Steelers’ Seven Shots – Sunday, July 14, 2019

Every Sunday during the offseason I plan on recapping for you seven items related to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the NFL that may have fallen through the cracks the past week that should be worth your time to read or watch. This weekly feature will be entitled “Steelers’ Seven Shots.”

Shot #1 – One vintage Steelers clip can certainly bring back a lot of memories and trigger a good paragraph or two about that particular game. For instance, this clip below from the Steelers 1984 Week 1 37-27 to the Kansas City Chiefs shows us the first career touchdown pass in a Steelers uniform by quarterback David Woodley, who was unable to finish the game due to a concussion. Additionally, this was the first career touchdown reception by wide receiver Louis Lipps, who finished his first NFL game with 6 receptions for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns. Also in this game, wide receiver John Stallworth became the Steelers’ all-time leader in receiving yards while catching eight passes for a career-high game total of 167 yards. Wait, there’s more. At the very end of the clip you’ll see Chiefs quarterback Todd Blackledge and that game was his first career start. Blackledge, a former Penn State quarterback, faced a Steelers team on that day with his father Ron Blackledge serving as Pittsburgh’s offensive line coach. The younger Blackledge would go on to be a Steelers quarterback for two seasons in 1988 and 1989.


Shot #2 – The Steelers 1976 season didn’t end in the team three-peating but it was a successful year nonetheless. After starting 1-4 in their first 5 games of 1976, the Steelers rattled off 9 consecutive wins and ultimately made the playoffs. They then proceeded to blowout the Baltimore Colts on the road in the Divisional Round but unfortunately lost to the Oakland Raiders on the road the following week in the AFC Championship game. In case you never have watched it before, The Story of the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers is available on YouTube and that video is narrated by the great John Facenda.

Shot #3 – Steelers rookie linebacker Devin Bush participated in a memorabilia signing on Saturday and his godfather, Derrick Brooks, was also present for the event. The two posed for a picture together that Bush’s sister posted on her Instagram account.

Shot #4 – Remember former Steelers cornerback D.J. Johnson? He is celebrating his 53rd birthday on Sunday. Johnson was selected originally by the Steelers in the seventh-round of the 1989 NFL Draft out of Kentucky. He ultimately started 61 games for the Steelers and registered 19 interceptions while with Pittsburgh. After retiring from the NFL, Johnson worked as a sideline reporter with Pat Summerall and John Madden as the lead crew. He also worked the NFC Championship Games in 1999 and 2000 and ultimately became a broadcaster for The NFL on FOX in 2001 with Scott Graham. Below is what was written about Johnson in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the day after the steelers selected him.

Shot #5 – The new Steel Curtain roller coaster at Kennywood was unleashed on Saturday and several Steelers players both past and present were given the opportunity to ride it on its first day in action. Steelers.com has some video from the roller coaster unveiling on Saturday.

Shot #6 – This 2003 front page below from the Cincinnati Enquirer surfaced on Twitter a few weeks ago immediately following the passing of one of the three quarterbacks pictured, former Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen. As you can see, a very young Ben Roethlisberger is also pictured.

Shot #7 – In this 1967 Steelers loss to the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Kent Nix threw three interceptions. Two of them were intercepted by Browns cornerback Ross Fichtner, the father of current Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. The elder Fichtner registered 27 total interceptions during his NFL career and the two he had against the Steelers in this game were his final two.

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