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Larry Anderson, Steelers Cornerback/Return Specialist, 1978-1981

February 27, 2012
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Larry Anderson:

First, can you let readers know about your work as a high school child welfare supervisor – how you got involved in this role? 

Actually my role services children from elementary to high school attending school in Caddo Parish School District. This job has me monitoring children’s school attendance, furnishing  the court with referrals and petitions of students who have too many unexcused absences. 

It also requires that I assist students and parents with finding services for family   needs, which may include agencies which may help with counseling for various mental and emotional problems, clothing and other necessities and overall day-to-day issues which may   keep students from attending school.

 I got started in this role after having served as an assistant principal and realizing some of the causes/reasons students were missing school or acting out inappropriately while in school.  I also deal with the discipline end of school policy.
 
What are the most satisfying elements of the job for you?

When you see students being successful in the academic as well as social arena and know the distance and things they that had to go through to overcome their problems is very satisfying. 
 
What lessons from your time in the NFL have you been able to apply to the job and to those you work with? If so, which ones and how have you applied them?

Just the matter of team work. Working with others to accomplish a goal. Trusting that each member will do his job in order to be successful. Another thing is dealing with set-backs.        

Overcoming setbacks and adversity rather than just quitting. When some students get behind or struggle with grades, I can share with them some of my personal experiences, such as injuries which would cause me to miss games or just being patient until you have the chance to show the way in which you can contribute to the overall effort or goal of the team.
 
You were the fourth round pick of the Steelers in 1978. What were your thoughts being drafted by the Steelers – did you feel at all intimidated knowing the talent level of the team?

 No. I was excitied being drafted by the Steelers, but never intimidated by the skill level of any of the players. I respected their skills but I always felt that I had the skills to compete  at a high level myself. I just needed an opportunity and the Steelers provided it.

You excelled as a return man on special teams – what about your style of play allowed you to do so and did you feel your skills as a cornerback were overshadowed/underutilized due to your ability to return kicks?

I was a defensive back but always liked the offensive side of the ball because you get to score. Returning kicks provided that opportunity to score.  I was able to accelerate quickly   and change directions.  I believe this and the ability to see the field, allowed for the success I experienced returning kicks.

In so far as getting to play defensive back, well, we had a  lot of talent and everyone couldn’t be a star. I had to know my role and do well at it to contribute.  I later had a chance to get some playing time at defensive back only not with the  Steelers.
 
Who helped mentor you as a rookie and helped you adjust to the NFL – both on and off the field, and how did they do so?

In so much as having a mentor, Mel Blount and a large number of the team members helped to shape me or assisted in my developement. I learned what it took to compete and how to  handle myself in public and with the media.
 
You won Super Bowl rings in your first two seasons in the NFL. Looking back now, do you feel you were able to fully appreciate how rare winning any – not to mention two – Super Bowls was, having won them so early in your career?

I got really spoiled winning those Super Bowls that early.  I thought the Bowl was just where you were supposed to play.  I mean once you got the feel for the big stage, you wanted to  return each year. It wasn’t till years after my career was over that it dawned on me just how special winning a Super Bowl is in a career, not to mention two.
 
Who were some of the biggest characters on those teams – and how were they so? Any examples?

Dewight White and Robin Cole come to mind because they could tell jokes and were just humorous overall. There were other characters believe me. Everyone was special to me. It was and still is great to remember my friends.

You left the team in ’82 and moved on to Baltimore. What prompted this move and how difficult was that for you?
 
The move was difficult because I had come to know and love the Steelers, my teammates. The move was necessary in my opinion or as I choose to look at it due to it being a strike year, the team brought in more defensive backs and kept some that they could pay using my salary.

I was only returning kicks and playing special teams, they could get more for less. It’s business.
 
As a former defensive back and return man, what do you think of the NFL’s recent rule changes on both kick offs and hitting receivers?

I don’t care for the rule changes to be honest but I do understand the necessity for them. I just hope that they can be fine tuned and be more consistent with the enforcement.
 
What are some of your greatest memories as a Steeler, and what made them so?

The greatest memories would be my rookie year, winning the Super Bowl and scoring my first NFL touchdown. The next great memory would be winning the second Super Bowl and  setting records which allowed me to be considered for MVP of the game.

I had to overcome a lot of adversity that year, starting from training camp til the end of the season.

Any last thoughts for readers?
 
My last thoughts would be, just keep being the loyal fans that your readers are. It really makes a difference.  Thank you all for remembering me!
 
God Bless You,
Larry Anderson

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    January 15, 2016 9:26 am

    As a lifelong Rams fan, I remember the Steelers / Rams Super Bowl well. I was SHOCKED when they announced that the Super Bowl MVP was Bradshaw, as the Rams intercepted him THREE times, and Nolan Cromwell dropped a fourth one deep in Steelers teritory late in the third quarter with the Rams leading, which in my opinion might have sealed the win. I remember the ONE player that KILLED us all game long was Larry Anderson, who gave the Steelers a short field with his spectacular kickoff returns. Without Larry Anderson, there is NO WAY the Steelers win that Super Bowl. In my opinion Larry Anderson was the Super Bowl MVP.

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