In March 1979, the Pittsburgh Press published an interview they held with the NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle.

Q: What are your feelings on the 16-game regular season schedule and four-game pre-season format after one year?

Profootball Hall of Fame imageRozelle: Most of the comments on it have been good. Some clubs had real difficulties selling preseason games and particularly for those it has been a big help.

The thing I liked about the 16-game schedule the most was the type of schedule it allows us to implement. So much was made about stacking the schedule, but I think going to 16 enabled us to set up a much fairer format.

You had three quarters of the schedule the same as the other teams in your division, which we’ve never had before. Just through regular cycle changes we’ve had some horrible inequities over the years – like a team winning its division and having a much easier schedule the following year just through rotation than the team which finished last in the division.

This way I think there’s more fairness to it. It helps us have more good games both at the gate and for television with more good games at the end. We had those first-place teams playing other firsts and fourths. But there’s still debate among the league about whether you’d want to play those first and fourths or the second and thirds. There’s not much inequity.

Q: Some critics think that mediocrity rather than parity has been reached and that having a 9-7 teams in the playoffs is not the best thing. Has the NFL’s product been diluted at all in your opinion?

Rozelle: I thought that in the 1978 season Pittsburgh and Dallas pretty well proved their superiority. And, if you were in Atlanta or Philadelphia, it was damn exciting. As it was in Houston. They had those teams performing pretty damn well. I saw the Atlanta-Dallas game and they had Dallas in trouble. No, it doesn’t concern me.

Q: What about the addition of Sunday night and Thursday night telecasts? They weren’t overly successful, were they?

Rozelle: Because our Monday nights were so strong, it was said that they didn’t do too well on Sunday nights. But, actually the combination of the three Sundays and Thursday last year were only one rating point below the Monday night average for the season. It’s just that they didn’t go through the roof. This year, we’ll probably try one Sunday and three Thursdays to reverse it and see how it goes. Under our contract with ABC-TV we have the right to go up to six with some rather sizeable payments, but we’re going to hold it to four.

Q: What is the financial situation of the league? Were there any teams in the red last year?

Rozelle: I would say that there were none in the red last years. We had some teams losing money prior, but television corrected that, at least for this period. The TV contract ensured all of the clubs of making a profit in the four-year period of which we have three more years to go.

Q: You have said that 30 teams would be an ideal number for scheduling purposes. Is there any possibility of expansion in the near future?

Rozelle: Not in the immediate future. For at least two years minimum. We’ve been pretty lucky on expansion since Dallas came in 1960 as the thirteenth team. We’ve been able to space it out where you don’t end up with an inordinate number of struggling teams at the same time.
I’m very much pleased with the progress of Seattle and Tampa Bay because a lot of people felt that with the added number of teams participating in the draft it would make it more difficult than in the old days. But, apparently good management, coaching and scouting can still give a club the tools to do it.


The Steelers schedule was announced at the beginning of April and revealed they would open the 1979 season on Monday Night Football in New England. The following weekend they would host Houston in a replay of last season’s AFC title game.

The replay of the Super Bowl would be at the end of October when the Cowboys visit Pittsburgh at the halfway point of the season.

Monday September 3 at New England Patriots 2100
Sunday September 9 vs Houston Oilers 1300
Sunday September 16 at St. Louis Cardinals 1600
Sunday September 23 vs Baltimore Colts 1300
Sunday September 30 at Philadelphia Eagles 1300
Sunday October 7 at Cleveland Browns 1300
Sunday October 14 at Cincinnati Bengals 1300
Sunday October 22 vs Denver Broncos 2100
Sunday October 28 vs Dallas Cowboys 1300
Sunday November 4 vs Washington Redskins 1300
Sunday November 11 at Kansas City Chiefs 1300
Sunday November 18 at San Diego Chargers 1600
Sunday November 25 vs Cleveland Browns 1300
Sunday December 2 vs Cincinnati Bengals 1300
Monday December 10 at Houston Oilers2100
Sunday December 16 vs Buffalo Bills 1300

Home opponents in bold.


In the same month, the NFL unveiled the Steelers 1978 highlight film called “the Return of the Champions.” To the the deep tones of John Facenda describing the Steelers as the “Finest football team in its final hour,” the film captures the ambience of the Steelers third Lombardi trophy winning season.

