1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season

1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season
Head coach Chuck Noll
General manager Daniel M. Rooney
Owner Art Rooney
Home field Three Rivers Stadium
Record 10–3–1
Division place 1st AFC Central
Playoff finish Won Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 32–14
Won AFC Championship (Raiders) 24–13
Won Super Bowl IX (Vikings) 16–6
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros
Team MVP Glen Edwards
Team ROY Jack Lambert

The 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season was capped off with a 10-3-1 record and the Super Bowl IX championship. The '74 team became the first team in Steelers history (42 seasons) to win a league title following one of the franchise's greatest playoff runs ever. After the hiring of head coach Chuck Noll in 1969, Noll signed Defensive Tackle #75 Joe Greene. He then signed Quarterback #12 Terry Bradshaw in 1970. Linebacker #59 Jack Ham and Cornerback #47 Mel Blount arrived in 1971. And in 1972, the Steelers signed a fullback from nearby Penn. State in Franco Harris. By 1973, Joe Greene was flanked on the line by Dwight White, Ernie Holmes, and L.C. Greenwood. In the 1974 draft, the Steelers took no time in signing some more talent for the team. Wide Receiver #88 Lynn Swann and #82 John Stallworth, Linebacker Jack Lambert, and Center Mike Webster all became future hall of famers.

After 2 playoff appearances, the Steelers appeared to be in great shape after finishing the preseason as the only undefeated team in the NFL. After two straight games, the Steelers scored over 50 points and were 1-0-1. However, the Steelers couldn't beat the Raiders at home. Steelers starting quarterback at the time, Joe Gilliam's play continually deteriorated. By Week 7, the Steelers were 4-1-1 and Gilliam was benched for Terry Bradshaw during a win against the Falcons. Bradshaw won the next two games, but after a loss in Cincinnati, Noll benched Bradshaw again. This time he was benched in favor of Terry Hanratty (who was selected in the 1969 Draft). Hanratty however, played horribly in Cleveland. The offense was in a struggle, but the Steelers had won those tough games behind the still maturing Steel Curtain defense. When Bradshaw was brought back into the lineup, the Steelers beat the Browns and the Saints (a game that Bradshaw ran more than he passed). After a loss to Houston, the Steelers would play the most important game of the season in New England. With a win against the Patriots, the Steelers would clinch the AFC Central and appear in their third straight playoff appearance. But they didn't have to worry. The Steelers dominated them and then beat the Bengals and awaited the playoffs.

In the Divisional Round Playoff Game, the Steelers would play the Bills, a team that had beaten them the last time they played with an O.J. Simpson running attack. However, the Steelers would dominate Buffalo and hold O.J. Simpson to 49 yards rushing (it was O.J.'s only playoff game appearance).

In the 1974 AFC Championship Game, the Steelers would play an old foe, the Raiders. Each year, the rivalry was escalating: in 1972, the Steelers won in Pittsburgh; in 1973, the Raiders returned the favor in Oakland. However, the Steelers were ready for anything the Raiders could throw at them. Using the new "Stunt 4-3 defense" the Steelers held the Raiders to 29 yards rushing as the Steelers themselves ran for over 200 yards in Oakland. After a Franco Harris touchdown run, the Steelers clinched their first Super Bowl appearance in club history (and their first league championship appearance).

In Super Bowl IX, the Steelers and the Vikings had a hard time in the rough conditions at old Tulane Stadium. After many exchanges of punts, the Steelers finally scored a safety on a bobbled handoff by Fran Tarkenton. The score at the half was 2–0. The Steel Curtain continually dominated the Vikings. While coach Bud Grant tried to run at the strength of the Steel Curtain, they were shut down. The only points Minnesota managed to squeeze off was a blocked punt (the extra point was blocked). After the MVP performance by Franco Harris, the Steelers came away with a 16-6 victory over the Vikings. It was the first league title in Steelers history.



1974 Pittsburgh Steelers staff
Front office
  • President – Arthur J. Rooney
  • Vice President – John R. McGinley
  • Vice President – Daniel M. Rooney
  • Vice President – Arthur J. Rooney, Jr.
  • Public Relations Director – Ed Kiely
  • Traveling Secretary – James A. Boston
  • Controller – Robert P. Quinn
  • Accountant – Dennis P. Thimons
  • Publicity Director – Joe Gordon
  • Ticket Manager – Joseph H. Carr
  • Director of Player Personnel – Dick Haley
  • Assistant Director of Player Personnel – Bill Nunn
  • Director of Professional Scouting – V. Timothy Rooney

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength – Louis Riecke
  • Flexibility – Paul Uram
  • Team Physician, Orthopedic – Dr. John Best
  • Team Physician, M.D. – Dr. David S. Huber
  • Team Dentist – Dr. Robert Gray
  • Trainer – Ralph Berlin
  • Equipment Manager – Anthony Parisi
  • Field Manager – Jack Hart



1974 Pittsburgh Steelers final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad [2] [3] [4]

Rookies in italics
48 Active, 1 Inactive, Practice squad


NFL Draft

During the offseason, the Steelers held their training camp in St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

During the 1974 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers would draft WR Lynn Swann in Round 1, LB Jack Lambert in Round 2, WR John Stallworth in Round 4, and C Mike Webster in Round 5. All four would later be inducted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame. By 2014, the 1974 Steelers are the only team in history to select four such players in one single draft alone.

