3 Greatest Running Backs in Steelers History

The greatest running backs in Pittsburgh Steelers history, including Jerome Bettis.
The greatest running backs in Pittsburgh Steelers history, including Jerome Bettis. / Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
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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 passing attacks through the years, but their bread and butter on offense has generally been running the football.

With that in mind, here are the greatest running backs in Steelers history.

Best Pittsburgh Steelers Running Backs of All Time

3. Le'Veon Bell (2013-2017)

Le'Veon Bell is one of the greatest Steelers running backs of all time.
Le'Veon Bell is one of the greatest Steelers running backs of all time. / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Le'Veon Bell didn't exactly leave Pittsburgh on good terms, but that shouldn't overshadow just how great he was. He only played five seasons with the Steelers, but his 86.1 rushing yards per game are the most in franchise history. The two-time first-team All-Pro was also a menace in the passing game, adding 312 receptions for 2,660 yards and 7 touchdowns. That gave him and average of 129.0 yards from scrimmage per game in Pittsburgh.

2. Jerome Bettis (1996-2005)

Jerome Bettis is one of the best Pittsburgh Steelers running backs of all time.
Jerome Bettis is one of the best Pittsburgh Steelers running backs of all time. / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Jerome Bettis may well hold the claim to being the most fun running back in Steelers history. Seeing a 250-pound running back move the way Bettis did is downright terrifying. He averaged over 1,000 yards per season with the Steelers, playing 10 years and racking up 10,571 rushing yards with 78 touchdowns. He also ended his career with a bang, turning 56 playoff carries into 180 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Steelers won Super Bowl XL in Bettis' home town of Detroit.

1. Franco Harris (1972-1983)

Franco Harris is the greatest running back in Steelers history.
Franco Harris is the greatest running back in Steelers history. / George Gojkovich/Getty Images

While Bettis' Super Bowl was a big one, Franco Harris won four rings in Pittsburgh. The team's lead back from 1972 to 1983, Harris holds the franchise records in both rushing yards (11,950) and touchdowns (91). He was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first nine seasons, also earning first-team All-Pro honors once. He also has the second-most postseason rushing yards (1,556) and touchdowns (16) for any running back in NFL history, trailing only Emmitt Smith. Add in one of the most iconic plays in league history with the Immaculate Reception, and Harris check every single box for true greatness.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.