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The Steelers 1979 season begins here>>>

2019 Exhibition game 2: The (1-0) Pittsburgh Steelers vs the (1-0) New York Giants

Franco Harris AP photoOn a wet and dreary night in Pittsburgh, the fans who turned out to watch the Steelers second exhibition game were warmed by the impact of rookie linebackers Zack Valentine and Tom Graves.

Rocky Bleier was side-lined still with a strained knee and Franco Harris seeing reduced action, Greg Hawthorne was provided with the opportunity to shine. Coach Noll was eager to see the Steelers round draft choice play and he wasn’t disappointed although he only carried twice.

In a defensive battle, the Steelers first drive was their best offensive series and it finished with a 35-yard Matt Bahr field goal.

Graves came up with the biggest play of the game in the second quarter. Graves picked off a pass from the Giants’ first round pick Phil Simms and returned the interception 86 yards for the only touchdown of the game. Valentine contributed six tackles during the sixty minutes.

Terry Bradshaw threw for 200 yards in the first half while Cliff Stoudt struggled in the second half completing 2 passes of 8 attempts for zero yards. The Steelers gained 213 yards in the first half while the Giants could only manage 16 yards.

The second half saw the defenses continue to dominate while the Giants cut their deficit with a 46-yard field goal.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 10 vs the New York Jets 3
Three Rivers Stadium August 12 1979; 46,624

Passing: Bradshaw 12-20-1INT-0TD-200, Stoudt 2-8-1INT-0
Simms 7-14-1INT-124, Besana 4-8-0INT-2, Pisarcik 0-3-1INT-0

Rushing:  Harris 11-16, A. Anderson 5-23, Moser 4-11, Deloplaine 10-9, Hawthorne 2-5

Receiving: Cunningham 2-57, Hawthorne 1-29, Thornton 1-25, Bell 2-37, Smith 2-27, Grossman 1-9, Harris 1-9, Deloplaine 2-7, Moser 2-0

“We’re all upset about our performances,” offered Terry Bradshaw. “We’ve gotta get our offensive line straightened away and we gotta get a pair of running backs and stay with them. We’re playing a lot of kids, but we’re not generating anything.”

“Offensively, we stunk the joint out,” admitted Coach Noll. “Basically, we’ve not doing anything we have to do. We didn’t score touchdowns last week and we didn’t score any this week.”

Roster reductions

Mike Almond, Carlos Lee and Duane Jones were waived.  Russell Davis, Derrick Glasper, Phil Noel, Calvin Sweeney and Willie Fry were put on injured reserve.

Roy Gerela – “What’s to worry?”

“It’s a hazardous occupation,” admitted Steelers kicker Roy Gerela. “What’s to worry? That makes for ill health. You just do the best you can.”

Gerela didn’t have a good season in 1978 but felt he had resolved the challenge. “Wide to the left,” became Gerela’s middle name, but after working on his technique during the off-season he believes he’s put it right.

Paul Uram, the Steelers kicking coach acknowledged, “He’s not hooking the ball the way he used to. If anything, he’s missing to the right when he misses. He’s more accurate. He’s coming through on impact. When you’re pressing, there’s an extra tendency to lean back on impact and you end up pulling the ball.”

The veteran Gerela faces a contest with rookie Matt Bahr. “Whatever happens is going to happen,” he said. “If something happens and I’m not here, I’m sure I can play with somebody.”



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The Steelers 1979 season updated November 20th 2019.

Ben's early Steelers games.

The Steelers 1978 season in full.
The Steelers 1977 season in full.
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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