Complete List Of Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterbacks In Order

Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterbacks In Order

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Our Complete List Of Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterbacks In Order presents a list of all starting and backup quarterbacks from the team’s inception.

Johnny “Blood” McNally (1934)

Johnny “Blood” McNally, a legendary figure in early NFL history, played a brief but notable role for the Pittsburgh Steelers, then known as the Pittsburgh Pirates, in 1934. McNally, already famous for his exploits with other teams, brought his charismatic and unorthodox playing style to Pittsburgh. His time as a quarterback for the Pirates was part of a multifaceted career in which he excelled as a halfback and defensive back. McNally’s impact went beyond his on-field performance, as he also served as a coach, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the young franchise.

Warren Heller (1934-1936)

Warren Heller played for the Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers from 1934 to 1936. Heller’s tenure with the team was marked by his dual role as a quarterback and a running back, showcasing the versatile skill set typical of players in that era. He was known for his ability to navigate the evolving style of play in the NFL, adjusting to the increasing focus on the passing game. Heller’s contributions to the team were significant during these formative years, helping to lay the groundwork for the franchise’s future.

Cliff Montgomery (1934)

Cliff Montgomery had a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1934. Though his time with the team was short, Montgomery’s role as a quarterback was part of the early efforts to establish a stable offense. His presence on the roster during the team’s inaugural season was indicative of the challenges faced by early NFL franchises in finding consistent quarterback play. Montgomery’s time in Pittsburgh was a small but integral part of the team’s history.

Armand Niccolai (1934)

Armand Niccolai, primarily known for his role as a kicker and lineman, also played as a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1934. His versatility was a valuable asset during a time when players often took on multiple roles. While Niccolai’s impact at quarterback was limited compared to his contributions in other positions, his ability to step into various roles exemplified the early days of the NFL, where adaptability was key for players and teams alike.

Coley McDonough (1937-1938)

Coley McDonough played quarterback for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the late 1930s. His tenure with the team was marked by the challenges typical of the era, as the franchise was still finding its footing in the league. McDonough’s role as a quarterback was part of the ongoing effort to develop a consistent offensive strategy. His time in Pittsburgh reflected the broader struggles of early NFL teams in establishing a winning formula.

Byron “Whizzer” White (1938)

Byron “Whizzer” White’s time with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1938 was a notable part of his distinguished and multifaceted career. White, who would later become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, showcased his athletic prowess during his brief NFL career. As a quarterback for the Pirates, he demonstrated strong leadership and athletic ability, characteristics that would define his career both on and off the field. White’s tenure in Pittsburgh, though short, was marked by his impact as a talented player in the early days of the franchise.

Parker Hall (1939)

Parker Hall joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1939, bringing with him a notable college football background. His time in Pittsburgh, although brief, was part of a broader NFL career that saw him playing for several teams. As a quarterback, Hall’s style was indicative of the era, focusing on a mix of running and passing plays. His contribution to the team, while not extensive in duration, was part of the ongoing development of the Pirates’ offensive strategies during the late 1930s.

Hugh McCullough (1939)

Hugh McCullough’s stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1939 was a small but integral part of his NFL career. As a quarterback, McCullough faced the typical challenges of the era, navigating a league that was still in its formative years with evolving strategies and styles of play. His time with the Pirates contributed to the team’s early efforts in establishing a competitive squad in the NFL, and while his impact may not have been significant in terms of statistical achievements, it was part of the foundation upon which the franchise continued to build.

Coley McDonough (1940)

Coley McDonough, returning for another stint with the team in 1940, continued to contribute to the Pittsburgh Steelers, as the team was renamed in 1940. His role as a quarterback was marked by the evolving nature of the position in the NFL. McDonough’s experience and knowledge of the game were valuable assets for the Steelers, especially during a time when the league was seeing significant changes in strategies and playstyles.