Winston Churchill could not have done a better job of characterising the 1978 Steelers team. The film credited Terry Bradshaw as the focal point of Pittsburgh’s return to glory as he silenced all his critics to lead his team to score the most touchdowns in the NFL that season.

Bradshaw added a third a decisive dimension to the punishing defense which intimidated opponents and a ball control ground game that had taken the Steelers to their first two Super Bowls.

The film also pays homage to “Steeler Nation” and the Terrible Towel with Myron Cope adding his own flavour to the narrative.

To relive that 1978 season, the video can be found on YouTube.


The idea of Bert Bell in the thirties, the draft was an attempt to keep the teams on an even level. When Chuck Noll became the Steelers head coach, he astutely built a Super Bowl winning team by selecting   

For some members of their front office, draft day is their D-Day, especially for Dick Haley, the Steelers director of player of personnel. In an attempt to put it in perspective, Haley suggested, “You build a whole year to one day. You don’t want to make mistakes in judgment.

Unlike the ball team, when it has an off day and looks bad in a regular season game, you can bounce back next week and make everyone forget what you did the week before. We have to wait a whole year to redeem ourselves.”

“The draft has been the cornerstone of our success,” added Haley. “This is the route we’ve taken to get here. The only way we can stay on top is that we’ve got to get better players. No one will accept us losing. Once you get the people accustomed to that, they won’t settle for a .500 season. And they shouldn’t.”

“Winning the Super Bowl is everything you work for,” acknowledged Art Rooney Jr., “but then you get ticked off when you have to draft last as a result of it. “We should have a good draft. There’s no excuse not to have a good draft. We’re not going into it to blow it. We think we can get help in the draft.”

 “It’s a good year,” suggested Haley. “The talent is deeper at certain positions than it has been in recent years. I think we’ll stick to taking the best football player who is available when it’s our turn. That’s worked well for us in the past.

Everyone on the outside is zeroing in that we’ve got to have a running back. But, in truth, we don’t have any critical needs. As the record shows, we’re pretty good. We’re adequate at say running back, but not as deep there as we are at linebacker. So, we’re looking for running backs for sure.

If a guy we thought could be a great player were available to us at any position, we’d pick him ahead of a running back. But, if it’s close and you only have to slide down three or four notches on your evaluation list to fill a specific need, well you do it. Everyone does it.”

Steelers Scouting Philosophy Leaves No Stone Unturned
Jim O’Brien - Pittsburgh Press May 2 1979

The Shades were drawn tight as the brain trust of the Steelers sequestered itself in a dark room in the bowels of Three Rivers Stadium at 7am last Saturday. This was serious stuff and underground movements anywhere in the world couldn’t be any more zealous about their missions.

The projector was turned on, a stream of white light shot through the darkness filling the silver screen in the front of the room with fast-paced black and white images.

To see their eyes bulge, the Steeler coaches appeared to have latched onto the latest blue film from France or some crusty celluloid from the archives of the Art Cinema.

No, the NFL draft of college players will be held tomorrow and the Steelers were studying, cramming wouldn’t be the correct word here considering the scouting department’s year-long efforts for this crucial test.

The Steelers were studying film, looking for flaws as well as strengths in the top-rated prospects, reviewing their notes, updating their ideas about the draft, and settling on their strategy.

Art Rooney Jr., one of the club’s vice presidents and the man who overseas the scouting department wants the most up to date information available on anyone the Steelers might seek in the draft or in a trade, if the team decide to take that route.

He wants to avoid any fiascos such as the deal with the Giants a year ago which brought nothing but excess tonnage in the form of John Hicks, recently retired from the NFL at the age of 28.

“We went with information that was three of four years old in that one,” recalled Rooney, “going back to what our scouts said about him when he came out of Ohio State. You should learn by your mistakes. Now we insist on the latest word.”

With that in mind, the Steelers scouts and coaches have been pooling their information more intensively the last two weeks. “In BLESTO, we have fourteen full time guys and we have five of our own scouts full-time,” related Rooney. “With the draft so late (May rather than January) we sent our scouts all over the place again to check out the players and have them work out for us.

So, we have triple-tier scouting now, whereas in the old days we were lucky to get one line on the college prospects.”

This explains the presence in Boston yesterday of Coach Noll and his assistants Dick Hoak and George Perles. 
Noll’s philosophy on the draft is etched on the walls of the Steelers office and at least on the brains of the team’s officials.

