1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season

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1975 Pittsburgh Steelers season
Head coach Chuck Noll
General manager Daniel M. Rooney
Owner Art Rooney
Home field Three Rivers Stadium
Results
Record 12–2
Division place 1st AFC Central
Playoff finish Won Divisional Round (Colts) 28-10
Won AFC Championship (Raiders) 16-10
Won Super Bowl X (Cowboys) 21–17
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros
Team MVP Mel Blount
Team ROY John Banaszak
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1974 1976 >

The 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers team was the second championship team in club history. This Steelers team entered the beginning of the season as defending champions for the first time in their 40-year history. The team was led by dominating defense, and a quick offense to win Super Bowl X over the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17. The team posted their best defensive numbers since 1946, and scored more points than any other Steeler team to that point.

There are two types of Super Bowl teams that no one really remembers: 1--the team that lost the game, and 2--the team that only won one. The 1975 Steelers took that to heart and began the season as defending champions for the first time ever. For some, the Super Bowl is an ending. For the Steelers, it was only the beginning. Chuck Noll was eagerly preparing his team for the '75 championship in the locker room of old Tulane Stadium after Super Bowl IX. Noll left the hanging message that they could be better and win more and more as time went on. Nearly every player on the Pittsburgh roster had been drafted and developed under Noll, so it was little surprise that their players, like their coach, would be not satisfied with just one ring.

In Week 1, the Steelers were hosted by the San Diego Chargers. They played good defense, but played better offense as the Steelers won, 37-0. So they returned home to play the Buffalo Bills in Week 2. Chuck Noll had warned them the team wasn't playing well, but the team tried to shrug it off and win the way they had the previous week. However, Bills running back O.J. Simpson rushed for 227 yards, the most a Steelers defense had ever allowed. They took the humiliating loss and began an 11-game win streak that is still one of the best efforts in club history. An angry defense clamped down for the next three weeks on Cleveland, Denver, and Chicago and the offense scored a total of 99 points during the three games. The team realized they had to elevate their play to reach the Super Bowl again. They continually began to do just that. One of the team standouts that season was 2-year WR Lynn Swann. In his rookie 1974 season, Swann caught 11 passes. In 1975, he caught 11 touchdowns. His determination and talent combined to create one of the most consistent receivers the Steelers have ever had.

The Steelers visited Green Bay and Cincinnati and won scoring a total of 46 points. The emergence of Lynn and fellow WR #82 John Stallworth were continually making their quarterback, #12 Terry Bradshaw better after every week. The 1975 season was the first time that a division ever had three 10-game winning teams. They had already beaten the Bengals, and in Week 8, the 6-1 Steelers hosted the 6-1 Oilers. With the game tied in the final minutes, a catch in the endzone by John Stallworth placed them at the top of their division, 24-17. RB #32 Franco Harris was another standout for the Steelers, rushing for more yards than any other back except for O.J. Simpson. The Steelers had won more games, scored more points, and allowed fewer than in 1974. Just before beating New York, the Steelers beat the Oilers and won over the Bengals again for the AFC Central title. After losing a meaningless game in Los Angeles, the Steelers were ready for the playoffs.

The Steelers opened the playoffs with a 12-2 record and were ready for the 10-4 Baltimore Colts. While the Steel Curtain held down the Colts, the offense stalled out in a cold and wet Three Rivers Stadium. They turned the ball over five times. But an interception by CB Mel Blount gave a chance for the Steelers to take over. After a Rocky Bleier, #20, touchdown, a fumble recovery by LB #34 Andy Russell looked to seal the game. However, it wasn't before Andy took the ball on what Sports Illustrated called "the longest slowest touchdown ever witnessed". The Steelers won, 28-10, and prepared for their rival, the Oakland Raiders. Like last year, the Steelers would play the AFC Championship against them, however, this time in the comfort of Three Rivers and the ice. All week the weather was awful in Pittsburgh, after the field tarp split during the night, the sidelines became iced over and narrowed the field for the deep outside passing game of Oakland. The teams scored a total of 3 points in the first three quarters. Both teams combined for 13 turnovers. The most heated rivalry was stuck in a deep-freeze. It had been escalating for four years, and now it was escalating on every play. During the 3rd, #88 Lynn Swann was taken out of the game by a clothesline tackle from Raiders S #43 George Atkinson. He had been knocked out and later, was in the hospital. In the 4th quarter, the Steelers scored on a 25-yard run to the outside by #32 Franco Harris. It was a play in which John Stallworth made a key block on two Raider defenders. Later, a 20-yard pass caught by Stallworth put them up, 16-7. The game ended on a #12 Ken Stabler pass to #21 Cliff Branch, who was tackled down by CB #47 Mel Blount. The Steelers were headed to the Super Bowl again.

