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8 Steelers snubbed from NFL awards throughout history

These players were denied individual honors

Atlanta Falcons v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers players have earned their fair share of individual league honors over the years. Whether it’s Terry Bradshaw’s MVP in 1978 or one of the seven black and gold Defensive Players of the Year, we all remember the winning campaigns. There are also a few years, where a Pittsburgh player came up just short of the glory. Some may even say they were snubbed.

1975: The rest of the NFL for DPOY

Mel Blount won Defensive Player of the Year with only 38.5% of the vote, in part because the ballots were split among five different Steelers. Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Jack Ham, and Jack Lambert all received DPOY votes in addition to Blount.

1976: Jack Lambert for MVP

Lambert was the overwhelming vote-getter for Defensive Player of the Year, but many thought he was also worthy of Most Valuable Player consideration. In fact, when the ballots were counted, he came in second to Bert Jones of the Baltimore Colts, whose MVP season included all of 3,104 yards in passing.

1978: Jack Ham for DPOY

Ham finished second in votes behind Denver linebacker Randy Gradishar. However, Ham had four more sacks than Gradishar, and only one fewer interception.

1992: Barry Foster for MVP & OPOY

Foster put up more than 2,000 total yards of offense this season, including 1,690 on the ground. But he finished second in votes in both categories to Steve Young, who threw for 3,465 yards and 25 touchdowns.

1994: Rod Woodson for DPOY

Woodson had already won the award the year before, but he was very worthy of repeating. He finished second in voting behind Deion Sanders, who had three pick-sixes that season. However, Woodson had two himself, plus he had twice as many tackles as Sanders. Woodson’s case was hurt by the fact that two additional Steelers helped split the vote this season: Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene.

2004: James Farrior for DPOY

Farrior lost the award to Ed Reed by only four votes. This wasn’t really his most prolific season as a tackler, but he set single-season highs for forced fumbles (3), recovered fumbles (3), interceptions (4), and his only career touchdown.

2015: Antonio Brown for OPOY

At the time, Brown put up the 4th greatest single season ever for receiving yards with 1,834. Sure, Julio Jones had even more that year, but voters still gave the award to Cam Newton.

2020: TJ Watt for DPOY

Aaron Donald topped Watt by 7 votes, even though TJ had more sacks, tackles and interceptions.