“We have always gone in with the idea of getting the best football player available. We feel that if we can upgrade our team at any spot we’re going to help ourselves. So, we will try to make a judgement on who is the best when it comes our time to pick 28th and last on the first round and we will draft him.

It doesn’t matter whether we need someone at a position or not because you make a mistake in the draft when you panic and say, ‘We haven’t someone at this spot.’ Then you draft someone who is not as good as someone else and that guy makes all-league someplace else. We are interested in drafting the best football player.”

Jim O'Brien has written many books on the Steelers and Pittsburgh sports teams. You can find his website on


The Steelers were projected to take a running back with their first pick in the 1979 draft and didn’t disappoint the fans who were looking for some backup to Franco Harris.

“Greg who?” ran the headline in the Post-Gazette as many were surprised with the choice. The Steelers had done their homework though and even produced a handout on the player for the press they prepared well in advance of his selection.

Greg Hawthorne media guide photoBaylor’s Greg Hawthorne was a highly rated running back until he cracked his hip in October 1978 in a game against Ohio State. Many teams decided not to take a chance on him, but the Steelers put him through every strenuous agility drill they could.

“Here was a guy who’d had the injury three or four months ago and he could run 4.5 40s,” said Player Personnel Director Dick Haley. The Steelers’ orthopaedic specialist comprehensively examined Hawthorne’s hip and saw no problem with it.

“Without the injury, he might have been the first back to go,” Dick Hoak, Steelers running back coach suggested. “Physically, he’s so much better than the rest of them.”

Coach Noll was impressed with the player. “He is bigger, he is faster,” Noll said. “We like his size, his speed, how bad he wanted it and the kind of person he was.”

The Steelers selected linebacker Zack Valentine with their second pick and another running back, Russel Davis, with their third pick in the fourth round. Their third-round pick was forfeited after the team broke the rules and played in pads during rookie camp the previous season.


1. Greg Hawthorne, RB, 6-2½, 225 Baylor. Averaged 5.1 yards rushing as a junior. Runs well inside and out and is looked upon to provide blocking in the backfield. Fluid receiver which fits in well with Steelers offense.

2. Zack Valentine, LB, 6-2, 220, East Carolina. Four-year starter as defensive end but was usually in stand-up position in a five-man front. Has outstanding range mobility and pursuit.

3. No pick

4a. Russell Davis, RB, 6-1,215. Michigan. Rushed for over 1,000 yards in junior season. Suffered wrist injurie last season but Coach Noll not concerned about it hampering him.

4b. Calvin Sweeney. WR, 6-0, 180, Southern California. Two-year starter, catching 65 passes in that period. Said to resemble Lynn Swann.

5. Dwaine Board, DE, 6-4½, 241, North Carolina A&T. Rated excellent pass rusher.

6a. Bill Murrell, TE, 6-3, 215, Winston-Salem. Regarded as good all-round athlete and top blocker.

6b. Dwayne Woodruff, CB, 5-11,189, Louisville. Another “athlete” according to scouts. Fast

6c. Matt Bahr, PK, 5-10, 165, Penn State. Holds four NCAA records including most field goals (22).

7. Bruce Kimball, G, 6-1½, 250, Massachusetts. Started for 3½ seasons. Very strong and a hard worker.

8. Tom Graves, LB, 6-3, 228, Michigan State. Started for four years as a defensive back but will be moved to linebacker. Suffered a serious knee injury in his sophomore year.

9. Richard Kirk, DE,6-2,230, Denison. Interesting prospect. Intrigued Steelers scouts with his muscular physique, his speed (4.55), his intelligence and his forwardness in bringing himself to their attention.

10. Todd Thompson, TE, 6-3, 219, Brigham Young. Scouts say he can make the tough catch in traffic. Returns kicks.

11. Charlie Moore, C, 6-2, 225, Wichita State. Has good quickness, strength and speed.

12.a. Ed Smith, LB, 6-1, 216, Vanderbilt. Led team in tackles despite playing most of the season with dislocated shoulders.

12b. Mike Almond, WR, 6-1, 191, Northwest Louisiana. Holds school record for receptions. Has ability to make big catch.

Steelers’ Central Opponents Fare Well in Draft
Pat Livinston Pittsburgh Press May 6 1979

The Steelers may have helped themselves handsomely in the draft, as most of the coaches agreed, but they didn’t necessarily make any major gains on their Central Division foes, particularly the Bengals.

