We asked AI to give us an all-time Steelers starting lineup... and it's controversial

Steelers, Terry Bradshaw
Steelers, Terry Bradshaw / George Gojkovich/GettyImages

You can do some fascinating things with artificial intelligence these days. In addition to instantly spewing out facts at the touch of a button, the latest AI has the ability to insert its opinion on objective matters. Recently, we experimented with this by asking a bizarre question pertaining to Steelers star, T.J. Watt.

Now we have taken it a step further. One topic that is always met with controversy is when fans and writers take the liberty of putting together their all-time Pittsburgh Steelers team. Generational biases and fan favorites always kick in, and there are plenty of schools of thought when constructing an all-time team.

That's why we asked AI to do it for us. Using Chat GPT technology, we asked artificial intelligence to come up with its all-time best starting lineup for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here's the exact list of players it gave us:

Steelers all-time starting lineup according to AI:


  1. Quarterback: Terry Bradshaw
  2. Running Back: Franco Harris
  3. Wide Receiver: Lynn Swann
  4. Wide Receiver: Hines Ward
  5. Tight End: Heath Miller
  6. Offensive Tackle: Jon Kolb
  7. Offensive Guard: Alan Faneca
  8. Center: Mike Webster
  9. Offensive Guard: David DeCastro
  10. Offensive Tackle: Larry Brown


  1. Defensive End: Joe Greene
  2. Defensive Tackle: Ernie Stautner
  3. Defensive Tackle: Casey Hampton
  4. Defensive End: L.C. Greenwood
  5. Outside Linebacker: Jack Ham
  6. Inside Linebacker: Jack Lambert
  7. Outside Linebacker: James Harrison
  8. Cornerback: Mel Blount
  9. Cornerback: Rod Woodson
  10. Safety: Troy Polamalu
  11. Safety: Donnie Shell

Special Teams:

  1. Kicker: Gary Anderson
  2. Punter: Bobby Walden
  3. Kick Returner: Antonio Brown
  4. Punt Returner: Antwaan Randle El

Many of these responses could be expected. There's little doubt that players like Alan Faneca, Joe Greene, and Troy Polamalu were not only the best at their respective positions on the team, but were among the very best in their generation in the NFL. For other names that Chat GPT gave us, there's much more of a debate.

Starting right off with the quarterback position, Terry Bradshaw is a pretty unpopular opinion when it comes to the younger generation of fans. While Bradshaw earned four Super Bowl rings, Roethlisberger annihilated Bradshaw in every major statistical category while still chipping in with two Lombardi Trophies of his own.

There's also an interesting debate at wide receiver, as Antonio Brown was left off the list in favor of Lynn Swann and Hines Ward. Brown might be the best pure receiver this team has ever had, but he soiled his reputation with his antics late in his career and he doesn't have the Super Bowl ring. This could be a reason why he didn't make the cut.

Perhaps the biggest snub involves a modern-day player. Cameron Heyward did not crack the Steelers all-time list despite his remarkable NFL career and All-Pro accolades. Likewise, there's certainly a case to be made for T.J. Watt despite the fact that he still has years left in the league. When he does hang up his cleats, he could have as many personal achievements as nearly any Steelers player in their storied history.

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In a subjective question like this, there's no real right or wrong answer. It's all about making the case and supporting your reasoning with evidence. It was interesting to see the all-time Pittsburgh Steelers starting lineup list that AI gave us, but its response is sure to be met with controversy.