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Who were the best Steelers players on defense never elected to a Pro Bowl?

Among Steeler greats, there are some who have never made a Pro Bowl. Here are the Steelers No-Pro Bowlers on defense

Baltimore Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a long rich history featuring 30 Hall of Famers, 45 first-team All-Pros and 134 who have been selected to the Pro Bowl. Looking back on the Steelers since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, there are many men that sported the black-and-gold (who many fans would be surprised to learn) who have never been elected to a Pro-Bowl. On a recent episode of the Steelers Q&A, BTSC’s Tony Defeo and Bryan Anthony Davis presented a list to members of BTSC Nation in the live chat and the Steelers’ No Pro Bowl team was determined. Here are the best Steelers never to be elected or named to the NFL’s all star game after the regular or post season.


Defensive End

Keith Willis (1982-1991)

Willis may be one of the most unheralded Steelers of all time. He never made the Pro Bowl or was named All Pro, but he had seasons of 14 and 12 sacks in 1983 and 1986 respectively. His 59 total sacks land Willis as fourth all-time in the Steel City.For ten years, Willis was an underrated force for the Steelers. Willis, an undrafted free agent out of Northeastern in 1982, is the current defensive line coach for the Titans.

John Banaszak (1976-1981)

The former head football coach at Robert Morris and Washington and Jefferson is a three-time Super Bowl champ in Steel Town. Hailing from Cleveland, the Banaszak family were Browns fans and needed to adjust to John suiting up for their hated rivals. Banaszak started at defensive end in Super Bowl’s XIII and XIV. After seven years with the Steelers, John won a USFL title with the Michigan Panthers in 1983.

Ray Seals (1994-1995)

It’s very rare for a player to make the NFL without ever playing college football. The Steelers had two such players in the 1990s, Carlton Haselrig and Ray Seals. Seals played minor league ball for the Syracuse Express of the Empire Football and ended up in Tampa Bay with in 1989. After five seasons with the Bucs, Seals signed with the Steelers as a free agent and started for the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. In two seasons, Ray had three fumble recoveries, an interception and four touchdowns as a Steeler.


Defensive Tackle

Ernie Holmes (1972-1977)

Ernie Holmes had two nicknames as a member of the famed Steel Curtain from 1972-1977, “Fats” and “Arrowhead”. To call Holmes merely a character would be an understatement. On the field, he was a vibrant wrecking ball who led the Steelers in sacks unofficially with 11 in 1974 and 10.5 in 1975. His 40 unofficial sacks would rank him eleventh all time in Steelers history.

Kimo von Oelhoffen (2000-2005)

The Hawaii native was a more than solid performer for the Steelers after five years as a Cincinnati Bengal. Abhorred now in Cincy after his clean hit took out Carson Palmer in the Wildcard Round back in January of 2006, he was a beloved figure in Pittsburgh and a Super Bowl champion. Over a 14-year career, Kimo’s finest days were in black-and-gold. Of his 26.5 career sacks, 20.5 occurred as a member of the Steelers.

Steve Furness (1972-1980)

The replacement for Ernie Homes on the Steel Curtain defense, Furness was a very effective pass rusher for the Steelers. Accumulating 32 sacks in his time in PIttsburgh, Furness ended his career as a Detroit Lion for one season in 1981. Furness returned to the Steelers in 1992/1993 as a defensive line coach. Sadly, the 4X Super Bowl champ passed of a heart attack in 2000 at the age of 49.


Nose Tackle

Gary Dunn (1976-1987)

Gary Dunn, a two-time Super Bowl champion in XIII and XIV, was a mainstay on the Steelers’ defense for 12 seasons. The Miami Hurricane defensive lineman was a sixth round-pick in 1976 who never expected to stick on the loaded Steel Curtain. Gary was never a Pro Bowler, but No. 67 was named an All-Pro in 1984. Dunn had 18 sacks and nine fumble recoveries during his Steelers days.

Chris Hoke (1995-2002)

Hoke, a 2001 undrafted free agent from BYU, only started 18 games (10 for an injured Casey Hampton in 2004) in his Steelers career. However, he was a valuable reserve in his 11 seasons in Pittsburgh. Hoke was a Super Bowl XL and XLIII champion, as well as playing in the Super Bowl XLV loss to Green Bay.


Outside Linebacker

Clark Haggans (2000-2007)

Haggans is most certainly an underrated player in Pittsburgh Steelers history. The all-time sack leader in Colorado State history spent 13 years in the professional ranks, but had his most success in his eight Steelers seasons ranking 12th on the all-time team list with 32.5 sacks. Clark earned a ring in the Super Bowl XL win over Seattle.

