The Pittsburgh Steelers dominated much of the 1970s, particularly the latter half with offensive stars like Terry Bradshaw and Lynn Swann. Younger generations of football fans don’t view these names in the same light as they once were, admittedly. Those who played against them, however, remember just how good they were—and how to play them.

Former Cleveland Browns WR Dave Logan, for example, recently spoke highly of Bradshaw on the Big Al and JoJo Show on KOA Sports. Logan played for the Browns from 1976-1983, yet played one season later for the Broncos. And suddenly he is on Denver airwaves, now talking about his time in Cleveland against the Steelers. He points out that the Browns had special instructions for Bradshaw and Swann.

“Our whole team, from a defensive standpoint… there were two guys with the Steelers that guys would openly talk about during the week”, he said. “If you ever get a shot at Bradshaw, and if you ever get a shot at Swann coming across the middle, we’re gonna knock the taste out of his mouth”.

The Steelers were already winning Super Bowls and Bradshaw and Swann putting up numbers by Logan’s time. While the defense still dominated by 1976, the offense soon assumed the balance of power and helped lead the Steelers to their third and fourth championships. By 1978, you weren’t stopping their passing game—minus the interceptions.

“Terry was a really, really good player”, Logan recalled of the Steelers’ Hall of Fame quarterback. “I don’t know his stats, but I played against him my entire career, twice a year, when I was in Cleveland for a long time. Didn’t really like him, but he was a hell of a good player”.

In 1978 and 1979, Bradshaw went 466-of-840 passing for 6,639 yards with 54 touchdowns to 45 interceptions. He made the Pro Bowl in both seasons and was All-Pro in 1978. In 1977 and 1978, Swann caught 111 passes for 1,669 yards and 18 touchdowns.

And for both Bradshaw and Swann, of course, so much of their reputation rests in their postseason accomplishments for the Steelers. Swann caught 48 passes for 907 yards and 9 touchdowns in postseason play. Bradshaw threw for 3,833 yards with 30 touchdowns and 26 interceptions and four game-winning drives.

So yeah, you’re going to make guys like that taste good a little differently if it means limiting their effectiveness. In that era, Bradshaw and Swann—and John Stallworth, were punishing defenses. Part of the physical approach for Swann, though, was because of his reputation.

“As a former wide receiver, John Stallworth was a better [wide receiver]”, Logan said. “Lynn was very acrobatic. He was a great, great player. But he just had the reputation of being somebody you could affect with physicality. So when you have that reputation, you’re gonna have guys that want to test you”.

In case you’re wondering about Dave Logan, he caught 262 passes for 4,247 yards with 25 touchdowns for the Browns. He caught one pass for three yards for the Broncos. In three postseason games, he caught three passes for 63 yards. And he went 4-12 against the Steelers, though not without a couple good games. His eight catches for 131 yards helped beat the Steelers, 27-26, during the 1980 season. Neither Bradshaw nor Swann played in that game.


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