“The Bengals may have done the best job of anybody in the draft,” said Steelers defensive coordinator Woody Widenhofer as he evaluated the twelve rounds of the annual lottery. “The way I see it, the Bengals started out with two starters and a quarterback who’ll be with them for a long time.”

Coach Noll, of course, declined to indulge in such frivolity. A pragmatist from the word go, he said that was a function of the press. “The press can have its fun with evaluating drafts,” he offered. “We’ll make our evaluation next summer when the players show up in camp.”

The quarterback whom Widenhofer referred to is Jack Thompson, the Throwin’ Samoan from Washington State, whom Jackie Sherrill the Pitt Coach had in his sophomore year. According to Widenhofer, Thompson was, “the best quarterback in the draft.”

While Coach Noll may not have been so declarative, he hinted at his own respect for the big, strong-armed passer from the coast in another way. Sitting around batting the breeze after the final choices were made, Noll pointed out that Bob Leahy, a former Steeler quarterback who coached Thompson, was extremely high on the Cougar passer for years.

Widenhofer doesn’t expect Thompson to cause the Steelers any problems next fall. That will come from the second and third Cincinnati choices, Charles Alexander, a superior runner, and Vaughn Lusby, a defensive back from Arkansas. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see both those fellows starting for the Bengals,” admitted Widenhofer.
Widenhofer felt the Oilers and Browns didn’t do as well as the Bengals. Mainly because they didn’t have the prime drafting order the Bengals enjoyed as a result of the calamitous campaign last year.

Does it worry Widenhofer that his division opponents strengthened themselves so much with their success at the drafting table? Widenhofer flashed a wily grin while saying, “If our first rounder makes it, we’ll not worry about anybody. If he makes it like we think he might, we’ll have drafted as well as anybody in this whole league. That’s what I think of our draft.”

1979 Draft Reflections
from Vito Stellino Post-Gazette

The Steelers are likely to keep six running backs this year, but the drafting of Greg Hawthorne and Russell Davis with the return of Laverne Smith from injured reserve leaves Jack Deloplaine in a precarious position. Deloplaine has not been the same since he underwent a pair of knee operations.

The most talked about story in training camp this year will be the Matt Bahr-Roy Gerela kicking duel. There is one curious thing about that battle though, Steeler games rarely come down to a deciding field goal in the last minute.

In fact, Steelers games were not affected that much by field goals last year. They would have still won the Super Bowl if they had not made a single field goal. They were the difference in only two of the Steelers’ 19 games. In the games that field goals made a difference, Roy Gerela kicked three in the 15-9 overtime win against Cleveland and two in the 20-14 victory over New Orleans. The other seven were just topping on the cake.


J.T. Thomas, the Steelers first round draft pick of 1973, who sat out the 1978 season was hoping to return after being given the all clear by his doctors. Thomas was sidelined with a blood disorder called Boech’s sarcoid, but had received medical clearance to participate in the team’s mini-camp.

The veteran cornerback has been taken off medication and his doctors report his progress as good.


The Happy Landings discotheque downtown Pittsburgh had an airport as its motif signifying a safe arrival. For Jack lambert though his visit was a little bumpy and he finished his night out in Divine Providence Hospital.

Lambert was hit over the head as he left the restroom and then took on two or three guys depending on different versions of the altercation. “I don’t think he was injured too much,” suggested Dan Rooney. “He gave us his version, but I don’t want to give a blow by blow account.”

Lambert’s image was intentionally promoted by the NFL as the toughest and meanest member of the toughest and meanest football team. “He’s a target for guys looking to make a name for themselves in a hurry,” offered one Steeler official. “Guys challenge him even when they have no chance of winning, just to say they had the courage to take him on.”

No charges were filed and Mr. Rooney didn’t expect any disciplinary action to be taken by the league office.


Punter Craig Colquitt was charged with drunken driving following an auto accident in which his fiancée was critically injured. The accident occurred in Knoxville, Tennessee where Colquitt is attending classes.


Coach Noll was concerned about both incidents but was realistic in his approach. “You can’t live their lives for them,” he suggested. “You can only offer some guidelines and give them some advice. It’s the way I’ve attempted to raise my children. I try not to manage their lives and allow them to make their own choices. You just hope you’ve given them good guidelines.”


The first visit fourth-round draft pick Calvin Sweeney made in Pittsburgh was to the hospital. Sweeney injured his foot in a workout before the draft, but the Steelers were unaware of the injury. He will undergo surgery for a bone graft on his right foot and be in a cast for five or six weeks.


