10. (1970’s) Honorable Mention Andy Russel and Jack Ham – Sack totals were not an official stat until 1982 so there is no way to know where these two Hall of Famers stand. The fact that they are Steelers legends alone requires they are mentioned whenever discussing great outside linebackers
9. (2103) Jason Worilds and Lamarr Woodley – The Steelers had high hopes for this duo of linebackers. Worilds had a career high 8 sacks in 2013, and seemed to be the heir apparent to James Harrison. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be as Worilds would unexpectedly retire 2 seasons later, and Woodley continued his nose dive that would find him out of the league a few years later. The one good season they managed together was enough for number 10 on the list.
8. (1999) Jason Gildon and Carlos Emmons – 1999 was not the best season for Pittsburgh under coach Bill Cowher. It was however a good one for their outside linebackers. Jason Gilden had 8 sacks on his way to becoming the Steelers all time leader in that category. Carlos Emmons had career best 6 sacks in what turned out to be his final season with the team.
7. (1994) Mike Merriweather and Brian Hinkle – This was Mike Merriweather’s breakout year where he lead the team with a whopping 15 sacks. It was the first of his three all-pro campaigns with the Steelers. Brian Hinkle would chip in with 5.5 sacks and 3 interceptions in his best of 8 seasons in black and gold.
6. (1991) Greg Lloyd and Jerol Williams – This would turn out to be the final run for the legendary Chuck Noll as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Greg Lloyd was establishing himself as one of the best linebackers in the NFL in this his third season. Meanwhile Jerol Williams came out of nowhere with 9 sacks as a pass rush specialist. He would never again come close to that number in seven years in the league.
5. (2005) Clark Haggans and Joey Porter – Joey Porter was known as an excellent pass rusher and he proved it by registering 10.5 sacks. On the other side Clark Haggans dropped opposing QB’s 9 times, making that his personal best. These two would play a big role in the victory of the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.
4. (2000) Joey Porter and Jason Gilden – Both these players would post career highs in sacks in 2000. Jason Gildon had 13.5 sacks, and Porter manages 10.5. Even with all these sacks the team finished 9-7, and missed the playoffs.
3. (1996) Chad Brown and Jason Gilden – In a contract year Chad Brown hit it big with 13 sacks. Playing outside linebacker for the first time with Pittsburgh, Brown flourished. His counterpart Jason Gildon was no slouch with 7 sacks of his own.
2. (1994) Kevin Green and Greg Lloyd – Perhaps the most intimidating sack duo in Steelers history, Green and Lloyd combined for 20 sacks in 1994. It was statistically their best sack season in the three years they played together. The following year the duo would lead the Steelers to thier first Super Bowl appearance since the great 70’s teams.
1. (2008) James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley – The year these two had in 2008 was undoubtedly the best in Steelers history for outside linebackers. Lamarr Woodley had 11.5 sacks and didn’t even lead his team. James Harrison lead the way with an astonishing 16 sacks, on his way to being voted defensive player of the year in the NFL. The year culminated with a victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. Who can forget James Harrison’s 100 yard interception just before halftime. Lamarr Woodley would end the game fittingly with a sack of Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner.