After the Steelers’ worst home loss in history to the Baltimore Colts, the Steelers started to wonder if they could get Johnny Unitas’ old job back.
The Steelers made one of the most famous blunders in their history when they drafted running back Franco Harris in the 7th round of the 1968 draft. This was the start of a 29 year long relationship between Steelers ownership and the AFL’s Pittsburgh Stealers. The Pirates would be champions a total of 9 times in a ten year period. In 1969 Franco Harris was named the NFL Most Valuable Player after rushing for a record 2,101 yards, which earned him a $675,000 bonus. After that Harris would play 14 seasons in the NFL and earn a total of $6 million.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the most successful organization in pro football, but they have never been able to successfully field a team. They have never had a season where the entire team played above the level of the individuals. They have always played their best when the individual players were their best, which was not very often.. Read more about who won the very first super bowl? and let us know what you think.
He used to go by the name John Unitas. He was a disappointed John Unitas in 1955. He was still perplexed by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ decision to release him, and he didn’t know where to turn. He felt he hadn’t been given a fair chance and had no choice but to move on. The quarterback ultimately became Johnny Unitas, a standout with the Baltimore Colts and an eventual NFL Hall of Famer, as a result of the transfer. For the Steelers, it was the biggest mistake they’d ever made.
After being dismissed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Johnny Unitas earned $6 per game
Unitas was selected in the ninth round of the 1955 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. After being rejected by his first choice, Notre Dame, he went to Louisville to play collegiately. Unitas’ senior season was hampered by injury, and he ended with 527 passing yards, second only to Jim Houser (560).
He was chosen by the Steelers, but he was never given a chance since he was designated QB No. 4 when they only kept three quarterbacks.
According to a 2002 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story, Art Rooney Jr. stated, “They had four quarterbacks.” “Jimmy Finks, Ted Marchibroda, a youngster called Vic Eaton, and Unitas, a local hero,” says the narrator. Unitas wouldn’t have a chance to perform by the time they finished the exercises. “I’ve never played in an exhibition game.”
Unitas told Sports Illustrated in 1957, “I passed for three or four touchdowns in scrimmage, and I got away on a couple of 30-yard rushes, but they never let me play in exhibitions.”
Unitas’ Louisville teammate Fred Zangaro consoled the quarterback and drove him to the semipro Bloomfield Rams’ home field, where he earned $6 a game.
“He was excellent. According to the Post-Gazette, the Rams’ coach and general manager, Chuck “Bear” Rogers, “took a lot of razzing from other teams since he was released by the Steelers.” “We didn’t pay the guys a lot of money. A handful of men were earning $15 each game. One of them earned ten dollars. Unitas was paid $6. I’d recoup part of the funds by fining players who didn’t show up for practice.”
Tim Rooney, Art Rooney Srson, begged him to retain Johnny Unitas
Johnny Unitas was named to the #NFL100 All-Time Team as one of ten quarterbacks!
? 3x NFL Champion, Super Bowl V Champion Two-time NFL MVP (1964, 1967) 1970 Man of the Year: Walter Payton 10x Pro Bowler, 5x First-Team All-Pro pic.twitter.com/XG09t814h5
December 28, 2019 — NFL (@NFL)
Unitas was disappointed when the Steelers cut him, but he continued trying to improve.
Unitas would work out with anybody who was there after practice, bouncing balls off youngsters’ heads, according to Rooney Jr.
Tim Rooney, 18, was one of those children. Tim sent an 11-page letter to his father, Steelers owner Art Rooney Sr., according to the Post-Gazette. He appealed with the owner to overturn the coaches’ decision to release Unitas in that letter.
“You can picture what this letter looked like since none of the Rooneys can spell,” Art Jr. said. “I believe it was also written in pencil. Anyway, after reading it, my father remarked, ‘These smart people.’ These instructors are paid by me, and these youngsters believe they know more.’
The Steelers, however, stuck to their guns, and Unitas joined the Bloomfield Rams.
Unitas was chosen by the Baltimore Colts over the Cleveland Browns
Unitas signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 1956, but the Cleveland Browns were also interested.
Unitas told Sports Illustrated that the Browns were interested in him, but the Colts’ general manager, Don Kellett, phoned and offered me a deal, which I accepted.
“It wasn’t difficult for me to take up the Colt offense,” he added. “My Louisville college coach teaches the same method as Weeb Eubanks. Because the pro backs are speedier, I just had to get accustomed to making faster handoffs. Then Coach helped me learn to throw a softer pass—you know, dangle the ball up there for the receiver.”
In 1957, Unitas took over as Baltimore’s full-time quarterback and led the league in passing yards (2,550) and touchdowns (2). (24). He was named to his first of eight consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. Unitas was a Super Bowl champion, a 10-time Pro Bowler, and a three-time MVP. In 1979, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He was also the greatest blunder of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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During the 1962 NFL Championship game, the Pittsburgh Steelers made a $500,000 turnover that would haunt them for the rest of their existence. The kicker? It was a miscalculation to the tune of $6 per game. If only there was a way to put the Steelers in their place for eternity.. Read more about pittsburgh steelers roster and let us know what you think.