Pittsburgh Maulers: Wikis

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Pittsburgh Maulers
Pittsburgh Maulers helmet Pittsburgh Maulers logo

Founded 1983
Folded 1985
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Home field Three Rivers Stadium
League USFL
Division Atlantic Division
Team History Pittsburgh Mauler (1984)
Team Colors Purple, Orange, Gray, White

                   

Head coaches Joe Pendry (2-8)
Ellis Rainsberger (interim) (1-7)
Owner(s) Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr.

The Pittsburgh Maulers competed in the 1984 season of the United States Football League. Their most prominent player was first pick overall in the 1984 USFL draft, running back Mike Rozier of Nebraska, who won the Heisman Trophy, collegiate football's most prestigious individual award.

They were owned by shopping mall magnate Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., the father of Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr., then-owner of the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. The Maulers played at Three Rivers Stadium.

Contents

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1984 Season

No one was surprised when two groups filed for a Pittsburgh franchise in the winter of 1983. DeBartolo, Sr. was one of them--a considerable surprise, given his son's ownership of the 49ers. However, once he did apply, the other owners knew that he would lend the upstart league instant credibility and quickly approved his bid. Unusually, DeBartolo applied for the franchise in his own name rather than setting up a corporation or partnership.

The Maulers were a little undermanned, but not as badly as their 3-15 record indicated. The Maulers were in part victims of what turned out to be a very tough schedule. They played nine games against playoff teams and caught a lot of the other teams when they were hot --- Oklahoma and New Orleans early and San Antonio and Jacksonville late.

The team was built around the idea that Dallas Cowboys long time third-string QB Glenn Carano would be a strong starter in the USFL. To support Carano, the team had RB Mike Rozier and WR Greg Anderson, who caught 63 passes. Carano had his moments but he struggled overall, completing only 53.7% of his passes with 13 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Backup Tom Rozantz was expected to mostly carry a clipboard, but he ended up playing a lot and he struggled as well. However, either would have been a disappointment, as most fans expected the Maulers to pick Steve Young rather than Mike Rozier. Even bringing in former Arizona Wranglers star WR Jackie Flowers did not turn around the offense. Head coach Joe Pendry was fired ten games into the season and he was replaced by offensive line coach Ellis Rainsberger on an interim basis. The defense, led by CB Jerry Holmes and DE Sam Clancy finished a respectable eighth in points allowed. In spite of this, a low-octane offense resulted in the Maulers tying the Washington Federals for the worst record in the league.

1984 Pittsburgh Maulers Roster

1. SALZER, Rich (P/H), 11. BOISTURE, Dave (QB), 14. ROZANTZ, Tom (QB), 18. CARANO, Glenn (QB), 20. LAWRENCE, Amos (RB), 21. PAYTON, Hollis (RB), 22. MILLER, William (RB), 30. ROZIER, Mike (RB), 31. ALBRIGHT, Ira (FB/NT), 32. HOLMAN, Walter (RB), 34. WORKS, George (RB), 43. ELLIS, Tony (FB), 44. COLES, Joel (FB), 46. EASLEY, Walt (FB), 48. JOHNSON, Dennis (FB), 51. McADOO, Howard (LB), 53. McKIBBEN, Mike (LB), 54. CROSBY, Ron (LB), 55. CORREAL, Chuck (C), 56. FREEMAN, Ron (LB), 57. HUTHER, Bruce (LB), 58. HARPER, Jeff (C/LS), 59. UDINSKI, Mark (C/LS), 59. BYROM, Bruce (C/LS), 61. HICKMAN, Donnie (T/G), 64. LUKENS, Joe (OG), 65. BURRIS, Scott (C), 66. HAUSAUER, Ron (OG), 69. CORBIN, Don (OG), 70. FIELDS, Claybon (OT), 72. DOUBIAGO, Dan (OT), 74. THOMAS, Todd (OT), 75. LOHMANN, Jim (OG), 76. MAGGS, Don (OT), 77. CLANCY, Sam (DE), 78. REESE, Archie (DT), 80. ANDERSON, Greg (WR), 81. MARTIN, Ricky (WR), 81. TAYLOR, Jim (WR), 82. FERRANTI, Jimmy (WR), 82. BUTTS, Reggie (WR), 83. RAUGH, Mark (TE), 84. FLOWERS, Jackie (WR), 85. EHLEBRACHT, T.K. (WR), 85. KIMICHIK, Al (TE), 87. SHAW, Mike (TE), 88. POTTS, Shawn (WR), 89. MOY, Sylvester (WR), 89. DIRDEN, Johnnie (WR), 90. THOMAS, Troy (DT), 91. RUSTEMEYER, Mike (DT), 92. SHORT, Laval (DT), 92. McALENEY, Ed (DT), 93. GRIFFIN, Ike (DE), 94. BLACK, James (DE), 95. Schultz, Tom (DT), 97. GRAHAM, David (DT), 99. HOLLIE, Doug (DE)

Vote for a fall schedule kills franchise

Despite losing millions of dollars and only winning three games, the Maulers were competitive in most games and they had reasonable fan support for a first year team. DeBartolo was determined to stick it out, even going as far as hiring Green Bay Packers assistant Hank Bullough as the new coach.

However, just a few days later the USFL announced that they were switching to a fall schedule in 1986. DeBartolo was a strong believer in the USFL's original spring football concept, and he knew he could not hope to compete with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A move to Cleveland, closer to DeBartolo's home in Youngstown, was quickly ruled out; even without the daunting task of competing with the Cleveland Browns to consider, it is not likely that Cleveland fans would have accepted a refugee from Pittsburgh. As a result, just a week after the vote to move to the fall DeBartolo folded the franchise without so much as a press conference.

Single season leaders

Rushing Yards: 792 (1984), Mike Rozier
Receiving Yards: 994 (1984), Greg Anderson
Passing Yards: 2368 (1984), Glenn Carano

Season-by-season

{1984} 3 - 15

References

External links


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