Dick Riffle (1941-1942)

Dick Riffle, primarily a running back, occasionally stepped in as a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the early 1940s. His versatility was a common trait among players of his era, where specialization was less pronounced than in modern football. Riffle’s contributions at quarterback, while not his primary role, demonstrated the adaptability required of players during this period. His athletic ability helped him in multiple positions, making him a valuable player for the Steelers.

Bill Dudley (1942, 1945-1946)

Bill Dudley, a legendary figure in Steelers history, played for the team in the early to mid-1940s. Though better known for his exceptional skills as a running back and defensive back, Dudley also played quarterback. His versatility and athleticism were crucial for the Steelers, particularly during a time when roster depth was affected by World War II. Dudley’s impact on the team was profound, earning him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Roy Zimmerman (1943)

Roy Zimmerman, known for his time with several NFL teams, played for the Steagles, a temporary merger between the Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles, during the 1943 season. Zimmerman’s role as a quarterback was part of a unique arrangement in NFL history, brought about by player shortages during World War II. His experience and passing ability were important for the Steagles, helping the team navigate this unusual and challenging season.

Frank Filchock (1945)

Frank Filchock joined the Steelers in 1945, bringing with him a wealth of experience from his time with other NFL teams. As a quarterback, Filchock’s leadership and knowledge of the game were valuable assets for a Steelers team that was still developing its identity in the league. His tenure with the Steelers, while not lengthy, was an important part of his NFL career.

Johnny Clement (1946-1948)

Johnny Clement played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the late 1940s, primarily as a halfback but also contributing as a quarterback. His dual-role was indicative of the playing style of the era, where players often took on multiple responsibilities on the field. Clement’s time as a quarterback was part of a broader contribution to the Steelers, where his versatility and athletic ability were significant in the team’s efforts during this period.

Jim Finks (1949-1955)

Jim Finks, who would later become renowned as an NFL executive, played quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1949 to 1955. His tenure as a player was marked by a keen understanding of the game and leadership qualities that would later define his executive career. Finks’ role as the

quarterback was crucial during a period of rebuilding and development for the Steelers. His ability to lead the offense, coupled with his football intelligence, helped shape the team’s strategies during his time under center. Finks’ contributions went beyond the field, as his understanding of the game played a significant role in his transition to a successful career in NFL management.

Ted Marchibroda (1953-1955)

Ted Marchibroda, later known for his coaching career, served as a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the mid-1950s. His time with the Steelers provided him with valuable playing experience, which he would later apply in his coaching roles. As a quarterback, Marchibroda’s understanding of the game and leadership skills were evident, even though his tenure with the team did not yield significant success. His years in Pittsburgh laid the groundwork for what would become a notable career in coaching, including head coaching roles in the NFL.

Earl Morrall (1957-1958)

Earl Morrall joined the Steelers in 1957 and played for two seasons. Although his time in Pittsburgh was relatively short, Morrall’s experience with the Steelers was a stepping stone in what would become a lengthy and successful NFL career. Known for his resilience and adaptability, Morrall’s role with the Steelers involved both starting and backup duties. His tenure in Pittsburgh was part of his journey through the NFL, where he would later achieve significant success with other teams.

Bobby Layne (1958-1962)

Bobby Layne, a legendary figure in NFL history, was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1958. Layne’s arrival brought a winning mentality and leadership to a team that had struggled for consistency. Known for his toughness and competitive spirit, Layne’s tenure with the Steelers marked a significant period in the team’s history. Although the team did not achieve championship success during his time, Layne’s influence was instrumental in changing the culture of the franchise, setting the stage for future successes. His Hall of Fame career is often remembered for his time with the Detroit Lions, but his impact on the Steelers was also significant.

Ed Brown (1962-1964)

Ed Brown joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1962, bringing with him a wealth of experience from his previous years with the Chicago Bears. Brown’s tenure with the Steelers was marked by his veteran leadership and strong arm, characteristics that helped guide the team’s offense during his time as quarterback. Although the Steelers did not achieve significant success during these years, Brown’s presence provided stability at the quarterback position and helped in the development of younger players on the roster.

