Terry Bradshaw reflects on late Steeler Sam Davis: ‘He always did his job’
Like the rest of his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates, Terry Bradshaw was saddened by the death of Sam Davis, the dependable left guard who was a part of four Super Bowl championship teams in the 1970s.
Bradshaw retired in 1983 and said he hadn’t seen Davis since his football career ended.
Davis, 75, died Tuesday night at a McKeesport assisted living facility after going missing for 14 hours. He was legally blind and had dementia.
Davis played for the Steelers from 1967-81.
“I have fond memories of Sam,” Bradshaw said Friday. “Great teammate, really good guard. An excellent guard, actually, very smart. He never said a whole lot, at least in my presence. He had a great sense of humor and was one of our team captains. That tells you all you need to know about team character.”
Bradshaw mentioned Davis at his 1989 Hall of Fame induction speech, recalling a dream he had as a child when he wished for a trapping left guard and was given Davis, who started 114 of 168 games but was never voted to a Pro Bowl.
“I remember how dependable and smart he was, how athletic he was to the offense we ran,” Bradshaw said. “I never worried about Sam. He always did his job. That’s kind of the best compliment I can give him.”
It did not surprise Bradshaw that Davis did his job so well against Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Randy White in Super Bowl XIII.
“Sam played at about 250 pounds going against Randy ‘The Manster,’” Bradshaw said. “I never worried about it. I had no recollection of (White) because my guys kept him off me. … Him having Randy White? Randy wasn’t even a factor.”
Bradshaw noted that Davis played so many years in the NFL despite having average size.
“Sam wasn’t rolling with muscle. He was just a natural athlete,” Bradshaw said. “You put smarts and talent together and you’re going to do what is normal and to outsiders what is amazing. That pretty much summed up Sam Davis.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .