Pittsburgh Steelers’ All-Time Receiving Yardage Leaders
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been around in the NFL since 1933, when they entered the league as the Pittsburgh Pirates. And the team has a rich history of winning, including a record 6 Super Bowl victories in 7 tries. They have done it mostly with solid defense and a strong running game, but the Steelers have also been a very effective, if not flashy, passing team as well. Here is a list of Pittsburgh’s all-time Top 10 in receiving yards:
Hines Ward (9780)—Hines Ward has played his entire career in Pittsburgh, from 1998 until now, and has quietly climbed his way to the top of this list, leading the Steelers all-time with 9780 receiving yards. Ward made the Pro Bowl four straight seasons from 2001-04 and helped the Steelers win titles in 2005 and 2008. Ward’s best season so far was 2002, when he had career highs in catches (112), receiving yards (1329) and touchdown receptions (12). He also carried the ball 12 times for 142 yards that season.
John Stallworth (8723)—John Stallworth played his entire career in Pittsburgh, from 1974 to 1987, but always seemed to be in the shadow of Lynn Swann. Stallworth only started every game in a season six times, but was very effective when on the field, and ranks second in Steelers’ history with 8723 receiving yards. Stallworth was a four-time Pro Bowler, including first team All Pro in 1979. But his best season overall was 1984, with career best numbers in receptions (80), receiving yards (1395) and touchdown catches (11).
Louis Lipps (6018)—Louis Lipps played most of his career in Pittsburgh, from 1984 to 1991. Lipps ranks third in franchise history with 6018 receiving yards and he made the Pro Bowl his first two seasons. 1985 was one of those seasons and Lipps’ best, with 59 catches for 1134 yards and 12 touchdowns, all career highs. He also carried the ball twice for 16 yards and one more TD.
Lynn Swann (5462)—Hall of FamerLynn Swann played his entire illustrious career in Pittsburgh, from 1974 to 1982, and helped the Steelers win four Super Bowls with Terry Bradshaw as his quarterback. Swann was flashy and graceful, but surprisingly he is only fourth all-time in Steelers’ history with 5462 receiving yards. Swann also only made the Pro Bowl three times, once as first team All Pro. His best season was 1978, with career best numbers in receptions (61), yards (880) and receiving touchdowns (11).
Elbie Nickel (5131)—Elbie Nickel played his entire career in Pittsburgh, from 1947 to 1957, and ranks fifth in team history with 5131 receiving yards. He made the Pro Bowl three times and Nickel’s best season was 1953, with 55 catches for a career high 884 yards and 9 TDs (also career best).
Buddy Dial (4723)—Buddy Dial played the first five seasons of his career in Pittsburgh, from 1959 to 1963, and ranks sixth in franchise history with 4723 receiving yards. Dial made the Pro Bowl twice and one of those seasons, 1963, was his best, with career highs in receptions (60) and receiving yards (1295) with 9 touchdowns.
Plaxico Burress (4164)—It’s hard to believe Plaxico Burress had a career before he signed with the New York Giants in 2005, but he did, playing in Pittsburgh his first five NFL seasons, from 2000 to 2004. Burress ranks seventh in team history with 4164 receiving yards and had his best statistical season in a Steelers’ uniform in 2002. That year, Burress caught 78 passes for 1325 yards (both career highs) and 7 touchdown catches.
Ray Mathews (3919)—Ray Mathews played most of his career in Pittsburgh, from 1951 to 1959 and ranks eighth in Steelers’ history with 3919 receiving yards. Mathews made the Pro Bowl twice and his best season was 1955, when he caught 42 passes for career highs in receiving yards (762) and receiving TDs (6). He also rushed 57 times for 187 yards and one more rushing touchdown.
Roy Jefferson (3671)—Roy Jefferson played his first five seasons in Pittsburgh, from 1965 to 1969, and despite that short campaign in the Steel City, ranks ninth in franchise history with 3671 receiving yards. Jefferson made the Pro Bowl in 1968 and 1969, the latter as a first team All Pro. His best season in a Steelers’ uniform was 1969, with career highs in catches (67) and receiving yards (1079) with 9 touchdowns. He also carried the ball four times for 46 yards that season.
Yancey Thigpen (3651)—Yancey Thigpen played most of his career in Pittsburgh, from 1992 to 1997, and ranks tenth in Steelers’ history with 3651 receiving yards. Thigpen made the Pro Bowl twice in a Pittsburgh uniform and one of those was his best overall season, 1997. That year, Thigpen caught 79 passes for a career high 1398 yards and 7 touchdowns (also career best).