Bill Nelsen (1963-1967)

Bill Nelsen was a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1963 to 1967. During his time with the team, Nelsen displayed a solid understanding of the game and a capability to lead the offense effectively. His tenure with the Steelers was a period of growth for both him and the team. Nelsen’s contribution to the Steelers set the stage for his later success with the Cleveland Browns, where he became a more prominent figure in the NFL.

Dick Shiner (1968-1969)

Dick Shiner played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the late 1960s. His time as the team’s quarterback was during a challenging period for the franchise, marked by a struggle to find consistency and success. Shiner’s role was characterized by a strong arm and a willingness to take risks on the field. Though the Steelers did not achieve significant success during his tenure, Shiner’s efforts were part of the ongoing process of building a competitive team.

Terry Bradshaw (1970-1983)

Terry Bradshaw, one of the most iconic figures in Steelers history, was drafted first overall in 1970 and became the cornerstone of the team for the next decade and beyond. His early years were marked by growing pains, but he eventually developed into one of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks. Bradshaw led the team to four Super Bowl victories (IX, X, XIII, and XIV), a feat that solidified his place in NFL history. Known for his powerful arm and clutch play in big moments, Bradshaw’s tenure is marked by exceptional leadership and performance, earning him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Joe Gilliam (1972-1975)

Joe Gilliam, also known as “Jefferson Street Joe,” played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1972 to 1975. Gilliam made history when he started the 1974 season as the Steelers’ quarterback, becoming one of the first African American quarterbacks to start in the NFL. Known for his strong arm and quick release, Gilliam showed great promise early in his career. However, his tenure with the Steelers was overshadowed by personal challenges, and he eventually lost the starting position to Terry Bradshaw. Despite the brevity of his time as a starter, Gilliam’s impact went beyond the field, as he broke barriers and paved the way for future generations of African American quarterbacks.

Terry Hanratty (1969-1976)

Terry Hanratty was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 and served as a backup quarterback for much of his tenure, playing behind the legendary Terry Bradshaw. Hanratty’s role with the Steelers was crucial, as he provided reliable depth at the quarterback position. His readiness to step in when needed was tested several times, and he played an important part in the Steelers’ success during the early 1970s, including being a part of multiple Super Bowl-winning teams. Hanratty’s professionalism and ability to support the team in a backup role were valued assets during the Steelers’ dominant years.

Mike Kruczek (1976-1979)

Mike Kruczek joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1976, primarily serving as a backup to Terry Bradshaw. Kruczek’s most notable contribution came in his rookie season when he was called upon to start several games due to Bradshaw’s injury. Impressively, the Steelers won all six games Kruczek started, thanks in part to his efficient play and the team’s strong defense and running game. His time with the Steelers showcased his ability to manage games effectively and maintain team performance in critical moments.

Cliff Stoudt (1977-1983)

Cliff Stoudt was with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1977 to 1983, initially serving as a backup to Terry Bradshaw. Stoudt’s most significant playing time came in the 1983 season, where he took over as the starting quarterback following Bradshaw’s retirement. His tenure as a starter was met with mixed results. While Stoudt had some success, he also faced criticism and pressure from fans and media, especially given the challenge of following a legend like Bradshaw. Despite the difficulties, Stoudt’s contributions during this transitional period for the Steelers were important as the team navigated life after Bradshaw.

Mark Malone (1980-1987)

Mark Malone was drafted by the Steelers in 1980 and eventually became the team’s starting quarterback in the mid-1980s, following the departure of Terry Bradshaw. Malone’s tenure with the Steelers was a period of both challenge and transition for the franchise. He was known for his strong arm and athletic ability, but consistency was an issue throughout his time as a starter. Despite leading the Steelers to the playoffs in 1984, Malone’s years in Pittsburgh were marked by ups and downs, reflecting the team’s overall state during that era.

