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The Steelers 1977 season begins here>>>

JACK LAMBERT BACK WITH THE TEAM

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette photo“It’s been a long road,” disclosed Lambert (picture left with Terry Bradshaw) when he spoke to reporters after his first day back with the Steelers. “I’m glad it’s over. It’s a load lifted off my shoulders.”

Lambert had signed a new contract that kept him in Pittsburgh for five years, but a non-disclosure clause meant the figures were unknown although his agent implied the player was Pittsburgh’s newest millionaire. Lambert suggested it would Uncle Sam would be the millionaire not him.

Despite the Steelers defensive woes with injuries, the plan was to ease Lambert back. Linebackers coach Woody Widenhofer reminded reporters about Henry Davis, who injured his neck in a Saturday game after reporting back on a Wednesday in 1974 when the players’ strike was resolved. Although it wasn’t certain the injury was a direct result of the lack of practice, but the coach wasn’t going to take a chance.

“He’s in decent shape, but he needs to be pushed and he needs a lot of contact,” observed Widenhofer on Lambert’s condition. “I still can’t believe I’m here,” enthused Lambert.

STEELERS HOST PHILADELPHIA

“I’m concerned about injuries,” Noll emphasised as thoughts turned to the next preseason game against Philadelphia. The Eagles coach Dick Vermell had a reputation for running their training as a drill instructor at a boot camp and Noll hinted there was no indication of insubordination among the troops. “It looks like they are believing,” said Noll. “They are a group of guys who are hard to knock down.”

Coach Noll also needed to address the apathetic performance of his offense against the Patriots. Terry Bradshaw was convinced that his 6 completions out of 18 attempts was due to throwing the ball with too much sidearm.

1977 Exhibition game 5: The Pittsburgh Steelers vs the Philadelphia Eagles

The Steelers offense continued where they left off from their previous game - sluggishly. Fans booed them off the field at the end of a first half that saw them trailing the Eagles 0-13. For their opponents, Ron Jaworski hit Harold Carmichael with a 19-yard touchdown followed by two field goals.

Known for his conservative play calling, Coach Noll chose this preseason game to gamble in an attempt to spark his offense into life.

With a fourth down on their opponents 13, Bradshaw unfastened his chin strap and began to walk off the field believing it would be a field goal attempt, but his coach had other ideas. Noll waved Bradshaw back into the huddle and the quarterback promptly fired a 12-yard completion to Lynn Swann to give the team a first down.

Reggie Harrison’s 1-yard dive gave the Steelers the score and snapped them out of their apathy. On Pittsburgh’s next series, Bradshaw led them 73 yards in nine plays and completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to John Stallworth that edged them into a one point lead.

As time expired, Sid Thornton added a touchdown run of 10 yards to give the Steelers a 21-13 victory.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 21 vs the Philadelphia Eagles 13
Three Rivers Stadium September 2 1977; 49548

“It’s attitude,” said Bradshaw. “You’ve got to go out there and have a feel for the game. We’re just out there going through the motions.

When we came out there, everything was flat. The stadium was flat. Everything was flat. It could be because we have a lot of guys injured or maybe because of all the heat in New England last Sunday, but it’s not that we know this team can’t do it.”

“There were two different kinds of performances,” observed Coach Noll. “The first half was different than the second half. From our standpoint, we played better. From the Eagles standpoint, they used different people.”

Lambert, who played on special teams and for a quarter in his usual position, appreciated the fine reception he received. “It made me feel real good,” he said. “I’m a human being. Hell, everybody wants to be accepted. I expected a few boos. You can’t please everybody. Some people don’t feel you should try to do what you feel is right.”


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This site last updated July 17th 2016.

Ben's early games with the Steelers.

The Steelers 1976 season in full.
The Steelers 1975 season in full.
The Steelers 1974 season in full.

The first NFL champions the 1902 Pittsburgh Stars added June 2016

The Pittsburgh Americans added August 2015.

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