Dec 7, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A Pittsburgh Steelers fan shows support in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Steelers won 42-21. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Conjuring Up Dean Derby, Bryant McFadden, And Willie Williams
Dean Derby: It’s been nearly 60 years since a 6 foot, 185 pound cornerback by the name of Dean Derby was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams during the fifth round of the 1957 NFL draft. This Dean however, would begin his pro football career that same year in Pittsburgh.
Dean Derby would spend the next five seasons playing in Pittsburgh and a part of that fifth season, he moved over to the Minnesota Vikings. While a member of the Steelers, Derby play in 68 games and intercept 14 passes. He added five fumble recoveries. In his rookie season, he was named to the Pro Bowl. Derby is still with us today and turned 80 on July 11.
Bryant McFadden: William Gay must have had the same idea Bryant McFadden had when in 2009, just as Gay had done three years later, Bryant McFadden went west and signed with the Arizona Cardinals for one season before coming back to Pittsburgh.
A second round draft pick in 2005 from Florida State, McFadden played in 12 games during his rookie season and gradually worked himself into more playing time that resulted in the attraction to the Cardinals where McFadden started in every game in 2009. Without picking off a single pass, McFadden still played well, enough so that Pittsburgh brought him back the next season.
McFadden was on the Super Bowl winning teams for Pittsburgh in numbers XL and XLIII and in 1999 was a USA Today High School All-American. In his return to Pittsburgh, he still could not become a regular starter and in 80 career games with the Steelers, Bryant McFadden only started in 35 of those. He did manage nine interceptions for Pittsburgh scoring once. For his Steelers career, he defended 56 passes, forced four fumbles, and made seven fumble recoveries. McFadden also contributed 266 tackles.
Willie Williams: Willie Williams split his NFL career on the east and west coasts. Beginning his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers after being drafted in the sixth round in 1993, Williams cracked the Steelers starting lineup in 1995 and started in 15 of 16 games that season while intercepting seven passes for an impressive 122 yards including a pick-six.
His longest return that season came for 63 yards. He would start in 14 of 15 games the following season before moving out to become a member of the Seattle Seahawks. After seven seasons and 74 starts in 105 games, Williams came back to the Steelers for two final seasons where he would start in 11 of 20 games and add another interception to his career total of 26.
Willie Williams was very popular in Pittsburgh and he became the only member of the 1996 AFC Champion Steelers to also be on the roster for the 2006 Super Bowl champion Steelers. However, Williams did not play in that game but was on the active roster.
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