5 Steelers Legends we wish we could bring back in their prime in 2023

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#4 Ernie Stautner, Defensive Tackle/Defensive end

Ok, here come the critics saying what? Why not Joe Greene? Ok, you're not wrong, sure imagine a pass rush with Cam Heyward and Joe Green on the line and T.J. Watt on the edge. But Stautner would be a perfect piece and he wouldn't upstage anyway, but gives the Steelers a ferocious pass rush, and plus, the Steelers have some additional versatility you might not have thought of.

Part of the reason for selecting Stautner is because he played outside of the modern era of professional football. He played when the players played for the love of the game, and a paycheck was almost secondary. Not that they were paid much anyway. They played in an era when players probably went out and played with injuries that would cause most players to miss games today. Players then didn't have the players union and collective bargaining. That said, Stautner was one tough, rough-nosed hombre.

He might not be as big as guys today for a defensive tackle, but you couldn't deny his ability to go toe to toe with guys bigger than him. Add him to the defensive pass rush with Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt; it would take the Steelers pass rush to another level. Plus, the Steelers could move him around. He could play defensive end or defensive tackle. The Steelers could move him as needed. No matter where he plays on the defensive line, he causes problems for offensive blockers, and with added pressure on the quarterback, the Steelers secondary will look a whole lot better.  

One other aspect to consider. Maybe you need another blocker on the offensive line. Players in the heyday of the NFL could play multiple positions. A trait that has gone by the wayside except for perhaps Taysom Hill. In 1955 he played the season as the right tackle. Thus knowing how the 2023 draft focused on getting blockers, Tomlin could use him on the offensive line if he wanted. Again not as big as other offensive linemen, it's unlikely Stautner would be overpowered or bullied; he could block effectively too.

Stautner certainly could immediately upgrade either the Steelers offensive line or defensive line. If he does not propel the Steelers to the Superbowl, they would make a dang good run and beat up a few teams in the process.