David Woodley (1984-1985)

David Woodley, known for his time with the Miami Dolphins including a Super Bowl appearance, joined the Steelers in 1984. His tenure with Pittsburgh was relatively brief, and he shared the starting quarterback role with Mark Malone during his time with the team. Woodley’s career with the Steelers was marked by moderate success, but he struggled to replicate the achievements he had with the Dolphins. His time in Pittsburgh was part of the team’s ongoing efforts to find a long-term successor to Terry Bradshaw.

Bubby Brister (1986-1992)

Bubby Brister joined the Steelers in 1986 and became the team’s primary starting quarterback towards the end of the 1980s and into the early 1990s. Brister was known for his toughness and competitive spirit, often playing through injuries and challenging situations. While the Steelers experienced mixed results during his tenure, Brister’s grit and determination endeared him to fans and teammates alike. His time in Pittsburgh was characterized by a hard-nosed style of play, fitting the blue-collar image of the city and the team.

Neil O’Donnell (1990-1995)

Neil O’Donnell became the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the early 1990s, taking over the reins from Bubby Brister. O’Donnell is perhaps best known for leading the Steelers to Super Bowl XXX, where they faced the Dallas Cowboys. During his tenure with the team, he was recognized for his efficient and controlled style of play. O’Donnell’s ability to manage games and minimize mistakes helped the Steelers remain competitive during this period. His departure from Pittsburgh following the Super Bowl loss marked the end of a significant era for the Steelers’ offense.

Mike Tomczak (1993-1999)

Mike Tomczak, who had played for several NFL teams including the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, joined the Steelers in 1993. Initially serving as a backup, Tomczak eventually took over as the starting quarterback after Neil O’Donnell’s departure. Known for his veteran leadership and experience, Tomczak helped guide the Steelers through a transitional phase. While his tenure as the starter had its ups and downs, his contributions were vital in maintaining stability at the quarterback position during the mid to late 1990s.

Jim Miller (1994-1996)

Jim Miller played for the Steelers primarily as a backup quarterback during the mid-1990s. His time in Pittsburgh was marked by limited playing opportunities, as he was positioned behind established quarterbacks like Neil O’Donnell and Mike Tomczak. Miller’s role with the Steelers, though not prominent, was part of his early career development which eventually led to a starting role with other NFL teams later in his career.

Kordell Stewart (1995-2002)

Kordell Stewart, also known as “Slash” in his early years for his versatility, became a prominent figure for the Steelers in the late 1990s. Stewart was initially utilized as a multi-position player, contributing as a receiver, running back, and quarterback. Eventually, he settled into the quarterback role and became the team’s starter. Stewart’s athleticism and dynamic playmaking ability brought a new dimension to the Steelers’ offense. His tenure as the starting quarterback had moments of brilliance but was also marked by inconsistency. Despite the ups and downs, Stewart’s time with the Steelers was a significant chapter in the team’s history, as he helped lead them to several playoff appearances.

Kent Graham (2000-2001)

Kent Graham joined the Steelers in 2000, primarily serving as a backup quarterback. Graham’s role was to provide experienced depth behind starter Kordell Stewart. His playing time with the Steelers was limited, and his contributions were mainly in a supporting role. Graham’s tenure in Pittsburgh was part of his journeyman career throughout the NFL, where he played for several teams in a backup capacity.

Kordell Stewart (1995-2002)

Kordell Stewart continued his role as the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers into the early 2000s. His dynamic playstyle, which earned him the nickname “Slash” in his earlier years, made him a unique threat on offense. However, inconsistency in his performances led to fluctuating success during this period. Stewart’s tenure with the Steelers concluded in 2002, marking the end of a memorable and distinctive era for the team at the quarterback position.

Tommy Maddox (2001-2005)

Tommy Maddox, after a varied career including time in the XFL, rejuvenated his NFL career with the Steelers in 2001. Maddox took over as the starting quarterback in 2002, a role he held for parts of the next three seasons. His tenure was highlighted by a remarkable comeback story and an AFC North title in 2002. Maddox was known for his strong arm and ability to lead the offense, though injuries and inconsistencies eventually led to him being replaced as the starter.

