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The Steelers 1978 Season Begins Here>>>


The 1978 Steelers season started with 34 rookies and 22 veterans arriving in Latrobe for the beginning of training camp on July 14. The rest of the veterans would arrive a week later. With the regular season increased to 16 games and the exhibition games reduced from six to four, the new format brought more questions than answers.

The Steelers had been against the change. “The 14-game season was a helluva long season physically, mentally and emotionally,” said Coach Noll. The shorter preparation time also concerned Noll, “We won’t have the luxury of working with a lot of people,” he added.

“And the rookies will have to earn the right to play in the pre-season games. It’s a dilemma. But everybody else will have the same problem,” Coach Noll added.

The players’ association reminded veterans they were not obliged to report to camp until 15 days before the first exhibition game, but Coach Noll always suggested those who had been injured the previous season or lacked experience entered camp early with the rookies.

John Banaszak media photoJohn Banaszak observed, “When the man asks me to come to camp, I better be there. If I say no, the players’ association isn’t going to pay me.” Banaszak was a veteran who always appeared to be a rookie and once again was fighting to find a place on the roster.

As a free agent defensive end in 1976, he had to beat out second round draft choice Bob Barber. “It’s the same situation,” revealed Banaszak. “But I didn’t really worry about Bob Barber. I was only in my second year. I don’t worry about anybody else. I’m just gonna worry about making it through training camp.”

Banaszak suffered damage to his knee ligaments and spent the last few weeks of the 1977 season on injured reserve. With the Steelers selected Willie Fry in the draft and Banaszak would once again be up against a second round draft selection.

“There’s always a battle,” Banaszak observed. “Nobody said it was going to be easy. You’re never guaranteed a job, but I accept all challenges from everybody.”

With a touch of realism Banaszak added, “If Willie Fry is better than I am, then that’s it. It’s not like I have to beat out Willie Fry. I want to be the fifth man on the front four and if I go out and play like I can, I should be good enough to be the fifth man.

Everything being equal, L.C. Greenwood and Dwight White have to start because they’re experienced.”


After he was cut by Montreal, the Steelers picked up quarterback Larry Lawrence. “I was going to go through the rest of the league for a job until the Steelers called,” Lawrence revealed. “So I thought I would try the NFL.”

If the Steelers keep three quarterbacks, Lawrence must beat out Cliff Stoudt, a second year man who spent part of last season on the injured reserves.




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This site last updated September 7th 2017.

Ben's early games with the Steelers.

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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