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Pittsburgh Steelers’ All-Time Rushing Yardage Leaders

Updated on December 3, 2008

Franco Harris

Jerome Bettis

Willie Parker

Jerome Bettis Video

The Steelers are one of those Northeast teams that always builds itself around defense and a strong ground game.  So it should be no surprise that some of the running backs the team has fielded over the years have been some of the greatest in NFL history.  Here is a look at the Steelers’ all-time leaders in rushing yards:

Franco Harris (11,950)—Franco Harris played on those great Steelers teams of the ‘70’s that went to and won the Super Bowl several times.  He and QB Terry Bradshaw, along with WR Lynn Swann and the “steel curtain” defense led the way to those titles.  Harris played for the Steelers from 1972 to 1983, and is their all-time leader in rushing yardage with 11,950.  Harris was a nine-time Pro Bowler and had a career high 1246 yards in 1975.  But his best overall season was 1976, when Harris rushed for 1128 yards and 14 touchdowns (career best). 


Jerome Bettis (10,571)—Jerome “The Bus” Bettis played for Pittsburgh from 1996 to 2005 and retired after leading the Steelers to a Super Bowl title.  Bettis is better known for his short yardage and goal line prowess, but he still ranks second in Steelers’ history with 10,571 rushing yards.  Bettis’ best season was 1997, when he rushed for a career high 1665 yards with 7 rushing TDs, and also had 110 receiving yards with 2 more TDs.

Bettis’ career high in rushing touchdowns was 13, in 2004. 


Willie Parker (4770)—Willie Parker is currently the Steelers’ starting RB, and has been with the team since 2004.  Parker already ranks third in team history with 4770 rushing yards, though he has battled injuries a lot already.  Parker’s best season for Pittsburgh was 2006, the year after Bettis retired, when he rushed for 1494 yards with 13 touchdowns, adding another 222 yards and 3 TDs out of the backfield.


John Henry Johnson (4381)—John Henry Johnson played for four different NFL teams, but was with the Steelers the longest, from 1960 to 1965.  Johnson ranks fourth in franchise history with 4381 rushing yards.  His best season was 1964, when Johnson went to the Pro Bowl by rushing for 1141 yards and 7 TDs, and added another 226 yards and 2 touchdowns as a receiver.


Frank Pollard (3989)—Frank Pollard played his entire career in Pittsburgh, from 1980 to 1988.  Pollard ranks fifth in Steelers’ history with 3989 rushing yards, and his best season was 1985.  That year, he rushed for a career best 985 yards with 3 touchdowns, adding another 250 yards as a receiver.


Dick Hoak (3965)—Dick Hoak also played his whole career for the Steelers, from 1961 to 1970.  Hoak rushed for 3965 yards, which ranks him sixth in team history.  His best season was 1968 when Hoak rushed for 858 yards with 3 TDs, and added another 253 yards and 1 TD out of the backfield.


Barry Foster (3943)—Barry Foster played a few short seasons, from 1990 to 1994, all with the Steelers, and ranks seventh in their history with 3943 rushing yards.  Foster had his best season in 1992, when he was first team All-Pro with career best numbers in rushing yards (1690) and TDs (11), adding 344 yards as a receiver.


Rocky Bleier (3865)—Rocky Bleier was generally the “other” running back, the one who complemented and relieved Franco Harris.  Bleier was with the Steelers from 1968 to 1980, and does rank eighth in franchise history with 3865 rushing yards.  In 1976, Bleier piled up career highs in rushing yards (1036) and TDs (5) as well as receiving yards (294).


Walter Abercrombie (3343)—Walter Abercrombie was with the Steelers for most of his career, from 1982 to 1987.  He ranks ninth in team history with 3343 rushing yards, and his best season was 1986.  That year, Abercrombie rushed for 877 yards (career high) with 395 receiving yards (also career best) with 8 total touchdowns.


Fran Rogel (3271)—Fullback Fran Rogel was with the Steelers his entire career, from 1950 to 1957.  He ranks tenth in team history with 3271 rushing yards.  Rogel’s best season was 1955, when he rushed for a career high 588 yards and 2 TDs, with 222 receiving yards.


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    • filthyscoundral profile image

      filthyscoundral 8 years ago

      Awesome man!!!!!