For the first time ever, the Super Bowl matched two teams that had already won Lombardi Trophies. Most the pre-game hype was centered around the health of Lynn Swann, who was given the worst concussion he had ever had. A statement made by Cowboys safety Cliff Harris had angered Swann. Swann was not the only Steeler who was challenged. The Cowboys scored quickly on a 29-yard pass to #88 Drew Pearson. The defense had allowed the first 1st quarter touchdown on the Steelers all year. However, a determined Lynn Swann made a leaping sideline catch over Cowboys CB #46 Mark Washington. Later, he made the catch that is often repeated by NFL Films as one of the greatest catches in NFL History. Bradshaw threw it deep to Swann who was covered very well by Washington again. However, when the ball was batted it, it began to fall. As the ball and Swann was falling, he was able to stick his hands up and grab it with Washington underneath him. At the end of the first half, the Cowboys were leading 10-7. The Steelers defense was very challenged by the complicated Cowboy offense. However, the Cowboys had never seen a defense quite like the Steelers. Roger Staubach was sacked 7 times for a loss of 42 yards. When the third quarter resumed, Cowboys' safety #43 Cliff Harris began to taunt Steelers kicker #10, Roy Gerela. LB #58 Jack Lambert, seeing this, ran over and threw Harris to the ground. It was a crucial moment in the game, as a huge momentum shift. S #23 Mike Wagner's interception helped the Steelers to their first lead. As usual, they saved their best for last. However, a long touchdown catch by Lynn Swann had come to a cost, as Bradshaw was shaken up and forced to leave the game. A Dallas touchdown cut their lead to 4. When #5 Terry Hanratty took over, Chuck Noll made an unusual decision. On 4th and 9, the Steelers ran the ball up the middle, giving the ball back to the Cowboys near mid-field. However, it was the faith he had in his defense that caused this decision. With three seconds left, the Cowboys had one last chance, and threw a pass into the endzone. However, it was tipped by Mike Wagner and intercepted by S #27 Glen Edwards. The Steelers were Super Bowl champions agian. They had beaten the Cowboys, 21-17. The MVP of course, was #88 Lynn Swann. At the end of the game, Chuck Noll began to preparing his team in the locker room of the Miami Orange Bowl for the next year.

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1975 Pittsburgh Steelers staff
Front office
  • Chairman of the Board – Arthur J. Rooney
  • President – Daniel M. Rooney
  • Vice President – John R. McGinley
  • Vice President – Arthur J. Rooney, Jr.
  • Public Relations Director – Ed Kiely
  • Traveling Secretary – James A. Boston
  • Publicity Director – Joe Gordon
  • Controller – Robert P. Quinn
  • Accountant – Dennis P. Thimons
  • Ticket Manager – Joseph H. Carr
  • Director of Player Personnel – Dick Haley
  • Assistant Director of Player Personnel – Bill Nunn
  • Director of Professional Scouting – V. Timothy Rooney

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches


Strength and conditioning

  • Strength – Louis Riecke
  • Flexibility – Paul Uram
  • Team Physician, Orthopedic – Dr. John Best
  • Team Physician, M.D. – Dr. David S. Huber
  • Team Dentist – Dr. George P. Boucek
  • Trainer – Ralph Berlin
  • Assistant Trainer – Robert Milie
  • Equipment Manager – Anthony Parisi
  • Field Manager – Jack Hart
  • Film Director – Bob McCartney
  • Photographer – Harry Homa

[1]

Roster[edit]

