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The Steelers 1976 season begins here>>>

1976 AFC TITLE GAME

“The anticipation is unreal,” Dwight White said. “I’m ready to play the game, get it all settled. Enough has been said. We’re just hungry. But everybody knows we’re gonna kick their butts.”

Joe Greene announced, “It’s time to get this settled once and for all. The team’s not out here to play dirty football. We’re here to kick their butts.”

“Something IS gonna happen,” Coach Noll commented, “but we’re out here to play football. That’s what I told the squad. This is not a pugilistic situation. The meanest thing we could do to them is beat them.”

Oakland’s Coach John Madden believed it was going to be a physical game, “Every time the Steelers go out, they play physical.”

Coach Noll agreed, “I’m sure it will be physical, especially if all this pregame talk is any indication.”

Franco Harris (bruised ribs), Frenchy Fuqua (pulled muscle) and Rocky Bleier (sprained toe) were all walking wounded and if they participate, it would be limited, but Madden wasn’t haven’t any of it. “They’ll play,” Madden said. “With the Super Bowl at stake, they’ll be healthy.”

Coach Noll was hopeful the Steelers offensive line would aid Harrison to fill the gap with Franco’s absence. “We like to think a big part of our running game is our offensive line,” Noll predicted.

IT'S OFFICIAL - RAIDERS HATE LYNN SWANN

Lynn Swann media photo“They just don’t like Swann,” Al Davis the Raiders managing general offered. “It’s deep. I don’t know where it’s going, but they don’t like him. I don’t know why, but it’s an intense dislike.”

It wasn’t exactly news that hostility towards the Steeler player existed from Jack Tatum and George Atkinson who was in dispute with the team. But Davis suggested that even Skip Davis, who played with Swann at Southern California wasn’t exactly wild about his former teammate.

After suffering physically at the hands of the Raiders in the season opener, Swann singled out Thomas as the only player in the Raiders secondary who wasn’t guilty of foul play, but animosity was there. “Thomas is all fired up,” added Davis. “He just doesn’t like him. I don’t know why. Swann seems like a decent guy.”

If Swann wasn’t too high on the Raiders’ popularity list, Joe Green was even lower. Davis accused Greene of “infantile” remarks after Mean Joe went on record as saying he would play it any way that Atkinson wants to.

“Greene is trying to become the Muhammad Ali of pro football,” said Davis. “I’m sure we’ve got many players who are willing to meet Joe halfway and get it straightened out before the game.

When Greene made those statements, one of our new defensive linemen asked if he could challenge Greene before the game. We’ve got a lot of guys who could handle him. I’m not so sure Tatum couldn’t do it himself.”

Having inflamed the acrimony between the teams, Davis made his final point. “Ask Joe who he wants to fight?”


Another photo from Steeler Nation UK 2015 Pittsburgh visit

 

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