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View Full Version : Best tackler the steelers ever had ?


joeyssteelcurtain
03-06-2009, 09:22 AM
Who is the best tackler the Steelers have ever had?

You can judge "best" by any standard you wish....straight tackles, biggest hits, whatever.

On a seperate note, isn't it nice to have SO many men to choose from on this? Ernie Stautner, Joe Greene, Rod Woodson, Greg Lloyd, Joey Porter, Jack Lambert, LC Greenwood, etc. It goes on and on, doesn't it?

Any Steeler you think was our best tackler, tell us why.

Steeldude
03-06-2009, 09:40 AM
that's hard to say for certain. i would go with lambert, but it's debateable.

4xSBChamps
03-06-2009, 09:51 AM
that's hard to say for certain. i would go with lambert, but it's debateable.

..... watching Lambert cream an opponent would give almost any football fan a chubb, but Jack Ham missed very few tackles in his career, although few were as dramatic as Lambert's hits.

Pitt$burgh$teeler$
03-06-2009, 10:11 AM
jack lambert!

Vincent
03-06-2009, 10:17 AM
There have been so many good ones over the years. Lambert was ferocious and missed very few. Ham was a technician and missed very few. When a team sends 8 starters to the Pro Bowl defense, they're all great tacklers.

Woodson, Lloyd, Kirkland and Lake compare. The mid 90s defense was very good.

The defense of the last several years has been exceptional in the context of the era.

The thread of continuity across the eras has been great players that play disciplined football in great schemes.

MDSteel15
03-06-2009, 10:46 AM
There have been so many good ones over the years. Lambert was ferocious and missed very few. Ham was a technician and missed very few. When a team sends 8 starters to the Pro Bowl defense, they're all great tacklers.

Woodson, Lloyd, Kirkland and Lake compare. The mid 90s defense was very good.

The defense of the last several years has been exceptional in the context of the era.

The thread of continuity across the eras has been great players that play disciplined football in great schemes.

Couldn't have said it better myself! :thumbsup:

Steelman16
03-06-2009, 10:47 AM
I'd go with Jack Lambert.

For more recent times, I'd have to go with James Farrior. In terms of tackles, he's put up about the same numbers as Lambert did, and it would seem to me that if you get that many tackles, you must be good at it.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-06-2009, 11:01 AM
that's hard to say for certain. i would go with lambert, but it's debateable.

I agree with Lambert. There is that one tackle he makes in the Super Bowl against the Cowboys that often gets shown. It was textbook. He gets helmet under the RB, straight back, head up and then shoots his arms, rolls his hips thru and wraps up.

The hair on the back of my neck stands up every time I see that. Its just textbook tackling, which he did often.

The_WARDen
03-06-2009, 11:56 AM
Best tackler? Hamm

Most devastating tackler? Lambert...maybe Lloyd...they would just blow people up!

CanadianSteel
03-06-2009, 12:01 PM
Lambert had the form along with the big hits and Ham was solid from 70's. From what I have seen and remember Mel Blount was solid also and just a punisher..

From Nineties teams big Levon was good as well as Lloyd and Lake.Hardy Nickerson was a tacklling machine even thopugh he departed.

Current I woul have to say Potsie and Silverback. Love the replay this year versus the Cowboys where Harrison pushes and uses a Cowboys WR to tacle the ball carrier. I think it was Roy Williams he air mailed into the ball carrier...:tt:

Benzbrother
03-06-2009, 12:08 PM
As for most recently, I'm going to have to go with somebody that I'm surprised hasn't even been brought up yet and that's Polamalu. No, he doesn't have devastating tackles or even pretty one's, but I'm judging "best" by tackling efficiency and I very rarely see Troy missing tackles. Just goes straight for the legs every time and is very effective at taking down ball carriers

revefsreleets
03-06-2009, 12:13 PM
I have to go with Woodson for one reason only, and that's that he was aksed to make a ton of open-field tackles, moreso than LB's or interior lineman. He may have missed a tackle here and there, but dude was pretty damned reliable.

