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THE STEELERS 1975 SEASON BEGINS HERE>>>

COACH NOLL WANTS A THIRD

After a deserved holiday following the Steelers second Super Bowl win, Chuck Noll was looking ahead at the 1976 season. “I don’t know how the players will react, but we have the kind of players that like to win. We have some people who came up when we weren’t winning and they have a distaste for it. They’re aware of the pitfalls.”

Reflecting on their Super Bowl win, Noll had some interesting observations. While most of the post-game discussion was on how exciting the game was, Noll was keen to discuss how well the team played.

“We were missing by that much,” he indicated with his index finger and thumb about an inch apart. Even though the Steelers went scoreless through three quarters of the game, Noll thought the team moved the ball well. The Steelers just kept missing the big plays until the final period.

On the Steelers final possession when they were holding onto a slender lead, Noll’s decision not to punt, but to run it on fourth down surprised many.

“On the first two downs, we tried plays that would have worked against the blitz, but they didn’t come with it,” Noll offered. ” I guess because we had burned them on it. Normally, on third down we would have passed. But Terry Hanratty (who had come on for an injured Terry Bradshaw) wasn’t warm, so we tried another play against a blitz and didn’t get much.

Now it’s fourth down and my first thought was to put in the punting team. But then I decided because of the field position, the percentages were to not risk a turnover on a blocked punt.” Noll confirmed that he hadn’t considered a fake punt because they hadn’t worked on it.

On the touchdown bomb to Lynn Swann, Noll confirmed that on a third and four, a short pass to get the first down would have been safer, but they wanted to go deep and were rewarded with a score.

Noll was puzzled why none of his assistant coaches were taken on for head coaching positions. “I don’t know what more credentials they want than two Super Bowls.”

1976 NFL DRAFT DELAYED

The prospective new kids on the block, Tampa and Seattle, were suing the Players Association for interfering with their expansion plans. Because of this, the expansion and college drafts were postponed from their original dates in January.

“I’ve been very much for expansion all along,” Dan Rooney told the Post-Gazette. “I think it’s essential for Tampa and Seattle to be given the opportunity to be good right away. So I’m in sympathy with their cause.”

The expansion draft would enable Tampa and Seattle to choose their players from the existing rosters of all the NFL teams who could protect 30 of their 43 players.

ERNIE HOLMES FACES DRUG CHARGES

At the beginning of February, the news hit the headlines that Ernie Holmes was arrested in Amarillo, Texas for possession of 250 milligrams of cocaine. He was in Texas for the wedding of an old friend.

This was Holmes’ second brush with the law. In 1973 he received a five-year probation sentence after pleading guilty to charges of assault with a deadly weapon. Holmes’ attorney said this would have no bearing on the new charge as he had complied with all the terms of the probation.

After the first incident when Holmes went on a four-hour car chase in which he wounded a Highway Patrolman, Holmes spent almost two months at a Western Psychiatric Hospital undergoing treatment.

Dan Rooney’s response to the news was supportive. “My first reaction is that I’m sorry it happened, but I need more facts. We’ll try to give Ernie as much help as we can.” Rooney suggested Holmes may have been a victim of circumstances.

Chuck Noll media photo with Dan Rooney and Pete Rozelle


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Last updated October 22nd 2014.

Keeping the Faith with Chuck Noll added September 2014.
Chuck Noll tribute added June 2014.

Byron White's 1938 season with the Pirates added July 2014
The Thirties Pirates updated April 2014.
SteelerNationUK on tour 2013 added February 2014.
The story of Steeler Nation's visit to London added October 2013.
SteelerNationUK on tour 2012 added May 2013.
The Terrible Towel photos updated April 2013.
Steeler Nation UK in Dublin with the Steelers 1997 added April 2013.
Portsmouth Spartans added April 2013.

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