With so many legendary linebackers in the annals of Steelers history, anything less than a Hall of Honor career can leave a player under-the-radar in the grand scheme of things. Clark Haggans spent eight seasons with Pittsburgh, earning a Super Bowl ring. He played in 107 games with the black and gold, starting 61 of them. He forced a dozen fumbles and racked up 32.5 sacks, more than Chad Brown, Farrior, Keisel, Ham, Worilds and Lambert. For any other franchise, that’s enough to become an icon. Let’s look at the moments that made Haggans iconic in his own right.
9/7/03 vs Baltimore Ravens
Haggans was not yet an everyday starter in 2003, but he got the starting nod in week one. The game is remembered for Tommy Maddox’s 3-touchdown performance, but Haggans had 9 total tackles and strip-sacked Kyle Boller.
9/12/04 vs Oakland Raiders
This game came down to a game-winning drive from Tommy Maddox and Duce Staley, but Haggans disrupted Rich Gannon all day, earning two sacks, two forced fumbles and two tackles for loss.
11/28/04 vs Washington
This was a stingy day for the Steelers defense. They allowed only 156 total yards, and kept Washington to 2-13 on third down. Haggans had 2 sacks and 2 tackles for loss.
9/25/05 vs New England Patriots
Tom Brady won the day with a game-winning drive in the final 1:18, but Haggans was in his hair all game. He had 12 total tackles that day, including a sack and two forced fumbles.
10/31/05 vs Baltimore Ravens
The Steelers were clinging to a 17-13 lead in the fourth quarter with Anthony Wright and the Ravens closing in on the red zone. Haggans had a huge sack on 3rd down that held Baltimore to a field goal. Later, Big Ben led the comeback drive in the final 3:14 to give Pittsburgh a 20-19 victory.
2/5/06 Super Bowl XL vs Seattle Seahawks
In the biggest game of his career, Haggans sacked Matt Hasselbeck on the game’s first 3rd down. He remained tough against the run throughout the game with 5 total tackles, including 1 tackle for loss. He also drew a key holding call in the fourth quarter that would have given Seattle a first and goal from the 1 yard line.
9/24/06 vs Cincinnati Bengals
Haggans sacked Carson Palmer twice in this game and caused a fumble, but all the luck was running in the Bengals’ favor. Palmer led a fourth-quarter comeback to win 28-20.
10/29/06 at Oakland Raiders
This game was a loss due to Ben’s two pick-sixes in the red zone, but Haggans had Andrew Walter on the run all game, racking up 1.5 sacks, 3 tackles for loss and 3 QB hits.
11/19/06 at Cleveland Browns
Big Ben and Willie Parker led the Steelers to victory after being down 20-10 in the fourth. Haggans recovered a fumble in the first quarter, and had a key red zone sack in the fourth to keep Cleveland out of the end zone.
Rest in Peace to an icon of his own era.
Kyle Chrise is the host of “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout.” New episodes are released every Thursday. Hear the latest episode in the player below: