1971 Pittsburgh Steelers season

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1971 Pittsburgh Steelers season
Head coach Chuck Noll
Home field Three Rivers Stadium
Results
Record 6–8
Division place 2nd AFC Central
Playoff finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros none
Team MVP Andy Russell

The 1971 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the team's 39th in the National Football League. The Steelers showed improvement finishing in second Place with a 6-8 record. But Terry Bradshaw struggled with turnovers in his second season throwing 22 interceptions to 13 touchdown passes. The Steelers that year drafted wide receiver Frank Lewis, Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham, guard Gerry Mullins, defensive end Dwight White, tight end/tackle Larry Brown, defensive tackle Ernie Holmes, and safety Mike Wagner. All key contributors during the Steelers Super Bowl teams of the 1970s.

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1971 Pittsburgh Steelers staff
Front office
  • President – Arthur J. Rooney
  • Vice President – John R. McGinley
  • Vice President – Daniel M. Rooney
  • Vice President – Arthur J. Rooney, Jr.
  • Public Relations Director – Ed Kiely
  • Ticket Manager – Joseph H. Carr
  • Traveling Secretary – James A. Boston
  • Publicity Director – Joe Gordon
  • Office Manager – Terrence Jacobs
  • Ticket Office Assistant – Arthur Laughlin
  • Director of Player Personnel – Dick Haley
  • Assistant Director of Player Personnel – Bill Nunn

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches
  • Defensive Line – Walter Hackett
  • Defensive Backfield – Charlie Sumner


Strength and conditioning

  • Strength Coach – Louis Riecke
  • Team Physician, Orthopedic – Dr. John Best
  • Team Physician, M.D. – Dr. David S. Huber
  • Team Dentist – Dr. Robert Gray
  • Trainer – Ralph Berlin
  • Equipment Manager – Anthony Parisi, Jack Hart

[1]

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result
1 September 19, 1971 at Chicago Bears L 17–15
2 September 26, 1971 Cincinnati Bengals W 21–10
3 October 3, 1971 San Diego Chargers W 21–17
4 October 10, 1971 at Cleveland Browns L 27–17
5 October 18, 1971 at Kansas City Chiefs L 38–16
6 October 24, 1971 Houston Oilers W 23–16
7 October 31, 1971 at Baltimore Colts L 34–21
8 November 7, 1971 Cleveland Browns W 26–9
9 November 14, 1971 at Miami Dolphins L 24–21
10 November 21, 1971 New York Giants W 17–13
11 November 28, 1971 Denver Broncos L 22–10
12 December 5, 1971 at Houston Oilers L 29–3
13 December 12, 1971 at Cincinnati Bengals W 21–13
14 December 19, 1971 Los Angeles Rams L 23–14

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1 (Sunday September 19, 1971): Chicago Bears[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 6 6 3 15
Bears 0 3 0 14 17

at Soldier Field, Chicago

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 55,049
  • Referee: Bernie Ulman
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Pearson fumble recovery in end zone (kick failed) – Steelers 6–0
  • Chicago – FG Percival 33 – Steelers 6–3
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 32 – Steelers 9–3
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 29 – Steelers 12–3
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 42 – Steelers 15–3
  • Chicago – Brupbacher 30 fumble return (Percival kick) – Steelers 15–10
  • Chicago – Farmer 8 pass from Nix (Percival kick) – Bears 17–15

Week 2 (Sunday September 26, 1971): Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Bengals 3 0 7 0 10
Steelers 7 0 7 7 21

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 48,448
  • Referee: Norm Schachter
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Cincinnati – FG Muhlmann 33 – Bengals 3–0
  • Pittsburgh – Smity 16 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Steelers 7–3
  • Cincinnati – Parrish 14 fumble return (Muhlmann kick) – Bengals 10–7
  • Pittsburgh – Staggers 67 punt return (Gerela kick) – Steelers 14–10
  • Pittsburgh – Pearson 13 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Steelers 21–10

Week 3 (Sunday October 3, 1971): San Diego Chargers[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Chargers 3 7 7 0 17
Steelers 7 0 7 7 21

