So what better time for a writer to sit down and make out his ballot for the team's 75th anniversary team than now?
Without any further ado, here's my list:
DALE LOLLEY'S ALL-TIME STEELERS TEAM
Quarterback: Had Johnny Unitas actually suited up and played for the team, there would be some arguement. But since he didn't, this is a no-brainer as Terry Bradshaw has to be the pick.
Running back: There have been a lot of good ones, so thankfully the team is allowing fans to pick two for its all-time team. That makes it a bit easier as Jerome Bettis and Franco Harris have to get the nod.
Tight end: Elbie Nickel is the pick here, though he played on some horrid teams. He remains one of team chairman Dan Rooney's favorite players.
Wide receiver: Again, there are some surprisingly tough choices here. Lynn Swann and John Stallworth are Hall of Famers, while Hines Ward is the team's all-time leader in receptions. But old-timers such as Buddy Dial, Val Jansante and Roy Jefferson also have to figure into the mix. My picks are Stallworth and Ward, with all apologies to Swann.
Offensive line: Again, more difficult choices. But, since the Steelers aren't specifying the offensive linemen by position, that makes things a little easier. Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson are, in my mind, no-brainers. Larry Brown also gets the easy nod. After that, things get a little more difficult because there are some very good players on the list. But my picks are Alan Faneca and Sam Davis.
Defensive line: Though they now play a 3-4 defense, the Steelers want a four-man line and three linebackers on their all-time team. Even at that, just picking four defensive linemen is difficult. Ernie Stautner is my first pick as he was Mr. Steeler in the '50s. Likewise, Joe Greene was Mr. Steeler of the '70s and has to have a spot as well. I'm also taking L.C. Greenwood and Casey Hampton. I know, that's three defensive tackles and just one end, but the Steelers aren't getting specific with their positions, so neither am I.
Linebackers: Wow. Only three? You have to start with the Hall of Fame players, so there's two spots for Jack Ham and Jack Lambert. After that, it's a toss up. Though I personally dislike the man, I'm going with Greg Lloyd by a nose over Levon Kirkland and Myron Pottios.
Defensive backs: Mel Blount and Rod Woodson would make an outstanding cornerback pairing, one that will certainly be a Hall of Fame duo someday when Woodson is finally enshrined. And I'm taking two safeties to pair with them, as Carnell Lake and Troy Polamalu are the picks. In fact, for a number of years I've said that Lake would be a sure Hall of Fame player had he had better hands. That was the only thing lacking in his game.
Kickers/punters: Gary Anderson and Bobby Walden are the picks here. Hey, they're just kickers after all.
Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.