New series we’re kicking off to take us throughout the summer. We’ve written about the best players in franchise history and the most underrated on the current edition but we’ve never gone through the list of most underrated position-by-position. Not the best ones to ever wear a Pittsburgh Steelers’ uniform but ones who fans have – and shouldn’t – forgot.
Finishing up the offensive line with the most underrated center.
Jeff Hartings/C – 2001-2006
It’s hard to find an underrated center in Steelers’ lore. That’s the one position along the line the team is famous for. Mike Webster, Dirt Dawson, now Maurkice Pouncey. And I think people still remember Ray Mansfield, who was part of the first two Super Bowls of the 70s. So that’s nearly a top five group right there, spanning much of the team’s history.
Hartings played recently enough to still ring a bell in the mind of many fans but he’s an easy name to forget. The Steelers’ mid-2000s line is still led by Alan Faneca, who should be elected into the Hall of Fame next August. And Pouncey almost immediately replaced Hartings, capturing the headlines right away.
He was one of Kevin Colbert’s first free agents signing. And still one of his best, though even that’s arguably been forgotten over time. Hartings, a Penn State alum, was the 23rd overall pick of the 1996 draft, scooped up by the Lions. Colbert was familiar with him and is the reason why so many names we’ve profiled or mentioned came from Detroit; he served as the director of scouting for a decade there. Charlie Batch, Clint Kriewaldt, Chidi Iwuoma, all ex-Lions.
Colbert and the Steelers…
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