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Monday, August 18, 2008
Pittsburgh Steelers: Franchise player

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

 
 Focus On Sport/Getty Images
 Terry Bradshaw is a two-time Super Bowl MVP.

Readers' pick: Terry Bradshaw, QB

Terry Bradshaw certainly is the greatest quarterback in Pittsburgh Steelers history.

But the "Blonde Bomber" is not the greatest overall player in the franchise's history.

The top four players -- Bradshaw, defensive lineman Joe Greene, linebacker Jack Lambert and running back Franco Harris -- are solid choices by Steelers fans. But the ordering is off.

Bradshaw was a winner in every sense of the word, and he was at his best in big games. But Bradshaw's career numbers are not as overwhelming as one would think.

Bradshaw only completed 51.9 percent of his passes in 14 seasons. He had five years of 20 interceptions or more, including his rookie year when Bradshaw threw six touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

Overall Bradshaw has just two more touchdowns (212) during his career than interceptions (210). There were many seasons when Bradshaw was merely an average -- and at times below average -- quarterback.

Green, Lambert and Harris played at a higher level for more seasons than Bradshaw, and that trio deserved much higher consideration.

The glamour position of quarterback often gets most of the credit for winning championships, and this particular voting reeks of a popularity contest.