As we have done for several years to bide our time during the offseason, we’re looking back on Pittsburgh Steelers you may have forgotten…or not remembered at all in the first place. Our “blast from the past” series, with a new, dumb name, highlighting players who have long hung up their cleats.
If you have a player you’d like to see profiled, leave it in the comments below.
Kent Graham/QB (2000)
Graham is my go-to, butt-of-the-joke when it comes to remember terrible QB play. For those who grew up in the 80s, it was Mark Malone. For the younger crowd, or me anyway, it was Graham.
Looking back on his career, it’s hard for me to believe he was in Pittsburgh for just one season. Only started five games. It felt like his time spanned multiple seasons but Graham managed to pack a lot of “meh” into just a couple of months.
By way of the Giants, where he spent his 1999 season throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns, new GM Kevin Colbert signed and started him for the 2000 season. Thankfully, Colbert’s decisions got a whole lot better the rest of the way.
He made his debut hosting the Ravens. Graham and the Steelers’ offense were hapless, 223 total yards and a 16-0 shutout loss (granted, these were the elite, 2000 Ravens). But things didn’t get better the following weeks. Here’s his stat line the next three games:
Week 2 vs Cleveland: 13/27, 172 yards 0 TDs 0 INTs
Week 3 vs Tennessee: 18/33 254 yards 0 TDs 0 INTs
Week 4 vs Cincinnati: 13/33 173 yards 1 TD 0 INTs
At least he wasn’t turning the ball over but it was obvious they weren’t winning in spite of Graham. In fact, they weren’t winning at all, starting the year 1-3.
Things came to a head the following week versus Cleveland. Graham began the game 3/12 for 46 yards and Bill Cowher mercifully saw enough. He pulled the plug, putting Kordell Stewart into the lineup to slightly better results and an eventual 22-0 victory.
Here’s Grahams first three throws of the game. All the indication you needed it wasn’t his day. Or his season.
Stewart would start the final 11 games as the Steelers clawed their way back into playoff contention. They would fall short, going 9-7 but Graham’s time in Pittsburgh was over. They cut him in the offseason and he latched on with Washington in 2001. He worked as the backup all season, attempting only 19 passes (throwing two touchdowns, to his credit) before ending his NFL career.
Not much info is available on his post-football days. He had a son invited to Giants’ minicamp a few years ago and there’s this article on listing his house for sale. The “athlete sells house” is a common news story but one I’ve never understood to actually be “the news.”
Kent Graham, your blast from the past.