When you think of Pittsburgh Steelers football, it's all about dominance. Dominance that comes with consistency at the most crucial times and positions. It seems like every time the Steelers may have been lacking at a certain part of the game, another player would come around and ensure that the dominance they stood for would continue.
Now we all remember the legends, but there are still more guys to those Super Bowl winning rosters. Guys that made possibly the biggest play of their careers on the biggest stage of them all. Much like the Super Bowl heroes, there have been players who put together some of the most dominant seasons in Steelers history. They may not have gone on to be Hall of Famers but fan-favorite Steelers they were.
Some more forgotten than the next, the following players can be remembered in Steelers' lure, but maybe it takes a reminder to take a look back at the highlights of their Pittsburgh days. Since they were a bit forgotten, we can take a look at where they are now and what they contributed to Steelers history.
15 Duce Staley
Duce Staley was of course more a Philadelphia Eagle than a Pittsburgh Steeler. In 2004 when he joined the Steelers, he was able to go for 830 yards in 10 games. So Duce probably falls under the category of a player that we truly forgot played with the Steelers. At the end of the day he was a member of the Super Bowl XL-winning team despite just being along for the ride.
With the Eagles, Staley was a three-time 1,000-yard rusher and has continued a career in football with the Birds. He has served as running backs coach since 2013. Duce's name has been in talks for offensive coordinator positions in recent years. If he stays in coaching, expect a move up.
14 Plaxico Burress
Plaxico Burress is another player that may have had his career defining years elsewhere, but in Pittsburgh the 6-foot-5 inch wide receiver did go for 1,000+ yards twice during his first sting with the Steelers which lasted five years. This run included a career high 1,325 receiving yards in 2002.
Burress would go on to win a Super Bowl as a member of the New York Giants. There he would also gain fame for shooting himself in the leg for which he served 20 months and had a three-year hiatus from the NFL. He returned in 2011 as a member of the New York Jets.
In July of 2017, Burress was hired as a coaching intern with the Arizona Cardinals.
13 Willie Parker
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Now I know the avid Pittsburgh Steeler fan would not and has not forgotten about Willie Parker. His 75-yard run in Super Bowl XL was a record-breaker and one of the greatest plays in Steelers' history. Parker would also be a member of the Super Bowl XLIII winning team but his prime was centered around that first Super Bowl. From 2005-2007, Parker's rushing yards were 1,202, 1,494 and 1,316. His 2006 season also included 13 touchdowns.
Following his retirement, Parker went on to become an assistant coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College in 2012. In 2015 he began as the running backs coach for Heritage High School.
12 Amos Zereoué
Amos Zereoué is remembered more for his college career at West Virginia than his NFL career. In Pittsburgh he backed up Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and there he stayed for five years. His best season came in 2002 when he rushed for 762 yards and 4 touchdowns. He had a cool name and was a player that knew and committed to his role. As such, he can still be brought up in Steelers history.
After his career in Pittsburgh, Zereoué did make stops in Oakland and New England before retiring. Since then he had opened and unfortunately closed a restaurant in New York City by the name of Zeroue.
11 Charlie Batch
Batch wnother player that was able to embrace the reserve role for the storied Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. After beginning his career in Detroit, where he played as the starter for most of his tenure, Charlie Batch joined the Steelers in 2003. There, he would stay for the next eight seasons. He would be thrust into starting duties 9 times and appeared in 33 games. He would be a part of two Super Bowl teams.
Currently, Batch works for KD-KA TV in Pittsburgh as a pre-game analyst and color commentator for the Steelers pre-season games. He also works as a color analyst for WPIAL high school football and basketball games.
10 Levon Kirkland
Levon Kirkland is not forgotten to a real NFL fan. He is a member of the 1990s All Decade Team, made two All Pro teams, and two Pro Bowls. He was also the Pittsburgh Steelers' MVP twice. Still he somehow is forgotten for how dominant a force he was for a significant amount of time. He played all 16 games every season of his career, which included eight seasons in Pittsburgh, one in Seattle and one in Philadelphia.
Since his playing days, Kirkland has pursued a career in coaching. He coached linebackers then became a head coach at the high school level before moving back to linebackers coach at Florida A&M. Currently he holds the same position with the Arizona Cardinals.
9 Byron Leftwich
Another Ben Roethlisberger backup quarterback. Byron Leftwich was drafted 7th-overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003. He would go on to play with Pittsburgh in 2008 then ended his career there from 2010-2012. He made one start during his tenure, but was able to be part of the Super Bowl XLIII champions.
Leftwich has moved to coaching since his retirement. In 2017 he became the official Quarterbacks Coach of the Arizona Cardinals. During the 2017 preseason, the 37-year-old Leftwich even got a shot at calling plays.
