Kordell Stewart Gets Closure Wednesday By Officially Retiring With The Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback Kordell Stewart was in Pittsburgh today and officially announced his retirement from football. Stewart took his last snap under center for the Baltimore Ravens back in 2005 and his retirement today, seven years after his last snap in the NFL, seems to have been an effort by him to get some kind of closure.

The man that was affectionately nicknamed Slash, because of his ability to pass, run and receive, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2nd round (60th overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft out of the University of Colorado. He started just 4 games for the Steelers during his first two years in the league and he became the full-time starter in 1997. He led the Steelers to an 11-5 regular season record that year as he threw for 3,020 yards and 21 touchdowns. In addition to his passing, Stewart rushed 88 times for 476 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Although it wasn\’t pretty, the Steelers beat the New England Patriots in the Divisional round of the playoffs 7-6 to advance to the AFC Championship game against the Denver Broncos in 1997. Stewart went 18-of-36 in the game against the Broncos and that included 3 interceptions and just 1 touchdown pass and the Steelers lost the game 24-21.

Stewart would not lead the Steelers to the playoffs again until 2001, a season that saw him pass for 3,109 yards and just 14 passing touchdowns to go along with 11 interceptions. He chipped in another 537 yards rushing that season on 96 attempts as Pittsburgh went on to compile a 13-3 regular season record. In the playoffs the Steelers beat the Ravens 27-10 in the Divisional round on just 154 yards passing by Stewart. In the subsequent AFC Championship game against the Patriots, Stewart was 24-of-42 passing for 255 yards, but had 3 interceptions as the Patriots went on to win 24-17 and advance to the Super Bowl.

Stewart began the 2002 season as the Steelers starting quarterback, but he was eventually replaced by Tommy Maddox. He was released at the end of the 2002 season. During his time in Pittsburgh he compiled a 46-29 record as a starter and passed for 13,328 yards to go along with 70 touchdown passes and 72 interceptions. He rushed for a total of 2,561 yards while in Pittsburgh and had an additional 35 rushing touchdowns.

In 2003 he played for the Chicago Bears where he started just 7 games. The next two seasons were spent with the Ravens where he did not start and saw very limited playing time.

During his talks with media on Wednesday, Stewart said that he received death threats during his playing days in Pittsburgh, but that he\’s not bitter about it. He also talked about his time with the Bears, where new offensive coordinator Todd Haley was the receivers coach at that time. Stewart said that Haley is a passionate coach that is all about his players, and only them. He thinks that Haley and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will end up working well together.

Following his playing days Stewart has worked as an NFL analyst on ESPN.

  • Ben


  • Alburghto

    can’t get the image out of my mind…that 1997 AFC Championship, final minutes of first half, Steelers driving with Bettis getting about 7 yds per carry, they decide to throw deep on 2nd and short from the 40, Kordell underthrows, interception…first drive of second half, on the 3 yd-line, throws on 2nd down, interception…Broncos did not stop Bettis all day!

  • Jwahl912

    No doubt that Steeler team could have 1 or 2 Superbowl titles! With a Def that had Buckner, Steed, Greene, Kirkland, Lloyd, Brown, Gildon(backup), Lake, and Woodson! Still sick about those AFC championship games! I loved Kordell as a rookie, but he cost us at least 2 good chances at SB titles(IMO).

  • Jprankster2005

    Looks like he’s trying to put his name out there or something……Those were some of the worse yrs. with him here……..

  • kevin

    I do. I thought that Kordell, for all his faults, got a raw deal while in Pittsburgh. Bill Cowher did not know what to do with a guy with his talents and flaws.

  • 8forty

    Thanks for the look back, Slash was thrilling and agonizing, often at the same time.

  • Chris92021

    I can’t lie. Kordell Stewart was one of my favorite players. People can make jokes about him but when he was on, he led the Steelers to two deep playoff runs. Sure, he had meltdowns of epic proportions but he was still our QB. Best wishes to Kordell in his retirement.

  • kevin

    I would blame him for the Denver game but not the Pats game. The Steelers special teams cost them that one. He threw picks on the final two drives when the Steelers were scurrying around trying to come back.

  • David D.

    Couldn’t agree more. Stewart was basically finishing his rookie year at QB and “The Bus” was rolling. Why Chan Gailey insisted on throwing so much just blew my mind. Keep pounding the ball…easy win.

  • Reader783

    I wouldn’t say those were the worst years…I don’t understand why he can’t just retire a Steeler without everyone throwing him under the bus

  • Wdmason

    Wasnt one of the games when New England was stealing our signals? If it wasnt for that, I think Kordell could have won one.

  • kevin

    That didn’t matter for that game. The Pats scored 2 special teams touchdowns. The defense only gave up 10 points.

  • Daveb1952

    Great post. I feel exactly the same way.

  • K_razz2003

    when you give up 2 special teams td’s, especially in the playoffs, you ain’t gonna beat anybody.

  • steelerfan

    No matter what the reasoning someone has for disliking a player, I never hold a grudge against a Steelers player that never did the organization wrong.

    Kordell was our quarterback for 5 seasons. He never planned to fail, as no player does. He played the hand he was dealt, to the best of his ability, and he didn’t leave Pittsburgh with a mouth full of venom (see Faneca).

    I wish him all the best going forward, and when I think back to 1995-2002, I remember the success, and the failures. Each holds a place in my memories, and I’m thankful that I experienced the ups and downs of the era. For me, the success that followed Kordell’s tenure was made sweeter by the tough times, and disappointments when he was there (as well as those of Malone, Brister, O’Donnell etc). It’s part of being a fan.

    Thank you, Mr. Stewart. I have fond memories. I only wish that you could have enjoyed more success and less heartache (and gotten less grief from “fans”).

    Additionally, let’s not forget that if Kordell had the success that some think he cost us, we may not have had the need or opportunity to draft Ben. In that case, who knows if we when in ’05 and ’08.

  • Clintmartin

    What? Are you talking about? he had little or no talent any receivers that were here left after good seasons with Kordell and did nothing elsewhere.
    Steelers at that time were totally set up for Defense and running the ball that is it.

  • Wierd

  • Yeah, like keep him at WR. I still maintain he was a much better WR than QB. Too bad we couldn’t find a legit QB.

  • Reader783

    I’ll never forget that AFC Championship against the Pats. I still remember in vivid detail Troy Edwards stepping out of bounds by an inch on the far sideline and making the half tackle, and then the Pats scored a touchdown on the re-punt. Troy Edwards made his name with that play in my head.

  • DoctorNoah

    1) How anyone can hate Kordell Stewart or think poorly of his talents after suffering through Mark Malone and Bubby Brister is beyond me. He was Michael Vick before Michael Vick.

    2) No one seems to remember the homophobia surrounding him, which, to this day, remains undignified and beneath Pittsburgh.

  • Jwahl912

    Troy Edwards might be my least favorite Steeler of all time! I know we were screwed when both Boston and Holt got taken ahead of us, but Edwards was such a punk!

  • Intropy


    He was an exciting player with a ton of talent and tremendous versatility. He would have been a splash guy frustrating teams for years if only he could have remained the slash instead of reaching for and being given a job for which he was never qualified.