With the Pittsburgh Steelers at training camp to prepare for their 86th season of play, several players on the current roster can propel their names onto or farther up the list of all-time statistical greats.
Does Hines Ward hear footsteps? How close can Le’Veon Bell get to Franco or Jerome before his likely exit after the season? Is it Ben or Bradshaw that statistically reigns supreme? Where is Cam Heyward on the all-time tackle list? Will season No. 86 be another dream campaign for No. 84? How about “the Boz”? Those questions won't be answered until January, but in our annual series, Steeling History, BTSC highlights the players that could move up the all-time charts and what they need to do so.
Ben is, far and away, the greatest statistical quarterback in the history of Pittsburgh football. There will always be a debate on whether Roethlisberger or Terry Bradshaw is the greatest Steelers' slinger of all-time. No. 7 owns pretty much every Steelers' quarterbacking record, but what he lacks is the greatest record of them all -- the four Super Bowl titles owned by the incomparable and aforementioned Bradshaw.
Here's where Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger ranks first in Steelers QB passing lore:
Most Passing Yards (Career): 51,065
Most Passing Yards (Single Season): 4,952 (2014)
Most Passing Yards (Single Game): 522
Most 300 Yard Passing Games (Career): 52
Most 300 Yard Passing Games (Single Season): 9
Most Completions (Career): 4,164
Most Completions (Single Season): 408 (2014)
Most Completions (Single Game): 40 (twice)
Most Consecutive Completions: 15 (tied with Bubby Brister)
Highest Competion Percentage (Career): 64.1%
Highest Competion Percentage (Single Game): 85.7%
Highest Competion Percentage (Single Season): 68.0% (2015)
Most Touchdown Passes (Career): 329
Most Touchdown Passes (Single Season): 32 (2007, 2014)
Most Touchdown Passes (Single Game): 6 (twice)
Highest Passer Rating (Career): 94.0
Highest Passer Rating (Single Season): 104.1 (2007)
Most 4th Quarter Comebacks (Career): 29
Most Game Winning Drives (Career): 39
Wins (Career): 135
One of the few records that Ben doesn't have is a positive one. Big Ben (172) is second all-time in interceptions thrown to Terry Bradshaw (210).
Roethlisberger is getting ready to start his 15th season and he's set to tie Mike Webster atop that legendary mountain. But he trails the iron man Webster in games played. A healthy 16-game season will jump the current Steeler QB up to 216, good enough to tie for third. The two up top are Hines Ward (217) and Webster (220).
Once again, the landmark that Steelers fans care about most for Ben Roethlisberger to achieve is Super Bowl victories. The hope is that Ben ends the 2018 campaign only one ring shy of tying the record of four.
Brown might own every team record for receivers when his career is all said and done.
Brown currently ranks second on the all-time team with 632 receptions. Hines Ward's mark of an even 1,000 receptions is not in jeopardy this season or the next, but a healthy couple-of-seasons should alow AB to come close.
Antonio is second all-time with 9,910 receiving yards. His 2015 record-breaking tally of 1,834 might be bested by him in 2018, but that won’t be enough to sit atop the mountain. Hines Ward, with 12,083 is still way too far ahead, but 2019 is likely.
Also, Brown is the franchise leader for yards-per-game, both single-season and career, with 114.6 (2015) and 82.9 respectively.
Marks that the Pro-Bowler won't come close to reaching this season are career touchdowns and receiving touchdowns. Currently tied for fourth (with Stallworth) at 64 total TDs and fourth with 59 receiving trips to the end zone, Antonio would need four receiving touchdowns to tie John Stallworth for second at 63. That should happen. Franco Harris (100 total) and Hines Ward (85 receiving) are safe for now. But with Antonio, you never know.
The seventh-year standout from Central Michigan already owns the team's single-season mark for receptions (136) and receiving yards (1834). He broke his own marks in 2015. If AB can eclipse 143 grabs and 1,965 yards in 2018, he'd be the NFL's single-season champ in both categories.
AB is in the hunt for a couple of punt-return records, but the hope of many in Steelers Nation is that a suitable replacement is found for Brown in that position and that he won't get the opportunity to break any records. This is due to the fact that focusing strictly on his receiving duties would better shield him from possible injury. He's currently tied with Antwaan Randle-El for the top of the charts with four punt returns for touchdowns. Brown ranks second, behind Rod Woodson (257) in career punt returns (186) and in punt-return yardage (2,362) with 1,759.
Bell has ranked fairly high for a player completing only five seasons as a pro. In what might be his last season in Pittsburgh, Bell could move up substantially among the best RBs in Steelers' history.
No. 26 currently ranks fourth in career team rushing yardage with 5,336. Last year, Bell easily eclipsed John Henry Johnson's 4,381 yards. Bell fell just shy of Willie Parker's third place mark of 5,378 by 42 yards. Barring disaster or extreme stupidity, Bell could surpass “Fast Willie” in the first half Week One at Cleveland.
Juice's nine rushing touchdowns helped him surpass Barry Foster, John Henry Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall and Terry Bradshaw in fourth. Tied for third with Kordell Stewart, Bell could break that very early on. Second place's Jerome Bettis is safe for now with 78, not to mention Franco’s mark.
The ex-Michigan Stater ranks first all-time in single-season yards from scrimmage with 2,215 in 2014. Bell needs to increase his career mark of 7,996 by another 838 to eclipse John Stallworth’s 8,834 and enter the career top-5.
Currently, Boswell is the most accurate field-goal kicker in the history of the Steelers, converting 89.5% of his 95 career attempts. His 85 "makes" are good for sixth place. If he could duplicate the 35 he hit last season, the Boz would move past Norm Johnson (104) and into fifth place. Shaun Suisham at number four (124) is possible as well.
A year ago, Cam was tied with Keith Gary for 25th on the Steelers' career sack list. After recording 12 last season, Heyward now ranks eighth. With 7.5 more in 2018, No. 97 would surpass Aaron Smith for seventh place. Greg Lloyd’s sixth place is safe for the time being. Heyward would need 17 to pass up Lloyd.