Top 10 quarterbacks in Steelers history

10 of 11

2. Terry Bradshaw

This writer is one of those fans who grew up lucky enough to witness four amazing Super Bowl victories in the 1970s. Some of the old-timers who witnessed the Pittsburgh Steelers’ dynasty years may fondly look past Ben Roethlisberger and automatically tab “The Blonde Bomber” as the Black and Gold’s premier quarterback.

Pittsburgh may not even have been able to draft Terry Bradshaw with the NFL’s first overall pick in 1970 if not for the luck of a coin toss. Because the Chicago Bears and Steelers finished with the worst records in 1969, the rights to the top pick would be decided by a coin toss.

Dan Rooney chose to let the Bears owner Ed McCaskey make the call on the flip . The event was held in New Orleans in a hotel. The coin was a 1921 silver dollar and head coach Chuck Noll was in attendance. As Rooney and Noll celebrated, a writer from the Chicago Sun-Times named Jack Griffin let McCaskey hear it.

“McCaskey, you bum, you can’t even win a coin toss!,” Griffin yelled.

The rest of course is history and the Bears subsequently traded their now #2 pick away to the rival Green Bay Packers who picked defensive tackle Mike McCoy.

The Steelers finally landed themselves a big, athletic and hard-nosed quarterback. A year before, head coach Chuck Noll set the dynasty in motion by drafting “Mean” Joe Greene in that year’s first round. Finally, Noll had his offensive cornerstone.

Bradshaw’s career got off to a slow start and several times he was benched. In 1973, “Jefferson Street” Joe Gilliam won the starting job at quarterback to begin the season, but Bradshaw would eventually get his job back.

From that point forward, Bradshaw would find his groove and lead the Steelers to those four Super Bowl victories. However, could some of these other quarterbacks performed just as well with the same talent in which Bradshaw was granted?

There is no question Terry Bradshaw was a great quarterback, perhaps the best winning attitude and big game performer in Steeler history. The Blonde Bomber was also tough as nails. Many will never forget the day the Cleveland Browns’ Joe “Turkey” Jones suplexed Bradshaw to the ground leaving him motionless.

Statistically, Terry Bradshaw doesn’t rank among the NFL’s all-time best and his team records have all been surpassed by Ben Roethlisberger.

Terry Bradshaw’s final season was in 1983 although he only played in one game. His final days in Pittsburgh are marred with controversy and the rumors are that No. 12 said that Noll forced him to play despite the injury.

Bradshaw said he could have a played longer if this wasn’t the case and a rift was left between him and Noll. This would last for many years until Bradshaw finally returned to be honored in front of a home crowd during a game in Pittsburgh.

Next: 1. Ben Roethlisberger