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Mike Connelly, Steelers Offensive Lineman, 1968

March 6, 2012

Mike Connelly

First, can you let readers know what you’ve been doing with yourself since your time in the NFL?

I’ve been in the securities business as a registered rep (stock broker)

You’ve been active with the NFLPA. Tell us about your work with the NFLPA and how you got involved?

Our NFLPA chapter in Dallas builds a home for a needy family every year. We start by bulldozing their old house and build them a new home furnished and landscaped. We start the first week in November and give the keys to the family before Thanksgiving. This year will be our 14th home built.

You had two years in the Marine Corps. How did that affect the way you approached the NFL?

My Marine Corps experience prepared me for all the ups and downs of life. Joining the Marine Corps was the best single thing I’ve ever done.
You were traded to Pittsburgh from Dallas in ’68 – why did Coach Landry trade you at that point and for whom?

In the 1968 training camp I told coach Landry that this would be my last year, the next morning I was a Steeler.

Were you disappointed to be traded to a team that struggled so much to win, especially from a winning team like Dallas?

I would rather have been traded to a contender but looking back I really enjoyed my stay in Pittsburgh. The Steeler player involved with my trade was Mike Clark – a kicker.

Who helped “welcome” you to the team and helped you adjust to the team and the city – both on and off the field?

Having played against the Steelers for the previous eight years, I knew most of the defensive line and linebackers.

How was Coach Austin to play for and what were the biggest differences between he and Coach Landry, from your perspective?

The reception to the Steelers was very friendly and happy. I had no trouble fitting in; the team was a bunch of nice guys. Coach Austin and Coach Landry had played together and coached together at New York so their styles were about the same, both good coaches.

What was your role on the team and how much did you get to contribute on game days?

My role was a back up for the offensive line and playing of all special teams.

You retired after that ’68 season – what prompted that decision and how difficult was that for you?

I retired after the 1968 season, I was 34 years old and my business in Dallas was growing and it was just time.

Any last thoughts for readers?

I always pull for the Steelers. My memories of the team and community remain positive.

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