Submitted by Keith Thomas
RB – Jerome Bettis (1996-Present): The Bus was the main factor for the Steelers remaining competitive after the Super Bowl. Bettis' personality and playing style are perfect for this team. This Bud’s for you! Had Barry Foster had the heart, he could have been here,and at this point, he might have been mentioned with the likes of Smith and Sanders. But unfortunately, he didn’t have the heart.
FB – Merrill Hoge (1987-1993): John L. Williams had more skill and more potential to be an “impact” player. Likewise, Tim Lester was a better blocker. But Merrill’s contributions in the early and mid-1990’s as a runner, pass catcher, blocker and leader should not, and will not be down played.
LT – John Jackson (1988-1998): Certainly San Diego paid too much for him, but Jackson was a fixture a the position for a decade, and thus far, the line’s not been the same without him – to say the LEAST.
LG – Will Wolford (1996-1998): Another prime player who kept us going after the Super Bowl and the subsequent loss of free agents.
C – Dermonti Dawson (1988-Present): Been with the team throughout the 1990’s. Simply the Best.
RG – Justin Strzelczyk (1991-Present): While he’s started more games at tackle for the Steelers than guard, Justin’s ability to play all four positions, his heart, and his made him a force of stability on the line.
RT – Leon Seacy (1992-1995): Good player, good number one pick, classic case of free agent we lose after developing him.
TE – Mark Bruner (1995-Present): Doesn’t have the potential to revolutionize the position they way Eric Green did, but also doesn’t make Super Bowl rap videos.
WR – Yancey Thigpen (1992-1997): Broke Stallworth’s record twice. Not bad for someone claimed off waivers as a special teamer in 1992.
WR – Ernie Mills (1991-1996)): Not a Pro Bowler, but during our 1995 Super Bowl season, he was the money man. A consistent performer at all other times. He never recovered fully from his injury in the Super Bowl.
NT -- Joel Steed (1993-Present): Clearly a force in the middle.
DE – Gerald Williams (1986-1994): Although he only played at nose tackle much more than he played end for the Steelers, a long time he was the Steelers only quality D-Lineman.
LOB – Kevin Greene (1993-1995): A tremendous force on the pass rush, who helped bring Blitzburgh to the NFL in the mid-1990’s.
ILB – Levon Kirkland (1992-Present): A playmaker, a leader, and all around dominating defender.
ILB – Chad Brown (1993-1996): His play at outside linebacker in 1996 made in a household name, he was a big part of the Steelers defensive success in the mid 1990’s. Unfortunately, for the Steelers, he was entering his prime just as he became a free agent.
ROB – Greg Lloyd (1987-1997): The NFL’s dominant line backer in the mid-1990’s. Just plain nasty.
LCB – David (DJ) Johnson: I don’t care how well Willie Williams played in 1995. DJ might have petered out in a big way after he left for Atlanta, but for my money, we’ve not had a better secondary quartet than DJ, Rod, Lake and Perry in this decade.
RCB – Rod Woodson (1987-1996): Clearly the best all around defensive back in the 1990’s, one of the few players who could dominate a game from the CB position. Unfortunately, like Lloyd, he was hit with an injury in his prime and never fully recovered.
SS – Carnell Lake (1989-1998): A class act and unselfish player.
FS – Darren Perry (1992-1998): A force who had a knack for being around the ball in the early in mid-1990’s.
Kicker – Norm Johnson (1995-1998): No disrespect to Gary Anderson intended. A good clutch kicker, good at the surprise onsides, and he had a hell of a open field hit that not only saved a touchdown, but caused a fumble in 1997, that play was a classic example of Steeler's football.
RB – Erric Pegram (1995-1996): Only with the team for two years, but his heart and desire were a major force in the turnaround that was the 1995 Super Bowl season. The running game was never a good as it was when he and Bettis were platooned in 1996. Unfortunately, he was not durable enough to last in this offense.
OL – Duval Love (1991-1994): A pro bowl caliber player who was a big part of the offensive line’s ascendancy in the early and mid-1990’s.
WR – Andre Hastings (1993-1996): A hearty player who excelled as a possession receiver and especially on 3rd downs. Led the team in catches in the Super Bowl. Went to New Orleans for a song after 1996.
TE – Mike Maurleky (1989-1991): A show stopper by no means, was a gutsy player who would return later on to coach the same position.
DE – Kevin Henry (1993-Present): Not a pro bowler, but a solid performer throughout the decade.
LB – Jerry Olsavsky (1989-1997): As one TV commentator said: “A player who isn’t big enough, isn’t strong enough, isn’t fast enough, but good enough.” After an SERIOUS knee injury in 1993, he had to have one ligament surgically reparied, and the other 3 replaced with ligaments from a dead person. But he made it back, not only play, but played key roles in the 1995, and 1996 seasons. Jerry O simply had a passion and intensity for the game. As a rookie in 1989 he single handedly blew Christian Okoye off the line of scrimmage saving a touchdown. An all around inspiration.
LB - Donta Jones (1995-1998): A good backup who could play any of the LB positions, and was a special teams standout. Plus Donta Jones is a good name for a football player.
CB/DB – Chris Oldom: Good all around 5th or 6th DB.
Saftey – Gary Jones (1990-1994): His K.O. of Don Bebe on Monday Night Football in 1993, if nothing else, gets him on this team.
Assistant Coach - Bobby April: We’ve lost a lot of good assistant coaches, but April made our special teams shine, and they’ve not been the same without him.
Most Inspirational - Jerry O : See above.
Biggest Surprise - Justin Strezeck/Darren Perry: 10th and 8th round picks respectively, who became big parts of their respective units.
“Home Run” drafted in the 1990’s: LEVON!
Best front office coup: Getting Jerome Bettis form the Rams in a firesale move.
Best potential “home run” as we close the 1990’s: Joey Porter – Hopefully, time will show that he should have kept wearing number 95...
Biggest Disappointment - Charles Johnson: Certainly not an all around bust, but certainly not the “something special” that you’d like in a first round wide receiver.
Biggest Bust - Jamain Stephens: Drafted to replace Leon Searcy? Man, the Donohue/Cowher really laid an egg here.