Top 10 defensive Pittsburgh Steelers of all time

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Top 10 defensive Pittsburgh Steelers of all time

Post by Hockdizzle » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:36 pm

A comparison of a list of the greatest defensive NFL players of all time and a list of the greatest defensive Pittsburgh Steelers of all time would reveal many of the same players. The Steelers have a history of amazing defensive players that dates back forty years to the "Steel Curtain" days. By the time the "Steel Curtain" was gone the Steelers had Rod Woodson and Greg Lloyd take over and when their time was over it became the Troy Polamalu(notes)-James Harrison era. How do all these great Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive players rank against each other?

10) Andy Russell
Andy Russell was one of the earliest members of the Steel Curtain and was a part of the Steelers when they won their first two Super Bowl rings in Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X. Russell was even named the MVP of the Steelers team in 1971. During his fourteen year career Russell was named to the Pro Bowl seven times and made the All-Pro team four times.

9) Greg Lloyd
Unfortunately Greg Lloyd played during one of the few eras when the Pittsburgh Steelers did not win any Super Bowl rings but it was not the fault of Lloyd. Lloyd and Rod Woodson made sure to carry on the tradition of great defensive players during the late 80's and early 90's. Lloyd recorded 54.5 sacks and intercepted 11 passes as a Steeler. Lloyd was also named to the Pro Bowl five times and the Associated Press named him a first team All-Pro three times.

8) Ernie Stautner
Erine Stautner also played in an era when the Steelers did not win a Super Bowl but it was a much worse franchise at the time. Stautner played for the Steelers from 1950 to 1963 before they really had any success. Stautner made the Pro Bowl nine times and was named an All-Pro an astounding ten times. Stautner did not win any Super Bowl rings as a player with the Steelers but he would win two Super Bowl rings as a coach in Dallas later in his life.

7) James Harrison(notes)
James Harrison might still be too young for many to consider him among the Steelers' best defensive players but his resume backs it up. Harrison has won two Super Bowl rings, been to four Pro Bowls, was named to the All-Pro team four times and was named the AP's NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. Harrison probably should have been the defensive player of the year again in 2010 but unfortunately some experts don't want to give him credit due to his questionable hits and he gets overshadowed by Troy Polamalu who everybody loves. Harrison's resume also includes the most memorable defensive player in Steelers' history and the longest play in Super Bowl history when he returned a 100 yard interception at the end of the first half in Super Bowl XLIII.

6) Jack Ham
Like many of the members of the Steel Curtain, Jack Ham has a resume that includes almost every honor imaginable. Eight time Pro Bowl player, 8 selections to the All-Pro team, 4 Super Bowl rings, selection to the NFL's 1970s All-Decade team and selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time team. Jack Ham was best known for making big time plays. Jack Ham is a member of the 20/20 club. Defensive players that recorded both 20 sacks and 20 interceptions in their career. The members of the 20/20 club are made up of all-time greats like Ray Lewis(notes), Rodney Harrison(notes), Seth Joyner and his Steel Curtain teammate Jack Lambert.

5) Troy Polamalu
Troy Polamalu is another player that is still early in his career but is already rising up the Steelers' ranks. In eight seasons Polamalu has already been named to the Pro Bowl team six times and named to the All-Pro team four times. Polamalu was on the last two Super Bowl teams and was named to the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team. In 2010 Polamalu was named the MVP of a Steelers team playing in the Super Bowl and was also named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Polamalu is also a fan favorite around the league. In 2010 both men and women bought more Polamalu jerseys than any other player in the NFL.

4) Jack Lambert
Jack Lambert was drafted in 1974 and immediately paid dividends for the Steelers. Lambert won the Rookie of the year in 1974 and helped the Steelers capture their first Super Bowl ring. Lambert was all about intimidation. He took pride in being one of the hardest hitters in the NFL and Lambert didn't wear his removable partial during games so that opponents could see that he is missing four upper front teeth when he snarled. Lambert was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1976 and like Ham, is a member of the 20/20 club, the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-time team and went to nine Pro Bowls.

3) Mel Blount
If this list ranked the meanest players in Pittsburgh Steelers history then Mel Blount might be up at the top along with the guy nicknamed "Mean". Blount was known for brutalizing receivers at a time when there were no rules against bumping into receivers. In fact, Blount took out receivers so regularly that the NFL changed pass interference rules so he couldn't do it anymore. Many people actually call it "the Mel Blount rule". That didn't slow down Mel Blount though. Blount continued making Pro Bowls and All-Pro teams even after the rules were changed. Like most of his teammates Blount was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

2) Rod Woodson
Rod Woodson is probably a household name for anybody that followed football during his era but he probably doesn't quite get the recognition he deserves. Woodson is third all-time in interceptions behind only Paul Krause and Emlen Tunnell and ranks first all-time in interception yards. Woodson is also first all-time in interceptions returned for touchdowns with 12. Rod Woodson did not win a Super Bowl ring for the Steelers but did win Super Bowl XXXV with the Baltimore Ravens at the end of his career. Woodson was also an 11 time Pro Bowl selection, 8 times made the All-Pro team and made the All-Conference team nine times. Woodson was also Defensive Player of the year in 1993, made the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

1) Joe Greene
Joe Greene has one of the simplest nicknames in sports history and yet it's also one of the best. "Mean". That's all you need to know about Joe Greene. The Steelers were actually an awful franchise until Chuck Knoll used the first draft pick of his era on Joe Greene. Greene started the Steel Curtain and thus started the Pittsburgh Steelers' rise to the top of the NFL. Greene lined up in a stunt 4-3 defense in which he would run between two lineman, forcing both of them to block him. Greene basically sacrificed his own total sacks in order to free up his teammates Ham and Lambert.

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Re: Top 10 defensive Pittsburgh Steelers of all time

Post by AERO410SCJA » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:47 pm

What are LC GREENWOODS stats he was one of my favs of the 70's.
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