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Terry Bradshaw Biography

Terry Bradshaw Biography

By Loot, NFL Handicapper,

Terry Bradshaw was a winner. Every quarterback’s goal is to win the big one and Bradshaw is the at the top of the pile with Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks to win 4 Super Bowls. From 1970 to the present, all football fans have seen Bradshaw week in and week out--first as a legendary QB, then as one of the game’s foremost commentators.

From Shreveport, Louisiana, Bradshaw enrolled at Louisiana Tech, where he became a top prospect. Despite throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in his collegiate career, he was the first choice of the 1970 NFL draft--chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his senior year, he led Louisiana Tech to a 9-2 record and a bowl win. Bradshaw’s rise to the position he would later occupy was filled with its share of bumps along the way.

Bradshaw had an explosive arm, but was plagued with inconsistency in his early years. In his first two seasons, he threw 19 touchdowns, but also had 46 interceptions. In 1972, he steadied a bit and by the mid-70’s, he had begin to fulfill his potential. He had some rocky moments along the way and backup Joe Gilliam even took his starting job away briefly in 1974. It apparently lit a fire under Bradshaw, who stormed through the playoffs that season all the way to the Super Bowl.

Bradshaw had begun to show a flair for the dramatic early in his career. His pass led to the famed “Immaculate Reception” in 1972 and in the playoffs following the 1974 season, he completed a late touchdown pass to Lynn Swann to beat the Raiders in the AFC title game. In Super Bowl IX against Minnesota, he again threw for a critical 4th-quarter touchdown to put the game out of reach and give Pittsburgh its first Super Bowl win.


Bradshaw had a good 1975 season and again led his Steelers through the playoffs to the big game. Bradshaw certainly had some tools on his side of the ball, including a talented O-line and a gaggle of skilled and explosive skill players. With the Steel Curtain defense controlling matters on the other side of the ball, Bradshaw wasn’t counted on solely for the Steelers’ success. Still, it’s hard to imagine Pittsburgh becoming a dynasty during the 70’s without Bradshaw.

Picture of Terry Bradshaw

In Super Bowl X, Bradshaw was again awesome. In a tough game against the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh really needed Bradshaw, who came through in shining colors. Right before being pancaked late in the 4th, he threw a missile to Lynn Swann for a 64-yard touchdown pass--still one of the more memorable plays in modern NFL history.

1976 saw Bradshaw suffer a neck injury, which limited his time and production. The Steelers still made the playoffs, but were bounced by Oakland in the AFC title game. 1977 saw Bradshaw return healthy and although he was at times erratic, the Steelers again made the playoffs, but were again eliminated.

Bradshaw won the league MVP in 1978 with one of his best statistical seasons, where he threw for almost 3000 yards and a league-leading 28 touchdowns. In Super Bowl XIII, they played a rematch with the Dallas Cowboys. It would be an exciting game once again, with Bradshaw setting a Super Bowl record with 318 yards passing and 4 touchdowns. Pittsburgh needed all of it, narrowly defeating the surging Cowboys, 35-31.

Bradshaw didn’t stop there, winning the MVP for the second straight season in 1979 with a robust 3724 passing yards. Again, Bradshaw stormed through the playoffs all the way to the big game. In Super Bowl XIV, they beat the upstart Rams, 31-19, with Bradshaw again going over 300 yards passing. It would be the Steelers’ 4th Super Bowl in 6 years. Terry and his team were now entrenched in football lore as one of the best teams ever. At this point in Bradshaw’s career, his postseason record was an impressive 14-4.

Bradshaw would play until 1983, but his work was essentially done. The Steelers would play only one more playoff game under Bradshaw’s stewardship, but his legacy was secure. Sure, Bradshaw’s stats might not compare well to some quarterbacks before and since. After all, he did throw 210 interceptions to go along with his 212 touchdowns. At the same time, every quarterback is really in this game to hopefully win Super Bowls and when it comes to that--no one was better than Bradshaw.

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