1975 Pittsburgh Steelers final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad [2] [3] [4]


Rookies in italics
43 Active, 1 Inactive, Practice squad

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

1975 Pittsburgh Steelers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 26 Dave Brown  CB Michigan played 1 season for Steelers
2 51 Bob Barber  DE Grambling playing for Packers; 1976-79
3 78 Walter White  TE Maryland Traded to Chiefs
4 104 Harold Evans  LB Houston
5 130 Brent Sexton  DB Elon
6 156 Marvin Crenshaw  T Nebraska
7 180 Wayne Mattingly  T Colorado
8 208 Al Humphrey  DE Tulsa
9 234 Bruce Reimer  RB North Dakota State
10 260 Archie Grey  WR Wyoming
11 286 Randy Little  TE West Liberty
12 312 Greg Murphy  DE Penn State
13 337 Bob Gaddis  WR Mississippi Valley State played mostly in CFL
14 364 Mike Collier  RB Morgan St played 1 season for Steelers
15 390 Marty Smith  DT Louisville
16 415 Miller Bassler  TE Houston
17 442 Stan Hegener  G Nebraska

Preseason[edit]

During the preseason, the Steelers acquired undrafted free-agent, John Banaszak. The Defensive tackle from East. Michigan played in three games and later became the 1975 Team ROY (Rookie of the Year).

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Game Site
1 Sun. September 21 @ San Diego Chargers W 37–0 San Diego Stadium
2 Sun. September 28 Buffalo Bills L 21-30 Three Rivers Stadium
3 Sun. October 5 @ Cleveland Browns W 42–6 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
4 Sun. October 12 Denver Broncos W 20–9 Three Rivers Stadium
5 Sun. October 19 Chicago Bears W 34–3 Three Rivers Stadium
6 Sun. October 26 @ Green Bay Packers W 16–13 Lambeau Field
7 Sun. November 2 @ Cincinnati Bengals W 30–24 Riverfront Stadium
8 Sun. November 9 Houston Oilers W 24–17 Three Rivers Stadium
9 Sun. November 16 Kansas City Chiefs W 28–3 Three Rivers Stadium
10 Mon. November 24 @ Houston Oilers W 32–9 Houston Astrodome
11 Sun. November 30 @ New York Jets W 20–7 Shea Stadium
12 Sun. December 7 Cleveland Browns W 31–17 Three Rivers Stadium
13 Sun. December 14 Cincinnati Bengals W 35–14 Three Rivers Stadium
14 Sat. December 20 @ Los Angeles Rams L 3-10 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 10 10 3 14 37
Chargers 0 0 0 0 0

In the Week 1 game, the Steelers opened the season as defending champions, and crushed the Chargers, 37-0, in San Diego. (1-0)


Week 2[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bills 0 10 13 7 30
Steelers 0 0 7 14 21

In Week 2, the Steelers, coming off a crushing defeat of the Chargers in Week 1, came to play revenge eager Buffalo in Pittsburgh. The Bills had been beaten the previous year by the Steelers in the playoffs, 32-14. Chuck Noll had warned the team the previous week that the team did not play very well, however, the players ignored him and were beaten by a 227-yard-rushing day by RB O.J. Simpson, 30-21. (1-1)


Week 3[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 21 0 14 42
Browns 0 0 0 6 6

In this Week 3 matchup, the Steelers would be hosted by the Cleveland Browns. These two teams had already been established as one of the league's best rivalries by this time, and Joe Greene's infamous kicking of the Browns lineman Bob McKay only fueled the rivalry. The fight that broke out afterwards caught it on fire. Greene was later fined $500 while the Steelers beat the Browns, 42-6. (2-1)


Week 4[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 3 6 0 0 9
Steelers 7 10 0 6 23
  • Date: October 12
  • Location: Three Rivers Stadium • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Game attendance: 49,164
  • Game weather: 59°F (Mostly Cloudy)
  • Referee: Dick Jorgensen

In Week 4, the Steelers beat the Denver Broncos in Three Rivers, 23-9. (3-1)


Week 5[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 0 3 0 0 3
Steelers 0 10 10 14 34
  • Date: October 19
  • Location: Three Rivers Stadium • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Game attendance: 47,579
  • Game weather: 50°F (Cloudy)
  • Referee: Norm Schachter

In Week 5, the Steelers crushed Chicago, 34-3. Three weeks after the Steelers were beaten by Buffalo, the team was 4-1, and had allowed only 18 points during the last three weeks while scoring 99. (4-1)


Week 6[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 10 0 3 16
Packers 0 6 7 0 13

In Week 5, the Packers would host the Steelers in Milwaukee, however, the tense battle ended in Pittsburgh's favor, 16-13. (5-1)


