5 Greatest Defensive Players in Steelers History
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most accomplished franchises in NFL history, with eight Super Bowl appearances to their name. They've had some great offensive players at every position, but often it's been the defense carrying this team.
With that in mind, here are the greatest defensive players in Steelers history.
Best Steelers Players on Defense
5. Rod Woodson (1987-96)
Rod Woodson didn't win a Super Bowl during his time in Pittsburgh, but that doesn't take away from his greatness. He was a first-team All-Pro five times in a six-year stretch from 1989 to 1994 (six total first-team All-Pro selections; 2002), and his 71 career interceptions are good enough for the third-most in NFL history. Woodson's level of dominance makes him one of the greatest defensive backs in league history, not just Steelers history.
4. Mel Blount (1970-83)
The only DB ahead of Woodson on this list is Mel Blount, who certainly gets a boost from his four Super Bowl rings with Pittsburgh. Blount anchored the Pittsburgh secondary for 14 seasons, starting 189 games. He won first-team All-Pro honors twice, and he racked up 57 interceptions over his career.
3. Jack Ham (1971-82)
Jack Ham may have spent most of his career playing alongside someone ahead of him on this list, but it wouldn't be accurate to say he played in anyone else's shadow. Ham was the 1975 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a four-time Super Bowl champion, First-team All-Pro selection for six consecutive seasons (1974-79) and eight-time Pro Bowler (1973-80).
2. Jack Lambert (1974-84)
It takes a special player to outshine Ham, and that's exactly what Jack Lambert was. A six-time All-Pro himself, Lambert earned a reputation as the toughest player in football, and one of the most feared tacklers of all time. His attitude and leadership made him the heart and soul of the Steelers' dynasty of the '70s, and his No. 58 is "unofficially retired" by the Steelers.
1. Joe Greene (1969-81)
The anchor of the Steel Curtain, it should come as little surprise for Steelers fans to see Mean Joe Greene taking the top spot. Greene is one of only two players in Steelers history to have their numbers officially retired, and he's well deserving of the honor. Greene was a Pro Bowler 10 times in his 11-year career (played entirely with Pittsburgh) from his rookie year in 1969 through 1979, and even when he didn't earn a nod in 1977, he still earned All-NFL honors. He won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1969 and quickly followed it up with two Defensive Player of the Year awards (1972 & 1974).
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