Steelers center Mike Webster (picture left) was looking forward to being involved with the Special Olympics at Pete Twp High School. The Olympics was Washington County’s athletic competition for mentally and physically handicapped youngsters.

“You get quite a bit of a thrill watching these kids,” Webster told the Pittsburgh Press. “You get real proud yourself, seeing what they do. If you could just see the looks on their faces when they get an award.”


The Steelers signed eight free agents including defensive end Dave DiCiccio from Pitt who will be tried at strong safety. The others were RB Anthony Anderson of Temple, WR Larry Douglas of Southern University, CB Derrick Glasper of Virginia,   WR Jerry Taylor of Tulsa, DE Bernie Winters of Syracuse, LB Mark Olivari of Tulane and OG George Small of North Carolina.

Later they added RB Dexter Green of Iowa State and TE Gene Johnson of Michigan.    


The former Pitt player Randy Reutershan was advised by doctors against resuming his football career with the Steelers. After playing eleven games as a rookie on special teams, Reutershan severely fractured his skull in an auto accident and was unconscious for several days.

“I’ll be able to handle this,” Reutershan told the Pittsburgh Press. “I haven’t completely given up the idea of playing again. It’s not finalised yet, but it’s pretty certain. This is the biggest disappointment of my life, not being able to return. But I hope to be back, maybe in another year.

Growing up, football was always the most important thing to me. As a kid, I dreamed of playing in a Super Bowl and winning it is the ultimate for anyone in the game. To be fortunate to play for a team in my first year that was good enough to get to the Super Bowl was unreal. And then, not getting to play in it. That was a tremendous disappointment for me.”


Quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw, Mike Kruczek and Cliff Stoudt arrived at mini-camp to begin the quest for number four. They will review the new updated playbook with Coach Noll and plan the offense for the forthcoming season as they prepare to win back to back Lombardi trophies for the second time.


The Steelers first pick in the draft, Greg Hawthorne, would have to prove he was good enough to give Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier a breather during the forthcoming season.

The Steelers intended to ease Hawthorne in gently, but he had different ideas. “They may be thinking about brining me along gradually,” he told the Pittsburgh Press, “but I hope to speed up the timetable a little bit. I don’t want to be a spectator here either.”

AP photo of Terry BradshawHis coach at Baylor University said he was the best running back prospect to come out of the Southwest Conference since Earl Campbell. Hawthorne was the fifth running back taken in the draft and Dick Haley noted, “He’s as good a back as anybody up there on the list and he’s bigger than most.


Terry Bradshaw found himself the proud recipient of a honorary Doctor of Law degree from Alderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia. Having been on the receiving end of many jokes of being dumb early in his career, Bradshaw.

“I’m going to frame the diploma and hang it on the wall in my locker,” Bradshaw joked. “If somebody wants to start something, I’ll just point to it.”

Bradshaw underwent surgery during the off-season to remove bone chips to his wrist and elbow. Coach Noll suggested, "He can't be anything but better. The pain will be gone that bothered him before. We have even higher expectations for what Terry and this team can do."

With three Super Bowl victories already behind him, Bradshaw intends to enjoy his football for the rest of his career. “It’s really going to be fun. I figure I’ll be there five or six really good years and I hope we can win some more championships.”


With the Steelers taking two running backs with their first three picks in the 1979 draft, it was easy to figure the organisation wanted to boost their ground game.

Three-year veteran Sidney Thornton was invited to attend mini camp by Coach Noll and quickly accepted the request. “I figured it’d be a plus for me,” Thornton said, but added it had nothing to do with the Steelers draft picks.

“I don’t pay the draft no attention,” Thornton offered. “I ain’t got nothing to do with the draft. I’m not worried about the draft. I didn’t even find out about the draft until a couple of days after it happened.”

Thornton confirmed he wasn’t concerned about the rookies. “I think I know the system, so I’ve got the edge,” he said. Learning the system had presented Thornton with a challenge his first two years.

As the Steelers entered their mini-camp May 25, the focus fell on the running back Greg Hawthorne, but for the wrong reasons., He missed his flight from Dallas and was absent for the Steelers first practice.

Hawthorne’s first act on arrival was to go directly to Coach Noll and apologise. “He kinda let me know - in very few words - that I shouldn’t let it happen again.”

Hawthorne watched film of the practice to catch up with the reps he missed. “We’re here to learn and catch as much work as we can before the vets come in.”