8 Antwaan Randle El
We can't forget that touchdown pass Antwaan Randle El threw on a reverse during Super Bowl XL. The play served as a 43-yard game clincher for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After playing quarterback at Indiana, the Steelers used their 62nd-overall pick on Randle El. There he became their top kick returner andpunt returner, and a was a serviceable wide receiver. After Pittsburgh, Randle El made a stop in Washington, before playing his final season back in Pittsburgh.
After not playing in 2011, Randle El officially retired in 2012. In 2013 he became the athletic director at Virginia Academy and still remains so today.
7 Dennis Dixon
Dixon was another player that got to live the dream of being Ben Roethlisberger's backup. He had to stay ready but also know that it is going to take a lot for Big Ben to come out of the game. And like Leftwich and Batch, Dixon was there for a Super Bowl win. He would also add another Super Bowl ring as a member of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.
Dixon's Steelers career lasted from 2008-2011. During that time he saw 3 starts, while throwing 1 touchdown and rushing for another. After his time in Pittsburgh, Dixon didn't have much time making it out of training camp or off of a practice squad. He tried but failed to make a game day roster for the Ravens, Eagles, Bills, and Cardinals.
6 Kordell Stewart
Kordell Stewart is one of the most versatile players in NFL history. While he played mostly quarterback, Stewart was able to split outside at wide receiver. In fact, that is where played during the Steelers' Super Bowl XXX run. His best year came in 2001, when he was named to the Pro Bowl and also took home a AFC Offensive Player of the Year award. In all, Stewart ranks 4th all-time in rushing TDs by a quarterback with 38.
Stewart did have stays in Chicago and Baltimore after leaving Pittsburgh, and in 2005 his NFL career came to a close although he didn't officially retire until 2012. That year, Stewart began his current job as a radio sport talk host in Atlanta for WZGC 92.9 The Game.
5 LeGarrette Blount
This is one that Steelers fans want to forget about. LeGarrette Blount was a proven power back in Tampa Bay and New England before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014. The marriage was always an awkward one and Blount's career low in touchdowns was a reminder. In fact it go to the point where the two parties just broke it off during the season. Blount would go back home to New England where he would help Tom Brady and company to a Super Bowl victory. Blount and the Patriots would add another for the 2016 season.
Blount is still playing in the NFL. He has joined the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2017 campaign.
4 Rashard Mendenhall
After a 1,600 yard junior year at Illinois, the Pittsburgh Steelers made Rashard Mendenhall the 23rd-overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. He would spend from 2008-2012 with the franchise. He would put together 1,000+ rushing seasons in 2009 and 2010. He was a part of the Super Bowl XLIII team although he played sparingly during his rookie campaign.
After leaving the Steelers, Mendenhall spent a season with the Arizona Cardinals. His yards per carry average there was 3.2, his worst since his rookie season. Currently Mendenhall works as a writer and story editor for HBO's Ballers.
3 Troy Edwards
One that the Steelers front office and fans both want to forget. Pittsburgh used their 13th pick in the 1999 NFL Draft on Troy Edwards, a wide receiver out of Louisiana Tech. Edwards brought with him an All-American pedigree and was a Fred Biletnikoff Award winner. Unfortunately his skills didn't quite translate to the NFL game. He put together a promising rookie season in which he caught 61 balls, but his next two seasons in consisted of just 37 catches. The Steelers and Edwards would part ways and by 2005 Edwards was out of the NFL.
Edwards gave an interview in 2016. He talked about how his stubbornness got in the way of a successful NFL career, and states these days he is just being a dad and coaching his kids in little league.
2 Tommy Maddox
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Tommy Maddox had a very interesting football career. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos, and was thought to be the successor to star quarterback John Elway. After an unimpressive start, the Broncos would trade Maddox after justtwo2 years. He would make stops with the Giants, Falcons, and Rams before moving his pro career to other leagues. He made stops in the Arena Football League and the XFL where he actually brought home the MVP award, making him the only MVP in XFL history. He would make a NFL comeback in 2001, and by 2002 he landed the starting role. He would lead the Steelers to a 10-5-1 record, but would again lose his starting role to 2004 draft pick Ben Roethlisberger.
These days Tommy Maddox is a high school sports coach. He has an assistant coach for both baseball and football at Grapevine High School, and now is the head coach at Decatur High School's baseball team.
1 Carnell Lake
Like Levon Kirkland, Carnell Lake is one of the best players to play in Pittsburgh Steelers history. And like Levon Kirkland, maybe he isn't remembered as much as he should be because there is not a Super Bowl title tied to his tenure with the team. Lake is a five-time Pro Bowler, a one-time First Team All-Pro, three-time Second Team All Pro, and a member of NFL's 1990s All Decade Team. He has 25 sacks and 16 interceptions to his credit.
These days Lake is still with the franchise. He is currently serving the role of the Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Backs coach.
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