The 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Defense: The New Steel Curtain

By Adam McCoy

Monsters of the Midway, Purple People Eaters, Legion of Boom, all legendary defensive units that stand out among others in NFL history. But when we talk about great defensive units, one always come to mind at the top of the list, The Steel Curtain.

Born in the 1970’s, the Steel Curtain was the moniker given to the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line made up of Dwight White, Ernie HolmesL.C. Greenwood, and of course legendary “Mean” Joe Greene. This Hall of Fame cast was supported by other players that will forever be recognized in Steelers history, including Mel BlountJack Ham, and Jack Lambert.

So Adam, you may be saying, that is quite a leap to compare today’s team to arguably the best defensive unit that ever stepped foot on a field. You may be right, but as of right now, that unit is on its way to making history.

Of course the Steelers have 3 games left to play this season, but that is an extremely impressive feat, one that will only become more impressive if they can keep it up for the rest of the season.

Like the Steel Curtain, this unit is led by a group of All-Pro, future Hall of Fame players, with a great supporting cast. It would be completely unfair of me to compare some of the current players with those of the past, but let’s take a look at the leaders of this group.

Both TJ Watt and newly acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick are putting together Defensive Player of the Year type seasons, and currently rank 3rd and 5th in current odds to win said award. You have the ageless veterans Joe Haden and Cam Heyward putting up some of the best numbers of their careers, and leading this team by example. Then there’s Devin Bush, leading all rookies in tackles. Easily the most improved player of this defense has been Bud Dupree, who has already crushed his career highs in sacks, forced fumbles, fumble recovers, and tackles.

But all the individual stats aside, the thing that has stood out to me the most this year is the solidarity of this unit. These guys ride for each other, every snap. My favorite thing to watch this year has been the players sprinting to the endzone for a team photo after every turnover, and there have been plenty to watch.

A little tidbit I found interesting that I shamefully didn’t know, the year the Steel Curtain was created, Terry Bradshaw went down early in the year, and the defense carried the Steelers to a Super Bowl victory. We all know history has a tendency to repeat itself, let’s hope that rings true again.

Could this defensive unit go down as one of the best in NFL history? Let us know what you think in the comments!


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One Comment

  1. Julie Galea

    December 12, 2019 at 7:26 am

    Don’t forget Tuitt!!!! What an f’n defence!!!!!!!

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