Since we’re still patiently waiting for training camp, let’s take a look through the Steelers record books and see if we can pick out some records that will be difficult (or impossible) to break.
In no particular order…
Barry Foster’s 390 Rushing Attempts In 1992– Good gravy. During the 1992 season — Bill Cowher’s first — then-offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt ran what had to be considered the anti-Bruce Arians offense, and seemed determined to run Barry Foster until the wheels fell off. And, as it turns out, that’s exactly what happened.
The 24-year-old Foster carried the ball an incredible 390 times, a number that was not only tops in the league that season, but also the ninth-most in NFL history. When you add in his 36 catches, he touched the football 426 times. His 1,690 rushing yards are still a franchise record, and it’s still the only time a Steelers player totaled more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage in a single season.
But it’s the 390 carries that are likely to never be topped.
How incredible is that number? Consider that Jerome Bettis, the ultimate workhorse running back, never carried the ball more than 375 times in a single season for the Steelers. He topped the 350 mark just twice.
For a very short period of time Foster was a dominant NFL back, but the 1992 season really was the beginning of the end. He started just 19 games over the next two seasons and was out of the NFL before 1995.
The growing trend of the two-back system, the current pass-first nature of the league, as well as the presence of a franchise quarterback in Pittsburgh make this a record that will stand for quite a long time.
Ben Roethlisberger’s 13-0 Record To Start His Career — The Tommy Maddox era was coming to a close, Alan Faneca was asking whether or not you’d be happy about going to work with some rookie, and Ben Roethlisberger was taking over the Steelers offense way sooner than expected. All he did was go on to win his first 13 starts. Thirteen game winning streaks are rare enough. Thirteen game winning streaks to start a career? That just doesn’t happen.
Mel Blount’s 57 Career Interceptions — Free agency, combined with rules that favor the offense (especially the passing game), make Mel Blount’s 57 career interceptions pretty much an untouchable mark.
To put this record into some perspective: Rod Woodson, for as great as he was with the Steelers, intercepted 37 passes during his 10 years in Pittsburgh, still 20 behind Blount.
Troy Polamalu, the active leader, has just 20 in his seven-year career.
Chuck Noll: Everything — You can just go right down the list: 23 seasons, 193 regular season wins, four Super Bowl titles. It’s just not going to happen. None of it.
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