1989 Pittsburgh Steelers season
OwnerThe Rooney Family
Head coachChuck Noll
General managerDick Haley
Home fieldThree Rivers Stadium
Results
Record9–7
Division place3rd AFC Central
Playoff finishWon Wild Card Playoffs (at Oilers) 26–23
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Broncos) 23–24
Pro Bowlers
AP All-ProsRod Woodson (1st team)
Team MVPLouis Lipps
Team ROYCarnell Lake

The 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 57th season as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League. They were considered a rebuilding team filled with many young players, especially after the release of longtime center Mike Webster in the offseason. The young team showed its inexperience in the first game of the season, when they lost at home to the archrival Cleveland Browns 51–0. The loss marked the Steelers worst defeat in franchise history. The following week wasn't much better, losing 41–10 to another division rival, the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.

However, the Steelers clinched the final playoff spot in the last week in the season with a 9–7 record. Chuck Noll, in his 21st season as the team's head coach, was named the NFL's Coach of the Year for the only time in his coaching career.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Steelers would have a memorable come-from-behind overtime victory over the division-rival Houston Oilers 26–23, which saw Gary Anderson kick a game-winning, 50-yard field goal in the extra period. The following week, the Steelers nearly pulled off a major upset against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium before losing 24–23 on a Melvin Bratton one-yard touchdown run with 2:22 remaining in the game.

Though the Steelers would not make the playoffs again under Chuck Noll (missing in 1990 with an identical 9–7 record and again in 1991 at 7–9 despite a second-place finish that year), the season did set the tone for the team's return to prominence in the 1990s under his successor, Bill Cowher.

Until 2015, it was the last season the Steelers made the playoffs in a season the Super Bowl aired on CBS. Each of the next six such seasons (1991, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012) would see the team missing the playoffs.

Staff

1989 Pittsburgh Steelers staff
Front office
  • President – Daniel M. Rooney
  • Vice President – John R. McGinley
  • Vice President – Arthur J. Rooney, Jr.
  • Director of Communications & Business – Joe Gordon
  • Controller – Ralph Meacham
  • Chief Negotiator – James A. Boston
  • Office Manager – Stadium – Dan Ferens
  • Public Relations Director – Dan Edwards
  • Publicity Director – Pat Hanlon
  • Director of Ticket Sales – Geraldine Glenn
  • Computer Coordinator – Accounting – Jim Ellenberger
  • Director of Player Personnel – Dick Haley
  • Director of Pro Personnel & Development – Tom Donahoe
  • College Scouting Coordinator – Tom Modrak
  • Talent Scout– Bob Schmitz
  • Talent Scout– Max McCartney
  • Talent Scout– Charles Bailey

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Conditioning & Training Coordinator – Jon Kolb
  • Dentist – Dr. George P. Boucek
  • Ophthalmologist – Dr. Phillip Buzzelli
  • Physician, Orthopedic – Dr. Thomas W. Cowan
  • Neurological Surgery Consultant – Dr. Joseph C. Maroon
  • Physician, M.D. – Dr. Richard Rydze
  • Physician, Consultant – Dr. Abraham J.Twerski
  • Physician, M.D. – Dr. Anthony P. Yates
  • Trainer – Ralph Berlin
  • Trainer – Fran Feld
  • Equipment Manager – Anthony Parisi
  • Field Manager – Rodgers Freyvogel
  • Video & Film Director – Bob McCartney
  • Video Assistant – Pat Dolan
  • Photographers – Mike Fabus, Bill Amatucci

[1]

Roster

1989 Pittsburgh Steelers final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad

[2] [3] [4]


Rookies in italics
48 active, 4 inactive, 2 practice squad

Offseason

The offseason was marked with the team deciding not to renew the contract of longtime center Mike Webster. Webster's release marked the end of the Super Bowl-era players on the team. Although Dwayne Woodruff was still with the Steelers and had won a Super Bowl ring during his rookie year, Webster had been the last member on the team that won all four Super Bowls. Webster would be succeeded at center with a young Dermontti Dawson, who was drafted the year before to be groomed as Webster's replacement, and like Webster would go on to an All-Pro career as one of the best at his position.

Meanwhile, the team drafted UCLA safety Carnell Lake in the second round of the 1989 draft. Lake would be a key member of the team's defense through the 1998 season, although his accomplishments would often be underlooked as opposed to his teammate, Rod Woodson.

Preseason

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Game Site Kickoff (ET) TV Result Record
1 Sat. Aug. 12 Washington Redskins Three Rivers Stadium 8:00 p.m. ESPN L 21–14 0–1
2 Sat. Aug. 19 at Cleveland Browns Cleveland Municipal Stadium 7:30 p.m. WTAE W 24–21 1–1
3 Sat. Aug. 26 at Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium 7:30 p.m. WTAE L 38–14 1–2
4 Sat. Sep. 2 at New York Giants Giants Stadium 8:00 p.m. WTAE W 13–10 2–2

