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Pittsburgh Steelers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pittsburgh Steelers
Current season
Established July 8, 1933; 90 years ago (July 8, 1933)[1]
First season: 1933
Play in Acrisure Stadium
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Headquartered in UPMC Rooney Sports Complex
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Training camp in
Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Steelers logo
Pittsburgh Steelers logo
Pittsburgh Steelers wordmark
Pittsburgh Steelers wordmark
League/conference affiliations

National Football League (1933–present)

Current uniform
Team colorsBlack, gold[2][3]
MascotSteely McBeam
Owner(s)Rooney family
PresidentArt Rooney II[4]
General managerOmar Khan
Head coachMike Tomlin
Team history
  • Pittsburgh Pirates (1933–1939)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (1940–1942, 1945–present)
  • Phil-Pitt "Steagles" (1943)
  • Card-Pitt (1944)
Team nicknames
  • Steel Curtain (Defensive line, 1971–1981)
  • The Black and Gold
  • Blitzburgh
League championships (6)
Conference championships (8)
Division championships (24)
Playoff appearances (33)
Home fields
Temporary stadiums

1943 due to loss of players during World War II (temporary merger with Philadelphia Eagles):

1944 due to loss of players during World War II (temporary merger with Chicago Cardinals):

Team owner(s)
Team president(s)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North Division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the seventh-oldest franchise in the NFL, and the oldest franchise in the AFC.[5]

In contrast with their status as perennial also-rans in the pre-merger NFL, where they were the oldest team never to have won a league championship, the Steelers of the post-merger (modern) era are among the most successful NFL franchises, especially during their dynasty in the 1970s.[6][7][8] The team is tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl titles at six, and they have both played in (16 times) and hosted (11 times) more conference championship games than any other team in the NFL. The Steelers have also won eight AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships. The team is tied with the Broncos and Dallas Cowboys for the second-most Super Bowl appearances with eight.

The Steelers, whose history may be traced to a regional pro team that was established in the early 1920s, joined the NFL as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933. The team was owned by Art Rooney and took its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams at the time.[5] To distinguish them from the baseball team, local media took to calling the football team the Rooneymen, an unofficial nickname that persisted for decades after the team had adopted its current nickname. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since the organization's founding.[9] Art Rooney's son, Dan Rooney, owned the team from 1988 until his death in 2017. Much control of the franchise has been given to Dan Rooney's son, Art Rooney II.

The Steelers enjoy a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation.[10] They currently play their home games at Acrisure Stadium on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001 as Heinz Field, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium, which had hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and at Forbes Field.

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Franchise history

Rooney family era (1933–present)

The Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL first took to the field as the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 20, 1933, losing 23–2 to the New York Giants.[5] Through the 1930s, the Pirates never finished higher than second place in their division, or with a record better than .500 (1936).[11] Pittsburgh did make history in 1938 by signing Byron White, a future Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, to what was at the time the biggest contract in NFL history, but he played only one year with the Pirates before signing with the Detroit Lions.[5][12] Prior to the 1940 season, the Pirates renamed themselves the Steelers.

During World War II, the Steelers experienced player shortages. They twice merged with other NFL franchises to field a team. During the 1943 season, they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles forming the "Phil-Pitt Eagles" and were known as the "Steagles". This team went 5–4–1. In 1944, they merged with the Chicago Cardinals and were known as Card-Pitt (or, mockingly, as the "Carpets").[5] This team finished 0–10, marking the only winless team in franchise history.[13]

The Steelers made the playoffs for the first time in 1947, tying for first place in the division at 8–4 with the Philadelphia Eagles. This forced a tie-breaking playoff game at Forbes Field, which the Steelers lost 21–0.[14] That would be Pittsburgh's only playoff game in the pre-merger era; they did qualify for a "Playoff Bowl" in 1962 as the second-best team in their conference, but this was not considered an official playoff.[15]

In 1970, the year they moved into Three Rivers Stadium and the year of the AFL–NFL merger, the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of three old-guard NFL teams to switch to the newly formed American Football Conference (the others being the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Colts), in order to equalize the number of teams in the two conferences of the newly merged league. The Steelers also received a $3 million ($22.6 million today) relocation fee, which was a windfall for them; for years they rarely had enough to build a true contending team.[16]

Chuck Noll years (1969–1991)

Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw led the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles during the 1970s.

The Steelers' history of bad luck changed with the hiring of coach Chuck Noll from the NFL champion Baltimore Colts for the 1969 season. Noll's most remarkable talent was in his draft selections, taking Hall of Famers "Mean" Joe Greene in 1969, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount in 1970, Jack Ham in 1971, Franco Harris in 1972,[17] and finally, in 1974, pulling off the incredible feat of selecting four Hall of Famers in one draft year, Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster.[18] The Pittsburgh Steelers' 1974 draft was their best ever; no other team has ever drafted four future Hall of Famers in one year, and only very few (including the 1970 Steelers) have drafted two or more in one year.

The players drafted in the early 1970s formed the base of an NFL dynasty, making the playoffs in eight seasons and becoming the only team in NFL history to win four Super Bowls in six years, as well as the first to win more than two. They also enjoyed a regular-season streak of 49 consecutive wins (19711979) against teams that would finish with a losing record that year.

The Steelers suffered a rash of injuries in the 1980 season and missed the playoffs with a 9–7 record. The 1981 season was no better, with an 8–8 showing. The team was then hit with the retirements of all their key players from the Super Bowl years. "Mean" Joe Greene retired after the 1981 season, Lynn Swann and Jack Ham after 1982's playoff berth, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount after 1983's divisional championship, and Jack Lambert after 1984's AFC Championship Game appearance.

After those retirements, the franchise skidded to its first losing seasons since 1971. Though still competitive, the Steelers would not finish above .500 in 1985, 1986, and 1988. In 1987, the year of the players' strike, the Steelers finished with a record of 8–7, but missed the playoffs. In 1989, they would reach the second round of the playoffs on the strength of Merrill Hoge and Rod Woodson before narrowly missing the playoffs in each of the next two seasons, Noll's last seasons.

Noll's career record with Pittsburgh was 209–156–1.

Bill Cowher years (1992–2006)

In 1992, Chuck Noll retired and was succeeded by Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bill Cowher, a native of the Pittsburgh suburb of Crafton.

Steelers' five Super Bowl rings before 2009

Cowher led the Steelers to the playoffs in each of his first six seasons, a feat that had been accomplished only by legendary coach Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns. In those first six seasons, Cowher coached them as deep as the AFC Championship Game three times and following the 1995 season an appearance in Super Bowl XXX on the strength of the "Blitzburgh" defense. However, the Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX, two weeks after a thrilling AFC Championship victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Cowher produced the franchise's record-tying fifth Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XL over the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks ten years later. With that victory, the Steelers became the third team to win five Super Bowls, and the first sixth-seeded playoff team to reach and win the Super Bowl since the NFL expanded to a 12-team post-season tournament in 1990. He coached through the 2006 season which ended with an 8–8 record, just short of the playoffs. Overall Cowher's teams reached the playoffs 10 of 15 seasons with six AFC Championship Games, two Super Bowl berths and a championship.