Ben Roethlisberger (2004-2021)

Ben Roethlisberger was drafted by the Steelers in 2004 and quickly became the franchise quarterback. Roethlisberger had an immediate impact, leading the Steelers to a 15-1 record in his rookie season and winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He is best known for helping lead the team to two Super Bowl victories (XL and XLIII). Roethlisberger’s playing style, characterized by his ability to extend plays and physicality, has made him one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history.

Charlie Batch (2002-2012)

Charlie Batch, a Pittsburgh native, served as a backup quarterback for the Steelers from 2002 to 2012. Originally drafted by the Detroit Lions, Batch’s role with the Steelers was primarily as a reliable and experienced backup to Ben Roethlisberger. His knowledge of the game and leadership qualities were valuable assets to the team, particularly in mentoring younger players and stepping in effectively when called upon due to injuries or other circumstances.

Byron Leftwich (2008-2012)

Byron Leftwich had two stints with the Steelers (2008-2009 and 2010-2012), primarily serving as a backup quarterback. Known for his strong arm, Leftwich was a capable backup who could step into the starting role when needed. His time in Pittsburgh was marked by sporadic starts in relief of Roethlisberger, and he provided veteran leadership and stability to the quarterback position during his tenure with the team.

Michael Vick (2015)

Michael Vick, a veteran quarterback with a storied career, joined the Steelers in 2015 as a backup. Vick’s time in Pittsburgh was brief, but he provided depth and experience behind Roethlisberger. Although past the prime of his career, Vick’s athleticism and playmaking ability were still

evident in the limited action he saw on the field. His signing with the Steelers was seen as a move to bolster the team’s quarterback depth with a seasoned player who could step in if needed.

Mason Rudolph (2018-present)

Mason Rudolph was drafted by the Steelers in 2018 and has served as a backup to Ben Roethlisberger. Rudolph has seen playing time in various games, particularly when Roethlisberger was out due to injury. His performances have been a mix of promising moments and learning experiences, typical of a young quarterback in the NFL. Rudolph’s development and potential future as a starter for the Steelers or another team in the league are closely watched, as he represents a possible quarterback of the future for the franchise.

Devlin “Duck” Hodges (2019)

Devlin “Duck” Hodges, an undrafted rookie, became a surprising addition to the Steelers’ quarterback lineup in 2019. He earned the nickname “Duck” from his champion duck calling skills. Hodges stepped in as a starter for several games due to injuries to Roethlisberger and Rudolph. His tenure as a starter was marked by a mix of plucky performances and rookie challenges. Hodges’ story was one of the more intriguing narratives for the Steelers, showing the unpredictable nature of the NFL and how opportunity can arise unexpectedly.

Dwayne Haskins (2021)

Dwayne Haskins, a former first-round pick by the Washington Football Team, joined the Steelers in 2021. He passed away in 2022.

Kenny Pickett (2022-present)

Kenny Pickett, drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022, stepped into a significant role in his rookie season. Starting 12 games in the 2022 season, Pickett showed promise and potential as a future leader of the franchise. His ability to adapt to the NFL and handle the pressures of being a starting quarterback was closely observed. Pickett’s performances in his first year were a mix of rookie learning experiences and moments of clear talent, setting the stage for his continued development and potential as the Steelers’ franchise quarterback.

Mitchell Trubisky (2022-2023)

Mitchell Trubisky, a former first-round pick by the Chicago Bears, joined the Steelers in 2022. Trubisky started 5 games in the 2022 season and 2 games in 2023, playing a role in the team’s quarterback transition post-Ben Roethlisberger. His experience and mobility were seen as assets to the Steelers’ quarterback room. Trubisky’s tenure with the team was marked by a mentorship role to younger quarterbacks like Kenny Pickett, while also providing depth and experience to the position. His time in Pittsburgh represented an opportunity for him to contribute to a new team and demonstrate his capabilities as a quarterback in the NFL.

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