilities with the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints, was drafted in 1949 by the Steelers.
- Only once in franchise history have the Steelers gone winless in a season and that was during the 1944 season when they had temporarily merged with the Chicago Cardinals because or worker shortages due to World War II. Their record that year was 0-10.
- The Steelers pulled off one of the best drafts ever in 1974 when they selected, among others; Center Mike Webster, Wide Receivers John Stallworth and Lynn Swann, and Linebacker Jack Lambert. All four of these players from one draft went on to star with the Steelers and make it to the Hall-of-Fame.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted five Hall-of-Fame players in four consecutive years, drafting Mean Joe Greene in 1969, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount in 1970, Jack Ham in 1971, and Franco Harris in 1972.
- In the five seasons from 1972 to 1976, the Defensive Player of the Year went to a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers four times; Joe Greene twice, Mel Blount, and Jack Lambert.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers were the first team in history to win more than two Super Bowls.
- Head Coach Bill Cowher led the Pittsburgh Steelers to the playoffs in each of his first six season in the league.
- During the 1943 season when they had combined with the Eagles to form the “Steagles”, the Steelers wore the Eagles uniforms. This is the only season in their history that their colors were not black and gold.
- The current Steelers logo was created in 1962 and is based on a U.S. Steel logo. That first year it was worn on gold helments, the following year the Steelers changed to the black helmets they’re known for today.
- The Steelers fans tradition of waving a “Terrible Towel” during their games was started by broadcaster Myron Cope.
- In 1961, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first professional football team to have cheerleaders. The Steelerettes, as they were called, were discontinued in 1969.
- In the film The Longest Yard, Paul Crewe (played by Burt Reynolds and later by Adam Sandler in the remake) is a former Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback.
- Hall-of-Fame Quarterback Johnny Unitas was cut from the Steelers training camp roster in 1955. He went on to star for the Baltimore Colts.
- Although the Steelers officially do not retire former players jersey numbers, there are a number of players (Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, etc.) whose jersey numbers have not been reused since they retired.
- Walt Kiesling had three different stints as Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach; 1939-1940, 1941-1944, and 1954-1956.
- In the Pittsburgh Steelers first 35 years as an NFL franchise (1933-1968) they had 14 different Head Coaches, in their next 36 years (1969-2006) they had just two (Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher).
- Former Wide Receiver Lynn Swann’s movie credits include: The Program, The Waterboy, and The Last Boyscout.
- Former Quarterback Terry Bradshaw’s film roles have included: Smokey and the Bandit II, Black Sunday and Failure To Launch.
- Terry Bradshaw was a part time announcer for CBS while he was still an active player near the end of his career.
- Former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher’s wife Kaye Cowher played professional basketball for the New York Stars of the now defunct Women’s Pro Basketball League.
- Former Steelers Head Coach Chuck Noll was an assistant coach under Don Shula when Shula was Head Coach of the Baltimore Colts.
- Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno was offered the Head Coaching position with the Steelers; when he turned the position down, the job was offered to Chuck Noll.
- Former Steelers Coach Chuck Noll won four Super Bowls with Pittsburgh during the 1970s; he wouldn’t win Coach-of-the-Year until 1989.
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