“When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.”
Terry Bradshaw’s above quote in many ways defined his 14-year career as the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback. Selected first overall in the 1970 NFL Draft, the former Louisiana Tech standout was tasked with helping bring life into a franchise that had never won a playoff game. Bradshaw initially struggled to live up to massive expectations before helping deliver the Steelers’ long-awaited playoff win at the end of his third season.
Back-to-back Super Bowl victories shortly followed, but it took a third Super Bowl win for Bradshaw to finally get his due as one of the best quarterbacks of his era. A fourth Super Bowl win a year later not only confirmed that fact, it clinched Bradshaw’s legacy as one of the greats to ever play the sport.
As Bradshaw celebrates his 75th birthday on Saturday, here are five fast facts about the Steelers’ Hall of Fame QB.
1. A Super Bowl-winning play-caller
Bradshaw called the Steelers’ plays throughout his Hall of Fame career, which made him Pittsburgh’s pseudo offensive coordinator during their four Super Bowl wins. Bradshaw is the only quarterback who has won four Super Bowls while calling his own plays.
Instead of filling the sky with footballs, Bradshaw preferred a balanced offense that included a bevy of handoffs to Franco Harris, a Hall of Fame fullback whose 158 rushing yards against the Vikings in Super Bowl IX keyed the Steelers’ first Super Bowl win.
“I loved calling a running game,” Bradshaw told CBS Sports in 2021. “I liked to be smart at the line of scrimmage, get us out of this running play, put us in another running play. Run three in a row, run five in a row! I enjoyed that as a quarterback. For me, that was a challenge. I enjoyed studying those fronts and how to go after them.”
2. Playoff legend
Bradshaw’s 73.7% playoff winning percentage…