Pittsburgh Steelers: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport /
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Donnie Shell, Pittsburgh Steelers
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

22. player. 55. . SS. (1974-87). Donnie Shell

Donnie Shell is on the long list of historic defensive backs to come through Pittsburgh. The five-time Pro Bowl selection was right in the mix of the run of the ’70s, earning his place with some of the greats he played alongside.

The safety was named to three first-team All-Pro selections and won four Super Bowl rings during his time. A contributor in the secondary, Shell may be overshadowed by names like Jack Lambert and Joe Greene. Nevertheless, the Steel Curtain would’ve never been without the impact of everyone, including Shell.

Shell and Mel Blount ran the secondary during the ’70s. A corner/safety duo shut down any wide receiver they faced. While guys like L.C. Greenwood were finding the quarterback, Shell was using his speed and incredible football IQ to lock down some of the NFL’s best pass catchers.

Not everyone who played in the 70’s dynasty is an all-time great. There were players on this team that turned the Steelers into four-time champions. One of those players is certainly Shell.