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The Steelers 1977 season begins here>>>

INJURIES HIT STEELERS DEFENSE

With the next exhibition game approaching against the Jets, the Steelers defense was falling by the wayside although defensive line coach George Perles was still upbeat. “We’ve got such good depth that we never have an excuse for playing a guy who has a minor ailment,” Perles told reporters.

Ernie Holmes, Dwight White and Steve Furness were the ailing players. Gary Dunn would be making the first start of his career after being placed on injured reserve before game six of the previous season.

“This is a coming out party for Dunn,” declared Perles. “There’s a difference between starting and just finishing up somebody else’s work. We want to find out now what will happen if we had to use him against somebody like Cincinnati. I think we can win with him.”

John Banaszak, in his third year with the team, would also have an opportunity to make an impression. “I was just battling my first two years, but now I feel I’ve got a chance to contribute as part of the front four,” Banaszak offered. “George has a good problem, if you want to call it a problem. We’ve got what amounts to a front six.”

The Steelers fourth round draft selection, Dan Audick, was claimed by the Browns after being placed on waivers. The Steelers then took him off waivers and swapped him to the Browns for an undisclosed draft pick.

They’re a better team than they were last year,” suggested Coach Noll after viewing film of the New York Jets. With Joe Namath now in Los Angeles, the Jets would display a different game plan to the team the Steelers thrashed 41-6 in the final preseason game of 1976.

1977 Exhibition game 3: The Pittsburgh Steelers at the New York Jets

Pittsburgh Press photoTerry Bradshaw led the Steelers first string offense on three series that destroyed the Jets with three touchdowns. Completing 9 of 11 passes for 91 yards in the first quarter to produce two touchdowns that gave his team a lead they were not to relinquish.  Bradshaw threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Lynn Swann (picture left) before a 16-yarder to Frank Lewis.

Rookie Neil Graff played with mainly backups in the second and third periods that produced two field goals. The Steelers took a 16-0 lead with a 40-yard attempt before the Jets Richard Todd scored their only touchdown on a one yard quarterback sneak at the end of the first half.

The patched up Steelers defense managed to restrict the Jets to that one touchdown and two field goals.

In the final quarter, Bradshaw returned to put together a 13-play series of 68 yards, completed by Reggie Harrison’s touchdown sprint of 10 yards.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 26 at the New York Jets 13
East Rutherford August 20 1977; 33,409

 “We made a lot of improvement and eliminated the mistakes,” ventured Coach Noll. “It was a better effort all the way down the line,” he added.

Joe Greene was also enthusiastic declaring, “We’re looking forward to a banner year. We’re gonna be the champs.”

“I really threw well,” offered Terry Bradshaw. “I was crisp. My arm felt good and I was getting rid of the ball quickly and that’s always a good sign. I had a lot of fun. It was like letting a young colt loose in the field.”


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This site last updated June 27th 2016.

Ben's early games with the Steelers.

The Steelers 1976 season in full.
The Steelers 1975 season in full.
The Steelers 1974 season in full.

The first NFL champions the 1902 Pittsburgh Stars added June 2016

The Pittsburgh Americans added August 2015.

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