Lots of fisherman here I see... Stories of whoppers that got away. Frank Pollard "a beast"? Abercrombie? Pollard was an endearing tough plucky guy, but he was a classic ham and egger. For those who never saw the 80's Steelers, think Fred McAfee. Maybe a bit better. Abercrombie was a bum. Soft as Charmin.
Where is Mendenhall? I hate him for his fumble in the SB, but he is already better than Walter Abercrombie on his best day. Same goes for Dwyer for that matter (just based on talent). And Redman? (Actually, Pollard is a tougher, less-talented Isaac Redman).
Well, suppose it's only fair to give this a go too, right? More often it's easier to pick something apart than put it together... Ok, let's see...
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
10. John L. Williams- at his best, such a versatile player. Unfortunate the Steelers only had him for such a short time.
9. Frank Pollard- hard to not include him, despite him being.... tradesman like... more than special.
8. Barry Foster- weird.... hadn't thought he'd be this 'low' (if you consider 8th best since 1980, low..) but there you have I. Very tough, very strong. Had the ability to be one of the most dominant runners of his time, perhaps never really achieved that. Was one of the very first Steelers Chadman got to know as a non-American follower.
7. Rocky Bleier- almost the same write-up as for Foster except for one detail, while Foster may not have tapped all of his talent, Rocky made the most of everything he had.
6. Rashard Mendenhall- somewhat unfairly criticised around here, he's been quietly achieving whenever injury has allowed. A player that can change a game when he's 'on'.
5. Dan Krieder- possibly the best blocking fullback Chadman has seen- certainly the best in Pittsburgh that Chadman has seen. If you judge simply on performance on the field, not stats, then Kreider was one of the most dominant players in his field.
4. Willie Parker- quite simply, a dominant, consistent dangerman for many years. Came up big on many occasions. Will be forever known for his speed, but his ability to make yards when none were on offer was his greatest skill. Remarkable career.
3. Merril Hoge- seems almost unfair that a guy that was such a diverse weapon for such a long time isn't higher than 3rd. He was John L. Williams, only earlier and for longer. Great player.
2. Franco Harris- how do you split Franco and The Bus? Chadman will just go with the fact that Franco had a great QB alongside him, while it was only at the end that The Bus got stellar QB play to take the full load off his shoulders. Great, great player.
1. Jerome Bettis- greatest acquisition the Steelers have made from another team. Dominant. Carried the Steelers offence on his own a lot of the time, and was still dominant even though the opposition knew that the Steelers started nd stopped itch The Bus. Such a great personality, great team player. Great footballer.
Bam Morris was considered, but it's got to be remembered that he had a good sidekick in Erric Pegram that helped him keep defences off balance.
If we're really talking peak and not longevity, my list is a little different:
1. Barry Foster - We ran him close to 400 times in a season. That's ridiculous. It's kinda dumb. And probably the reason his career didn't last. The man was a beast. We've never seen anything like him in Pittsburgh. Didn't he have 2000+ yards that one year - running and receiving?
2. Willie Parker - Never got the respect he deserved. And never got used as effectively as he should. We were dead set trying to make him run like Bettis. Seriously? Another sad case of overworking a back. And in this case, pounding a small guy into oblivion. But give him the tiniest of crease and no one was ever as electrifying. He had 16 TDs the year before Tomlin ran the wheels off.
3. Rashard Mendenhall - He's the compete package, but something's not right about him. Possibly the most well rounded back we've ever seen in Pittsburgh. But he just can't get it together. Not sure if it's a mental issue? He's soft? or both? He's got the physical gifts where he should easily be #1 on the list. But he might not even be on the team nor even remembered.
4. Bettis - He was unique. Big dude. Quick feet. Once in a lifetime combination. One of the most enjoyable back we've ever seen.
5. Franco - He was the whole package. Who wouldn't put him #1 in Steelers history. In a lot of ways he represented the dynasty. He defined in everyone's mind, running the football and playing great D wins championships in his era. But I have to remember we're only thinking about peak seasons.
6-10. Rocky, Bam, Duce, JD, Pegram
And one of my favorites that I wish I could have made my list is Fu.
Foster, Parker, and Mendenhall ahead of Bettis and Franco.
That clinches it...flippy forgot to take his meds again.
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
I took em today :smile:
Everyone else is answering this like who belongs in the HOF? Sure it's Franco and Bettis. But that wasn't the question. It was a question of peak capability.
Foster had the best season of any Steeler RB. He had the clear #1 season.
Parker overcame more than just about everyone. He played at the beginning of the mediocre line play era. 2006 was a good year for him. He made chicken salad out of chicken sh!t. I think he might be one of the most under appreciated Steelers of all time.
Mendy had as good a season as any that Franco ever had and he's done it with a subpar OLine. Bettis had a better season when he first came to us from the Rams, but he had one of the best OLines in Steeler history to run behind. I love watch Bettis the battering ram. But reality is his career YPA is <4. With a great line. So I gave Mendy the edge over Franco because he still has some upside to his game. I know everyone's down on Mendy now, but he's talented.
Bettis and Franco had longevity. Franco didn't get overused. Bettis had an amazing ability to recover from pain. But longevity wasn't the key factor here.
Less talented Redman? No way. Pollard was on horrid teams with zero passing threats. Who were the QBs then? Malone? Abercrombie was basically a Willie Parker - wasn't going to run anyone over but did have jets.
Originally Posted by Shoe
If you notice, the constant with backs who are over-ran is Cowher. He only had a hammer in his coach's brain and running backs all looked like nails.
Originally Posted by flippy
Clearly, just trying to start conversation on the board. No one, not even flippy believes that. :confused: :p
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
JHJ was a beast, at one time ranked 4th on the NFL's all-time rushing list, behind Jim Brown, Jim Taylor, and his 49er teammate Joe Perry, with whom he shared carries in the million-dollar backfield that included Hugh McElhenny too. JHJ is a Hall-of-Famer. In one of those great Saturday night absolute brawls they used to play in the old Cleveland Mausoleum, Oct 10, 1964, 35-year-old JHJ outgained Jim Brown 200 yards to 59 yards. I remember seeing those games on TV. JHJ was a Steeler from 1960 to 65. Maybe a bit old for some on the board. He would be in the top few on my list.
I see where he's coming from. It makes sense from that perspective.
Originally Posted by papillon