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The Steelers 1979 season begins here>>>

Tony Dungy’s anxiety justified

As the pruning of the Steelers roster began, Tony Dungy appreciated how anxious the rookies would be feeling.

He lived through the anguish two years ago. He was the longest of long shots, but the coaches had been impressed with the way he picked up the system.

After they decided to take a longer look, he won a roster spot. When he found himself on the field as a quarterback in the fourth game of his rookie season, he won the support of Steelers fans.

Dungy arrived in camp as an established player, but he finds himself competing against J.T. Thomas for the backup safety role. Dungy felt the current situation was more difficult than his rookie season. “I wasn’t sure if I could play then,” Dungy acknowledged. “I didn’t know if I was good enough.”

Two years later, he knows he is. “I’ve had a chance to play and I’m good enough to play and help the team. I’m the third best safety. I think I’m one of the seven best defensive backs.”

Two days later after expressing his fears, Dungy was traded to the 49ers for a draft pick. “It’s a business,” observed Dungy. “Everything’s done for the good of the team.”

The team also put Roy Gerela on waivers. Matt Bahr at 23 would be kicking for the Steelers while Gerela at 31 would be looking for a new team.

Gerela said, “My first reaction was one of shock,” while Bahr admitted, “I was surprised. I thought I was the one who’d been let go.” Bahr said he felt bad for Gerela while adding, “Tony Dungy is such a super person. He was the first veteran who spoke to me when I came here. It hurts to see those guys go.”

The Steelers leave Latrobe

Topps Franco HarrisThe Steelers would leave their training camp in Latrobe and travel to Texas for their final preseason game against old foes, the Dallas Cowboys.

“I like it for the five weeks we’re here,” said Franco Harris about Latrobe. “It’s a good place to get totally isolated, but things aren’t that way in life. It’s good to re-nourish one’s interest in the game, plus you get to be around the guys some more. That’s particularly important with the new players.”

The rematch of Super Bowl XIII was expected to draw a large number of fans to watch the game. “For me personally, it’s an exhibition game,” said Harris. “Sure, you want to win it. You play hard to win it. Over the years, I just noticed that exhibitions had nothing to do with what happens in the regular season.

We’ve had many exhibition seasons in which we lost as many as we won and went on to have good years. We might lose to Dallas in an exhibition and beat them when it counts.”

Joe Gilliam

Joe Gilliam was in a stable condition in a Baltimore hospital recovering from an attack by four men who dragged him from his parked car and beat him over the head.

Police who attended the scene thought he had been shot because the injury was so severe although doctors believe he should be back on the field within two weeks.

 

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The Steelers 1979 season updated December 10th 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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