After appearing in two Super Bowls as the Steelers cornerback, J.T. Thomas would also attend the rookie mini camp as he attempts claim back his starting position. After missing all the 1978 season with a blood disorder, he was keen to show he retains his former ability.

“I feel I can play, but I don’t think it will be easy,” he acknowledged. “If you want something you have to pay the price. I’ll let the pieces fall where they may. I look at life and figure whatever happens is supposed to happen.”
Thomas won’t find it easy competing against former number one draft pick Ron Johnson who did an outstanding job in his rookie season.

AP photo of Steelers
J.T. Thomas lifting weights in mini camp


NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle announced that a statue honouring Art Rooney would be erected outside of Three Rivers Stadium. WPXI-TV Vice President John Howell, who was the general chairman of the sponsoring group suggested the cost would be $300,000.

The preliminary timetable would be the selection of the artist before completing the fund raising by the end of the summer. It was hoped the statue would be dedicated in the fall of 1990.

Dan Rooney said the project was approved by the Rooney family. “We believe the idea of a statue supported through a public fund-raising campaign is a wonderful tribute.”


Mike Webster was not the only Steelers who involved himself with helping the Special Olympics for mentally and physically handicapped youngsters. Steelers safety Tony Dungy spent time with the Olympics organiser Milton Claney in Westmoreland County.

Claney was so impressed with Dungy’s participation that he contacted the president of the Special Olympics to ask if it was possible to recognise Dungy’s efforts. Claney revealed that usually the guests who helped would pay a token visit, sign a few autographs while posing for photos.

Dungy arrived earlier than expected at 0830 and was still there when Claney left the campus at 1530. The kids were enjoying their time with Dungy and reluctant to board their buses to leave. “Don’t quote me on this,” said Claney, “but I don’t think he even took time out for lunch.”

“We couldn’t have asked for more of him,” acknowledged Claney. “Everyone was impressed.  Not only did he represent the Steelers organisation in a professional manner, he depicted true love and understanding toward our children and he gave something we hadn’t expected. He gave himself.

I can truly say our boys and girls are better people because of him. He left little doubt in their minds what being an athlete, what being a true human being, is all about.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette photo of Keith Gary, Mike Mayock, Anthony Washington, Tony Dungy and Chuck Noll


The Steelers selected kicker Matt Bahr with their sixth pick in the draft. Bahr was excused the rookie’s mini camp so he could play for the Pennsylvania Stoners of the American Soccer League. His team beat the Cleveland Cobras 4-0.

While at Penn State, Bahr took advantage of a new NCCA rule that allowed athletes to play a collegiate sport and sign professionally in another.

The Steelers also picked up Rick Snodgrass after he tried out at Pitt Stadium. Snodgrass and Bahr would compete with Roy Gerela for the kicker’s job,


Thom Dornbrook still remembers the visit of L.C. Greenwood and Sam Davis to North Hills High School when he was a senior. Although he was a big Steelers fan, he never imagined he would have the chance to make their roster. “I thought it was very unrealistic if not impossible,” Dornbrook offered. “I thought everybody had to be a great superstar to play for somebody like Pittsburgh or Dallas.”

After he went undrafted a year ago, Dornbrook thought the opportunity to make the pros had gone. “I was very disappointed, but the scouts told me I was too small.” He was eventually signed by the Steelers. When he suffered a broken thumb in the third preseason game it turned out to be a stroke of luck.

He was put on injured reserve which gave him a year of learning that he took full advantage of.  He also added 25 pounds to increase his chances of making it as an offensive lineman.  “We have a lot of short, stocky guys in the line,” Dornbrook observed. “That’s the kind of offensive line philosophy Chuck Noll has had for years.”


Terry Bradshaw appeared as the guest of honour at a press conference held by the El Paso Cancer Treatment Center. In a question and answer exchange, he was asked some leading questions about Super Bowl XIII. CBS sports broadcaster Tom Brookshier had suggested that if the Steelers were to meet the Cowboys in another Super Bowl, the result might be different.

“Dallas is always tough,” responded Bradshaw, “but you can never tell about a football game. They could win it and we could win it. Besides, he’s from the other network. I don’t think he would answer that same question in Pittsburgh the way he answered it here in Texas.”

The broadcaster had also said, “It was the greatest defensive game I’ve seen.” Bradshaw was quick to react by saying, “I don’t see how the statistics can bear his statement out. If you score 35 points, I can’t see that as being a great defensive game.”

