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The Steelers 1977 season begins here>>>

STEELERS 1972 SLUMP

Reflecting on the 4-4 Steelers, Joe Greene observed, “There are two things I refuse to believe. One, that we no longer have the talent and two, that we no longer want it. We are trying out there. We’re busting our butts. Mistakes are killing us. It’s not the things that happen off the field; it’s what we’re doing on the field.”

“There’s a fine line between losing and winning and sometimes you cross over the line without knowing it,” Greene added. “We’ve known for a long time that it is getting tougher for us to win… that other clubs are catching up.”

Art Rooney suggested the Steelers have to stop making “dumb mistakes,” and noted “it was always tough when you get booed at home.”

“We can’t live in the past and we can’t look past the Browns,” said Coach Noll. On the Browns winless record in Three Rivers Stadium, Noll added, “I don’t think it has anything to do with anything. A statistic doesn’t hold itself.”

Joe Greene media photo

WHERE DO THE STEELERS GO FROM HERE?

Not quite two years after winning back to back Super Bowls, the question was being asked about the Steelers, “where are they headed?” Even at 4-4, the opportunity to make the playoffs was still viable, but they had to start with a win over their next opponents. If they failed to make it to the playoffs, would a major overhaul be in order asked Vito Stellino in the Post-Gazette?

Pittsburgh’s next test would come when they host the Browns, who had never enjoyed success in Three Rivers Stadium. After defeating the Browns in Cleveland earlier in the season, Stellino indicated that if the Steelers couldn’t beat the Browns again, their problems may be more serious than even their most pessimistic followers feared.

A young Cleveland team, chasing the division title, would be keen to put one over their opponents. The rivalry was noted for the skirmishes between the Browns offensive line and the Steelers defensive line. Doug Dieken, the Browns veteran tackle was usually in the thick of it and suggested, “You’ve got to do what you have to do to keep them off the quarterback. That’s what offensive linemen are paid to do. It’s just part of the game. That’s the way it is. You do what you can.”

When asked about the flare-ups that often occur, Dieken replied, “When you play Pittsburgh, it’s a physical, emotional game and guys lose their tempers. There’s a lot of pride in this game and we like to play good, aggressive football.”

GREENE FINED

Joe Greene met with the NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle to discuss the player’s threat to “cleat one of the officials in the spine.” The following day the Steelers publicity director read a brief statement to the press. “Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Joe Greene has been informed by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle that disciplinary action will be taken in the form of a fine for his remarks last week regarding officials.”

After learning of the Commissioner’s decision, Greene said, “I explained to Mr. Rozelle that I said what I did for effect. I wanted to call attention to the problem that I think exists regarding the officials. I was upset and frustrated. In the future, I will express myself in a different manner. The Commissioner suggested I pick up the telephone and call him if I have any problems. I might take him up on the offer.”



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This site last updated January 21st 2017.

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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