A Steelers Mt. Rushmore by position - The Offensive Line | Steel City Underground

Steel City Underground

This is that time of the year where we have limited fodder to feed our football appetites.  Truth be told, we should probably be glad about that because in the doldrums between mini-camp and training camp the best thing to hear coming from Steelers world is almost certainly silence.   What often seems to happen during the “calm before the storm” that makes up the better part of the month of July, is we enter what could be referred to as “the season of the list”.

Not being immune to the lure of the list, I thought I’d visit the old tried and true concept of “who belongs on a Steelers Mount Rushmore”; however, instead of just using that blanket statement, why not take it down to it’s most granular level and do a position by position look at things.

Now for anyone who knows me, or listens to the podcast, it will come as no surprise that this series will start with the offensive line.  The Steelers have a better-than-solid history of great offensive linemen, with several Hall of Fame players, and others who probably should have been elected.

Mt. Rushmore has a limit of four heads on it, and that will be the limit being placed on each position.  For the offensive line that really comprises three lists: guards, tackles, and centers.  Without further ado, let’s look at my take on who belongs on these positional Mt. Rushmore’s.

Guards

Embed from Getty Images

Alan Faneca

  • Super Bowl Champion (XL)
  • 9x Pro Bowl, 6x First-Team All-Pro
  • 2x Second Team All-Pro
  • Steelers All-Time Team
  • NFL 2000s All-Decade Team

Embed from Getty Images

Craig Wolfley

  • All Around Good Guy

Embed from Getty Images

Sam Davis

  • 4x Super Bowl Champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
  • Steelers 50th season All-Time Team

Embed from Getty Images

David DeCastro

  • 4x Pro-Bowl
  • 2x First Team All-Pro
  • Second Team All-Pro

On the edge: Gerry “Moon” Mullins, Steve Courson, Chris Kemoeatu, Ramon Foster

Faneca, Davis, and DeCastro seem like they are unassailable.  You simply can’t argue with their inclusion.  They were dominant during their time, and they certainly have the accolades to prove it.  You can argue that Courson or Mullins belongs rather than Wolfley, and I can see the merit in those arguments, but Wolf has become such an iconic persona in Steelers lore between his playing time and his time on the sidelines as a broadcaster that I felt he deserved inclusion.

Tackles

Embed from Getty Images

Jon Kolb

  • 4x Super Bowl Champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
  • Steelers All-Time Team
  • Steelers 50th season All-Time Team

Embed from Getty Images

Larry Brown

  • 4x Super Bowl Champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
  • 4x Pro Bowl
  • Steelers All-Time Team

Embed from Getty Images

Tunch Ilkin

  • 2× Pro Bowl

Embed from Getty Images

Justin Strzelczyk

  • “Run the Damn Ball”

On the edge:  Max Starks, Marcus Gilbert, Ray Pinney, John Jackson

If there is a line position that the Steelers have not had as much domination with it’s probably at tackle.  I would argue the Kolb is deserving of HOF consideration and certainly deserves to lead this group.  Brown might be as deserving as Kolb, and I think is under-appreciated for what he provided.  Ilkin, much like Wolfley amongst the guards, is included for more than just his playing time. While you can argue that someone other than Strzelczyk should be included, the story of how, during games, he would pick up the red phone on the Steelers' sideline and scream at the team's offensive coordinator (from Ron Erhardt to Chan Gailey to Ray Sherman), "Run the damn ball!" is good enough to earn him the fourth spot.

Centers

Embed from Getty Images

Mike Webster

  • 4x Super Bowl Champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
  • 9x Pro Bowl
  • 7x First-team All Pro
  • NFL 70’s All Decade Team
  • NFL 80’s All Decade Team
  • Steelers All-Time Team

Embed from Getty Images

Dermontti Dawson

  • 7x Pro Bowl
  • 6x First-team All Pro
  • NFL 90’s All Decade Team
  • Steelers All-Time Team

Embed from Getty Images

Maurkice Pouncey

  • 7x Pro Bowl
  • 2x First-team All Pro
  • 3x Second-team All Pro

http://gty.im/81541224

Ray Mansfield

  • 2x Super Bowl Champion (IX, X)
  • 2x Second-team All Pro

On the edge: Jeff Hartings

Certainly, the most decorated of the o-line positions in Steelers history is the "centers".  Since Mansfield, there has been a history of dominant center play, from “Iron” Mike Webster to Dermontti “Dirt” Dawson and up to Pouncey now.  The durability and consistency at that position has been a huge part of the success the Steelers have had.  It was more difficult to consider guys “On the Edge” because the big four were pretty easy to pick.

Conclusion

So how did this turn out?  Did my aged memory leave someone off the list?  Who do you think belongs on the positional Mt. Rushmore for the Steelers?  Let me know in the comments.





Sound Off! Let's hear what you have to say in our comments section

We require all users to register on our website in order to maintain a friendly community. If you wish to continue, you may sign up for a free SCU Black membership or you may enjoy ad-free browsing of our site and other special features by upgrading to an SCU Gold membership.

Leave a Reply