PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sam Davis, the guard who helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win four Super Bowls in the 1970s, has died. He was 75.
Davis was found dead Tuesday at New Life Personal Care in McKeesport southeast of Pittsburgh. Davis, who suffered from dementia and was legally blind, had been reported missing from the facility earlier in the day. There was no evidence of foul play according to the McKeesport Police Department's Facebook page .
Davis played 168 games with the Steelers from 1967-79, helping pave the way for Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris and protecting Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw during Pittsburgh's run atop the NFL in the 1970s. Davis started in all four of the team's' Super Bowl victories in the 1970s.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sam Davis," Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a statement. "Sam was a member of the Steelers teams that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s, including starting at left guard in Super Bowls XIII and XIV. A member of our 50th Season All-Time Team, he played 13 seasons and was beloved and respected by his Steelers teammates, coaches and staff. Our prayers go out to the entire Davis family during this difficult time."
Steelers running back Rocky Bleier, who shared the huddle with Davis for 10 seasons, called Davis a good friend and an invaluable part of a run that included four championships in a six-year span.
"Sam Davis...#57 like Heinz Sauce!" Bleier posted on Instagram . "He was instrumental in helping me and Franco to each gain a 1,000 yards in one season."
The 6-foot-1, 255-pound Davis made the Steelers as an undrafted rookie out of Allen University in 1967. He was one of a handful of players who managed to forge a role with the team when the Steelers hired Chuck Noll as head coach in January 1969. Davis became a starter during the 1970 season became a fixture in the lineup as Noll transformed the franchise from also-rans into winners.