In Patrick McCaskey's Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships he covers the ten greatest NFL coaches of all-time. Among the pillars is Chuck Noll who coached the Steelers to four Super Bowls and nine AFC Central Division Championships in 23 years as head coach. In Pillars, we describe some of the key players for these great coaches and we'd thought we'd reproduce some of that for our posts.
Rocky Bleier’s story is one of the most inspiring in the history of the NFL. Bleier was a rookie running back on the Steelers in 1968 and then served in Viet Nam where he was wounded with injuries from a bullet and shrapnel in August of 1969. By all accounts, except Bleier’s, he would never play much of anything again—certainly not professional football. Against all odds, he worked himself back into playing condition and with the support of the Rooney family, he rejoined the team and he was put on injured reserve in 1971 and 1972. Partnered with Franco Harris, Bleier was a major contributor to the critical ground game from 1974 through 1980 that helped power the Steelers to four championships.