So the other day I realized this will be the 25<sup>th</sup> season I have followed the Steelers and the NFL. I started to reminisce about the players over the years and it made me want to make a quarter century team. So here is my best Steelers roster of players from the last 25 years.
QB – Ben Roethlisberger – two SB rings make it an easy pick for the starting QB
QB – Neil O’Donnell – Slightly above average starting QB in his prime, SB XXX aside
QB – Kordell Stewart – It was between him, Bubby Brister or Mark Malone. Can be Slash if he is #3
RB – Jerome Bettis – One of the all time greats, easy pick here.
RB – Willie Parker – 2 Super Bowls, three very solid seasons as a starter, 2 Pro Bowl selections
RB – Barry Foster – I will give him third because for about a season and a half he was amazing and there isn’t much else to pick from.
FB – Merrill Hoge – 3,000 yds rushing, 34 TDs, 240 catches and a good blocker to boot.
FB - Dan Kreider – bruising blocker, it was between him, Jon Witman or Tim Lester
WR – Hines Ward – Hall of Famer, 800 catches, best blocking WR in the league
WR – John Stallworth – He only played three years in this period but it is enough.
WR – Louis Lipps – Was the best player on a bad offense in his prime. 84 ROTY, great punt returner his first two years.
WR – Yancey Thigpen – 226 catches as a Steeler, was great in 95 and 97 his only two healthy years as a starter.
WR – Plaxico Burress – 261 catches and 22 TDs in 5 years, clearly better than anyone else left
TE - Heath Miller – 168 catches 21 TDs in 4 years, 2 SB rings, good blocker
TE – Eric Green – 198 catches 24 TDs in 5 years, was a problem player though and they don’t last in Pittsburgh long.
TE – Mark Bruener – 137 catches 16 TDs and a great blocker for 9 years. (bet ya didn’t know he is still playing!)
OT - Tunch Ilkin – Best Steeler tackle of the 80’s 2 time pro bowler
OT – John Jackson – Best Steeler tackle of the 90’s, 0 pro bowls because of HOF tackles in the AFC at the time.
OG – Alan Faneca – Easy pick, future HOFer
OG – Duval Love – an under appreciated guard from the mid 90’s, very solid player
OG Carlton Hasslrig – Great player for 2 years then went nuts, still having trouble to this day I hear.
C – Dermontti Dawson – “Dirt” should be in the hall, 7 time pro bowler
C – Mike Webster – played 4 years in this period went to three pro bowls, may he rest in peace.
XOL – Jeff Hartings – Was a three time pro bowler as a Steeler center, won a ring in ‘05
DE – Aaron Smith – A great player when you look at the whole body of work, the only Steeler DE to go to a pro bowl since L.C. Greenwood.
DE- Brett Keisel – This pair we have right now is as good as we have had in a long time.
DE - Ray Seals – Arguably the best pass rusher the Steelers have had at DE since they switched to a 3-4 in the 80’s. 15.5 sacks in 2 years.
DE – Gerald Williams – played DE and NT but was better as an end. 24.5 sacks in 9 years
NT – Casey Hampton – He is a load in the middle, a lot of our success goes through him.
NT – Joel Steed – Was exactly what Hampton is now, a load, he was a key in run to SB XXX.
NT – Gary Dunn – Spent his last 3 years in this period, was a good gritty player, long forgotten.
OLB – Greg Lloyd – top 3 LB in football for about a 6 year period, all around talent.
OLB – Joey Porter – good pass rusher, big part of SB XL
OLB – James Harrison – his selection as DPOTY, 2 team MVPs, and 2 SB rings got him on this list.
OLB – Jason Gildon – one of our all time sack leaders.
OLB – Kevin Greene – Still had my 53 rd spot open and it just feels good to add the beast to the team, had a great three years here.
ILB – Levon Kirkland – Amazing skill for a LB in a DT body, 2 time pro bowler
ILB – James Farrior – great energy and leadership, 2 SB rings
ILB – David Little – 12 year vet started most of that time, went to pro bowl in 1990, passed away in 05.
ILB – Hardy Nickerson – one of the Buccaneers all time greats was the first major loss for the Steelers in the new free agent era.
CB – Rod Woodson – Going into the Hall this year and deservedly so, first ballot.
CB – Dwayne Woodruff – good player for a decade, his leadership for young Woodson and Lake might be biggest contribution though.
CB – Ike Taylor – terribly under rated by his own fans Taylor has been a solid piece of two championship defenses now.
CB – Chad Scott – was also better than we thought, we got his best years out of him though.
CB - Deshea Townsend – Edges out D. Washington and W. Williams by long tenure and two rings.
S – Troy Polamalu – We are getting to see one of the best of all time right now, enjoy.
S – Carnell Lake – the Steelers had a great defense through most of the 90’s Lake was a big piece of that. 4 time pro bowler.
S – Darren Perry – Underrated player, 32 Ints in 7 years, 7<sup>th</sup> in Steelers history, 1994 All Pro
S – Donnie Shell – He only played 3 years in this period but it is enough to get him on the roster. One of the all time great safeties.
K – Jeff Reed – with all due respect to Gary Anderson and even Norm Johnson, Reed’s got two rings and made big kicks when they needed him to. He has also been very accurate in the hardest venue to kick in the NFL.
P- Josh Miller – was a great punter in his prime, got a ring with the Pats.