The Pittsburgh Steelers have an identity as a hard-nosed franchise. Today, however, we are going to have to talk to you about a position that is not traditionally known for its toughness. On the contrary, it is the height of the best of the Steelers receivers in Pittsburgh’s history.
Yes, the Steelers dynasty of the 1970’s, it was known as the “veil” with a fearsome defensive players such as Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, “Mean” Joe Greene, and Mel Blount, to achieve the status of an icon.
This is a trend that would continue with the Steelers teams of the year in 2000, when the likes of Troy Polamalu and James Harrison would be imposing figures, and the anchor of a dominant defense, and that the way to a Super Bowl title in 2008.
However, the Steelers have their own share of the outstanding attacking players, in particular, with the wide receiver position. That is the same of the 70’s teams and was an elite duo of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, as Hines Ward was to become the face of the franchise in the year 2000.
The following is a list of the five best of the Steelers receivers in Pittsburgh’s history.
5. Santonio Holmes
All due respect to the likes of, Louis Lipps, and Yancy Thigpen, but Holmes earns a spot on this list.
Holmes was a first-round pick by the Steelers in 2006, and immediately made an impact as a big-play threat. The former Ohio State star, had 824 receiving yards in his rookie season. He followed that season by leading the NFL with 18.1 yards per reception in 2007.
Holmes would go on to be a bust for 1,248 yards receiving in 2009. It is, however, that he did in 2008 in the play-offs, which really cements his place on this list.
After clinching the NFC North division against the Baltimore Ravens during the regular season, And burned them for a 65-yard touchdown during the AFC Championship.
And that was just the precursor to his amazing Super Bowl performance.
Holmes torched the Arizona Cardinals for nine receptions, 131 yards, including his the famous tip-toe, a game-winning touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone.
While Holmes would be traded the New York Jets, the off-field reasons, his performance in the Super Bowl, the only practical, it deserves a spot on the list.
4. Lynn Swann
Swann played nine years in the NFL, all with the Steelers. However, he was sure to have a big impact, in spite of a short career.
The former USC star that led the NFL in touchdown receptions (11) and made the Pro Bowl in just his second season, in 1975. Swann was named an All-Pro in 1978, and he’s averaging a ridiculous (especially for that time) and 19.7 yards per reception in 1979.
Like Holmes, Swann is the most decisive moments came in the Super Bowl.
Swann was in a rush for -7 yards and no receptions in his first Super Bowl in 1974, but he was sure that in the next three.
The Hall of Famer racked up 364 yards and scored a touchdown in each of Pittsburgh’s three Super Bowl appearances (all wins). He had four receptions for an astonishing 161 feet during the Super Bowl X against the Dallas Cowboys, including a this little gem.
Swann’s excellence on the biggest stage made him one of the best playoff receiver ever, and it deserves a spot on this list.
3. John Stallworth
Stallworth was more to life than Swann, and that he was just as good. In fact, Stallworth wrote on three separate 1,000-yard seasons. Swann has never had one before.
The former fourth-round pick has had a rough go of things during his first two seasons, but with a breakout campaign in 1977, sent, Stallworth is on his way. Two years later, he was named a first-team Pro, and after catching 70 passes for 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns.
And the rest is history, and Stallworth, it would finally cement his place in Canton. Just like Swann, he also made a huge play on the biggest stage.
Stallworth was held to just five receptions for 32 yards in the team’s first two Super Bowls with Swann, a starring role in Super Bowl X.
But for Stallworth, it would not be denied, and the capture of a pair of huge touchdown catches, while Pittsburgh’s exciting 35-31 over the Cowboys in the Suer Bowl XIII, when the move in three passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in the next year.
Stallworth played in only 13 games combined between 1982 and 1983. He did his best statistical year in 1984, and in the capture of 80 passes for 1,395 yards and 11 touchdowns, en route to the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
There’s no question Stallworth is one of the most beloved figures in Steelers history. The player, on the other hand…
2. Antonio Brown
Regardless of how fans feel about Brown, and there is no denying the fact that he belongs in this spot.
Brown played nine seasons with the Steelers. He made Seven Pro Bowls and was named to the first-team-Pro in four consecutive seasons, from 2014 to 2017.
The former sixth-round pick blooms from a special teams playmaker to be the best receiver in the game. Brown led the NFL in receptions twice and also led the league in receiving yards three times. He has posted an NFL-best 15 touchdown catches a year in 2017.
Brown collected 837 catches for more than 11,000 yards during his nine years in the Steel City. He had more catches and almost as many yards as Calvin Johnson did during his nine-year career with the Detroit Lions, and we all know what kind of a sense of self-worth, Johnson is in the annals of NFL history.
Yes, the Brown’s off the field incidents, it is very difficult, and even literature. The manner in which he left the Steelers was ugly.
But he is, without a doubt, one of the best receivers in the history of the franchise.
1. Hines Ward
So, who would make the top Brown at the time. That would be a person with the achievements, and symbolic importance, and to adapt to it.
Hines Ward has spent the entirety of his 14-year career with the Steelers, making four Pro Bowls and winning a couple of Super Bowls in 2005 and 2008.
Ward finished his career with 1,000 receptions, and 14th in NFL history and is shared with the 15th, with 85 touchdown receptions.
The former Georgia Bulldog has had four straight 1,000-yard seasons between 2001 and 2004. He has also strung together two more in 2008 and 2009.
Just like all the other names on this list, Ward has appeared at the Super Bowl. He earned MVP honors in a victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL with five receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. Ward also caught seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort in Super Bowl XLV.
It is, however, the united states market due to the leadership and intangibles that made him the top selection.
In addition to the fact that this is a sure-handed receiver, he was one of the best blockers at the wide receiver position, routine drills, the defensive backs and linebackers at the crackbacks. He was fearless, both on and off the field, and even in retirement, has never shied away from return former team-mates.
Despite playing in an era loaded with talent at the position, the District managed to get in the game and his claim as the greatest receiver in Steelers history.