The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the oldest franchises in the National Football League. Over the years, the team has had some great players, including at the position of quarterback. Quarterbacks aren’t always successful their first season in the league though and sometimes it takes time for them to mature and develop.
Here are some interesting facts about the rookie quarterbacks of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
-In 2004, Ben Roethlisberger set the rookie record for most touchdown passes in a season for the Steelers with 17. This broke the previous rookie team record of 11 that was set by Neil O’Donnell in 1991.
-The Steelers record for most touchdown passes in a game by a rookie quarterback is three. This was first done in 1969 by Terry Hanratty in a loss to the Green Bay Packers and then equaled in 1991 in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals by Neil O’Donnell.
-No rookie quarterback has thrown more interceptions in a season for the Steelers than eventual Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw. In his first season in the league in 1970, he finished the year with 24 interceptions.
-The Pittsburgh Steelers record for most multiple touchdown games in a season by a rookie quarterback is held by Ben Roethlisberger. In 2004, Big Ben had six games in which he threw more than one touchdown pass.
-Ben Roethlisberger and Neil O’Donnell are tied for the rookie quarterback with the most sacks in one year. Both of them were sacked 30 times during their rookies season with Pittsburgh.
-A rookie quarterback has never started every game of the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The most starts a rookie has gotten for the franchise is the 13 games that Ben Roethlisberger started in 2004.
-The highest one game quarterback rating ever achieved by a Pittsburgh quarterback was 158.0 and was done by Ben Roethlisberger in a 17-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004. His stats for the day were 14 completions on 17 passes for 221 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions.
-Only four Steelers rookie quarterbacks have ever thrown for more than 300 yards in a game, and each one did it just one time. It first happened in 1967 when Kent Nix passed for 313 yards in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. It happened for the second time in 1980 when Cliff Stoudt passed for 310 yards in a loss to the Cleveland Browns. Neil O’Donnell then passed for 309 yards in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in 1991. Ben Roethlisberger then joined the group, and set the single game rookie passing yard mark for the team, when he threw for 316 yards in a win over the New York Giants in 2004.
-The highest completion percentage a Steelers rookie quarterback has ever gotten is the 71.4% mark put up by Kordell Stewart in 1995. He went just 5 of 7 on the season though. The highest completion percentage by a rookie quarterback for Pittsburgh who saw significant time as a starter is the 66.4% put up by Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.
-The first Steelers rookie quarterback to pass for more than 1,000 yards in a season was Kent Nix who threw for 1,587 yards in 1967. Ben Roethisberger was the first one to throw for more than 2,000 yards as a Steelers rookie when he put up 2,621 yards in 2004. Neil O’Donnell had just missed that milestone in 1991 when he threw for 1,963 yards.
-The highest a Steelers rookie quarterback has ever been drafted by the team was with the first pick overall. This happened in the 1970 NFL Draft when the team selected future Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.
-The oldest rookie quarterback ever to appear on the roster of the Pittsburgh Steelers was Walt Slater who was 27 in 1947, his first year in the NFL.
-The most interceptions thrown in one game by a Steelers rookie quarterback is four and this has been done three different times. Kent Nix had a four interception game in a 14-10 win over the New Orleans Saints in 1967. In 1970, Terry Bradshaw had two four interception games. The first came in a 31-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders and the second one in a 20-12 loss to the Green Bay Packers.