Cowher's career record with Pittsburgh was 149–90–1 in the regular season and 161–99–1 overall, including playoff games.[19]

Mike Tomlin years (2007–present)

Roethlisberger in a Steelers' throwback jersey during the team's 500th win in franchise history

On January 7, 2007, Cowher resigned from coaching the Steelers, citing a need to spend more time with his family. He did not use the term "retire", leaving open a possible return to the NFL as coach of another team. A three-man committee consisting of Art Rooney II, Dan Rooney, and Kevin Colbert was set up to conduct interviews for the head coaching vacancy.[20] On January 22, 2007, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin was announced as Cowher's successor as head coach. Tomlin is the first African-American to be named head coach of the team in its 75-year history. Tomlin became the third consecutive Steelers Head Coach to go to the Super Bowl, equaling the Dallas Cowboys (Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer) in this achievement. He was named the Motorola 2008 Coach of the Year. On February 1, 2009, Tomlin led the Steelers to their second Super Bowl of this decade, and went on to win 27–23 against the Arizona Cardinals. At age 36, he was the youngest head coach to ever win the Super Bowl, and he is only the second African-American coach to ever win the Super Bowl (Tony Dungy was the first). The 2010 season made Tomlin the only coach to reach the Super Bowl twice before the age of 40 as he took the team to Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011. However, the Steelers were defeated by the Green Bay Packers, 31–25. The Steelers recorded their 400th victory in 2012 after defeating the Washington Redskins.[21]

Through the end of the 2021 season, Tomlin's record is 162–94–2 (.632), including playoffs. He is the first Pittsburgh coach to never post a losing season. The 2013–17 seasons were noted for record performances from the "Killer B's". This trio consisted of Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell. Occasionally, the "Killer B's" has also included kicker Chris Boswell due to his ability to hit game-winning field goals.


Since the NFL merger in 1970, the Pittsburgh Steelers have compiled a regular-season record of 444–282–2 (.635) and an overall record of 480-305-2 (.635) including the playoffs, reached the playoffs 30 times, won their division 22 times, played in 16 AFC championship games, and won six of eight Super Bowls. They are also the only NFL team not to have a season with 12 or more losses since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978.[22]


Art Rooney II, controlling owner of the Steelers

Since 2008, the Rooney family has brought in several investors for the team while retaining control of the team itself. This came about so that the team could comply with NFL ownership regulations.[23] Dan Rooney, and his son, Art Rooney II, president of the franchise, wanted to stay involved with the franchise, while two of the brothers – Timothy and Patrick – wanted to further pursue racetracks that they own in Florida and New York.[24] Since 2006, many of the racetracks have added video slot machines, causing them to violate "NFL policy that prohibits involvement with racetrack and gambling interests".[25]

Upon Dan Rooney's death in 2017, he and Art Rooney II retained control of the team with the league-minimum 30%, the following made up the other investors at the time:

Three minority investors in the Steelers have became majority owners of other NFL teams:[30]

Season-by-season records

Through the end of the 2021 season, the Steelers have an all-time record of 688–590–22, including playoffs. In recent seasons the Steelers have generally performed well, qualifying for the playoffs six times in the past ten seasons, while winning their division four times.[31]

In the NFL's "modern era" (since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970) the Steelers have posted the best record in the league. In 2017, they became the first team to reach 450 victories in the regular season since the 1970 merger.[32] The franchise has won the most regular-season games, the most playoff games (33 playoff wins; the Dallas Cowboys are second with 32), won the most divisional titles (20), has played in the most conference championship games (15), hosted the most conference championship games (11), and is tied with the Dallas Cowboys, the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl appearances (8). The Steelers have the best winning percentage (including every expansion team), earned the most All-Pro nominations, and have accumulated the most Super Bowl wins (6) since the modern game started in 1970. In 2017, they became the first team to reach 450 victories in the regular season since the 1970 merger. [32][33] The Steelers are 36-26 (.580) in the postseason, with all but one (the 1947 playoff) having been played since the merger.[34]

Civil rights advocacy

The franchise, along with the Rooney family have for generations been strong advocates for equality of opportunity for both minorities and women. Among these achievements of the Steelers was the first to hire an African-American assistant coach (September 29, 1957, with Lowell Perry), the first to start an African-American quarterback (December 3, 1973, with Joe Gilliam),[a] the first team to boast of an African-American Super Bowl MVP (January 12, 1975, with Franco Harris), the first to hire an African-American Coordinator (September 2, 1984, with Tony Dungy), the first owner to push for passage of an "equal opportunity" mandating that at least one minority candidate is given an interview in all head coach hiring decisions throughout the league (the Rooney Rule in the early 2000s), and the first to hire a female as full-time athletic trainer (Ariko Iso on July 24, 2002).


Super Bowl championships

Season Coach Super Bowl Location Opponent Score Record
1974 Chuck Noll IX Tulane Stadium (New Orleans) Minnesota Vikings 16–6 10–3–1
1975 X Orange Bowl (Miami) Dallas Cowboys 21–17 12–2
1978 XIII Dallas Cowboys 35–31 14–2
1979 XIV Rose Bowl (Pasadena) Los Angeles Rams 31–19 12–4
2005 Bill Cowher XL Ford Field (Detroit) Seattle Seahawks 21–10 11–5
2008 Mike Tomlin XLIII Raymond James Stadium (Tampa) Arizona Cardinals 27–23 13–3
Total Super Bowls won: 6

AFC championships

Season Coach Location Opponent Score
1974 Chuck Noll Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland) Oakland Raiders 24–13
1975 Three Rivers Stadium (Pittsburgh) Oakland Raiders 16–10
1978  Houston Oilers 34–5
1979 Houston Oilers 27–13
1995 Bill Cowher Indianapolis Colts 20–16
2005 Invesco Field at Mile High (Denver) Denver Broncos 34–17
2008 Mike Tomlin Heinz Field (Pittsburgh) Baltimore Ravens 23–14
2010 New York Jets 24–19
Total AFC Championships won: 8

Division championships

The Steelers were a part of the NFL Eastern Division from 1933 to 1943 and were briefly in the Western Division in 1944, before retuning back to the Eastern Division until 1949. The team was then in the American Conference from 1950 to 1952, and the Eastern Conference from 1953 to 1966. They were then placed in the Century Division of the Eastern Conference in 1967. When the league reformed into the NFC and AFC in 1970, the Steelers were placed in the AFC Central until 2001 when they were realigned into the AFC North Division.