Week 7[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 10 13 7 30
Bengals 3 0 0 21 24

In Week 7, the Steelers played the Bengals in Riverfront Stadium and beat up the Bengals, 30-24. (6-1)


Week 8[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 0 7 3 7 17
Steelers 10 7 0 7 24
  • Date: November 9
  • Location: Three Rivers Stadium • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Game attendance: 49,460
  • Game weather: 75°F (Sunny)
  • Referee: Jim Tunney

In this heated Week 8 battle, the Steelers would play host to the Houston Oilers. Pittsburgh sealed the win with a 4th quarter TD pass from #12 Terry Bradshaw to #82 John Stallworth that placed them at the top of the division. (7-1)


Week 9[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 0 3 0 0 3
Steelers 0 7 14 7 28
  • Date: November 16
  • Location: Three Rivers Stadium • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Game attendance: 48,803
  • Game weather: 55°F (Partly Cloudy)
  • Referee: Bernie Ulman

In Week 9, the Steelers beat the Chiefs, 28-3. (8-1)


Week 10[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 2 13 3 14 32
Oilers 0 3 0 6 9

In Week 10, the Steelers defeated the Oilers again, this time in Houston 32-9, and secured a playoff spot. (9-1)


Week 11[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 10 10 0 20
Jets 0 0 0 7 7

In Week 11, the Steelers beat the Jets 20-7. (10-1)


Week 12[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 3 14 0 0 17
Steelers 7 3 14 7 31
  • Date: December 7
  • Location: Three Rivers Stadium • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game attendance: 47,962
  • Game weather: 38°F (Sunny) • Wind 11
  • Referee: Pat Haggerty

In another defeat of Cleveland in Week 13, 31-17, the Steelers continued their winning streak to 10. (11-1)


Week 13[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bengals 0 7 0 7 14
Steelers 14 7 7 7 35
  • Date: December 13
  • Location: Three Rivers Stadium • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Game start: 12:30 p.m.
  • Game attendance: 48,889
  • Game weather: 57 °F (14 °C), (Sunny) wind 8 mph
  • Referee: Ben Dreith

In Week 13, the Steelers finished the sweep of the division by beating the Bengals again, 35-14. (12-1)


Week 14[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 0 0 0 3
Rams 0 3 0 7 10

In the meaningless Week 14 game, the Steelers were beaten by Los Angeles, 10-3. (12-2)


Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Pittsburgh Steelers(1) 12 2 0 .857 6–0 10–1 373 162 L1
Cincinnati Bengals(4) 11 3 0 .786 3–3 8–3 340 246 W1
Houston Oilers 10 4 0 .714 2–4 7–4 293 226 W3
Cleveland Browns 3 11 0 .214 1–5 2–8 218 372 L1

Postseason[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result TV Game Site
Divisional Saturday December 27 Baltimore Colts W 28–10 NBC Three Rivers Stadium
Championship Sunday January 4 Oakland Raiders W 16–10 NBC Three Rivers Stadium
Super Bowl X Sunday January 18 Dallas Cowboys W 21–17 CBS Miami Orange Bowl

Game summaries[edit]

Divisional[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Colts 0 7 3 0 10
Steelers 7 0 7 14 28
  • Franco Harris gained 152 yds rushing one yard less than the Baltimore Colts offense. Andy Russell set a record for elapsed time on a fumble return.


AFC Championship[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Raiders 0 0 0 10 10
Steelers 0 3 0 13 16
  • Date: January 4
  • Location: Three Rivers Stadium • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Game start: 12:30 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 50,609
  • Game weather: 16°F (Blowing Snow)
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
  • TV announcers (NBC): Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, and Don Meredith

Pittsburgh won the game, despite giving up eight turnovers.[5]


Super Bowl[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 7 3 0 7 17
Steelers 7 0 0 14 21
  • Lynn Swann earned the MVP award catching 4 receptions for 161 yards.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers won their 2nd of their 6 Super Bowl championships.


Awards, honors, and records[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide. 
  2. ^ 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide. 
  3. ^ 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide. 
  4. ^ "1975 Pittsburgh Steelers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 
  5. ^ "Number three". Three Rivers top Greatest Play and Game. PittsburghSteelers.com. Archived from the original on March 12, 2009. Retrieved August 7, 2008.