Pittsburgh Steelers Legends team

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The Pittsburgh Steelers Legends team represents the franchise's best players from the pre-1970 era. The team was chosen by a small group of Steeler officials and journalists and presented as a part of the Steelers' 75th season celebration in 2007.

The club presented an updated and expanded All-Time team at the same time, which was determined on the basis of fan voting.[1] The All-Time team represented the top 33 players in the team's first 75 years.[2] However, club officials recognized that since the All-Time team was selected by fans who had a natural bias toward choosing more recent players — due both to the team's struggles prior to the 1970s and because many fans never saw the players older players perform — many noteworthy players from the team's first four decades would be overlooked. The Legends team was created to address this oversight.[3]

Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney summed up the sentiment to create the Legends team thusly: "There were a lot of great Steelers prior to 1970 who were as good as today's superstars, but fewer people got to see them play. We are looking forward to welcoming the Legends Team and having today's fans see some of the great Steelers from the pre-1970 era."[3]

The eight-person selection committee that named the Legends team included Dan Rooney, Steelers Vice President Art Rooney, Jr., team scout Bill Nunn, former long-time coach Dick Hoak, long-time Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope, former sports editor of the Pittsburgh Press Roy McHugh, and former team officials Joe Gordon and Ed Kiely. This panel chose the top 24 players in the club's pre-1970 history: eleven on offense, eleven on defense, one punter and one placekicker.[3]

Offense[edit]

Position Jersey No. Player Years on Team # of Pro Bowls Hall of Fame Honors Ref.
1Quarterback 22 Layne, BobbyBobby Layne 19581962 6 Yes 1950s All-Decade Team [4]
2Running back 44 Hoak, DickDick Hoak 19611971 1 No [5]
2Running back 35 Johnson, John HenryJohn Henry Johnson 19601965 4 Yes [6]
3Wide receiver 87 Jefferson, RoyRoy Jefferson 19651969 3 No 1969 Steelers MVP [7]
3Wide receiver 44, 25 Mathews, RayRay Mathews 19511959 2 No [8]
4Tight end 81 Nickel, ElbieElbie Nickel 19471957 3 No [9]
5Center 21 Cherundolo, ChuckChuck Cherundolo 19411942, 19451948 2 No [10]
6Guard 62 Sandusky, MikeMike Sandusky 19571965 1 No [11]
6Guard 66 Van Dyke, BruceBruce Van Dyke 19671973 1 No [12]
7Tackle 71 Bradshaw, CharlieCharlie Bradshaw 19611966 2 No [13]
7Tackle 74 Varrichione, FrankFrank Varrichione 19551960 5 No [14]

Defense[edit]

Position Jersey No. Player Years on Team # of Pro Bowls Hall of Fame Honors Ref.
1Defensive tackle 76 Eugene LipscombEugene Lipscomb 19611962 3 No[a] [15]
1Defensive tackle 70 Stautner, ErnieErnie Stautner 19501963 9 Yes 1950s All-Decade Team [16]
2Defensive end 60 McGee, BenBen McGee 19641972 2 No [17]
2Defensive end 84 McPeak, BillBill McPeak 19491957 3 No [18]
3Linebacker 60 Dodrill, DaleDale Dodrill 19511959 4 No [19]
3Linebacker 66 Pottios, MyronMyron Pottios 1961, 19631965 3 No [20]
3Linebacker 49, 33 Shipkey, JerryJerry Shipkey 19481952 3 No [21]
4Defensive back 80 Butler, JackJack Butler 19511959 4 YES [22]
4Defensive back 3, 35 Dudley, BillBill Dudley 1942, 19451946 3 Yes 1946 NFL MVP
1940s All-Decade Team
[23]
4Defensive back 11, 20 Hartley, HowardHoward Hartley 19491952 - No [24]
4Defensive back 28 Thomas, ClendonClendon Thomas 19621968 1 No [25]

Specialists[edit]

Position Jersey No. Player Years on Team # of Pro Bowls Hall of Fame Honors Ref.
1Placekicker 17, 23, 39 Niccolai, ArmandArmand Niccolai 19341942 - No [26]
2Punter 28, 18 Brady, PatPat Brady 19521954 - No [27]

Notes[edit]

Names in bold indicate the player spent his entire playing career with the Steelers.
a Finalist in 1970 & 1977[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dvorchak, Robert (October 25, 2007). "Steelers name 33 players who stand above rest to its All-Time Team". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "Steelers Announce All-Time Team as Part of Club's 75th Season Celebration". Steelers.com. October 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Steelers Announce Legends Team as Part of 75th Season Celebration Twenty-Four Honored as Best Pre-1970's Players in Club History". Steelers.com. October 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Bobby Layne bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Dick Hoak bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "John Henry Johnson bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Roy Jefferson bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Ray Mathews bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Elbie Nickel bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Chuck Cherundolo bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Mike Sandusky bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Bruce Van Dyke bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "Charlie Bradshaw bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Frank Varrichione bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "Eugene Lipscomb bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  16. ^ "Ernie Stautner bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "Ben McGee bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  18. ^ "Bill McPeak bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  19. ^ "Dale Dodrill bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  20. ^ "Myron Pottios bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  21. ^ "Jerry Shipkey bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "Jack Butler bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  23. ^ "Bill Dudley bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Howard Hartley bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  25. ^ "Clendon Thomas bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  26. ^ "Armand Niccolai bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  27. ^ "Pat Brady bio". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  28. ^ "Hall of Famers: Yearly Finalists". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 26 March 2010.