STEELERS NATION UNITE: Join for FREE | Login

Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert
  • Hall of Fame 1990
  • Hall of Honor 2017
  • Super Bowl IX
  • Super Bowl X
  • Super Bowl XIII
  • Super Bowl XIV
  • Pro Bowl 1975
  • Pro Bowl 1976
  • Pro Bowl 1977
  • Pro Bowl 1978
  • Pro Bowl 1979
  • Pro Bowl 1980
  • Pro Bowl 1981
  • Pro Bowl 1982
  • Pro Bowl 1983

He was one of the most menacing linebackers ever to play in the NFL, known fondly as "Jack Splat" or "Dracula in Cleats." When opposing players looked across the line, they would see the fierce look in his eyes, the intense glare, the missing teeth, and there were times they didn't want to take the snap.

"We're the Pittsburgh Steelers. We're supposed to be the intimidators," Lambert once said.

And with Lambert leading the charge, they were. Lambert didn't take well to others trying to intimidate, and when it happened, there was a price to pay. In Super Bowl X Cowboys' safety Cliff Harris taunted Roy Gerela, patting him on the head following a missed field goal. Lambert didn't like it, and responded by body slamming Harris to the ground.

Remember this is the guy who said this in regards to protecting quarterbacks: "It might be a good idea to put dresses on all of them. That might help a little bit."

Lambert, the Steelers second-round pick in the legendary 1974 draft class, was special right off the bat, winning the starting middle linebacker job his rookie year and holding on to it for his 11-year career.

He won the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the year that season, and two years later was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year and became known as one of the premier linebackers of his era, with a combination of intelligence, intensity, speed and range.

Lambert was named to nine straight Pro Bowls, was All-Pro eight times, and a team defensive captain for eight years. He played in six AFC Championship games and was a member of the Steelers four Super Bowl winning teams in the 1970s.

Lambert had 28 career interceptions, including a pivotal one late in Super Bowl XIV that secured the win.

Known for his durability, Lambert missed only six games during his first 10 seasons, but his career came to an end after he suffered a serious toe injury in 1984.

And just like he silenced opposing offenses, only Lambert could silence the fans at his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction.

With chants of "Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go" from the Steelers faithful, Lambert told them, "Thank you, let's get this done."

With that, they were silent and Lambert began his speech, thanking those who made a difference in his life and career, including the coaches who meant the most to him. He also talked about what a special place Pittsburgh was and how much he loved playing for the Steelers.

"On the day I retired from pro ball, I made this statement; 'There is not an owner, or a team, or a coaching staff, or people in a city that I would rather have played for in the entire world,'" said Lambert in his speech. "The kindness that Arthur J. Rooney and his family have shown me over the years -- and the kindness that the people of Pittsburgh have shown me over the years -- are the kindnesses that I can never repay. Five years later, I appreciate and stand by these words even more.

"I was so fortunate to have played on some of the greatest teams of all time and arguably the greatest defense ever assembled. And finally, how fortunate I was to play for the Pittsburgh fans... a proud and hard-working people who love their football and their players.

"If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler!"