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 44,339
  • Referee: Jim Tunney
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • San Diego – FG Partee 21 – Chargers 3–0
  • Pittsburgh – Fuqua 5 run (Gerela kick) – Steelers 7–3
  • San Diego – Parks 16 pass from Hadl (Partee kick) – Chargers 10–7
  • Pittsburgh – Fuqua 1 run (Gerela kick) – Steelers 14–10
  • San Diego – Garrett 4 run (Partee kick) – Chargers 17–14
  • Pittsburgh – Bradshaw 5 run (Gerela kick) – Steelers 21–17

Week 4 (Sunday October 10, 1971): Cleveland Browns[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 7 3 7 17
Browns 10 10 0 7 27

at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 83,391
  • Referee: Jack Vest
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Cleveland – FG Cockroft 25 – Browns 3–0
  • Cleveland – Morin 19 pass from Nelsen (Cockroft kick) – Browns 10–0
  • Cleveland – Scott 18 run (Cockroft kick) – Browns 17–0
  • Pittsburgh – D. Smith 22 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Browns 17–7
  • Cleveland – FG Cockroft 20 – Browns 20–7
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 33 – Browns 20–10
  • Pittsburgh – Shanklin 11 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Browns 20–17
  • Cleveland – Kelly 7 run (Cockroft kick) – Browns 27–17

Week 5 (Monday October 18, 1971): Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 9 0 0 7 16
Chiefs 0 28 0 10 38

at the Municipal Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 32 – Steelers 3–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 40 – Steelers 6–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 35 – Steelers 9–0
  • Kansas City – Taylor 5 pass from Dawson (Stenerud kick) – Steelers 9–7
  • Kansas City – Taylor 27 pass from Dawson (Stenerud kick) – Chiefs 14–9
  • Kansas City – Wright 5 pass from Dawson (Stenerud kick) – Chiefs 21–9
  • Kansas City – Podolak 1 run (Stenerud kick) – Chiefs 28–9
  • Kansas City – FG Stenerud 11 – Chiefs 31–9
  • Pittsburgh – Fuqua 1 run (Gerela kick) – Chiefs 31–16
  • Kansas City – Thomas 32 interception return (Stenerud kick) – Chiefs 38–16

Week 6 (Sunday October 24, 1971): Houston Oilers[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 7 3 6 0 16
Steelers 3 3 3 14 23

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 45,872
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Houston – Dawkins 1 run (Moseley kick) – Oilers 7–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 28 – Oilers 7-3
  • Houston – FG Moseley 24 – Oilers 10-3
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 22 – Oilers 10-6
  • Houston – Dawkins 1 run (kick failed) – Oilers 16-6
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela – Oilers 16-9
  • Pittsburgh – Bradshaw 1 run (Gerela kick) – Tie 16–16
  • Pittsburgh – Fuqua 30 run (Gerela kick) – Steelers 23–16

Week 7 (Sunday October 31, 1971): Baltimore Colts[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 7 7 7 21
Colts 7 20 7 0 34

at Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

  • Game time:
  • Game weather: 60,238
  • Game attendance:
  • Referee: Jack Reader
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Baltimore – Bulaich 1 run (O'Brien kick) – Colts 7–0
  • Baltimore – FG O'Brien 20 – Colts 10–0
  • Baltimore – FG O'Brien 9 – Colts 13–0
  • Pittsburgh – Bradshaw 3 run (Gerela kick) – Colts 13–7
  • Baltimore – Richardson 19 pass from Morrall (O'Brien kick) – Colts 20–7
  • Baltimore – Richardson 49 pass from Morrall (O'Brien kick) – Colts 27–7
  • Baltimore – Perkins 60 pass from Morrall (O'Brien kick) – Colts 34–7
  • Pittsburgh – Shanklin 31 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Colts 34–14
  • Pittsburgh – Bradshaw 1 run (Gerela kick) – Colts 34–21

Week 8 (Sunday November 7, 1971): Cleveland Browns[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 0 2 7 0 9
Steelers 10 6 0 10 26

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 50,202
  • Referee: Fred Wyant
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 45 – Steelers 3–0
  • Pittsburgh – Bradshaw 1 run (Gerela kick) – Steelers 10–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 23 – Steelers 13–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 17 – Steelers 16–0
  • Cleveland – Safety, Houston tackled Walden in end zone – Steelers 16–2
  • Cleveland – Scott 1 run (Cockroft kick) – Steelers 16–9
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 13 – Steelers 19–9
  • Pittsburgh – Smith 40 pass from Hanratty (Gerela kick) – Steelers 26–9

