5 most underappreciated Steelers defensive players since 2000

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William Gay, Pittsburgh Steelers

William Gay #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Ever since the 1970s, the Steelers have been one of the NFL’s most storied franchises, and despite many of their players getting notoriety, there are several who have been overlooked.

Ever since Chuck Noll took over as the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach in 1968, the team has been known for its vaunted defense.

Whether it be early players like Joe Greene and Jack Lambert, Bill Cowher coached players like Kevin Greene and Troy Polamalu, or Mike Tomlin coached players like James Harrison and T.J. Watt, the team has had its fair share of star power on the defensive side of the ball.

However, the Steelers don’t have six Lombardi Trophies just because of star power. Rather, they have had extremely deep rosters throughout their history with many players who don’t get much recognition due to the team’s plethora of stars and flashier players. While having superstar players certainly helps win championships, NFL teams never win Super Bowls without unsung heroes and players who do the dirty work.

There are so many players who don’t get the recognition they deserve, and in this article, we will look back at five underappreciated Steelers defenders since 2000.


Steelers Honorable Mention: William Gay

William Gay spent 10 of his 11 seasons in Pittsburgh and was a key nickel and dime package cornerback during the Super Bowl XLIII run. While he spent his first few seasons as a depth piece on one of the league’s most vaunted defensive units, he wound up as the elder statesman in the Steelers secondary for several years in his second tenure and was the best cornerback the team had during that time.

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