Year Coach Record
1972  Chuck Noll 11–3
1974 10–3–1
1975 12–2
1976 10–4
1977 9–5
1978 14–2
1979 12–4
1983 10–6
1984 9–7
1992 Bill Cowher 11–5
1994 12–4
1995 11–5
1996 10–6
1997 11–5
2001 13–3
2002 10–5–1
2004 15–1
2007 Mike Tomlin 10–6
2008 12–4
2010 12–4
2014 11–5
2016 11–5
2017 13–3
2020 12–4
Total Division Championships won: 24

Logo and uniforms

A US Airways A319 featuring the colors and logo of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This Airbus A319 has since been repainted into American Airlines colors after the merger.

The Steelers have used black and gold as their colors since the club's inception, the lone exception being the 1943 season when they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles and formed the "Steagles"; the team's colors at that time were green and white as a result of wearing Eagles uniforms. Originally, the team wore solid gold-colored helmets and black jerseys. The Steelers' black and gold colors are now shared by all major professional teams in the city, including the Pittsburgh Pirates in baseball and the Pittsburgh Penguins in ice hockey. The shade of gold differs slightly among teams: the Penguins have previously used "Vegas Gold", a color similar to metallic gold, and the Pirates' gold is a darker mustard yellow-gold, while the Steelers "gold" is more of a bright canary yellow. Black and gold are also the colors of the city's official flag.

The Steelers logo was introduced in 1962 and is based on the "Steelmark", originally designed by Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel and now owned by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). In fact, it was Cleveland-based Republic Steel that suggested the Steelers adopt the industry logo. It consists of the word "Steelers" surrounded by three astroids (hypocycloids of four cusps). The original meanings behind the astroids were, "Steel lightens your work, brightens your leisure, and widens your world." Later, the colors came to represent the ingredients used in the steel-making process: yellow for coal, red for iron ore, and blue for scrap steel.[35] While the formal Steelmark logo contains only the word "Steel", the team was given permission to add "ers" in 1963 after a petition to AISI.

The Steelers are the only NFL team that puts its logo on only one side of the helmet (the right side). Longtime field and equipment manager Jack Hart was instructed to do this by Art Rooney as a test to see how the logo appeared on the gold helmets; however, its popularity led the team to leave it that way permanently.[36] A year after introducing the logo, they switched to black helmets to make it stand out more.

The Steelers, along with the New York Giants, are one of only two teams in the National Football League to have the players' uniform numbers on both the front and back of the helmets.

The current uniform designs were introduced in 1968. The design consists of gold pants and either black jerseys or white jerseys, except for the 1970 and 1971 seasons when the Steelers wore white pants with their white jerseys. In 1997, the team switched to rounded numbers on the jersey to match the number font (Futura Condensed) on the helmets, and a Steelers logo was added to the left side of the jersey.

The 2007–2011 third uniform, consisting of a black jersey with gold lettering, white pants with black and gold stripes, and a gold helmet were first used during the Steelers' 75th anniversary season in 2007. They were meant to evoke the memory of the 19631964 era uniforms. The uniforms were so popular among fans that the Steelers' organization decided to keep them and use them as a third option during home games only.

In 2012, the Steelers introduced a new third uniform, consisting of a yellow jersey with black horizontal lines (making a bumble bee like pattern) with black lettering and black numbers placed inside a white box, to represent the jerseys worn by the Steelers in their 1934 season. The rest of the uniform consists of beige pants, yellow with black horizontal stripped socks, and the Steelers regular black helmet. The uniforms were used for the Steelers' 80th anniversary season. Much like the previous alternate these jerseys were so popular that they were used up through the 2016 season. The jerseys were nicknamed the "bumblebee jerseys" due to looking like the pattern of a bumblebee. The jerseys were retired after the 2016 season.

Also in 2016, the Steelers introduced its alternate black Color Rush uniforms. These were based on the uniforms they wore from 1946 to 1965, but with black pants in place of either gold or white pants.

In 2018, the Steelers unveiled a third uniform based on those worn by the Steel Curtain teams of the 1970s. It is similar to the current uniforms but without the Steelers logo on the left chest and use block lettering and numbers in place of Futura Condensed.[37]

In 1979, the team owners were approached by then-Iowa Hawkeyes Head Coach Hayden Fry about designing his fading college team's uniforms in the image of the Steelers. Three days later, the owners sent Fry the reproduction jerseys (home and away versions) of then quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Today, the Hawkeyes still retain the 1979 Steelers uniforms as their home, and away colors.


The Pittsburgh Steelers have three primary rivals, all within their division: (Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals). They also have rivalries with other teams that arose from post-season battles in the past, most notably the Las Vegas Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and Tennessee Titans. They also have an intrastate rivalry with the Philadelphia Eagles, but under the current scheduling the teams play each other only once every four years.[38][39][40]

Divisional rivals

  • The Cleveland Browns and the Steelers have been divisional rivals since the two cities' teams began playing against each other in 1950. After posting a 9–31 record in the first 40 games of the series between the two cities, the Steelers have gone 66–27–1 (including 42–6 in games played in Pittsburgh) since 1970 and currently lead the series 75–58–1; The Steelers have particularly dominated the Browns since their return to the NFL in 1999 and won twelve straight meetings between 2003 and 2009. Additionally, the Browns posted losing streaks of 16 (1970–85) and 15 (2004–present) games in Pittsburgh. Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher coached the Browns special teams and secondary before following Marty Schottenheimer for a brief tenure as Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator, and then hired by Pittsburgh. This has only intensified the rivalry. The teams have met three times in the postseason (1994, 2002, and 2021) with the Steelers winning the first two meetings, but losing the most recent in 2021.[41][42][43]
  • The Baltimore Ravens and the Steelers have had several memorable match-ups and have a bitter divisional rivalry. Both teams handed the other their first losses at their current home fields. The Steelers won the inaugural game played at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium in 1998, 20–13, and three years later the Ravens handed the Steelers their first-ever loss at Heinz Field, 13–10. Later that season (2001) Pittsburgh won a divisional playoff game 27–10 against Baltimore, who was the defending Super Bowl champion. During their NFL championship season in 2000, the Ravens defeated the Steelers in Pittsburgh, 16–0, in the season opener with the Steelers later exacting revenge, 9–6, in Baltimore (the Ravens' final loss of the season). During the Steelers 2008 Championship run, they beat the Ravens three times, including a win in the AFC Championship game. The two teams complement each other by consistently fielding strong defenses. The Steelers lead the all-time series (including playoffs), 32–24. The teams have met four times in the postseason, with the Steelers owning a 3–1 record.[44]
  • The Steelers' rivalry with the Cincinnati Bengals dates from the 1970 season, when the AFL–NFL merger was completed. In 1976, the Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive (they later won the division) with a late-season 7–3 win in snowy Cincinnati. One of the most memorable games was the 2005 AFC Wildcard playoff game, in which the Steelers, en route to a Super Bowl title, won a 31–17 come-from-behind victory after Bengals QB Carson Palmer was forced to leave the game with a knee injury. The injury happened when nose tackle Kimo von Oelhoffen contacted Palmer's knee during a passing play. The Bengals players called this a dirty play; the NFL ruled that it was accidental and did not fine von Oelhoffen for the hit. The incident led to an intensifying of the rivalry. The Bengals beat the Steelers in Week 13 of the 2005 season 38–31, and wide receiver T. J. Houshmandzadeh used a Terrible Towel to polish his cleats while walking up the tunnel after the game, fueling the rivalry. The Steelers and Bengals finished 2005 and 2006 with identical records (11–5 and 8–8 respectively), splitting both regular-season series, the Bengals winning the tiebreaker both years due to having a superior division record. The Steelers also are responsible for ending the Bengals' season in Cincinnati two years in a row, eliminating them from the playoffs in 2005 and taking them out of contention in 2006. The rivalry has become more intense again since the 2015 season. A central figure is Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, often inflicting brutal hits, resulting in serious injuries to several Steelers on multiple occasions. In the 2015 Wild Card playoff game in Cincinnati, Burfict was the culprit of a late penalty directly responsible for an extremely unlikely 18-16 Steelers comeback victory. The Steelers lead the all-time series, 63–35. The teams have met twice in the postseason, with the Steelers winning both times.

