I know what you’re thinking: the last thing I want to read is yet another Pittsburgh Steelers “All-Time” list of some ilk written by someone who will probably inject his/her own preferences into said list. To that, I would retort with this statement: You’re not completely off-base; however, if we are to have a discussion about compiling the greatest team in Steelers history, we have an obligation to be objective, regardless of personal opinion. To that end, I will endeavor to be just that.
Compiling an “All-Time” Steelers team is actually pretty easy as there exists a veritable cornucopia of players at nearly every position from which to choose. As the title suggests, who will make the cut? As always, all statistics and biographical information come to us courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.
Before we delve into the greatest starting “22”, let’s look at who did NOT make the cut:
Honorable mentions: offense
Before you throw the device down which you are reading this article, allow me to make my argument. Unequivocally, five years after Ben Roethlisberger retires, he will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At this point in time, when we are objectively arguing who the greatest QB in Steelers history is, one statistic is the deciding factor, as far as I’m concerned-Super Bowl wins.
Ben has brought us two. Hopefully, we will collect a couple more Lombardi trophies before he retires. Then the argument as to who the greatest Steelers QB is can be discussed in perpetuity.
Undrafted out of North Carolina, Parker played six seasons for us, amassing 5378 yards rushing and grabbing 84 balls for another 697 yards. Although he holds the record for the longest run in Super Bowl history, he did not quite ascend to the level of the greatest running back of all-time.
John Henry Johnson
Although I did not have the pleasure of watching Johnson play, he had an impressive career. Johnson rushed for 4,381 yards and added 814 yards on 106 receptions. He was a four-time Pro Bowler, having made the trip three consecutive times as a Steeler.
Johnson won an NFL Championship once while a member of the Detroit Lions. He is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame; however, he did not get the nod over the greatest full back in Steelers history.