Steelers Notebook: Butler, Hoak head Steelers Legends
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers announced their Legends Team yesterday, a list of 24 players many fans may not even know played for them.
It is why franchise officials decided to pick a collection of their very best who competed in the first half of their 75 seasons as part of their Diamond Anniversary this year.
All players were on the team before 1970, the dawn of the Super Steelers, who likely will dominate the 75th anniversary team that will be named later this year.
"A lot of people didn't know football existed in this town before 1970," said Dick Hoak, one of the two running backs named to the Legends Team.
The team, with an expected 13 members attending, will be honored at Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills in Heinz Field, when the current Steelers wear throwback jerseys similar in style to those worn in the early 1960s.
"So many good players," club chairman Dan Rooney said.
Former defensive back Jack Butler is one of those on the Legends Team who also could make the all-time team. He and Hoak attended a news conference to announce the team yesterday.
Butler called it "a privilege," to be born and raised in Pittsburgh and play for the Steelers starting in 1951.
Townsend injury not serious
Coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday that starting cornerback Deshea Townsend's groin injury that caused him to leave Sunday's game in Cleveland is not serious, but he may miss a practice or two this week.
Tomlin also revealed that backup linebacker Clint Kriewaldt has a minor shoulder injury. He said both should play this week.
"Other than that, we're a healthy football team, which is good news as we move forward to play the Buffalo Bills," Tomlin said.
Run vs. pass
The Steelers threw 16 times and ran 14 as they built a 17-0 lead in Cleveland. That changed in the second half when they ran 28 times and passed only seven in a 34-7 victory.
They ended with 206 yards rushing and 159 net passing.
"I thought it was attrition-oriented," Tomlin said of his ground game. "We were able to get a few chunks. I thought as the game went on, we got better and better. Usually, that's the case.
"That's why we sell that element of the personality that we need to have as a football team."
Willie Parker opened the season with 109 yards rushing. He had runs of 22 and 25 yards on two of them, 62 on his other 25 runs combined. He also lost a fumble. Included in their rushing totals were two wide receiver runs, one of 37 yards by Cedrick Wilson and one of 11 by Santonio Holmes.