The Steelers were the least successful team in the NFL when Noll, who learned many lessons as a guard used by Cleveland's Paul Brown to shuttle in play calls, took over as Pittsburgh's coach in 1969.
A week later, Noll drafted defensive lineman "Mean Joe" Greene of unheralded North Texas State (now North Texas University), the most important single draft pick in Pittsburgh's history.
"No question, Chuck was Joe Greene's advocate," Gordon said. "He had scouted Greene when Chuck was with the Baltimore Colts. At the time, the clamor in Pittsburgh was to draft (quarterback) Terry Hanratty, who was a local guy (from the Pittsburgh suburb of Butler, Pennsylvania) and went to Notre Dame."
"No way," said Noll. "This (Greene) is the guy we're going to draft. We're going to build on the defense."
Noll had the patience to wait on young players' development, but he also had the acumen and luck to select an amazing string of great players, from Terry Bradshaw, Green and Franco Harris to the spectacular 1974 draft of Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster -- four Pro Football Hall of Famers, all from the same draft class.
Read more: http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/index.ssf/2014/06/the_late_chuck_noll_the_former.html
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