Bradshaw was keen to admit, “I know it was the greatest game of my career. I had something like a five-week let down after the game. I went to Roger’s home (Staubach) and we didn’t even talk football. I didn’t want to even see a football; I was so drained emotionally.”


The Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award honours the work in the community by the NFL player who best served his team, community and country in the spirit of Byron "Whizzer" White.

Byron White played for the Steelers in 1938 before completing his Law Scholarship. White went on to enjoy a successful law career climaxed by his appointment to the Supreme Court.

Each NFL team nominates a candidate who is involved in with their local community. Harris was joined as a finalist by Staubach and Ken Houston of the Washington Redskins.
Harris acts as a spokesman for the National Association for Retarded Children, the Salvation Army and the United Way, Harris also is a volunteer and judge for the Pittsburgh area Special Olympics and in 1978 was chairman for Touchdown for Cystic Fibrosis receiving a presidential commendation.

Lynn Swann with his new wife, former Bernadette Robi

Jim O’Brien for the Pittsburgh Press.

Fans here like to be reassured that the Steelers are simply the greatest and Paul Warfield wouldn’t feud with anybody about that.

Warfield gave the Steelers (and everybody else in the NFL) fits when he was a wide receiver for the Browns and then the Dolphins and he believes the Steelers are better overall than the teams for which he performed.

The Steelers have more talented people in more positions,” Warfield told Jim O’Brien. “They have a great offensive maturity that makes them almost impossible to stop.” If the Steelers stick together and don’t fall apart as they did two years ago, Warfield can foresee them winning another Super Bowl.

Warfield is currently working as a TV sportscaster in Cleveland providing commentary on CBS networks of NFL games. His name popped up recently in a listing of the worst sports trades of all time, topped by the Boston Red Sox sending Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920.

Cleveland traded Warfield to the Dolphins in 1970 for Miami’s first round draft pick which was the third overall. The Brown were interested in Terry Bradshaw, but the Steelers used the first pick on taking him. Knowing that, Cleveland were willing to settle for Mike Phipps and traded away Warfield.

Using Warfield as a flanker, Miami’s new head coach Don Shula saw the Dolphins go on to play in three straight Super Bowls from 1972 while winning two.


“We depended on precision teamwork to win,” recalled Warfield. “We were always better prepared than our opponents. I just feel the Steelers have superior talent to what we had. And they play as a team too.

I don’t think they’re as awesome now as they were when they first won the Super Bowl. In that time, their defensive front four was just awesome. They could completely control the tempo of a football game.

They could get in trouble and then they’d decide they wouldn’t let the passer pass the ball for three consecutive downs, and that would be it. Sometimes, they would just sit in the same defense and dare you to beat them. They were arrogant in that respect.

You can talk to any coach and they’ll tell you that Joe Greene and L. C. Greenwood and Dwight White are still playing strong. But their front four was more awesome when those guys were younger, and Ernie Homes was with them. Steve Furness is good, and he stepped in for Holmes. But they’re not the same.

Their linebackers are still the best. Jack Ham is the best linebackers I’ve ever seen in pro football. He can do it all and he’s a big play guy. Jack Lambert is great in the middle. The other outside linebacker Loren Toews is good, but I think they were better with an experienced Andy Russell out there. He complimented those other two guys real well.”

Warfield feels the real drop off in the Steelers defense can be found in the secondary. “It’s not as strong as it was before,” he said. “The key to the secondary is speed and experience and Mike Wagner, J.T. Thomas, Mel Blount and Glen Edwards played so well together.” At the outset of last year, Thomas go sick and couldn’t play and Coach Noll got sick of Edwards and got rid of him.

On the other hand, Warfield believes the Steelers are much better balanced today because of the improvement of the offense, and that the offense is more potent now that the emphasis has shifted from running to passing.

The maturing process in Bradshaw is the big difference. “I watched him since he came into the league. He always had enormous talent. He was big and strong and mobile back there. Some of the things he’s doing now point up his progress.

The truest test of a quarterback is the way he directs a team and the Steelers are putting lots of points on the scoreboard these days. He goes out and moves the football teams consistently. He always had the cannon, but I was down on the sidelines during the past Super Bowl and he was pulling the string on some passes, hitting ‘touch’ kind of passes. He couldn’t do that as effectively earlier in his career.”

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