Historic rivals

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders–Steelers rivalry was one of the most heated of the 1970s and early to mid-1980s. The Steelers' first playoff victory in franchise history was against the Raiders, which occurred on December 23, 1972 in a 13–7 victory over the Raiders; the victory occurred when Terry Bradshaw threw a pass intended for John Fuqua that was deflected into the hands of Franco Harris, who scooped the ball from nearly hitting the ground and carried the ball in for a touchdown, which was later referred to as the Immaculate Reception, while attracting controversy from Raiders players and coaches, who alleged that the ball had bounced off Fuqua, which would have made it an illegal play per the rules of the time.[45] The victory sent Pittsburgh to their first ever AFC Championship Game. The following year, the two teams met in the Divisional Round again, and the Raiders responded with a 33–14 victory to advance to the AFC title game. However, Pittsburgh fired back with two straight AFC Championship victories over the Raiders in 1974 (24–13) and 1975 (16–10) to reach the Super Bowl. Oakland responded with a victory over Pittsburgh in the 1976 AFC Championship game 24–7 (the third consecutive AFC title game between the two teams), but not before Chuck Noll referred to Oakland's George Atkinson as part of the NFL's "criminal element" after his alleged cheap-shot on Lynn Swann during a regular-season matchup. Atkinson and the Raiders later filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Noll, but lost. Following the 1983 regular season, the Los Angeles Raiders defeated the Steelers 38–10 in the AFC Divisional round which turned out to be the last NFL game for Steeler Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw who did not play due to injury.

While the rivalry has dissipated over the years (mostly due to Oakland's decline after 2002), the teams have had notable games against each other including an upset Steelers victory towards the end of the 2000 season to prevent the Raiders from obtaining homefield advantage in the playoffs, and an upset Raiders victory in week 8 of the 2006 NFL season (20–13), which helped cost the Steelers a playoff berth. In Week 13 of the 2009 season, another Raiders upset victory happened; the game lead changed five times on five touchdowns in the fourth quarter until Raiders QB Bruce Gradkowski's third touchdown of the quarter won it with nine seconds to go. The 27–24 loss cost the Steelers another playoff run. The teams met at Pittsburgh in 2010, where the Steelers blew out the Raiders 35–3, and ended their 3-game winning streak; the game was further notable for a punch thrown by Richard Seymour of the Raiders against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Raiders then hosted the Steelers in 2012 and erased a 31–21 gap to win 34–31. The two clubs met again in 2013 and the Raiders won again, 21–18. In 2015, the Steelers defeated the Raiders 38–35 at Heinz Field. The Steelers trail the all-time series 16–13 (13–10 in regular season). In their most recent matchup, the Raiders defeated the Steelers 24–21 on December 9, 2018, in Oakland, which, ironically, would cost Pittsburgh another playoff berth.[46]

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys–Steelers rivalry[47] started with the Cowboys' first game as a franchise in 1960 (against the Steelers) at the Cotton Bowl with the Steelers coming away with a 35–28 victory. These teams hold a record for the most times (three) that two teams have met in a Super Bowl. The first two times the favored Steelers and Cowboys met came with Pittsburgh victories in the Orange Bowl Super Bowl X 21–17 and Super Bowl XIII 35–31. The Cowboys never won a regular-season game in the Orange Bowl and lost three Super Bowl games (once to the Baltimore Colts and twice to the Steelers). Between the Cowboys and Steelers, Super Bowl XIII had the greatest number of future Pro Football Hall of Fame players participating, which as of 2021 numbered 25 – 16 players and nine coaches/front office, including Ernie Stautner, defensive coordinator for the Cowboys who was a HoF defensive tackle for the Steelers. The teams featured an all-star matchup at quarterback between the Steelers' Terry Bradshaw and the Cowboys' Roger Staubach, both of whom are in the Hall of Fame. In 1977, Staubach and the Cowboys won Super Bowl XII, their second and last loss of their season being inflicted by Bradshaw and the Steelers, 28–13 at Three Rivers Stadium in November. In 1979, Staubach's final season, the two defending conference champs met again at Three Rivers, the Steelers winning 14–3 en route to winning their fourth Super Bowl title. The Steelers won six of eight meetings during the 1970s and 80s, before the Cowboys won all four meetings during the 1990s, including the teams' record third Super Bowl meeting in 1996, as this time the heavily favored Cowboys beat the Steelers 27–17. Dallas cornerback Larry Brown intercepted Pittsburgh quarterback Neil O'Donnell twice and was named the game's MVP. The teams' first two meetings of the 21st century (2004 and 2008) were won by the Steelers, including a come from behind victory on December 7, 2008, in Pittsburgh, when the Steelers drove the length of the field to tie the game 13–13, then cornerback Deshea Townsend returned an intercepted pass from Tony Romo for the game's final score, Steelers 20, Cowboys 13. The Cowboys won on December 16, 2012, at Cowboys Stadium by a 27–24 margin in overtime and won 35–30 at Heinz Field on November 13, 2016. The all-time series is led by the Dallas Cowboys, 17–16. The Pittsburgh/Dallas rivalry served as a backdrop to the 1977 film Black Sunday, parts of which were filmed during Super Bowl X. Most recently, the Steelers beat the Cowboys by a 24-19 margin.

