Pittsburgh Steelers History
Of the three major professional sports teams that play in Pittsburgh, it was the Steelers that were the first to wear black and gold. When they were first added to the NFL in 1933 they wore black and gold and were called the Pittsburgh Pirates. They were owned by Art Rooney after the Pirates of Major League Baseball.
The baseball Pirates back then wore red, white, and blue, and didn’t begin the shift to black and gold until 1947. The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t come into existence until 1967, and they wore blue and white. But in the 1970s the Pirates won two World Series in black and gold. The Steelers won four Super Bowls wearing black and gold. The Penguins made the change by 1980, and every year since.
The Old Steelers
The Steelers are one of the great teams of the Super Bowl era, but it wasn’t always this way.
As the Pirates, from 1933 through 1939, they were 22-55-2. They became the Steelers in 1940. The win total had slightly improved by the mid to late 40s, but there were no championships. From 1933 until 1971, Pittsburgh never finished in first place. They also never finished with double-digit wins, and never won a playoff game.
But in 1969 they drafted future Hall of Famer Joe Greene. In 1970 they drafted future Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount. Hall of Famer Jack Ham was a second round pick in 1971. In 1972, future Hall of Famer Franco Harris was a first round pick. In1974 they drafted four future Hall of Famers, Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster.
Add in future Hall of Famer Chuck Knoll, who became the head coach after being a defensive coordinator with the Colts. Then, in1970s they were owned by Pittsburgh. The Steelers won seven division titles and Super Bowls IX, X, XIII, and XIV.
NFL Big Changes from Last Season – Pittsburgh Steelers
Head coach Bill Cowher added a Super Bowl win, and current head coach Mike Tomlin, added a sixth, keeping the expectations in Pittsburgh high. But this season, more than any in almost 20 years, is a question mark.
In terms of big changes, nothing is bigger than the retirement of Big Ben, Ben Roethlisberger. He was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2004, the youngest quarterback to win the Super Bowl a year later, and he’s been anchoring the quarterback position in Pittsburgh for the entirety of Tomlin’s tenure.
In his place is a quarterback room full of potential, with former first round pick Mitchell Trubisky and the Steelers new first round pick Kenny Pickett. But potential is a tricky thing, considering that Trubisky has had potential since he was drafted in 2017, and he has yet to realize it.
Tomlin has never finished below .500 as a head coach, and that includes the 2019 season when Roethlisberger played just two games. But that was an 8-8 season, and most people agree that it will take a lot from Tomlin to repeat that same success.
New Additions to the Team
This offseason the Steelers lost wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington. They replaced one of the bodies with draft pick George Pickens. However, the receivers have taken a step back in experience and production. If Calvin Austin III, a four round pick can have a good year, the loss in production will be minimized.
There are also changes on defense, with new linebacker Myles Jack, coming from Jacksonville. There is also defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi from the Bengals, and cornerback Levi Wallace. Wallace joins the Steelers after four seasons in Buffalo.
The rookies on defense are led by third round pick DeMarvin Leal. Leal is going to have trouble finding snaps in a loaded defensive line.
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