10 biggest trash talkers in Pittsburgh Steelers history

The Steelers have had no shortage of great trash talkers in their storied history.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Pittsburgh Steelers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Pittsburgh Steelers / Nick Laham/GettyImages

Great trash talkers make the NFL more fun, especially when they can back up their words on the field. Some of the greatest Pittsburgh Steelers in franchise history were capable of dominating on the field and letting their opposition know about it between snaps with just as much skill.

Trash-talking is an art, though. It's one thing to be arrogant, but another to couple that arrogance with performance to display confidence.

The current Steelers roster has some notable trash talkers - George Pickens, Joey Porter Jr., and Patrick Queen are likely the most notable. But their tenures with the team have been too short to add them to this list.

So let's look back on some of the greatest names in team history who could crush opponents with their skills and their words.

#10 - Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin's words aren't just good for his Tomlinisms. That said, one of his best Tomlinisms calling the opposition "Nameless Greyfaces" is great trash talk all the same.

Still, Tomlin has been known to give opposing players a quip on the sidelines, including his new linebacker Patrick Queen.

#9 - JuJu Smith-Schuster

For better or worse, JuJu Smith-Schuster was an alright trash-talker. Unfortunately for him, a great deal of his smack talk came through TikTok videos during the tumultuous 2019 season which didn't always come off too well. He began to underperform without Antonio Brown and so his trash talk wasn't as well-respected.

Still, his rookie season was memorable and he proved to be entertaining on the field, on the sidelines, and on social media.

#8 - Larry Foote

While his running mate James Farrior was more of a stoic leader, Larry Foote was regarded as one of the best trash talkers on the team early in his tenure.

He made a reputation for trashing Michigan State as a former Wolverine, the Steelers' opposition, and even the Black & Gold when he was released in 2009.

While he was never a superstar, he was a reliable player that fans could count on to be the defense's energizer next to Farrior's command.

#7 - Mike Wallace

With game-breaking speed like Mike Wallace had, could you blame him for talking trash to opposing defensive backs?

Wallace told ESPN in 2010, "I'm a guy who's jealous. I love seeing other guys shine, but I don't want anyone to outshine me."

While he was in Pittsburgh he was a star catching numerous rainbow-arc touchdown passes from Ben Roethlisberger and letting every defense know about it between plays.

#6 - Ernie Holmes

As intimidating as the Steel Curtain defense was for their physical presence, Ernie Holmes may have been the craziest of the bunch. Sure, we'll see other names on the list from the Steel Curtain defense, but Holmes was nearly certifiably insane.

Holmes wasn't someone to mess with, on or off the field. Steelers lore is littered with stories of Holmes kicking ass and handing a lecture all in one go.

#5 - Ike Taylor

Ike Taylor works in media now, so it's not too surprising that he was regarded as one of the best talkers on the Steelers' defense once a certain linebacker left town.

Taylor may have needed his advantages where he could get him coming from a small school, having a reputation for dropping interceptions, and largely being underrated throughout his career as the Steelers' top corner. But having to line up against Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh twice a year, you have to keep up between the whistles - during the play and after.

Ike Taylor never lacked in his confidence though. Hailing from Swaggin' U, he had to be tough mentally, physically, and vocally.

#4 - Dwight White

Dwight White was every bit as intimidating as Ernie Holmes along the Steel Curtain defensive front, though his trash talk was a bit more traditional, in a sense. Still, the Mad Dog was loud.

White matched his physical tenacity with his trash talk, letting opposing offensive linemen know that he and his teammates would be a nightmare to deal with all day. And that's no exaggeration. LC Greenwood once said it was hard to get the defensive signal because White was jawing with the offense between plays.

Jack Ham once said White set the tone with his trash talk, playing and talking a great game for 60 minutes in every contest.

#3 - Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown, for all his faults off the field, is statistically the greatest wide receiver in franchise history - and he will let everyone know it. Ironically, early in his career, he was considered a humble sixth-round pick who was earning the right to trash-talk the opposition because he backed up everything he would say on the field.

Brown's social media feed never shuts up either. His words and his actions have landed him in plenty of trouble since 2018, but there's no denying that when he wore the Black & Gold, he was free to say what needed to be said on the field.

After all, during his time in Pittsburgh, when he told opposing defensive backs he was the best, he certainly wasn't lying.

#2 - Jack Lambert

Maybe Holmes wasn't the only guy who was a tad bit crazy on those famed Steelers defenses of the 1970s. Jack Lambert hit like a Mac truck and his trash talk was sure to get opponents' attention just as easily as the horn of one.

When Lambert said he was going to crush you, it wasn't a prediction, it was a spoiler.

One of the best early NFL Films 'mic'd up' moments was Lambert crashing into Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett and shouting "That'll cool your ass off!"

#1 - Joey Porter

There isn't any other option. Joey Porter was a modern-day John Randall. Porter was the kind of player to tell runners and quarterbacks he would annihilate them in the backfield, do it, and then laugh at them for it.

Porter has said his trash talk is what helped get him going, but there's no doubt it helped tear down the opposition when he'd back up everything he said on the field.

Bill Cowher was even known to use Porter's trash talk as a pre-game weapon, a testament to how skilled Porter was at getting in the heads of his opponents.

Whether he was on the field or on the sidelines, Porter never let up and has long been revered as one the NFL's best trash talkers of all time.

Next. Russell Wilson could be a thorn in the Steelers side for a long time. Russell Wilson could be a thorn in the Steelers side for a long time. dark

It would seem he's passed those skills on to his son. Joey Porter Jr. told the Ravens they spent too much money on Odell Beckham Jr. after JPJ "strapped his old ass" and intercepted a pass intended for OBJ in the endzone in 2023 to seal a Steelers victory. On his current trajectory, it won't be long and Porter Jr. will be held in the same regard as his boisterous father.