Terry Bradshaw, the Steelers 1st-round pick, as well the first pick over-all of the 1970 NFL was one of the highest rated college players that year. From Louisiana Tech, the strong armed passer was on every team’s want list.

Terry Bradshaw Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback, 1970 to 1983
Terry Bradshaw Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback, 1970 to 1983

 But Terry quickly learned the NFL was a much different game than college. He experienced a mistake-laden rookie season that had many Steeler fans doubting the wisdom of high choice. He gave up safeties in each of his first 3 games and even led the NFL with 24 interceptions in 1970. What didn’t help was the perception that he lacked the intelligence to play quarterback at the professional level. The “country hick” persona seemed to dog him during his early days in Pittsburgh. And on top of it all his relationship with head coach Chuck Noll appeared very strained.

 After struggling through his first few seasons Terry Bradshaw began to eliminate the mistakes and focus. His play began to improve. Against the Vikings in Super Bowl IX he threw the game clenching TD – a 4 yard score to Tight End Larry Brown with less than 4 minutes to play. And his supporters have always said it was his scrambling that enabled the Immaculate Reception to happen. In 1975 Bradshaw had his best year to date as the Pittsburgh Steelers won their second Super Bowl and Terry was named to the Pro Bowl. He completed 57.7% of his passes for 2055 yards and 18 touchdowns. But most notably, he only threw 9 interceptions. Against the Cowboys in Super Bowl X he finished with a 122.5 passer rating – 2 passing scores, one a 64-yarder to Lynn Swann.  And again – he threw no interceptions.

 In 1978 he would enjoy his best season ever. Leading the league with 28 touchdown passes he made the NFL All Pro Team and was named the season’s NFL MVP. With Bradshaw under center Pittsburgh won their third Championship with a 35-31 win over the Cowboys in Super Bowl XIV. This time though it was Terry Bradshaw who would be named the game’s MVP with 318 passing yards and 4 touchdowns – one a 75-yard strike to John Stallworth. He finished this game with a 119.2 QB rating.

 Making a third Pro Bowl in 1979 the Steelers repeated again as Champions. Holding off a scrappy LA Rams team in Super Bowl XV as he was named the game’s MVP a second time. That made 4 NFL Title games that Bradshaw led the Steelers too.

 He retired in 1983 as the Steelers All time leading passer in just about every category. Even today he ranks as the Steelers #2 franchise passing leader. After football he began announcing and today is one of sport media’s most recognizable faces. He’s even had successful acting roles. He was named to Hall of Fame in 1989.

Not bad for a country boy from Shreveport.

