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Dwight Stone, Steelers Wide Receiver/Return Specialist, 1987-1994

March 1, 2012
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Dwight Stone:

First, can you let readers know about your post-NFL career in law enforcement – what area of law enforcement you’ve been working in and how you got involved?

SRO/Patrol/Emergency Officer – ten years on the force  .

What lessons from your days in Pittsburgh – coaching and playing – have influenced you most since your time in the NFL, and how so?

Be accountable…Make no excuse… What you do when nobody looking…tells the Character of the person…. Finally, “PUT THE LORD FIRST THE REST WILL FALL IN PLACE”

You came to the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 1987.  What made you decide to play for the Steelers – what convinced you that that was the right team to start your career with?

After visiting the Steelers..I prayed and read my BIBLE to asked, the LORD to give me a sign on how to choose a NFL Team…..The following day I saw a gentleman selling pictures on the side of the road in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  The first picture I saw was a picture of Pittsburgh on the front of all the other pictures…

What players and coaches helped you to adjust to the NFL, and how did they do so? Any examples?

Louis Lipps, John Stallworth, Ernest Jackson, Frank Pollard, Mike Webster, Donnie Shell, Coach Hoak, Coach Dungy, Coach Joe Green, Coach Noll, (Equipment  managers Tony and Rodgers).

Coach Noll use to work with me as a kick returner. He would catch the ball behind his back with his hands and flip the ball over his back shoulders with both feet. 

I loved hanging out with Tony and Rodgers after the games in the equipment room….

As an undersized receiver/return specialist, how did you persevere when others said you were too small to play the game? What and who helped you to overcome the naysayers?

When you have a MOTHER who never complained and never made excuses naysayers never bothered me…

You played alongside a number of very good wide receivers – who were some of the best receivers you played with and what made them so? And what learnings did you take from them?

Stallworth, Lipps, Mark Carrier, Keyshawn Johnson, Willie Green, Wayne Chebert…

You were there when Coach Noll retired. How did that affect you and the team – how did the team adjust to the news?

It was a wake-up call for all the players, coaches and front office. It was the only head coach I played for in the NFL. 

Coach Noll was a coach that was Old School and honest.  It was an honor to have played for both Mr. Rooney Sr. and Coach Noll

What changes did Bill Cowher put in place that affected you and the team most, and how did you and the rest of the team react to those changes?

I thought Coach Cowher was a good coach but I was a Coach Noll guy…

Who were some of the biggest characters on the Steelers teams you played for and what made them so? Any examples/funny occurences to share?

Bubby, Barry Foster, Terry Long & Ernest Jackson and Ralph Berlin (Head/Asst. Trainer) 

You improved nearly every season in Pittsburgh. What do you attribute that to, and is it fair to say you came into the league somewhat “raw” at receiver and relied more on your speed at first?

I attributed me improving as a receiver to Mr. Rooney Sr. and  Coach Noll, I did not want  to disappoint them in any way because they took a chance on me.

I never played receiver until my fourth or fifth year in the NFL…That was a major adjustment.  Coach Hoak and Coach Painter were a big help.. Gary Anderson used to throw me the ball daily and advised me to relax…

Watching Lipps run routes and catch the ball was a great learning tool.

Who were some of the toughest guys you lined up against as a Steeler – both in practice and on gamedays versus teams, and what made them so? And how did you fare against them?

The Steelers Defense from 1987-1994…Game Day.. All the players were tough in the League or you would not in the league.

You left Pittsburgh after the ’94 season. What prompted that move and how difficult was that for you?

It was time for a new chapter in my life of football. It was blessing Coach Capers went to Carolina Panthers and asked me to come. There’s nothing like being on a new startup team in the NFL  (It was history in the making being a pioneer for the Carolina Panthers)

Mr. Richardson family was the mirror of the Rooney Family…hard working and low key. After four years with the Panthers, I went to the Jets where Todd Haley was my receiver coach…he was the ball boy when I was with the Steelers..(Mr. Dick Haley was in the front office of the Jets…)

What are some of your greatest memories of your time in Pittsburgh, and what makes them so?

When I was a rookie and the final cuts were happening. Mr. Rooney Sr. walked over to my locker and said, “you’re the fast one everyone talking about….I think my response was, “I hope so”. He said Congratulation for making the team.

This occurred before it was officially announced by coaches or scouts..Being that he was the owner it was official after told me….Right?

Any last thoughts for readers?

My first year as a Steelers I observed Coach Noll and Mrs. Noll walked out the front door of Three River Stadium after a home regular season game. The crowd of fans circle them like we just won the Super Bowl. Coach asked  the huge crowd of fans to step back (in a soft voice). Coach walked his wife to the car and opened the door for her. She got in the car and he closed the door and went to the driver’s and opened his door. He started the car and turned on the A/C for his wife to be comfortable. He walked back over to the crazy but the WORLD”S BEST FANS and signed every autograph and smiled for pictures…I knew then what was expected of me as a Steelers on and off the field.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2012 12:46 pm

    Steelers Legend Dwight Stone is now on Callachamp.com. He can be reached by calling 1 (888) 695-4543 Ext: 117030.

    http://www.callachamp.com/operator.html/17030/Dwight-Stone

  2. sonny (cuz) permalink
    July 5, 2014 6:20 am

    I am so proud of you for how long you played and I told you that you was going to make it

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