SqhillSteeler
03-06-2009, 12:43 PM
HAM hands down the best!

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-06-2009, 12:51 PM
As for most recently, I'm going to have to go with somebody that I'm surprised hasn't even been brought up yet and that's Polamalu. No, he doesn't have devastating tackles or even pretty one's, but I'm judging "best" by tackling efficiency and I very rarely see Troy missing tackles. Just goes straight for the legs every time and is very effective at taking down ball carriers

Sorry, I would have rated Polamalu as one of the worst tacklers his first 3 seasons with the Steelers. He attacks the ballcarrier with speed and abandon, but rarely used his hands to wrap up and finish. The number of tackles he missed those season just aggravated me. :banging:

4xSBChamps
03-06-2009, 01:03 PM
He attacks the ballcarrier with speed and abandon, but rarely used his hands to wrap up and finish.

..... although I gotta admit that I love to watch him play, I agree with this review:
he rarely misses the angle-of-attack when pursuing, and closes like a heat-seeking missle, but he is more of a 'hitter' than a tradtional tackler, and sometimes ball-carriers 'bounce-off' his initial contact.
:noidea:

Still, I'm glad he's a Stiller!

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Glensgages/test/TroyPolamaluscoresaTD.jpg

devilsdancefloor
03-06-2009, 01:14 PM
this is harder than it looks.

everyone ran away from ham & lambert so andy russell has to be on this list! donnie shell needs to be on this list. kirkland & farrior for sure need to be on the list. I will probably think of someone later:tt03::tt03:

4xSBChamps
03-06-2009, 01:25 PM
this is harder than it looks.

everyone ran away from ham & lambert so andy russell has to be on this list!

+ tax..... possibly most under-rated Stiller player of all-time..... missed 2 years due to military-service, team captain 10 seasons, 7-time Pro Bowler, 2-time Super Bowl winner.

SCSTILLER
03-06-2009, 01:31 PM
Love the replay this year versus the Cowboys where Harrison pushes and uses a Cowboys WR to tacle the ball carrier. I think it was Roy Williams he air mailed into the ball carrier...:tt:

I remember Woodson doing the same thing when he was with us. I wish I remember who it was against, I know it was a home game at TRS though.

I would have to put my money on Ham as the best tackler. Modern day I have to go with Farrior!

steelreserve
03-06-2009, 01:32 PM
As for most recently, I'm going to have to go with somebody that I'm surprised hasn't even been brought up yet and that's Polamalu. No, he doesn't have devastating tackles or even pretty one's, but I'm judging "best" by tackling efficiency and I very rarely see Troy missing tackles. Just goes straight for the legs every time and is very effective at taking down ball carriers

I don't know about the best tackler ... definitely one of the best playmakers, though. What impresses me about Troy is the number of times where he has absolutely no business being in anywhere near a position to make a tackle, but miraculously he's there anyway and he ruins the play.

I'm talking about the kind of plays where the entire front 7 of the defense is either faked out or well-blocked, but then somehow there's one guy five yards ahead of everyone who got into the backfield and disrupts things long enough for the rest of the defense to swarm the play. Or when the quarterback decides to scramble and throw a short dump-off that catches everyone off-guard and usually goes for about 20 yards, only some guy comes out of nowhere and hits him as soon as he catches the ball.

I don't know whether it's instinct, or speed, or positioning, or just taking risks at the right time, or what. But those are the kinds of plays Troy makes that amaze me. It's not so much that he's a great tackler; it's that he gets to the ball when no one else can. And in the process, completely saves our ass at least a couple of times per game.

Hammer67
03-06-2009, 01:37 PM
Jack "PSU" Ham.