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos in 2011 broke a tie with the Oakland Raiders for the most playoff meetings versus the Steelers and added yet another meeting in 2015 (the Broncos have met Pittsburgh eight times to Oakland's six). The rivalry dates from 1970, but the first notable contest came in 1973, when Denver dealt Pittsburgh its first regular-season defeat at Three Rivers Stadium, 23–13. The following year, they met in the NFL's first regular-season overtime game, which ended in a 35–35 tie. Denver's first playoff game had them hosting the Steelers in the 1977 divisional round; the Broncos won 34–21. The following year, the Steelers hosted and defeated Denver 33–10 in the divisional round. Their next playoff matchup was the 1984 divisional round in Mile High Stadium; the Steelers pulled the upset 24–17. They nearly pulled the upset again 5 years later in Denver, but the Broncos prevailed in the divisional playoff, 24–23.

In 1997, the two teams met in Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship Game, where Denver squeaked out at 24–21 win. Eight years later, the Steelers advanced to Super Bowl XL by beating Denver 34–17 in Colorado. In 2011, after appearing in Super Bowl XLV, the Steelers had their campaign to repeat as AFC Champions dashed in Denver after a stunning overtime upset by the Tim Tebow-led Broncos in January 2012, in what would become known as the "316 game". The following September the Steelers were defeated in Denver 31–19 in Peyton Manning's debut as Broncos quarterback. The two clubs met twice in 2015, as the Steelers defeated the Broncos in the regular season but fell in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs; through the 2021 season, Denver leads the series 20–13–1, including 5–3 in the playoffs. Neither team has beaten the other more than three times in a row. In their last matchup, the Steelers beat the Broncos on October 10, 2021, in Pittsburgh by the score of 27–19.

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots emerged as a prominent rival in league circles when the Patriots upset the Steelers in the 2001 AFC Championship Game at Heinz Field, though the two teams had met in the postseason twice before; the Patriots defeated the Steelers in 1996 28-3 while the Steelers won 7–6 in 1997; both times, the Patriots fielded players with Pittsburgh-area roots in Ty Law and Curtis Martin. Martin's final game with the Patriots was in the 1997 playoffs before he departed to the rival New York Jets. Following the 2001 AFC title upset, the Patriots defeated the Steelers 30–14 at the start of the 2002 season. Pittsburgh did not exact revenge for the two losses until ending the Patriots' record-setting 21-game winning streak in week 6 of the 2004 NFL season. Later that season, the Steelers lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots in the AFC Championship game after a 15–1 regular season.

The Patriots won six of seven meetings over a ten-year period (19982007) before the Steelers broke through with a 33–10 victory at Foxborough in 2008, after Matt Cassel turned the ball over five times. The Patriots in 2013 then made history by becoming the first opponent to score 55 points on the Steelers, winning 55–31. The Patriots won again in 2015 (28-21) and 2016's regular season (27-16), and then won 36–17 in the 2016 AFC Championship Game. They also won in 2017 when a go-ahead touchdown reception by Steelers' tight end Jesse James was controversially called back.[48] Though they ultimately missed the playoffs, the Steelers defeated the Patriots by a score of 17–10 on December 16, 2018, in Pittsburgh.

In the postseason, the Patriots have outscored the Steelers 135–75, with the Patriots maintaining a 4–1 record. The only other franchises with winning AFC playoff records against Steelers include the Los Angeles Chargers (2–1), the Jacksonville Jaguars (2–0), and the Broncos (5–3). The Steelers have an all-time regular-season record of 15–13 against the Patriots. In the Bill Belichick era, the main period of the rivalry, the Patriots have a 12–4 record against the Steelers. In their last matchup, the Patriots beat the Steelers 33–3 on Sunday Night Football.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles and Steelers are both located in Pennsylvania and began play in 1933. From that season through 1966, this was a major rivalry for both teams, as both were part of the same division. In 1967, they were placed in separate divisions, but remained in the same conference for three years. In 1970 the Steelers (along with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts) moved to the American Football Conference, while the Eagles stayed with the rest of the old-line NFL teams in the National Football Conference. As a result, the Eagles and Steelers no longer played each other every year; instead, they are scheduled to meet once every four years in the regular season. The most recent meeting was in 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field due to the addition of a regular season game based on opposing conference divisional finish from the season before, with the Eagles winning 35-13. The Steelers have lost ten straight games on the road against the Eagles dating back to 1966, which was also the start of the Super Bowl era. The Eagles lead the all-time series 49–29–3.

Tennessee Titans

Less well known[by whom?] is Pittsburgh's rivalry with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise. The Oilers were aligned into the AFC Central with the Steelers in 1970 and were division rivals for 32 seasons. The Steelers dominated the rivalry during the Houston era and defeated the Oilers in all three of their playoff matchups. However, since the franchise moved to Tennessee in 1997, the rivalry shifted, with the Titans winning 13 of 22 meetings (including a bitter 34–31 playoff showdown in 2002); the Titans won seven in a row in the 1997–2001 period, the longest win streak by either team in the series. The Steelers have won 47 of 79 career meetings following their 27–24 win at Nissan Stadium in 2020.



Steely McBeam signing autographs for fans at Steelers training camp on August 2, 2007

Prior to the 2007 season, the Steelers introduced Steely McBeam as their official mascot.[49] As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the team, his name was selected from a pool of 70,000 suggestions submitted by fans of the team.[49] Diane Roles of Middlesex Township, submitted the winning name which was "meant to represent steel for Pittsburgh's industrial heritage, "Mc" for the Rooney family's Irish roots, and Beam for the steel beams produced in Pittsburgh, as well as for Jim Beam, her husband's favorite alcoholic beverage."[50] Steely McBeam is visible at all home games and participates in the team's charitable programs and other club-sponsored events.[49] Steely's autograph is known to be drawn with an oversized S, and the L is drawn to look like a beam of steel.[49]


The Steelers have a tradition of having a large fanbase, which has spread from Pittsburgh. In August 2008, ranked the Steelers' fans as the best in the NFL, citing their "unbelievable" sellout streak of 299 consecutive games.[10][51] The team gained a large fan base nationally based on its success in the 1970s, but many consider the collapse of the city's steel industry at the end of the 1970s dynasty into the 1980s (and the resulting diaspora) to be a large catalyst for the size of the fan base in other cities.[52] The Steelers have sold out every home game since the 1972 season.[53]

The Pittsburgh Steelers have numerous unofficial fan clubs in many cities throughout the country, that typically meet in bars or taverns on game days. This phenomenon is known to occur for other NFL teams as well, but "Steeler bars" are more visible than most, including representative establishments even in cities that field their own NFL teams.

