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mesaSteeler
04-12-2009, 11:34 AM
Steelers are model for draft success
By Larry Felser
http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/story/637401.html

It keeps getting closer to the college draft so I hope the Bills have done the proper research to enable them to turn a loser into a winner. The right thing would be to have used the Pittsburgh Steelers as a model.

The Steelers didn’t start their success just a few years ago. They have been winning at the highest level since 1972, after they hired Chuck Noll as their coach and a plan was drawn up for season-to-season success. Since then they have played in seven Super Bowls and won six. They won 14 AFC division championships and their playoff appearances are semi-automatic. That is an amazing record considering that the team won nothing in its first 40 years of existence. What changed everything was the draft.

Along with Noll, who arrived in 1969, came a savvy front office with an emphasis on astute scouting, not only the ability to find talent at all collegiate levels but to forecast how that talent could fit in with Pittsburgh’s system and what was expected of its players. In the 12 drafts before Noll’s arrival, the only Steeler first-round draft choice who made even a medium impact during his career was quarterback Lenny Dawson. He made the Hall of Fame, but as a Kansas City Chief. The Steelers had discarded him years earlier.

With their new commitment to excellence, the Steelers selected five Hall of Famers in the next four drafts. The first pick in ’69 was defensive tackle Joe Greene. In 1970, they got QB Terry Bradshaw in the first round and CB Mel Blount in the third. In 1971 came linebacker Jack Ham. By 1972 they were ready for some serious winning so their selection was a running back from Penn State whom some NFL teams thought might be too lackadaisical, Franco Harris. He wasn’t lackadaisical in Pittsburgh.

In 1974 Pittsburgh had the greatest draft the history of pro football despite selecting 21st. Within the first five rounds they picked four players who would go on to the Hall of Fame: Wide receiver Lynn Swann, linebacker Jack Lambert, wide receiver John Stallworth and center Mike Webster.

In the six seasons from 1974 through 1979 the Steelers qualified for four Super Bowls and won them all, won 67 regular-season games and 80 overall. They haven’t stopped yet. Paused, yes; stopped, no.

Their current onslaught has been going on since 2001. In eight seasons the Steelers have compiled double digit victory records in six of them, won two Super Bowls, played in four AFC championship games.

In the draft they collected 17 starters for the teams involved in the current string. Seven of them have been selected for Pro Bowls. Pittsburgh’s scouting eye for college free agents brought in running back Willie Parker and linebacker James Harrison, who have been Pro Bowlers. In addition, wide receiver Santonio Holmes, a first-round pick, was the most valuable player in the last Super Bowl and Harrison, besides returning an interception 99 yards for a touchdown in the Super Bowl, was the NFL’s defensive player of the year.

I suspect Bills’ fans have this question for the team’s brass: What do you have in your wallet?

Larry Felser, former News columnist,appears in Sunday’s editions.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-12-2009, 11:38 AM
Man, things are slow this offseason huh? A writer in Buffalo has nothing to do but cite how good the Steelers drafted in the 70's???

Good thing for him he never even heard of Troy Edwards, Jamain Stevens, Huey Richardson, , Alonzo Jackson, Kris Farris, Scott Sheilds. Ignorance is bliss.

wootawnee
04-12-2009, 01:36 PM
Man, things are slow this offseason huh? A writer in Buffalo has nothing to do but cite how good the Steelers drafted in the 70's???

Good thing for him he never even heard of Troy Edwards, Jamain Stevens, Huey Richardson, Gabe Rivera, Alonzo Jackson, Kris Farris, Scott Sheilds. Ignorance is bliss.

Dude, you gotta take Gabe Rivera off of that list you made........I cannot believe you had the gall to put him on their.......Unspeakably Classless.......

fansince'76
04-12-2009, 01:40 PM
Good thing for him he never even heard of Troy Edwards, Jamain Stevens, Huey Richardson, Gabe Rivera, Alonzo Jackson, Kris Farris, Scott Sheilds. Ignorance is bliss.

Wanna show me a team that has batted 1.000 every year in the draft?

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-12-2009, 01:45 PM
Dude, you gotta take Gabe Rivera off of that list you made........I cannot believe you had the gall to put him on their.......Unspeakably Classless.......

Yeah, my bad. I forgot he was in a car wreck. :doh:

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-12-2009, 01:51 PM
Wanna show me a team that has batted 1.000 every year in the draft?

I know no NFL team has a perfect record, but I just hate it when fluff articles like this are written about how great a team is at drafting, without ignoring the other side of the coin. (the bad selections made).

Its like all the fans that hack on Cowher for not being able to win the big one until 2005........but they conveniently forget all the AFC Central/North titles and games he won. Judge people and organizations on their body of work.......not just the selective memories that make for an easy read.