WeegiesWarriors
03-06-2009, 01:42 PM
I'd go with my favorite Steeler Linebacker Levon Kirkland. Have his jersey hanging on my Steeler room wall, so my view is slanted.

It's just that the guy could plug up the hole and tackle any RB and knock him backwards, then turn around the next play and cover a Thurman Thomas running down the seem. Had we won SBXXX, Kirkland could have been the MVP although he wouldn't have got the votes. He played one hell of a game.

4xSBChamps
03-06-2009, 01:51 PM
..... l ove the replay this year versus the Cowboys where Harrison pushes and uses a Cowboys WR to tacle the ball carrier. I think it was Roy Williams he air mailed into the ball carrier...:tt:

I remember Woodson doing the same thing when he was with us. I wish I remember who it was against, I know it was a home game at TRS though.

in late 1972, 'em Stillers played a 'must-have' game at the AstroDome, on the verge of winning their first-ever Division Championship:
going into the game, 'em Stillers were banged-up, and lost even-more players in the first half (I believe this was the game were Bradshaw & Hanratty were hurt, so Joe Gilliam stepped-up, and played an inspiring game).

Joe Greene dominated the 2nd half, making something like 7 unassisted tackles, 3 sacks, blocked a pass (maybe even had an interception?), and almost single-handedly 'willed' the team to a win:
at one point, Greene shoved the interior line into the backfield, knocking several Oilers, including the ball-carrier, to the ground.....

I remember my dad exclaiming, "he just tackled the entire team, then he sorted-'em out, until he found the guy holding the ball!"

http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/1971/1011_large.jpg

verks36
03-06-2009, 02:14 PM
Even though i am not saying he is the best in steelers history
alot of people are forgetting about big

WHERE IS THE LOVE?

JASON GILDON

http://www.steelertribute.com/gildon004.jpg
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff229/FREAK_POD/gildon002.jpg
http://cache.gettyimages.com/xc/1682967.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF1939057D9939C83F106FCEF901520836832 5A5397277B4DC33E
http://www.steelertribute.com/gildon003.jpg

Harris32
03-06-2009, 02:42 PM
ill go with Big Ben :wink02:

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a166/sixzeroseven/72288-1.jpg

OneForTheToe
03-06-2009, 02:44 PM
Text book: Ham all time, Farrior now

Game changing super duper terrific happy hour tackles: Lambert and Troy

As long as we are giving shoutouts to the great tacklers, let me put in a word for Donnie Shell. Those that remember Steelers' football in the late 70's will remember how Earl "just a pinch between my cheek and gums" Campbell would just destroy the rest of the league on the Oilers' march to AFC Championship Game. Then, he would run into the "Steel Curtain" and he would become their biatch. I always thought that the way the Steelers' secondary supported the run defense (better that anyone else in the league) was major reason why.

As a matter of fact, in one of the two Championship games, I remember early in the game the Oilers handed/pitched the ball to Campbell who tries to break it outside on the Steelers' D. For anyone that doesn't remember Campbell, even though he was a powerful back he could get the edge and be gone like Barry Sanders. The Miami/Houston wildcard game comes to mind. Anyways, so Earl takes to handoff, and the guy who has been knocking D linemen around for two weeks in the playoffs, just gets dropped behind the line by # 31 Donnie "the hit man" Shell. At least that is how I remember it. I think Campbell got a hip pointer on the play.

I get fired up just thinking about it. Shell's absence from the HOF is even a bigger oversight that that of LC, IMO. The guy retired with the most int (51) of any SS ever at the time. He collected 4 Super Bowl rings and was a five-time All-Pro and he can't get in the Hall.:shake01:

4xSBChamps
03-06-2009, 02:56 PM
As long as we are giving shoutouts to the great tacklers, let me put in a word for Donnie Shell.