Week 9 (Sunday November 14, 1971): Miami Dolphins[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 14 7 0 0 21
Dolphins 3 14 7 0 24

at Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 66,435
  • Referee: Bob Frederic
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

Week 10 (Sunday November 21, 1971): New York Giants[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Giants 7 6 0 0 13
Steelers 3 7 7 0 17

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 50,008
  • Referee: Fred Silva
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • New York Giants – Houston 26 pass from Tarkenton (Gogolak kick) – Giants 7–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 25 – Giants 7–3
  • New York Giants – FG Gogolak 25 – Giants 10–3
  • Pittsburgh – Rowser 70 interception return (Gerela kick) – Tie 10–10
  • New York Giants – FG Gogolak 29 – Giants 13–10
  • Pittsburgh – Shanklin 4 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Steelers 17–13

Week 11 (Sunday November 28, 1971): Denver Broncos[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 0 10 0 12 22
Steelers 0 0 10 0 10

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 39,710
  • Referee: Tommy Bell
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Denver – Little 3 run (J. Turner kick) – Broncos 7–0
  • Denver – FG J. Turner 32 – Broncos 10–0
  • Pittsburgh – Pearson 8 pass from Hanratty (Gerela kick) – Broncos 10–7
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 19 – Tie 10–10
  • Denver – Little 16 run (Turner kick) – Broncos 17–10
  • Denver – Safety, Lynch tackled Walden in end zone – Broncos 19–10
  • Denver – FG J. Turner 12 – Broncos 22–10

Week 12 (Sunday December 5, 1971): Houston Oilers[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 3 0 0 3
Oilers 16 6 0 7 29

at the Houston Astrodome, Houston, Texas

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 37,778
  • Referee: Fred Swearingen
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Houston – Reed 27 pass from Pastorini (Moseley kick) – Oilers 7–0
  • Houston – FG Moseley 25 – Oilers 10–0
  • Houston – Campbell 8 run (kick blocked) – Oilers 16–0
  • Houston – FG Moseley 37 – Oilers 19–0
  • Houston – FG Moseley 25 – Oilers 22–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 15 – Oilers 22–3
  • Houston – Holmes 4 run (Moselely kick) – Oilers 29–3

Week 13 (Sunday December 12, 1971): Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 0 14 0 21
Bengals 0 7 6 0 13

at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 60,022
  • Referee: Jack Vest
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Hanratty 3 run (Gerela kick) – Steelers 7–0
  • Cincinnati – Coslet 43 pass from Carter (Muhlmann kick) – Tie 7–7
  • Cincinnati – FG Muhlmann 22 – Bengals 10–7
  • Cincinnati – FG Muhlmann 18 – Bengals 13–7
  • Pittsburgh – Fuqua 40 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Steelers 14–13
  • Pittsburgh – Shanklin 5 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Steelers 21–13

Week 14 (Sunday December 19, 1971): Los Angeles Rams[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Rams 13 3 7 0 23
Steelers 0 7 7 0 14

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time:
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 45,233
  • Referee: Pat Haggerty
  • TV announcers:

Scoring Drives:

  • Los Angeles – FG Ray 15 – Rams 3–0
  • Los Angeles – FG Ray 15 – Rams 6–0
  • Los Angeles – Snow 20 pass from Gabriel (Ray kick) – Rams 13–0
  • Pittsburgh – L. Brown 3 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Rams 13–7
  • Los Angeles – FG Ray 15 – Rams 16–7
  • Pittsburgh – Shanklin 2 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Rams 16–14
  • Los Angeles – L. Smith 1 run (Ray kick) – Rams 23–14

Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Cleveland Browns 9 5 0 .643 5–1 7–4 285 273 W5
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 8 0 .429 4–2 5–6 246 292 L1
Houston Oilers 4 9 1 .308 2–4 4–7 251 330 W3
Cincinnati Bengals 4 10 0 .286 1–5 3–8 284 265 L3

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1971 Pittsburgh Steelers Preseason Prospectus.