Monday, September 3, 2012
FRSDailyPost: NFLN America's Game 1974 Steelers: The Start of a Dynasty
The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't become winners in 1974 when they won their first Super Bowl, that happened in 1972. But they started what became the greatest dynasty in NFL History, you can make a case for the 1960s Green Bay Packers but I give the edge to the Steelers because of the playoff format. They had to deal with and a few other things but the Steelers before Chuck Knoll got there in 1969, were known for one thing, losing and Chuck Knoll who had coached under Don Shula in Baltimore. And was a successful player in the NFL himself with the Cleveland Browns, wasn't going to tolerate that, losing and especially accepting losing was completely unacceptable. If losing was okay to you or it didn't bother you, you couldn't play for Chuck Knoll, you were in Pittsburgh for one thing. To win and help your teammates win, so in that sense Chuck Knoll reminds me of Vince Lombardi and before he got to Pittsburgh, the Steelers played in just one playoff game in the previous forty nine years or however long the Pittsburgh Steelers have been in business. They only had a handful of winning seasons before 1969 and most of them came in the late 1950s and early. 1960s the only other time pre Chuck Knoll that the Steelers were consistent winners.
Its not that Chuck Knoll turned a loser into a winner that makes him special, is that he turned a franchise. That was only known for losing into a dynasty and he's the guy who made this happened, who signed the players and coached them, he was the Steelers Head Coach/General Manager. And he didn't do this overnight by spending a lot of money and trading for aging Free Agents and giving up draft picks for a couple winning seasons and have nothing to show for that later on. But he did it the old fashion way through the draft, he inherited a bad football team, only five players from the 1968 Pittsburgh Steelers team made the 1969 Steelers team. And he drafted Joe Green in 1969, arguably the greatest Defensive Lineman of all time, QB Terry Bradshaw in 1970, CB Mell Blount in 1970, LB Jack Ham in 1971, RB Franco Harris in 1972. All of these guys are in the Hall of Fame by the way, it seemed like he only drafted Hall of Famers in 1974. WR's John Stallworth and Lynn Swann, LB Jack Lambert and C Mike Webster.
When you are known for having coached the best team of all time, the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as putting together the best NFL Draft of all time. In the 1974 Steelers Draft, you know you are something special which is exactly what Chuck Knoll was and his 1970s Steeler teams were. That were built around Hall of Fame talent and players who only had one goal, winning as many Super Bowls as possible.