1974 Pittsburgh Steelers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 21 Lynn Swann   WR USC given #88
2 46 Jack Lambert   LB Kent State 1974 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, given #58
4 82 John Stallworth   WR Alabama A&M given #82
4 100 Jimmy Allen  DB UCLA given #45
5 125 Mike Webster   C Wisconsin Alternated with Ray Mansfield for the rest of Ray's career, given #52
6 149 Jim Wolf  DE Prairie View A&M given #62
6 150 Rick Druschel  Guard North Carolina State given #46
7 165 Allen Sitterle  T North Carolina State
7 179 Scott Garske  TE Eastern Washington
8 204 Mark Gefert  LB Purdue
9 223 Tommy Reamon  RB Missouri played for the WFL in 1974
9 229 Charlie Davis  DT TCU given #77
10 243 Jim Kregel  G Ohio State
10 254 Dave Atkinson  DB BYU
11 283 Dick Morton  RB Arkansas
12 308 Hugh Lickiss  LB Simpson
13 333 Frank Kolch  QB Eastern Michigan
14 333 Bruce Henley  DB Rice
15 387 Larry Hunt  DT Iowa State
16 412 Octavus Morgan  LB Illinois
17 437 Larry Moore  DE Angelo State
      Made roster       Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career


In the 1974 Preseason, the Steelers became 6-0 and were the only undefeated team in the NFL. However, most of the talk was centered around the NFL's first successful black quarterback, Joe Gilliam. Chuck Noll did start Gilliam in the preseason and after it ended, Chuck Noll would start him for the 1974 season. Gilliam's stellar performance in the '74 preseason did however spark the quarterback controversy in Pittsburgh.

1974 schedules

Regular season schedule

Week Date Game Site Opponent Result Record
1 Sun. September 15 Three Rivers Stadium Baltimore Colts W 30–0 1-0
2 Sun. September 22 Mile High Stadium @ Denver Broncos T 35–35 (OT) 1-0-1
3 Sun. September 29 Three Rivers Stadium Oakland Raiders L 0-17 1-1-1
4 Sun. October 6 Astrodome @ Houston Oilers W 13–7 2-1-1
5 Sun. October 13 Arrowhead Stadium @ Kansas City Chiefs W 34–24 3-1-1
6 Sun. October 20 Three Rivers Stadium Cleveland Browns W 20–16 4-1-1
7 Mon. October 28 Three Rivers Stadium Atlanta Falcons W 24–17 5-1-1
8 Sun. November 3 Three Rivers Stadium Philadelphia Eagles W 27–0 6-1-1
9 Sun. November 10 Riverfront Stadium @ Cincinnati Bengals L 10-17 6-2-1
10 Sun. November 17 Cleveland Municipal Stadium @ Cleveland Browns W 26–16 7-2-1
11 Mon. November 25 Tulane Stadium @ New Orleans Saints W 28–7 8-2-1
12 Sun. December 1 Three Rivers Stadium Houston Oilers L 10-13 8-3-1
13 Sun. December 8 Schaefer Stadium @ New England Patriots W 21–17 9-3-1
14 Sat. December 14 Three Rivers Stadium Cincinnati Bengals W 27–3 10-3-1

Postseason schedule

Week Date Game Site Opponent Result Record TV
Divisional Sun. December 22 Three Rivers Stadium Buffalo Bills W 32–14 11-3-1 NBC
Conference Sun. December 29 Oakland Coliseum Oakland Raiders W 24–13 12-3-1 NBC
Super Bowl IX Sun. January 12 Old Tulane Stadium Minnesota Vikings W 16–6 13-3-1 NBC

Game summaries


AFC Central
Pittsburgh Steelers 10 3 1 .750 4–2 7–3–1 305 189 W2
Houston Oilers 7 7 0 .500 4–2 7–4 236 282 W1
Cincinnati Bengals 7 7 0 .500 3–3 5–6 283 259 L3
Cleveland Browns 4 10 0 .286 1–5 3–8 251 344 L2

Postseason game summaries

Awards, honors and records


  1. 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  2. 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  3. 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  4. "1974 Pittsburgh Steelers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-12-17.
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