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NFL Legends Show

Publish Date: 12/07/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Welcome to the NFL Legends Show, your definitive podcast for all things NFL history and the iconic figures who have shaped the league. Join us as we dive deep into the remarkable journeys, memorable plays, and incredible stories of the NFL’s greatest legends, from Hall of Famers to unsung heroes.

Each episode takes you behind the scenes, bringing you exclusive interviews, captivating anecdotes, and in-depth discussions about the players and moments that have defined the National Football League. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or new to the game, the NFL Legends Show offers a unique perspective on the sport’s past, present, and future.

Guest: Pete Johnson, former Bengals and Ohio State Running Back

Video: NFL Legends Show: Guest Former Bengals and Ohio State Running Back Pete Johnson

NFL Legends Show: Guest Former Bengals and Ohio State Running Back Pete Johnson

Johnson played fullback for Ohio State from 1973 through 1976. In 1973, starting fullback Champ Henson was injured, and converted linebacker Bruce Elia was named as his replacement, but by season’s end, Johnson had earned his way up the depth chart. Elia returned to linebacker duties in 1974, while Henson and Johnson alternated fullback duties.

Ohio State fullbacks were still considered key contributors during Archie Griffin’s two Heisman Trophy-winning seasons of 1972-75, even though Archie Griffin received most of the carries at tailback. While Henson and Elia were among those with top scores, Johnson set single-season OSU records with 1,059 yards rushing, 25 touchdowns scored, and 156 points scored that season alone!

Johnson made his mark against North Carolina during his junior season, outshone by Griffin with 148 yards and five touchdowns en route to setting a school record with five.  Johnson finished his Ohio State career with 2,308 rushing yards and 58 touchdowns (also a Big Ten record) before he was passed by kicker Mike Nugent’s 356 points in 2004.

Johnson was honored in 2000 with selection to the Buckeyes All-Century Team and inducted into OSU Athletics Hall of Fame during halftime of Akron game on September 8th 2007.

Johnson was an influential force on the Bengals backfield as both an aggressive runner and capable blocker, serving as their team-leading rusher across seven seasons he played, scoring 12 or more touchdowns three different seasons and being selected to one Pro Bowl game (in 1981), setting career highs in terms of rushing (1,077 yards), receptions (46), receiving yards (320) and touchdowns (16), leading them to 12-4 record with home field advantage for AFC playoffs.

Johnson led Cincinnati Bengals to their inaugural playoff victory by rushing for 45 yards, catching three passes for 23 yards, and scoring a touchdown during their 28-21 divisional win over Buffalo Bills. In the AFC title game (known as Freezer Bowl), he recorded 80 rushing yards, scored one touchdown while also catching 14-yard pass reception as they defeated high scoring San Diego Chargers 27-7 to advance to Super Bowl XVI at Pontiac Silverdome; unfortunately however Cincinnati lost 26-21 due to limited Johnson who was limited to 36 rushing and 8 reception yards during Super Bowl XVI at Pontiac Silverdome against San Francisco 49ers who only limited Johnson to 36 rushing and 8 reception yards during that Super Bowl appearance XVI matchup at Pontiac Silverdome against them!

In 1984, Johnson was traded to the Chargers for running back James Brooks. Johnson left Cincinnati as its all-time leader in rushing yards (5,421), touchdowns (70) and total points with 420; spending three games with them before finishing out his season in Miami before finally retiring after its conclusion.

Johnson excelled during his eight NFL seasons, amassing 5,626 yards rushing, 175 receptions for 1,334 yards receiving and scoring 82 touchdowns (76 rushing & 6 receiving); at his retirement he held sixth in NFL history for rushing touchdowns; currently, as of 2024, he ranks 25th.

Johnson holds an NFL-record three consecutive games with at least one receiving and one rushing touchdowns.

Guest: Terry Hanratty, Former Notre Dame and Steelers Quarterback

Video: NFL Legends Show: Guest Former Steelers and Notre Dame QB Terry Hanratty

NFL Legends Show: Guest Former Steelers and Notre Dame QB Terry Hanratty

Hanratty attended St. Paul Butler Catholic School and Butler Senior High School in western Pennsylvania before enrolling at Notre Dame where he would go on to be a three-year starter and twice All-American, as well as being considered for the Heisman Trophy. Together with Jim Seymour he formed a passing/receiving duo which helped guide Notre Dame to its 1966 national title win; later meeting up again as teammates when Rocky Bleier came playing at Notre Dame before later teaming with Hanratty while playing for Pittsburgh.

In 1969, Hanratty was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by new Steelers head coach Chuck Noll as starting quarterback before eventually being dethroned by No. 1 overall draft pick Terry Bradshaw. Hanratty would remain as Pittsburgh-area native until Homestead native Charlie Batch took his place for two games during an injured Ben Roethlisberger’s Super Bowl-winning season in 2005 – though Hanratty suited up but did not see action during Super Bowl IX itself.

In 1975, Hanratty appeared briefly in just two regular season games. But during the postseason, he played more, participating in two playoff games, including the AFC Championship Game, where he finished as a quarterback by taking two offensive snaps after Bradshaw had been injured and Super Bowl X, which would turn out to be his last as quarterback of a Steeler team, taking four offensive plays himself before leaving in 1979.

Hanratty was released by the Steelers and signed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their backup quarterback, Steve Spurrier’s backup, only making a handful of appearances and starting one game against their old team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, which ended with a 42-0 defeat. That 42-0 loss would mark Hanratty’s final NFL appearance before retiring after 1976 season ended.

He completed his career with 2,510 passing yards, 24 touchdown passes and 35 interceptions for an overall quarterback rating of 43.0.

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