Brian Hinkle (1982-1993)

The 80s were a down decade in the eyes of many, but the Steelers still won a couple of division titles and made an AFC Championship. On these teams, Brian Hinkle was a consistent presence on defense for most of the decade and into the 90s. Ranked 22nd all time on the team with 22.5 sacks, 23rd with 15 interceptions and 15th with 11 fumble recoveries, Hinkle was a defensive mainstay. A sixth rounder out of Oregon in 1981, Hinkle was never an All Pro or elected to a Pro Bowl. but he was a leader on a defense in the mold of his mentors, Jack Ham and Jack Lambert.

Arthur Moats (2014-2017)

Moats, aka “the Body”, started 25 games during his tenure in Pittsburgh. After spending four seasons in Buffalo, the 2010 sixth rounder out of James Madison signed a one-year deal with the Steelers and ended up sticking around for four. A very popular player in Pittsburgh, Moats played on both the inside and out at linebacker for the Steelers and proved to be a valuable depth piece. Moats garnered 11.5 sacks with the hypocycloids on his helmet.


Inside Linebacker

Loren Toews (1973-1983)

Toews played eleven seasons in Pittsburgh and appeared in all four Super Bowl victories in the 1970s. The Cal Golden Bear played in 57 straight games until his retirement after the 1983 season.

Larry Foote (2002-2008, 2010-2013)

Foote, a fourth-round selection out of Michigan in 2002, was a solid performer for the Steelers in two stints with the team, three Super Bowl appearances, and two championship rings. His interception in the AFC Championship in Denver thwarted a tide-turning drive and helped get the Steelers and Foote back home to Detroit for Super Bowl XL win. After a second championship in 2008 but a reduced role behind Lawrence Timmons, the Michigan native was released and signed on for one season with his hometown Lions. Returning after a year away, Foote resigned with the Steelers for four more years


Cornerback

Ike Taylor (2003-2014)

If Taylor had intercepted more passes then his 14, he would have been a perennial Pro Bowler (No. 24) came up huge in Super Bowl XL with a key pick late). Nonetheless, Ike was the best corner on his two Lombardi-winning clubs and a major team force. He was also a locker room leader on a dominating defense during his twelve seasons at Heinz Field.

Dwayne Woodruff (1979-1990)

As good as Woodruff was for 12 seasons for the Steelers, the work that the 1982 team-MVP does now impacts more people. A member of the SB XIV winning squad, Woodruff was elected to serve as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in 2005. He also ran for openings on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, but fell short. His 37 interceptions in 12 seasons ranks him fourth all-time in Pittsburgh.

William Gay (2007-2011, 2013-2017)

“Big Play” Willie Gay knew how to justify his nickname with the Steelers. The fifth round pick out of Louisville in 1997, Mike Tomlin’s first draft, spent 10 of his 11 seasons as a Steeler. Of his 11 career interceptions in black-and-gold, five were of the pick-six variety. That is a team record Gay shares with Hall of Famer Rod Woodson.


Safety

Darren Perry (1992-1998)

Perry was a late round pick in 1992 when the Steelers selected the All-American safety and second-leading interceptor in Penn State history in the eighth round. Perry impressed right away when his six interceptions as a rookie marked the first time in 37 years a rookie led the Steelers in picks. That first-year excellence earned Darren the Joe Greene Great Performance Award as Pittsburgh’s top rookie. No. 39 ended his career in Pittsburgh after seven solid seasons in 1998 as Pittsburgh’s seventh-best interceptor of all-time. Perry moved on. Perry joined the coaching ranks, including winning two Super Bowl rings as a defensive backs coach with the Steelers in 2005 and the opposing Packers in 2010.

Lethon Flowers (1995-2002)

A fifth rounder in 1995, Flowers was a big-league hitter and an all-league talker. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket never met a microphone he didn’t like. In eight years, Flowers had four picks, 432 tackles and 12 sacks. Lee appeared in 3 AFC title bouts and Super Bowl XXX.

Mike Logan (2001-2006)

There’s a debate between Pittsburghers and West Virginians on whether to call Logan “McKeesport Mike” or “Morgantown Mike”. After a stellar career at WVU and four years in Jacksonville, the second-rounder in 1997 signed with his hometown Steelers in 2001 and spent six years playing in the secondary for the Steelers. Mike played for four playoff teams as a Steeler, including winning a ring in Super Bowl XL against Seattle. Logan’s career stats in the Steel City include 223 tackles, five interceptions, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 3.5 sacks.


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