Earlier this week, the 127 candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced, and six former Pittsburgh Steelers are on the list.
Heading the list of Steelers is running back Jerome Bettis. Along with Bettis is linebacker Kevin Greene, coaches Bill Cowher and Buddy Parker, kicker Gary Anderson, and player personnel head Art Rooney Jr.
All were nominated last year, with Bettis and Greene making it to the final round of voting.
If you ask me, out of all the former Steelers that were nominated, I think that Bettis has the best chance of being selected to go into the Hall this year. Bettis, better known as The Bus, is the NFL’s sixth all-time leading rusher with 13,662 yards, and has 94 touchdowns.
In addition to his high ranking among football’s greatest rushers, Bettis was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1993, was selected to the Pro Bowl six times, and was a three-time All-pro selection.
The Bus is ranked far ahead of the other 12 running backs that are nominated, and has a Super Bowl ring to go along with his stellar statistics and accolades.
It would only be fair for Bettis to have his bronze bust displayed in Canton, Ohio along with the other top four all-time leading rushers that are in the HOF (Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin). The only running back that is ahead of The Bus who isn’t in the Hall is LaDainian Tomlinson. It’s a safe bet that Tomlinson will be a first-ballad Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible in 2017.
The last class that was enshrined included two Steelers, Jack Butler and Dermontti Dawson. The chances of that happening again this time around I feel are slim-to-none. Although I feel that Bettis and Cowher will be the next two Steelers to enter the Hall, Cowher’s chance will have to wait.
As great as a coach Cowher was for Pittsburgh, I believe that if there is a coach that will be selected, it will be Bill Parcells.