This is the second installment in this series, one that takes a look at some of the men who have played for the Steelers throughout the history of this great franchise, by the jersey numbers. Some of them are or were all-time greats, some were minor stars of their era, while some are obscure or were solid role players who were fan favorites. Regardless of the stature of these players, let’s continue with the numerical look into the men who have donned the uniform of our Pittsburgh Steelers, this edition continues with jersey numbers 10 through 19.
Kordell Stewart was a quarterback who was a little bit ahead of his time, he could beat you with his legs as well as his arm, the problem was figuring out how he fit into the offense. He started out as “Slash”, the wide receiver, running back, quarteback who did a little bit of everything, at any moment of the game, on the Steelers run to Super Bowl XXX, during the 1995 season. As good of a wide receiver as he could have been, his goal and choice was to be a quarterback in the NFL, which led fans to either love or hate Kordell, there was really no middle ground. In 1997, stewart’s first year as a starting quarterback, he the Steelers to the AFC championship game where the Steelers fell short to the Broncos 24-21. After enduring his share of struggles for the next three seasons, kordell led the Steelers back to the AFC Championship game in 2001 and finished third in NFL MVP voting, leading the Steelers to a 13-3 record. For his career with Pittsburgh, Kordell completed 1,109 passes on 2,107 attempts for 13,328 yards, with 70 tds and 72 ints. His record as a starter was 46-29. As for what he did with his legs, he ran the ball 496 times for 2,561 yards and 35 tds, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Whether you loved or hated Kordell, he is easily one of the most exciting and versatile players in team history. Other players who have wore number 10 for the Steelers include Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes, QB Scott Campbell and current Steelers WR Martavis Bryant.
The history of this jersey number is full of forgettable and obscure players that include QB Kent Graham, WR Quincey Morgan, and K Gene Mingo. Perhaps the most productive player to wear the jersey was KR Stefan Logan. Logan was with the Steelers during the 2009 season as the primary kickoff returner. He had the ability to take one all the way every time he got his hands on the ball. While he never did break one, he had a healthy 26.7 return average on 55 returns for 1,466 yards. He may have lasted longer with the Steelers, but one dimensional players like Logan don’t usually last very long, especially when Antonio Brown comes along a year later.
212 career touchdown passes, 210 career interceptions, 27,989 yards with a career completion percentage of 51.9%. While these numbers are rather pedestrian, what made Terry Bradshaw special was that he was a winner, highlighted by 4 wins in four trips to the Super Bowl and a career record of 107-51. After a very rough start to his career, Terry became the best big game quarterback in league history by leading the Steelers to four Lombardi Trophy’s in six years, winning them back to back twice. He may have had a team full of hall of fame players around him, but Terry Bradshaw, through tough and gritty play, was able to cash in and take a franchise that were perennial losers for 40 years to national prominence and being named the 70’s team of the decade. Other players who have previously wore number 12 for the Steelers are Terry Nofsinger, Jack Scarbath, Dick Riffle and Morgan Tiller.
If things would have played out like they should have, I would be writing about Dan Marino here and how one hall of fame quarterback followed another. Instead you are hearing of how the most productive player to wear the number is a punter, from 2010-2011, Jeremy Kapinos. Kapinos wasn’t a bad punter, and was part of the team that made the trip to Super Bowl XLV. Other Players who have worn number 13 for the Steelers are, Bill Mackrides and
While many will always remember Neil O’Donnell as the guy most responsible for the Steelers losing to Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX, he was actually an important part of the reason that the Steelers got back to the big game. In his career with the Steelers, Neil completed 1,069 passes in 1,871 attempts for 12,867 yards. He is second in Steelers history with six 300 yard games and threw 68 touchdown passes and 39 interceptions. His record as a starting quarterback for the Steelers was 39-22. Other players who have wore number 14 for the Steelers include Limas Sweed, Todd Blackledge, Bill Nelson and Lynn Chandnois.
Mike Kruczek was a rarely used backup quarterback for Terry Bradshaw from 1976-1979. Kruczek was 6-0 in relief of Bradshaw despite throwing no touchdown passes and 6 interceptions, as he completed 71 passes in 123 attempts for 1,185 yards in his career with the Steelers. Being the backup to Bradshaw had to be one of the easier jobs in the NFL at that time, especially with Swann, Stallworth, Franco and Bleier on offense to go along with the Steel Curtain to clean up after any mistakes. Other players who have wore number 15 are, Willie Reid, George Izo, Johnny “Blood” McNally and Warren Heller.
Len Dawson was a hall of fame quarterback who spent most of his illustrious career with the Kansas City Chiefs, but prior to that, he spent 1957-1959 with the Steelers, who didn’t think much of him. In his three years with the Steelers, Dawson threw 17 passes, completing 6 of them for 96 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. His record was 0-1-0 as he started one game in the 19 games he played in. Other players who wore number 16 for the Steelers were, Charlie Batch, Mark Malone, Dock Mosely and Allan Donelli.
Mike Wallace is the most notable player to have wore number 17 for the Steelers. He could blow the top off of any coverage but was labled a one trick pony for his inability to run anything but a go route. During his time with the Steelers, Wallace was targeted 403 times, catching (slightly more than half) 235 of those passes for 4042 yards and 32 touchdowns. After the 2012 season, mike Wallace took his me first attitude to the Miami Dolphins. Other players who have wore number 17 for the Steelers are, Tee Martin, Joe Gilliam, Dick Shiner and Ted Marchibroda.
Ciff Stoudt was a Steelers quarterback from 1980-1983 who may be best known for missing a punching bag and breaking his hand, in Seattle. He was 9-7-0, completing 244 passes in 479 attempts for 3,217 yards. He tossed 14 touchdown passes to go along with 28 interceptions while with the Steelers. His best decision as a Steeler was to leave for the Birmingham stallions of the USFL after the 1983 season. Other players who have wore number 18 for the Steelers are, Mike Tomczak, Harry Newsome, Ted Marchibroda and Jack Kemp.
David Woodley came to the Steelers from the Miami Dolphins, where Woodley was unseated as the starter by Dan Marino after having led the Dolphins to Super Bowl XVII. He played for the Steelers from 1984 through 1985 and was 7-6-0 as a starter. Woodley completed 179 passes in 339 attempts for 2,630 yards. He had a completion percentage of 52.8% with 14 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions. Before the San Diego game during the 1985 season, David called his wife, Suzonne, from the locker room to tell her he was quitting right then, because at 27, he had had enough. She talked him out of it and he threw 3 touchdowns that game. He retired at the end of the season. Other players who have worn number 19 for the Steelers are, Tyler Grisham, Andre Coleman, Pat Stark and Vic Vidoni.
The next installment of All-Time Steelers by the Jersey Numbers will cover jersey numbers 20-29. Hopefully you enjoy reading this look at the players who wore the numbers as much as I have enjoyed writing it. It seems like a fun way to pass the offseason until it’s time for the Steelers to suit up and continue their climb on the Stairway to 7.