Remembering the Pittsburgh Steelers and Their 1-10 Stretch From 1999-2000

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1999: The 1–7 Collapse Begins With Phil Dawson

After they started the 1999 season with a 5-3 record, Pittsburgh’s nose-dive began the moment they lost on a last second field goal to the Cleveland Browns at Three Rivers Stadium. When Phil Dawson’s (yes, the same Phil Dawson who is still in the league) 39 yard kick split the uprights and dropped the Steelers to 5-4, the sagging began immediately afterwards.

The Steelers proceeded to drop six of their final seven games after they lost to the expansion Browns, and the team looked lost, undisciplined, and rudderless.

The thing I will always remember about the Steelers’ 1-7 end to the 1999 season was how quarterback Kordell Stewart played so poorly that he was benched in favor of Mike Tomczak midway through that stretch. In fact, Stewart was moved back to the wide receiver position and was not even allowed to even play quarterback after he was yanked during Pittsburgh’s Week 12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Outside of their “snow bowl” 30-20 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 16, Pittsburgh looked absolutely atrocious and out of sync over their final seven games, turned the ball over 16 times, and looked primed for another disaster season in 2000 after numbers of big changes were made during the offseason.

Long-time “director of football operations” Tom Donahoe was fired, and Kevin Colbert, the then-Pro Scouting Director of the Detroit Lions was tabbed to replace him. The team lost arguably their best defensive player from that season, Orpheus Roye, to free agency. And ultimately disenchanted with Stewart, the Steelers inked Kent Graham before the 2000 campaign to right the ship at the quarterback position.

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Topics: Aaron Smith, Alan Faneca, Deshea Townsend, Hines Ward, Joey Porter, Kordell Stewart, Mike Tomczak, Pittsburgh Steelers

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  • Carl Eagan

    I really think Colbert is over-rated. My reasoning is that when Donahoe was fire Cowher was given control over player personnel and he drafted his own players and it was Colbert’s job to figure out how to sign them. Who have the team of Colbert and Tomlin drafted maybe Woodley and he does have 3 sacks this year but invisible the rest of the games. Timmon’s ? They trust a rookie over him to make the defensive play calls must be a reason. How about Gilbert and Adams? Nope they aren’t better than a 6th round pick who was an afterthough meant to be a camp body. Wallace? He was ok if Ben hit him in the hands. Lewis one year wonder so far. Of course this years draft class and DeCastro may turn out to be really good time will tell. Point is Colbert has had many more misses than hits.

    • Stanley Turner

      I agree, Colbert’s draft picks have been horrible. Time for a change!!

      • Dom DiTolla

        While Colbert has been missing more than hitting in recent years, the point of this post was to illustrate how instrumental he was in this franchise’s resurgence.

        How much longer he lasts, i have no idea. But kudos needs to go to him for what he has done. Plus, did a terrific job as Detroit’s head scout when they had some solid years in the 1990′s.

        • Stanley Turner

          Dom you are right, just frustrated over my beloved Steelers. I grateful for all he has done for the Steelers. However it is time for a new set of eyes when it comes to drafting personal

          • Dom DiTolla

            Hey man, I completely understand, everybody’s salty at what’s transpired in Pittsburgh lately.

            Drafts in recent years have been pretty lean, but that sometimes happens to teams when they’re picking in the bottom of every round. Plus, younger players sometimes can’t develop as quickly or efficiently if they’re stuck on the bench for three years either.

            I’m sure Colbert is professional enough to leave on his own terms when the time comes. I just hope that they can replace him when the time eventually comes with somebody just as terrific.

    • Nine

      I wouldn’t consider Wallace to be a miss. How about Antonio Brown? Definitely not a miss. Jarvis Jones? Wheaton? LeVeon? I think this last class was stellar. Markice Pouncey? If you think he’s a miss, the entire NFL disagrees with you because he’s a pro bowler every year.

      You keep twisting the facts to make your point. Sad.

  • Ramesh

    thanks for that. Steeler fans for the most part are in it for the long haul, we always talk about our six rings but sometimes we need a reminder that it hasn’t always been sunshine and roses

  • Carl Eagan

    nine if you believe Wallace to be a hit you really didn’t pay much attention the ladt 2 years. As for Pouncey he is very over rated and was graded less than averahe by pro football focus.

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