Sailors and Marines aboard the USS Essex react as the Pittsburgh Steelers score against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Terrible Towel has been described by the Associated Press as "arguably the best-known fan symbol of any major pro sports team".[53] Conceived of by broadcaster Myron Cope in 1975,[53] the towel's rights have since been given to the Allegheny Valley School in Coraopolis, which cares for over 900 people with intellectual disability and physical disabilities, including Cope's autistic son.[54] Since 1996, proceeds from the Terrible Towel have helped raise more than $2.5 million for the school.[54]

Fight songs

The Steelers have no official fight song, but many fan versions of "Here We Go Steelers" and the "Steelers Polka" (the latter a parody of "Pennsylvania Polka") by ethnic singer Jimmy Pol, both originating in the 1970s, have been recorded. Since 1994, the song "Here We Go" by local singer Roger Wood has been popular among fans.[55] Since 2002, the 1979 Styx song "Renegade" is played near the end of the third quarter or the start of the fourth quarter at the start of a defensive stand to rally the crowd, featuring a compilation of recent Steelers defensive highlights. Another song from hometown rapper Wiz Khalifa, "Black and Yellow", which is an ode to growing up in Pittsburgh, is also a standard part of the Steelers home game experience.[56]


The Steelers were the first NFL team to have a cheerleading squad, they were known as the Steelerettes. Their run only lasted from 1961 to 1969. To this day, they were the only cheerleaders the team had in their history.


During the offseason, the Steelers have long participated in charity basketball games throughout Western Pennsylvania and neighboring areas. The games usually feature six active players as well as their player-coach playing against a group of local civic leaders.[57] The players, whose participants aren't announced until the day of the game, sign free autographs for fans during halftime.[58]



In 2001, the Steelers moved into Heinz Field. The franchise dating back to 1933 has had several homes. For 31 seasons, the Steelers shared Forbes Field with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1933 to 1963. In 1958, though they started splitting their home games at Pitt Stadium three blocks away at the University of Pittsburgh. From 1964 to 1969, the Steelers played exclusively at the on-campus facility before moving with the Pirates to Three Rivers Stadium on the city's Northside. The team moved to what was then known as Heinz Field in 2001. In February 2022, after Heinz declined to sign a new deal after naming rights expired, the Steelers signed a deal with Acrisure and renamed the stadium to Acrisure Stadium.

Training camp

Steelers at training camp in Latrobe

The Steelers hold training camp east of the city at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. The site is one of the most storied in the league with Peter King of describing it as: "... I love the place. It's the perfect training-camp setting, looking out over the rolling hills of the Laurel Highlands in west-central Pennsylvania, an hour east of Pittsburgh. On a misty or foggy morning, standing atop the hill at the college, you feel like you're in Scotland. Classic, wonderful slice of American culture. If you can visit one training camp, this is the one to see."[59]

The team has its headquarters and practice facilities at the state-of-the-art University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sportsplex on Pittsburgh's Southside. Constructed in 2000, the facility combines the vast expertise of sports medical professionals and researchers as well as hosting the University of Pittsburgh Panthers football team.[60]

In 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Steelers held their training camp at Heinz Field. They returned to Saint Vincent College for the 2022 season.

Historical facilities

The Rooney family has long had a close relationship with Duquesne University in the city and from the teams founding in the 1930s to the late 1990s used Art Rooney Field and other facilities on campus as either its primary or secondary in-season training site as well as Greenlee Field during the 1930s.[61]

In the 1970s and 1980s, the team had season scrimmages at South Park in the suburban south hills of Pittsburgh. During various seasons including the strike season of 1987, the Steelers used Point Stadium in nearby Johnstown for game week practices.[62] During the 1950s St. Bonaventure University (where Art Rooney's brother Silas was serving as athletic director)[63][64] and suburban Ligonier[65] also served as a pre-season training camp sites.


Players of note

Current roster


Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics

Roster updated September 19, 2023

51 active, 7 inactive, 16 practice squad (+1 exempt)

AFC rostersNFC rosters

Retired uniform numbers

Pittsburgh Steelers retired numbers
No. Player Position Seasons Retired Ref.
32 Franco Harris FB 1972–1983 December 24, 2022 [66]
70 Ernie Stautner DT 1950–1963 October 25, 1964 [67]
75 Joe Greene DT 1969–1981 November 2, 2014 [68]

The Steelers retired Stautner's #70 in 1964 before creating a 50-year tradition of not retiring numbers. The team retired Greene's #75 in 2014 and left the possibility open that they would retire other players' jersey numbers at later dates. However, several numbers have not been reissued since the retirement of the players who wore them, including:[69]

Pro Football Hall of Famers

"Primary" inductees

The Steelers boast the third most "primary" inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, i.e. inductees that spent most or all of their NFL careers in Pittsburgh. They also can claim the most honorees of any franchise founded on or after 1933 and the only franchise with three members of ownership in the Hall of Fame.[70]

Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famers
No. Name Inducted Position(s) Years w/ Steelers Ref.
36 Bettis, JeromeJerome Bettis 2015 RB 19962005 [71]
47 Blount, MelMel Blount 1989 CB 19701983 [72]
12 Bradshaw, TerryTerry Bradshaw 1989 QB 19701983 [73]
80 Butler, JackJack Butler 2012 CB 19511959 [74]
63 Dawson, DermonttiDermontti Dawson 2012 C 19882000 [75]
35 Dudley, BillBill Dudley 1966 RB 1942, 19451946 [76]
66 Faneca, AlanAlan Faneca 2021 G 19982007 [77]
75 Greene, JoeJoe Greene 1987 DT 19691981 [78]
59 Ham, JackJack Ham 1988 LB 19711982 [79]
32 Harris, FrancoFranco Harris 1990 RB 19721983 [80]
35 Johnson, John HenryJohn Henry Johnson 1987 RB 19601965 [81]
35 Kiesling, WaltWalt Kiesling 1966 G 19371944 [82]
58 Lambert, JackJack Lambert 1990 LB 19741984 [83]
43 Polamalu, TroyTroy Polamalu 2020 S 20032014 [84]
31 Shell, DonnieDonnie Shell 2020 S 19741987 [85]
82 Stallworth, JohnJohn Stallworth 2002 WR 19741987 [86]
70 Stautner, ErnieErnie Stautner 1969 DT 19501963 [87]
88 Swann, LynnLynn Swann 2001 WR 19741982 [88]
52 Webster, MikeMike Webster 1997 C 19741988 [89]
26 Woodson, RodRod Woodson 2009 CB 19871996 [90]
91 Greene, KevinKevin Greene 2016 LB 19931995 [91]
Coaches and Contributors
Name Inducted Position(s) Years w/ Steelers Ref.
Cowher, BillBill Cowher 2020 Head coach 19922006 [92]
Noll, ChuckChuck Noll 1993 Head coach 19691991 [93]
Nunn, BillBill Nunn 2021 Scout
Assistant Director Player Personnel
Senior Scout
19682014 [94]
Rooney, ArtArt Rooney 1964 Founder, Owner 19331988 [95]
Rooney, DanDan Rooney 2000 Executive, Owner 19752017 [96]

