Top 5 most underrated players in Steelers franchise history

Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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Andy Russell Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

The Steelers selected a Linebacker in the 16th round of the 1963 NFL draft who would become a two-time Super Bowl Champion

Full disclosure:  I started watching football in 1978, two years after Andy Russell, the 16th round pick of the Steelers in the 1963 draft, hung up his cleats. However, I did see him play over the years via re-runs of Steelers regular-season games, highlights of the 1974 and 1975 Super Bowl games, and re-runs of the 1974 and 1975 Super Bowl games in their entirety.

When you think of the great Steelers linebackers, the first two players who come to mind are JacksHam, and Lambert. I don’t think any Steelers fan would argue that Ham and Lambert are the two greatest linebackers in Steelers history, but where does Russell fall on that list?

In Russell’s 12 seasons, he was named to the Pro Bowl 7 times, 6 times consecutively.  He played in 168 games, starting 162 of them.  Russell was a two-time Super Bowl Champ who finished his career with 18 INTs and 10 fumble recoveries. Russell also started every game for 7 seasons.

I don’t know about you but if you were to tell me that a player who made 7 Pro Bowls and was a two time Super Bowl champ is not considered one of the best players at his position, I would tell you this:  That is the very definition of undervalued and underrated.

Let’s now turn our attention to the final player on our list.