A tribute that aired in the days after Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris’ death this past December has been nominated for a News & Doc Emmy. On Christmas Eve, ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown aired a piece called “Phil & Franco.” The package followed former Oakland Raiders linebacker Phil Villapiano, as he looked back at the Immaculate Reception, 50 years later. It features an interview with Harris from September 2022. Even though they played on rival teams in the 1970s, the two shared a close friendship all the way up to Harris’ passing. Harris called Villapiano every Dec. 23 to ask him what he was doing on the date in 1972 to playfully remind him of the Immaculate Reception.
🏈 There was a fight at the Cleveland Browns training camp on Sunday. It all started when defensive end Obgo Okoronkwo slapped offensive tackle James Hudson III in the helmet after the play. It appeared that Okoronkwo was playing around as it wasn’t a hard slap and he comically ran away after it, but Hudson took offense to it.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) July 30, 2023
🏈 Newly signed Steelers inside linebacker Kwon Alexander was asked what he remembered from last year’s game against Pittsburgh when he was with the New York Jets, and he said he remembered the big hit he had. The hit he was referencing was on Gunner Olszewski off a jet sweep.
The #Steelers saw plenty of new ILB Kwon Alexander when they played the Jets last season.
Alexander suited up on 59 snaps, his second-most in 2022. Had some nice moments, including this hard-hitting TFL against a Gunner Olszewski jet sweep. pic.twitter.com/p9fF33m122
— Bradley Locker (@Bradley_Locker) July 30, 2023
🏈 Former Steelers offensive tackle and current Arizona Cardinal Kelvin Beachum congratulated James Harrison on being selected to the Steelers’ Hall of Honor Class of 2023. Beachum said Harrison taught him how to take care of his body.
“Congrats to @jharrison9292 on his Hall of Honor induction!! 🏆 One of the fiercest competitors and best leaders on and off the field I’ve shared a locker room with!! Someone who elevated everyone around him 🙌🏾. Learning how to take care of my body started w/ Dr. Harrison 💪🏾,” Beachum tweeted.
Congrats to @jharrison9292 on his Hall of Honor induction!! 🏆 One of the fiercest competitors and best leaders on and off the field I’ve shared a locker room with!! Someone who elevated everyone around him 🙌🏾Learning how to take care of my body started w/ Dr. Harrison 💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/B3IUaCMIZG
— Beachum.eth (@KelvinBeachumJr) July 31, 2023
🏈 NBC Sports’ Peter King listed the three things he learned from Steelers’ training camp, including the lack of controversy, impact of coach Mike Tomlin and Kenny Pickett’s leadership role with the team.
🏈 A new Steelers ’47 Hitch Chamberlin Hat has been released. It can be purchased for $37.95 at the Steelers Pro Shop.
— Blitzburgh (@Blitz_Burgh) July 30, 2023
📅 On this date in 1993, former Steelers head coach Chuck Noll was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. After decades of losing, Noll changed the culture of the Steelers’ franchise and won four Super Bowl titles in a six-year span in the 1970s. Noll coached the Steelers from 1969-1991 and won 209 career games, which remains a team record. During his 23-year tenure, he coached 12 future Hall of Famers, 10 of which played during the Super Steelers era of the 1970s. The Pro Football Hall of Fame will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the enshrinement of the 1993 class this summer. Noll was enshrined along with fellow Super Bowl winning coach Bill Walsh, quarterback Dan Fouts, running back Walter Payton and guard Larry Little.
🎂 Happy Birthday to former Steelers outside linebacker Jason Gildon, born on July 31, 1972 in Altus, Oklahoma. Gildon, who was selected by the Steelers in the third round out of Oklahoma State in 1994, made three Pro Bowls (2000, 2001 and 2002) and was named first-team All-Pro (2001) during his nine seasons in Pittsburgh. Gildon is currently ranked sixth on the Steelers’ all-time career sacks list with 77. Gildon held the record until James Harrison broke it in 2016. In his last season, Gildon was a member of the Buffalo Bills during the 2004 training camp, but he was cut two weeks into camp. Midway through the 2004 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Gildon to their roster, who needed help at defensive end. Gildon contributed 3.0 sacks, including one against the Steelers on Dec. 5, 2004.
🎥 Check out former Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith’s sack against the New York Jets in the 2004 AFC divisional round game. Smith’s lone Pro Bowl nomination came in 2004, when he recorded eight sacks, three forced fumbles and 10 tackles for loss.
— Kyle Chrise (@kylechrise) July 31, 2023
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