A football coach at the high school, college and professional levels for 40 years, the North Dakota native's tenure in Pittsburgh from the 1992 through the 1995 seasons was vital to re-establishing an extremely effective ground-based Steelers offense that had become increasingly stagnant during the last year's of legendary coach Chuck Noll's tenure and bridging the gap between eras of Steelers football.
Good-but-not-great players like Barry Foster, Bam Morris, Neil O' Donnell and Yancey Thigpen won't have a wing in Canton, but Erhardt and Bill Cowher were able to squeeze the most out of them behind a talented offensive line led by Hall-of-Famer Dermontti Dawson, and tackles John Jackson and Leon Searcy. Erhardt also ushered in the "Slash" phenomenon -- using Kordell Stewart as both a WR and occasional quarterback during his rookie season.
During that time, the Steelers made the playoffs every year and nearly upset the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX.
Other things from around the league today:
- Clearly retirement and the specter of a fixed income is already hitting Hines Ward where he lives - literally. He's putting his 12,000 square foot Atlanta mansion (below) on the market for $7.5 million:
No doubt the newly retired Hines is eyeing up a small condo in Del Boca Vista, where he'll putter around the house before a round of bocce or an afternoon of mall-walking. He'll probably yell at some kid to cut his hair while he's on his way to Denny's at noon for dinner.
Probably something like this:
Here's a good column about Ward from ESPN's Jameson Hensley defending Ward as an aggressive, but not dirty, player.
Give your reactions to Ward's retirement in the comments section below.
- James Harrison's reaction to the Saints punishment:
That from a guy who already has a six-figure hole in his wallet from the Park Ave. disciplinarian.
So was it too much? Too little? Give your thoughts in the comments section below.
- The Tim Tebow-to-the-Jets trade is finally final.
And, set this against the backdrop of hedonistic liberal NEW YORK CITY (tongue planted firmly in cheek) and you have the ultimate fish-out-of-water reality TV show ready to roll. The League should just move him into the Jersey Shore house and be done with it.
But Tebow would have a better chance of converting The Situation and giving pre-natal counseling to Snooki than winning with this group. I imagine Tebow just snapping and going all Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver and trying to rescue a young Jodie Foster (played by Sanchez) from the mitts of Harvey Keitel (Ryan).
Meanwhile that other New York team just keeps on winning Super Bowls.
How will Tebow and the Jets fare? Discuss in the comments section below.
- RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- a.k.a. The Law Firm -- signs with the Bengals.
Amazingly, it took a whole two minutes in the PFT comments for someone to make a crack about a 'lawyer' joining a team full of jailbirds. BJGE is a shifty, hard to tackle fellow, and could be an upgrade for the Bengals over the increasingly plodding Cedric Benson.
- This still looks weird:
The Steelers are slated to return to (Invesco Field at) Mile High this season so you'll get to see it up close.
Do you think Peyton Manning to the Broncos was a good move for Denver or a terrible idea? Sound off in the comments section below ...