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Game Site Kickoff (ET) TV Result Record
1 Sun. Sep. 10 Cleveland Browns Three Rivers Stadium 4:00 p.m. NBC L 51–0 0–1
2 Sun. Sep. 17 at Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium 1:00 p.m. NBC L 41–10 0–2
3 Sun. Sep. 24 Minnesota Vikings Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 p.m. CBS W 27–14 1–2
4 Sun. Oct. 1 at Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome 1:00 p.m. NBC W 23–3 2–2
5 Sun. Oct. 8 Cincinnati Bengals Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 p.m. NBC L 26–16 2–3
6 Sun. Oct. 15 at Cleveland Browns Cleveland Municipal Stadium 4:00 p.m. NBC W 17–7 3–3
7 Sun. Oct. 22 at Houston Oilers Astrodome 1:00 p.m. NBC L 27–0 3–4
8 Sun. Oct. 29 Kansas City Chiefs Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 p.m. NBC W 23–17 4–4
9 Sun. Nov. 5 at Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium 4:00 p.m. NBC L 34–7 4–5
10 Sun. Nov. 12 Chicago Bears Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 p.m. CBS L 20–0 4–6
11 Sun. Nov. 19 San Diego Chargers Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 p.m. NBC W 20–17 5–6
12 Sun. Nov. 26 at Miami Dolphins Joe Robbie Stadium 1:00 p.m. NBC W 34–14 6–6
13 Sun. Dec. 3 Houston Oilers Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 p.m. NBC L 23–16 6–7
14 Sun. Dec. 10 at New York Jets Giants Stadium 1:00 p.m. NBC W 13–0 7–7
15 Sun. Dec. 17 New England Patriots Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 p.m. NBC W 28–10 8–7
16 Sun. Dec. 24 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Stadium 1:00 p.m. NBC W 31–22 9–7

Game summaries

Week 1

See also: 1989 Cleveland Browns season and Browns–Steelers rivalry

Cleveland Browns (0–0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0–0)
1 2 34Total
Browns 17 13 14751
Steelers 0 0 000

at Three Rivers StadiumPittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Steelers and Chuck Noll faced off against their divisional rival Browns and former defensive coordinator Bud Carson in the season opener.

Week 2 (Sunday September 17, 1989): at Cincinnati Bengals

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 0 7 0 10
Bengals 3 17 7 14 41

at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

Scoring Drives:

Week 3 (Sunday September 24, 1989): vs. Minnesota Vikings

1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 7 7 0 0 14
Steelers 7 14 0 6 27

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 4 (Sunday October 1, 1989): at Detroit Lions

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 10 7 6 23
Lions 3 0 0 0 3

at Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan

Scoring Drives:

Week 5 (Sunday October 8, 1989): vs. Cincinnati Bengals

1 2 3 4 Total
Bengals 0 13 0 13 26
Steelers 7 3 3 3 16

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 6 (Sunday October 15, 1989): at Cleveland Browns

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 0 7 7 17
Browns 0 0 0 7 7

at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

Scoring Drives:

Week 7 (Sunday October 22, 1989): at Houston Oilers

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 0 0 0 0
Oilers 7 17 3 0 27

at Astrodome, Houston, Texas

Scoring Drives:

Week 8 (Sunday October 29, 1989): vs. Kansas City Chiefs

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 0 3 14 0 17
Steelers 10 6 7 0 23

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 9 (Sunday November 5, 1989): at Denver Broncos

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 7 0 0 7
Broncos 10 3 7 14 34

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

Scoring Drives:

Week 10 (Sunday November 12, 1989): vs. Chicago Bears

1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 7 13 0 0 20
Steelers 0 0 0 0 0

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 11 (Sunday November 19, 1989): vs. San Diego Chargers

1 2 3 4 Total
Chargers 0 7 10 0 17
Steelers 3 3 7 7 20

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 12 (Sunday November 26, 1989): at Miami Dolphins

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 17 17 0 34
Dolphins 14 0 0 0 14

at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida

Steelers get first ever win against the Dolphins in Miami. This game was played in a driving rain storm.

Scoring Drives:

Week 13 (Sunday December 3, 1989): vs. Houston Oilers

1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 0 14 2 7 23
Steelers 3 7 3 3 16

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 14 (Sunday December 10, 1989): at New York Jets

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 0 0 6 13
Jets 0 0 0 0 0

at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Scoring Drives:

Week 15 (Sunday December 17, 1989): vs. New England Patriots

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 3 0 0 7 10
Steelers 7 7 7 7 28

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 16 (Sunday December 24, 1989): at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 17 7 0 31
Buccaneers 7 3 3 9 22

Scoring Drives:

Standings

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Cleveland Browns(2) 9 6 1 .594 3–3 6–5–1 334 254 W2
Houston Oilers(4) 9 7 0 .563 3–3 6–6 365 412 L2
Pittsburgh Steelers(5) 9 7 0 .563 1–5 6–6 265 326 W3
Cincinnati Bengals 8 8 0 .500 5–1 6–6 404 285 L1

Playoffs

Game summaries

AFC Wild Card Playoff (Sunday December 31, 1989): at Houston Oilers

1 2 3 4OT Total
Steelers 7 3 3 103 26
Oilers 0 6 3 140 23

at Astrodome, Houston, Texas

Scoring Drives:

AFC Divisional Playoff (Sunday January 7, 1990): at Denver Broncos

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 14 3 3 23
Broncos 0 10 7 7 24

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

Scoring Drives:

Awards and honors

References

  1. ^ 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  2. ^ 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  3. ^ 1990 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  4. ^ "1989 Pittsburgh Steelers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-12-24.