Steelers in the Hall for contributions elsewhere

Steelers in the Hall for contributions elsewhere
No. Name Inducted Steeler Position(s) Years w/ Steelers Primary Team Impact Position(s) Ref.
36 Cal Hubbard 1963 OT 1936 Green Bay Packers OT [97]
15 Johnny "Blood" McNally 1963 FB
Head Coach
1934, 19371939 Green Bay Packers FB [98]
22 Layne, BobbyBobby Layne 1967 QB/K 19581962 Detroit Lions QB/K [99]
36 Motley, MarionMarion Motley 1968 FB 1955 Cleveland Browns FB [100]
14 Johnny Unitas 1979 QB 1955 Baltimore Colts QB [101]
16 Dawson, LenLen Dawson 1987 QB 19571959 Kansas City Chiefs QB [102]
7 Jim Finks 1995 QB 19491955 Minnesota Vikings GM [103]
21 Tony Dungy 2016 S
Defensive backs coach
Defensive Coordinator
Indianapolis Colts Head coach [104]
Bell, BertBert Bell 1963 Co-owner
Head coach
19411946 National Football League Commissioner [105]
Mike Munchak 2001 Offensive Line Coach 20142018
Houston Oilers G [106]
Russ Grimm 2010 Offensive Line Coach 20012006
Washington Redskins G [107]
Dick LeBeau 2010 Defensive Coordinator 19921996
Detroit Lions CB [108]
Award recipients

Pro Bowl players

The following Steelers players have been named to the Pro Bowl:


NFL MVP Winners
Season Player Position
1946 Bill Dudley HB[110]
1978 Terry Bradshaw QB[111]

Defensive Player of the Year Awards winners

NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Season Player Position
1972 Joe Greene DT
1975 Mel Blount CB
1976 Jack Lambert LB
1993 Rod Woodson DB
2008 James Harrison LB
2010 Troy Polamalu S
2021 T. J. Watt LB

Rookie of the Year Award winners

Super Bowl MVPs

Super Bowl MVP winners
Super Bowl Player Position
IX Franco Harris RB
X Lynn Swann WR
XIII Terry Bradshaw QB
XL Hines Ward WR
XLIII Santonio Holmes WR

NFL All-Decade Teams

The following Steelers were named to NFL All-Decade Teams (and 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams, selected in 1994 and 2019, respectively). Only those who spent time with Pittsburgh during the respective decades are listed. Bold indicates those elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

All-time team

In 2007, in celebration of the franchise's 75th season, the team announced an updated All-Time team of the 33 best players who have ever played for the Steelers.[112] This team supplanted the previous All-Time team of 24 players named as part of the 50th anniversary commemoration in 1982.[113]

A "Legends team" consisting of the club's best pre-1970s players was released concurrently with the latest All-Time team.[114]

Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year

The regional Dapper Dan Charities has since 1939 named the "Sportsman of the Year" in the Pittsburgh region. 19 Steelers have won the award in 23 events:

  • 1941 Aldo Donelli
  • 1942 Bill Dudley
  • 1946 Bill Dudley
  • 1950 Joe Geri
  • 1952 Red Dawson
  • 1955 John Michelosen
  • 1962 Lou Michaels & John Michelosen
  • 1968 Dick Hoak
  • 1972 Chuck Noll
  • 1974 Joe Greene
  • 1975 Terry Bradshaw
  • 1977 Franco Harris
  • 1984 John Stallworth
  • 1985 Louis Lipps
  • 1992 Bill Cowher
  • 1994 Bill Cowher
  • 1997 Jerome Bettis
  • 2001 Kordell Stewart
  • 2004 Ben Roethlisberger
  • 2005 Jerome Bettis
  • 2008 Mike Tomlin
  • 2014 Antonio Brown
  • 2015 Antonio Brown
  • 2018 James Conner

Hall of Honor

The Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Honor was established on August 1, 2017.[115] There have been 53 inductees.[116][117][118][119][120][121][122]

Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Honor
Name Position Years With Club Inducted
36 Jerome Bettis RB 1996–2005 2017[116]
20 Rocky Bleier RB 1968, 1970–80 2018[117]
47 Mel Blount CB 1970–83 2017[116]
12 Terry Bradshaw QB 1970–83 2017[116]
Larry Brown TE
80 Jack Butler CB 1951–59 2017[116]
Myron Cope Broadcaster 1970–2004 2022[121]
Bill Cowher Coach 1992–2006 2019[118]
57 Sam Davis G 1967–79 2022[121]
63 Dermontti Dawson C 1988–2000 2017[116]
84 Buddy Dial WR 1959–63 2018[117]
35 Bill Dudley HB 1942, 1945–46 2017[116]
66 Alan Faneca G 1998–2007 2018[117]
51 James Farrior LB 2002–11 2020[119]
75 Joe Greene DT 1969–81 2017[116]
91 Kevin Greene LB 1993–95 2017[116]
68 L.C. Greenwood DE 1969–81 2017[116]
59 Jack Ham LB 1971–82 2017[116]
32 Franco Harris RB 1972–83 2017[116]
92 James Harrison LB 2002–03, 2004–12, 2014–17 2023[122]
42 Dick Hoak RB
62 Tunch Ilkin OT 1980–92 2021[120]
35 John Henry Johnson FB 1960–65 2017[116]
35 Walt Kiesling G
1939–44, 1954–56
55 Jon Kolb OT 1969–81 2021[120]
37 Carnell Lake S
1989–98 2021[120]
58 Jack Lambert LB 1974–84 2017[116]
22 Bobby Layne QB 1958–62 2017[116]
83 Louis Lipps WR 1984–91 2021[120]
95 Greg Lloyd LB 1988–97 2020[119]
56 Ray Mansfield C 1964–76 2023[122]
25 Ray Mathews HB
1951–59 2022[121]
15 Johnny "Blood" McNally FB
1934, 1937–39
83 Heath Miller TE 2005–15 2022[121]
72 Gerry Mullins G 1971–79 2023[122]
81 Elbie Nickel TE 1947–57 2019[118]
Chuck Noll Coach 1969–91 2017[116]
Bill Nunn Scout
Assistant Director Player Personnel
Senior Scout
1968–2014 2018[117]
43 Troy Polamalu S 2003–14 2020[119]
Art Rooney, Jr. Personnel Director
Vice President
Art Rooney, Sr. Founder
Chairman of the Board
1933–88 2017[116]
Dan Rooney, Sr. President
1955–2017 2017[116]
34 Andy Russell LB 1963, 1966–76 2017[116]
31 Donnie Shell S 1974–87 2017[116]
91 Aaron Smith DE 1999–2011 2023[122]
82 John Stallworth WR 1974–87 2017[116]
70 Ernie Stautner DT 1950–63 2017[116]
88 Lynn Swann WR 1974–82 2017[116]
23 Mike Wagner S 1971–80 2020[119]
86 Hines Ward WR 1998–2011 2019[118]
52 Mike Webster C 1974–88 2017[116]
78 Dwight White DE 1971–80 2020[119]
26 Rod Woodson CB 1987–96 2017[116]


