NFL Films: Pittsburgh Steelers – ‘How a Revolutionary Scouting Philosophy Led To The Greatest Draft Ever!’

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Source:NFL Films– The Pittsburgh Steelers, celebrating a Steeler TD during Super Bowl 14

“Check out how the Pittsburgh Steelers engineered the greatest draft ever in 1974!”

Source:NFL Films

If you want to know what made the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers great which made them at least arguably the greatest NFL dynasty ever ( you could also argue for the 1980s San Francisco 49ers ) it’s head coach Chuck Noll and his personal office at the Steelers.

Chuck Noll, wasn’t just the head coach of the Steelers: he was also their general manager which gave him the same authority over football operations for the Steelers, as George Allen had with the Redskins, Don Shula with the Miami Dolphins, Vince Lombardi had with the Green Bay Packers. All these coaches like Noll weren’t just the head coaches of their clubs, but also ran football operations. Meaning they decided who played for their teams. They ran the drafts for their clubs and made the final decisions as far as who their team should draft, trade, sign as free agents, and who to let go.

But it’s just not Chuck Noll being in charge of football operations of the Steelers that made them so great in the mid and late 1970s, but it’s how he did that. The Steelers didn’t draft and sign players based on any traditional score. Like concentrating on particular big schools and programs, or making any racial or ethnic considerations before drafting players. They had a large scouting and personal office led by Personal Director Bill Nunn and scouted the whole country at all levels of college football. And went after the best players possible where they could get them. Just didn’t concentrate on big division 1 programs like Southern California, Michigan, Ohio State or others, they went everywhere including division schools, including historically African-American schools like Alabama A&M.

The 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, were run like any great American corporation: hire the best people possible regardless of where they went to school, who they are, their family backgrounds, where they’re from, regardless of their race or ethnicity. “Who is the best player for our club and where do we go to sign him and then bring that player in.” Which was Chuck Noll’s personal philosophy with the Steelers, which is how he and Bill Nunn are able to sign players like a John Stallworth, ( Hall of Fame ) Joe Greene, ( Hall of Fame Mel Blount ( Hall of Fame ) and many others. While other NFL clubs were primarily if not exclusively concentrating on big schools and programs.

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