With the Pittsburgh Steelers arriving at training camp to prepare for their 84th 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? Who is knocking on Franco's door? Is Jason Gildon's team sack mark in jeopardy? Is It Ben or Bradshaw that statistically reigns supreme? Who on the current roster is an unlikely record holder? Will season #84 be another dream campaign for #84?
Those questions won't be answered until January, but in our new 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. He owns pretty much every Steeler quarterbacking record, but what he lacks is the greatest record of them all, four Super Bowl titles owned by the incomparable Terry Bradshaw.
Here is where Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger ranks first in Steeler QB passing lore:
Most Passing Yards (Career): 42,994
Most Passing Yards (Single Season): 4,952 (2014)
Most Passing Yards (Single Game): 522
Most 300 Yard Passing Games (Career): 45
Most 300 Yard Passing Games (Single Season): 9
Most Completions (Career): 3,476
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 Season): 68.0% (2015)
Highest Competion Percentage (Single Game): 85.7%
Most Touchdown Passes (Career): 272
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): 27
Most Game Winning Drives (Career): 37
Wins (Career): 113
One of the few records that Ben doesn't have is a positive one. Big Ben (147) is second all-time in interceptions thrown to Terry Bradshaw (210).
Roethlisberger, getting ready to start his 13th season, will tie a number of players for 9th All-time in service. Mike Webster leads by having played 15 seasons. He also trails Webster in games played. A healthy 16-game season will jump the current Steeler QB up to 187, good enough for sixth behind Gary Anderson (197), Mel Blount (200), Donnie Shell (201), Hines Ward (217) and Webster (220).
Once again, the landmark that Steeler fans care about mostly for Ben Roethlisberger to achieve is Super Bowl victories. The hope is Ben ends the 2016 campaign one ring shy of tying the record of four.
Brown may own every team record for receivers when his career is all said and done. Time-of-service may help or hinder everything for Antonio.
Brown currently ranks fourth on the all-time team with 526 receptions. Hines Ward's mark of an even 1,000 receptions is not in jeopardy this season or the next, but a healthy season should alow AB to leapfrog John Stallworth's 537 (needs 12) and Heath Miller's second-place mark of 592 (needs 67) in 2016. Numbers he should shatter.
Antonio is third all-time with 7,093 receiving yards. His 2015 record-breaking tally of 1,834 jetted him ahead of Lynn Swann (5,462), Louis Lipps (6,018) and Heath Miller (6,569). John Stallworth is catchable at 8,723 with a season of 1,631. Hines Ward with 12,083 is still way too far ahead.
Also, Brown is the franchise leader for yards-per-game, both single-season and career, with 114.6 (2015) and 84.4 respectively.
Before 2015, Brown was in tenth-place with 5,341 career yards-from-scrimmage. His third-place all-time mark of 1,834 in 2015 propelled him over Dick Hoak, Lynn Swann, Willie Parker, Louis Lipps and Heath Miller for #5 on the list.
Marks that the Pro-Bowler will not come close to this season is career touchdowns and receiving touchdowns. Currently tied for eighth with 43 total TDs and seventh with 38 receiving trips to the end zone, Antonio would need to match his 2014 all-time and franchise high of 13 receiving touchdowns to pass Lynn Swann for fifth (53 total TDs) and third (51 receiving TDs) respectively. 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 yards in 2016, he would 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 Steeler Nation is that a suitable replacement for Brown in that position is found and that he doesn't get the opportunity to break any. This is due to the fact that focusing only on his receiving duties would shield him from possible injury more. He currently is tied with Antwaan Randle-El for the top of the charts with four punt returns for touchdowns. Brown ranks third, behind Rod Woodson and Randle-El, in career punt returns (160) and punt return yardage (1,558).
Once again losing playing time to suspensions will slow the talented but undisciplined star from launching his name high up the charts. Bell has ranked fairly high for only completing three seasons as a pro. With the potential to only play 12 games in 2016, Bell could still move considerably among the best in Steeler RB history.
#26 currently ranks 14th in career rushing yardage with 2,777. If he were to match his Steeler team record of 79.3 YPG, he would achieve 952 yards on the season. That would put him at 3,729 for his career and ninth on the team's career list. However, Lev could conceivably eclipse Frank Pollard's 3,989 and land at #5.
Juice's 19 touchdowns are good enough for 15th. Passable in 2016 are Pollard (20), Merril Hoge and Frenchy Fuqua (21), Walter Abercrombie (22), Rocky Bleier (23), Willie Parker (24), Dick Hoak (25), Barry Foster and John Henry Johnson (26) and Rashard Mendenhall (29). Jumping ahead of all of those guys would put Bell at fifth all-time. Getting past Terry Bradshaw in fourth with 32 is probably a stretch.
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 4,166 another 1,215 to get by Dick Hoak and into the career top ten.
With a penchant for suffering season-ending injuries and season-starting suspensions, predicting Bell's fortunes for 2016 is the equivalent of trying to figure out the rationale behind any player missing mandatory drug tests. Who knows, maybe next year we will be forecasting the ascension of the man ranked 41st in team rushing yards (907) and tied for 26th in team rushing touchdowns (11), Deangelo Williams.
Deebo needs to add just three sacks to his 74.5 to leap over another #92, Jason Gildon, for the honor of being recognized as the team's "Sack King". Gildon's total of 77 sacks from 1994-2003 is the mark to beat. Last year, Harrison moved past L.C. Greenwood for second and may win the honor in 2016 with good health and good pressure.
Will Gay is tied for 21st all-time in team interceptions. This wouldn't even be notable if it wasn't for the fact that Gay is tied for first in team history with five career interceptions returned for scores. He needs one to surpass his co-leader, Rod Woodson, for best all-time and to hold that honor on his own. Even though he needs one, this may be a tough record to break. Scores from interceptions don't come in bunches. Case in-point, he had none in the seven seasons before his record-setting year in 2014. Gay's three TDs on INTs that year is the team's single-season standard.