The Steelers have had 16 coaches through their history. They have cycled through the fewest head coaches in the modern NFL history.[123] Their first coach was Forrest Douds, who coached them to a 3–6–2 record in 1933. Chuck Noll had the longest term as head coach with the Steelers; he is one of only four coaches to coach a single NFL team for 23 years.[5] Hired prior to the 2007 season, the Steelers current coach is Mike Tomlin.[124]

Current staff

Front office
  • Owner/president – Art Rooney II
  • Vice president – Art Rooney Jr.
  • Vice president of player personnel – Dan Rooney Jr.
  • General manager – Omar Khan
  • Assistant general manager – Andy Weidl
  • Director of player scouting – Mark Sadowski
  • Director of college scouting – Dan Colbert
  • Director of pro scouting – Sheldon White
  • Assistant director of pro scouting – Dave Pettet
  • Senior scouting assistants – Phil Kreidler, Kelvin Fisher
  • Director of football administration – Cole Marcoux
Head coaches
Offensive coaches
Defensive coaches
Special teams coaches
  • Special teams coordinator – Danny Smith
  • Quality control – Matt Tomsho
Strength and conditioning
  • Senior conditioning coordinator – Garrett Giemont
  • Head strength and conditioning coach – Marcel Pastoor
  • Strength and conditioning assistant – Rodain Delus
  • Director of player development – Darrel Young

Coaching staff
More NFL staffs

Offensive coordinator history


Years Name
2021–present Matt Canada
2018–2020 Randy Fichtner
2012–2017 Todd Haley
2007–2011 Bruce Arians
2004–2006 Ken Whisenhunt
2001–2003 Mike Mularkey
1999–2000 Kevin Gilbride
1998 Ray Sherman
1996–1997 Chan Gailey
1992–1995 Ron Erhardt
1990–1991 Joe Walton
1983–1989 Tom Moore

Defensive coordinator history


Years Name
2022–present Teryl Austin
2015–2021 Keith Butler
Dick LeBeau
2000–2003 Tim Lewis
1997–1999 Jim Haslett
1992–1994 Dom Capers
1990–1991 Dave Brazil
1989 Rod Rust
1984–1988 Tony Dungy
1979–1983 Woody Widenhofer
1978 George Perles
1973–1977 Bud Carson


Map of radio affiliates.

As of 2006, the Steelers' flagship radio stations were WDVE 102.5 FM and WBGG 970 AM. Both stations are owned by iHeartMedia. Games are also available on 51 radio stations in Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, Ohio, and Northern West Virginia.[126] The announcers are Bill Hillgrove and Tunch Ilkin. Craig Wolfley is the sideline reporter. Myron Cope, the longtime color analyst and inventor of the "Terrible Towel", retired after the 2004 season, and died in 2008.

Pre-season games not shown on one of the national broadcasters are seen on CBS O&O KDKA-TV, channel 2; sister CW O&O WPKD-TV, channel 19; and AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh. KDKA-TV's Bob Pompeani and former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch do the announcing for the pre-season games, as well as the two hosting the pre-game program Steelers Kickoff during the regular season prior to the national airing of The NFL Today. Pompeani and former Steelers lineman Chris Hoke also host the Xfinity Xtra Point following the game on days when CBS does not have that week's NFL doubleheader. When CBS has a week's doubleheader, the show airs on WPKD-TV. Coach Mike Tomlin's weekly press conference is shown live on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh. Both Batch and Hoke replaced former Steelers lineman Edmund Nelson, who retired from broadcasting in 2015.[127]

Thursday Night Football broadcasts are shown locally on Fox affiliate WPGH-TV, channel 53 (along with home games with NFC opponents and some flexed interconference games), while ESPN Monday Night Football broadcasts are shown locally on WTAE-TV, channel 4. (WTAE-TV is owned by the Hearst Corporation, which owns a 20% stake in ESPN.) By virtue of being members of the AFC, most of the Steelers' games air on CBS and KDKA. NBC Sunday Night Football games are carried by WPXI, channel 11, in the market.

The Steelers hold a national contract with Grupo Imagen for radio rights to their games in Mexico; Imagen broadcasts the Steelers on their stations in 17 Mexican cities.

Figures with broadcasting résumés

The Steelers franchise has a rich history of producing well-known sportscasters over the years. The most famous of these is probably Myron Cope, who served as a Steelers radio color commentator for 35 seasons (19702004).

Several former Steelers players have gone on to careers in media after completing their playing careers.


The Steelers Digest is the only official newspaper for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It has been published for 22 years and is currently published by Dolphin/Curtis Publishing in Miami, Florida, which also handles several other publications. The newspaper is very widely acknowledged by Steelers fans. Issues are mailed out to paying subscribers weekly through the season after every regular-season game and continue through playoffs as long as the Steelers do. After a Super Bowl victory, a bonus issue is published, which is followed by a draft preview, draft recap, and training camp edition every other month, then leading into the pre-season. There are typically 24 issues of the paper within a publishing year. The newspaper is listed on the official page.

Usage in popular culture

The Steelers' success over several decades has permeated film and literature. The Steelers are portrayed in the following big-budget Hollywood films:

The protagonist of John Grisham's novel "The Associate" is a staunch Steelers fan.

In the summer of 2019, the Kennywood theme park located near Pittsburgh, opened a new land themed to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers Country, featuring a major record-breaking coaster, the Steel Curtain. The land, in addition to this ride, features a Steelers-themed experience, and an 'End Zone Restaurant'.

The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research

The Steelers helped launch the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research in November 2016 by donating $1 million.[129] The Foundation, started by Steelers president Art Rooney II, focuses on education and research regarding brain injuries and sports-related concussions.

In June 2017, the Steelers announced an inaugural charity walk to raise money for the foundation.[130]

See also


  1. ^ Although Marlin Briscoe is sometimes erroneously cited as the first African-American starting quarterback in 1968, this was not for an NFL team and not in an NFL game (the Denver Broncos, for which Briscoe played, were an American Football League team then), additionally the vast majority of Briscoe's career was not as quarterback.


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Further reading

  • Millman, Chad (2010). The Ones Who Hit the Hardest: The Steelers, the Cowboys, the '70s, and the Fight for America's Soul. Gotham Books. ISBN 978-1-5924-0665-4.

External links

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