As a matter of fact, in one of the two Championship games, I remember early in the game the Oilers handed/pitched the ball to Campbell who tries to break it outside on the Steelers' D. For anyone that doesn't remember Campbell, even though he was a powerful back he could get the edge and be gone like Barry Sanders. The Miami/Houston wildcard game comes to mind. Anyways, so Earl takes to handoff, and the guy who has been knocking D linemen around for two weeks in the playoffs, just gets dropped behind the line by # 31 Donnie "the hit man" Shell. At least that is how I remember it. I think Campbell got a hip pointer on the play.

I recall that..... I think Campbell tried to make a cut while in the hole when Shell torpedo'd him, sticking his helmet into Earl's belly, and dropped him on the spot:
I thought Campbell suffered broken ribs on the play, but regardless, he wasn't the same player the remainder of that game.
:helmet:

joeyssteelcurtain
03-06-2009, 02:57 PM
ill go with Big Ben :wink02:

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a166/sixzeroseven/72288-1.jpg

Yea put Ben back there with Troy

Steeldude
03-06-2009, 02:59 PM
It was textbook. He gets helmet under the RB, straight back, head up and then shoots his arms, rolls his hips thru and wraps up

proper tackling technique seems like it's becoming a forgotten skill with today's young football players. what do you think?

Michael Keller
03-06-2009, 03:01 PM
Two groups; oldies HAM, LAMBERT, DONNIE SHELL,

Recent times: KIRKLAND, AARON SMITH, HARRISON ,

4xSBChamps
03-06-2009, 03:09 PM
ill go with Big Ben :wink02:

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a166/sixzeroseven/72288-1.jpg

Honorable Mention, category of 'Pulling Future Hall-of-Famer's Butt Outta the Frying Pan'

proper tackling technique seems like it's becoming a forgotten skill with today's young football players. what do you think?

they are too-busy practicing their pre-game rituals and on-field celebrations to waste-time on such trivial things like 'proper-techniques'

http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/allthepiecesmatter/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/ray_lewis.jpg

http://sportscomplex.blogs.citypaper.net/blogs/mu/files/2008/11/bdawk.jpg

http://deionsandersfans.com/files/2008/12/deion-sanders-4.jpg

HometownGal
03-06-2009, 03:42 PM
..... watching Lambert cream an opponent would give almost any football fan a chubb, but Jack Ham missed very few tackles in his career, although few were as dramatic as Lambert's hits.

I agree. While Lambert was more of a brutal, physical force, Ham got ya however he had to and as you said - rarely missed a tackle. I think another guy a lot of people forget about is Mike Wagner - the guy wasn't all that big but like Ham - when he had the opportunity to nail ya, he did. :hatsoff:

Galax Steeler
03-06-2009, 03:57 PM
I would have to go with Lambert it was fun watching him play.

LambertLunatic
03-06-2009, 05:37 PM
What about Big Snack Hampton? NOBODY can tackle a pizza like that guy! :chuckle:

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-07-2009, 01:39 AM
proper tackling technique seems like it's becoming a forgotten skill with today's young football players. what do you think?

Yeah, but I think some of the guys that get missed are the slower ILB's. Pozluzny, Zach Thomas, Brian Urlacher, Farrior are guys that wrap up well and "rip, rise, n' run" thru the tackler. Lance Briggs seems to just naturally explode thru the ballcarrier too.

I think a lot of guys want to get on sportcentre with a big hit and just neglect driving thru a guy and wrapping up with their arms.

ShutDown24
03-07-2009, 03:21 AM
James Farrior is the most consistent Steeler tackler I've seen in my time.

lamberts-lost-tooth
03-07-2009, 10:37 AM
Lambert & Hamm...at the top of the list.

Carnell Lake was another...loved to watch him tackle through players at a full head of steam.

I would have loved to watch Carnell and Troy on the same team.

Havik
03-07-2009, 11:06 AM
Lambert and Jack Ham were playing before I was born, so I never got the chance to watch them play. I'd say James Farrior is the best tackler I have seen for as long as I have followed the Steelers.