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Current players reflect on Chuck Noll's legacy

Posted Jun 16, 2014

Current Steelers' players might not have ever met Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Noll, but they respect his legacy and know what he meant to the organization.

They walk by them every time they are in the team’s practice facility. It’s a part of the team’s history and tradition. Six shiny Lombardi Trophies, one representing each Super Bowl the team has won.

Four of those trophies came during an unparalleled run in the 1970s, when Coach Chuck Noll was the mastermind behind the team’s success.

And today’s Steelers get it. They understand the legacy that came before them. And the man who built that legacy.

Those that play now never met Coach Chuck Noll. They never experienced his greatness first hand. But they embrace what he meant to the Steelers organization, what he meant to his players and what wearing the Steelers emblem and carrying on the winning legacy he began means.  

Kelvin Beachum
To be able to win that many Super Bowls in the time frame he did so, he left an incredible mark on the Steelers organization. Not only the Steelers organization, but the NFL we have today. I have had a chance to speak with many different players during that time period, Mel Blount, Joe Greene, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, Jon Kolb, all of those men talked about the time they had with Coach Noll and how impactful he was in their lives. That speaks volumes of who he was and what he stood for. It makes me feel proud and it shows me where I need to be. What the Steelers did in that time was make history. When I leave the Steelers organization I want to be one of those players that made history. When you win a Super Bowl you are making history, when you win multiple Super Bowls you are making more history. When you win as many as they did during those years, you are legendary. To walk through the hallways, see his picture and the trophies, it makes me hungry. It makes me want more.

Robert Golden
Just to be a part of this organization, to have the most Super Bowl trophies and to know he brought four of them here. He set the standard and it’s our job to continue the legacy he started here and our plan is to go out there and do that. Whenever you put on the black and gold, the Steelers have been a tradition for years and you want to go out there and represent the standard Coach Noll set.

Bruce Gradkowski
The Steelers are what the Steelers are because of Coach Noll and the Rooney family and what they built here. He put the Steelers on the map. When you think of the great organization the Steelers are today you think of Coach Noll. If you are a football guy, a football fan, you know what Coach Noll has done for this game and you have to respect that. That is why everyone around the league holds him dear in their hearts. Football lost a great man.  

Cam Heyward
To look at what Coach Noll has done, he is “The Emperor.” He won four Super Bowls. He is in the same breath as Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry. To see what he did, he set the standard. I hope guys never forget why the Steelers are so good. He was responsible for Joe Greene, having John Stallworth. Looking back and having guys like that and knowing they are why the Steelers are the way they are today, it’s pretty mind-blowing and humbling at the same time.

To say you have won a Super Bowl is unbelievable. I recall he used to say we didn’t play our best football yet, we can still get better. Then they came out and won the next Super Bowl. It’s unreal. Everybody can take a page from him and understand he always strived for more. In the business today you can’t even fathom having four Super Bowls.

Jarvis Jones
Just to be a part of this organization, the winning ways Coach Noll established, is a blessing. I was so glad to get drafted here because so many great players have been hand-picked to wear this uniform. So many great people have been a part of it like Coach Noll. So much history comes with it. To get those six Super Bowls, and the four he won, it gives me great pride to put on my uniform and play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. We are all about winning Super Bowls, and that was something he started. It’s so meaningful to each individual here. You have to always come here with your hard hat on ready to stick your hand in the pile to make the team better.

Sean Spence

Coach Noll from what I hear was a great leader. He was known for putting the Steelers on the map. He left a great legacy behind that we can always follow and look to for inspiration. This is the best organization in the NFL. Everything is first class, everything is family. Coach Noll represented that.  

Ike Taylor
Four Super Bowl rings. Amazing. You talk about the defense he had here, the “Steel Curtain.” All they did was intimidate teams. They intimidated and showed it on the field and that all came under Coach Noll. He is a Hall of Fame coach who looked like he didn’t say much, but when he said something everybody listened to him. Coach (Mike) Tomlin always talks about setting the standard, as an organization and a head coach he set the standard for football in general.

Shamarko Thomas
He won four Super Bowls in six years. Those things just don’t happen in this industry. That shows how he built the family here and the amazing story of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s an honor and blessing to be able to wear this uniform, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. When I got drafted, knowing a little bit of the history about the Steelers and him, it was an honor to be drafted by the team. It’s rewarding to play for the Steelers and the foundation he set.

Lawrence Timmons
He set the tone for what we know as the Steelers today. He was the catalyst for what we love today. That speaks volumes. He is what you think of when you think of Pittsburgh.

Greg Warren
We didn’t know him, but when we hear his name what I think of is a winner. That is what he instilled in the Steelers, a winning attitude and atmosphere. I think that’s something that he left for us to continue, that winning attitude and know we are not here just to play or win a few games, we are here to win it all. That’s what we set out to do every year. He left a legacy that will be hard to match but we will all keep reaching for. That is our goal.

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