Image Gallery of Terry Bradshaw, Quarterback 1970-1983

Regular Season Statistics

Career Passing Statistics
Year Age Games Started QB Rec Comp Att Cmp% Yards TD Int Long Y/A Y/G Rate Sacked GWD
1970 22 8 3-5-0 83 218 38.1 1410 6 24♦ 87 6.5 108.5 30.4 25
1971 23 13 5-8-0 203 373 54.4 2259 13 22 49 6.1 161.4 59.7 33 3♦
1972 24 14 11-3-0 147 308 47.7 1887 12 12 78 6.1 134.8 64.1 29 3
1973 25 9 8-1-0 89 180 49.4 1183 10 15 67 6.6 118.3 54.5 24 1
1974 26 7 5-2-0 67 148 45.3 785 7 8 56 5.3 98.1 55.2 10
1975* 27 14 12-2-0 165 286 57.7 2055 18 9 59 7.2 146.8 88.0 31 2
1976 28 8 4-4-0 92 192 47.9 1177 10 9 50 6.1 117.7 65.4 16
1977 29 14 9-5-0 162 314 51.6 2523 17 19 65 8.0♦ 180.2 71.4 26 1
1978*+ 30 16 14-2-0 207 368 56.3 2915 28♦ 20 70 7.9♦ 182.2 84.7 21 2
1979* 31 16 12-4-0 259 472 54.9 3724 26 25 65 7.9 232.8 77.0 24 4
1980 32 15 9-6-0 218 424 51.4 3339 24 22 68 7.9 222.6 75.0 33 4♦
1981 33 14 8-6-0 201 370 54.3 2887 22 14 90 7.8 206.2 83.9 17 2
1982 34 9 6-3-0 127 240 52.9 1768 17♦ 11 74 7.4 196.4 81.4 18 1
1983 35 1 1-0-0 5 8 62.5 77 2 0 24 9.6 77.0 133.9 0
14-Years Steelers 158 107-51-0 2025 3901 51.9 27989 212 210 90 7.2 166.6 70.9 307 23
  • + – All-Pro Selection
  • * – Pro Bowl Selection
  • ♦ – Led the League
Career Rushing Statistics
Year Age Games Started Rushes Yards Y/A Long TD
1970 22 8 32 233 7.3 22 1
1971 23 13 53 247 4.7 39 5
1972 24 14 58 346 6.0 20 7
1973 25 9 34 145 4.3 21 3
1974 26 7 34 224 6.6 34 2
1975* 27 14 35 210 6.0 27 3
1976 28 8 31 219 7.1 17 3
1977 29 14 31 171 5.5 26 3
1978*+ 30 16 32 93 2.9 17 1
1979* 31 16 21 83 4.0 28 0
1980 32 15 36 111 3.1 18 2
1981 33 14 38 162 4.3 16 2
1982 34 9 8 10 1.3 6 0
1983 35 1 1 3 3.0 3 0
14-years Steelers 158 444 2257 5.1 39 32
  • + – All-Pro Selection
  • * – Pro Bowl Selection

Post Season Statistics

Career Playoff Passing Statistics
Year Age Games Started QB Rec Att Comp Cmp% Yards TD TD% Int Long Y/A Y/G Rate Sacked GWD
1972 24 2 1-1 35 16 45.7 255 2 5.7 3 60 7.3 127.5 53.9 4 1
1973 25 1 0-1 25 12 48.0 167 2 8.0 3 26 6.7 167.0 57.0 1
1974 26 3 3-0 50 29 58.0 394 3 6.0 1 35 7.9 131.3 94.9 2 1
1975* 27 3 3-0 57 32 56.1 527 3 5.3 5 64 9.2 175.7 68.4 5 1
1976 28 2 1-1 53 28 52.8 440 3 5.7 1 76 8.3 220.0 91.7 4
1977 29 1 0-1 37 19 51.4 177 1 2.7 3 48 4.8 177.0 40.0 0
1978*+ 30 3 3-0 78 44 56.4 790 8 10.3 4 75 10.1 263.3 104.1 4
1979* 31 3 3-0 82 53 64.6 758 6 7.3 4 73 9.2 252.7 98.5 4 1
1982 34 1 0-1 39 28 71.8 325 2 5.1 2 40 8.3 325.0 92.4 0
19 Career Playoff Games 1 14-5 456 261 57.2 3833 30 6.6 26 76 8.4 201.7 83.0 24 4
  • + – All-Pro Selection
  • * – Pro Bowl Selection
Career Playoff Rushing Statistics
Year Age Games Started Rushes Yards Y/A Long TD
1972 24 2 4 24 6.0 12 0
1973 25 1 3 9 3.0 5 0
1974 26 3 14 82 5.9 18 0
1975* 27 3 9 60 6.7 16 1
1976 28 2 1 4 4.0 4 0
1977 29 1 4 21 5.3 11 1
1978*+ 30 3 11 28 2.5 13 0
1979* 31 3 4 34 8.5 25 0
1982 34 1 2 12 6.0 11 1
19 Career Playoff Games 1 52 274 5.3 25 3
  • + – All-Pro Selection
  • * – Pro Bowl Selection
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/22/2021.

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