Chuck Noll - 1970


Media guide photo 1970In Chuck Noll's second year as the Steeler head coach, the future appears bright for him and his football team. Despite a 1-13 record in his first season, it was obvious that significant progress was made in 1969.

Noll accepted the Steeler job with great credentials and everything and anything that happened in 1969 did not do anything to tarnish his hard-earned reputation. It is generally agreed among knowledgeable pro football people that he is the man who can lead the Steelers into the ranks of pro football's top teams and last season was the first step in building a solid foundation.

In that tough initial season, Noll exhibited the qualities that are prerequisites for a coach if a rebuilding program is to be successful. Start with hard work and add intelligence, imagination and plenty of patience. These are the things that characterized Chuck Noll in his first year as a head coach and play a large role in the thinking of those who predict a bright coaching career for the 38-year old native of Cleveland.

From 1970 media guideHis preparation for a head coaching job came under three of the most successful and knowledgeable men in the game. As a player with the Browns for seven seasons, Chuck was exposed to the Paul Brown innovative system, as first a "messenger" guard and later a linebacker.

When Noll prematurely retired as a player at the age of 27 after the 1959 season, it was with the intention of accepting an assistant's post at his alma mater, the University of Dayton. Here is where fate stepped in and changed the course of his career.

The Dayton job did not materialise and, as a result, he was hired as a defensive assistant by Sid Gillman, who at that time was organising the San Diego Chargers for the AFL's first season.

Baltimore was the second step on the Noll coaching ladder. He joined Don Shula's staff as the defensive backfield coach. He was instrumental in the Colts' success during the three years he was there which included a trip to the Super Bowl after the 1968 season.

All of these men recommended Noll highly when the Steelers were searching for a coach in the early days of 1969. They were concentrating their efforts on a young, energetic man who knew both the American and National Football Leagues. Noll filled the bill perfectly.

His first chore was the 1969 draft and his background was invaluable as the Steelers had the most fruitful draft in their history. A dozen or more rookies were on the 40-man roster the entire season.

The strong nucleus of young talent developed plus the overall improvement in the team's mental attitude were the major positive factors in Noll's first season. His ability to maintain great spirit throughout the season amazed neutral observers. Although the progress made was not reflected in the team's record, enough promise was shown to insure a fine future.

Success which came to Noll as a jack-of-all trades player in high school, at Dayton and with the Browns and later as an assistant coach does not seem far off in his biggest undertaking in football.

Editor’s note: Under Chuck Noll, the Steelers won their first game against Detroit 16-13 and then proceeded to lose their next thirteen.

September 20th Steelers 7
Houston 19 45,538
September 27th Steelers 13
Denver 16 50,704
October 3rd Steelers 7
Cleveland 15 84,349
October 11th Steelers 23
Buffalo 10 42,140
October 18th Steelers 7
Houston 3 42,799
October 25th Steelers 14
Oakland 31 54,423
November 2nd Steelers 21
Cincinnati 10 38,968
November 8th Steelers 21
NY Jets 17 50,028
November 15th Steelers 14
Kansas City 31 50,081
November 22nd Steelers 7
Cincinnati 34 59,276
November 29th Steelers 28
Cleveland 9 50,214
December 6th Steelers 12
Green Bay 20 46,418
December 13th Steelers 16
Atlanta 27 54,162
December 20th Steelers 20
Philadelphia 30 55,252

Chuck Noll's 2nd draft:

  1.  Terry Bradshaw (QB), Louisiana Tech
  2.   Ron Shanklin (WR), North Texas State
  3.   Mel Blount, (DB), Southern
  4.   Ed George (OT), Wake Forest
  4b. Jim Evanson (RB), Oregon (choice from New York Giants)
  5.   Jon Staggers (WR), Missouri
  6.   Manuell Barren (LB), Kansas State
  6b. Clarence Kegler (OT), So. Carolina State
  7.   Danny Griffin (RB), Texas-Arlington
  8.   Dave Smith (WR), Indiana (Pa.)
  9.   Carl Crennel (LB), West Virginia
10.   Isiah Brown (DB], Stanford
11.   Calvin Hunt (C), Baylor
12.   Rick Sharp (OT), Washington
13.   Billy Main (RB), Oregon State
14.   Burt Askson (LB), Texas Southern
15.   Glen Keppy (DT), Platteville
16.   Frank Yanossy (DT), Tennessee
17.   Harry Key (TE), Mississippi Valley

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