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Steelers Great Andy Russell: 'They Don't Let You Play Defense Anymore'

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Legendary Steelers linebacker Andy Russell joined The Fan Morning Show on Thursday to talk about the Steelers and the state of the game of football, as well as to discuss a special cause that he's promoting.

During the interview, Russell talked about the changing nature of the linebacker position, explaining that the goals for linebackers have changed dramatically with time, leading to hulkier types playing the position these days.

"In those days, [Jack] Ham and I were trying to lose weight," Russell said. "We wanted to get down below 220 because we were covering wide receivers and rerouting them, which you're not allowed to do anymore. They don't let you play defense anymore. This game is- you can't do a thing. You can't touch anybody. It's really strange. I'm worried they're going to sissify the game."

Russell told the guys that his game simply wouldn't work in the NFL today.

"The kind of penalties they call now were something that Ham and I and [Jack] Lambert would do every single [play]," Russell said. "You could have your hands on the receiver- not holding him- but you could have your hands pushing... you could reroute them and not let them go where they wanted to go, and then the quarterback couldn't find them. They called it the Mel Blount rule, but it was really more the entire defenses doing that."

Russell joined the guys on behalf of Taste of The NFL to promote their "Kick Hunger Challenge", for which they're taking donations now through Super Bowl Sunday (Feb 1). More information can be found by clicking here.

The interview can be heard here:

Andy Russell 10-30

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