On August 1, the Steelers announced the formation of a Hall of Honor. It will honor the 23 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as other great players and personnel. The criteria is they have to have been retired for at least three years, have played for the Steelers for at least 3 years, and/or made significant contributions to the team.
This should have been done a long time ago. So many teams have their own rings of honor and it’s about time the Steelers have one.
Now the hard part: Who belongs in this Hall of Honor? Obviously the players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but who after them?
Let’s break it down by decade:
LC Greenwood: DE, 1969-81, member of Steel Curtain, 73.5 career sacks. He should be in the NFL Hall of Fame, not just the Steelers Hall of Honor.
Dwight White: DE, 1971-80, member of Steel Curtain. Really everyone on the Steel Curtain should be in.
Andy Russel: OLB, 1963-76, 8 times on Pro Bowl, 2 Super Bowls. Another player that should be in the NFL Hall of Fame but won’t because it has too many Steelers.
Rocky Blier: RB, 1968, 71-80, on 4 Super Bowl teams plus inspirational story.
Donnie Shell: S, 1974-87, on 4 Super Bowl teams, 51 career interceptions. Yet another player that should be in NFL Hall of Fame.
Jon Kolb: T, 1969-81, Tackle for the 70s Super Bowl teams.
Dick Hoak: RB 1961-70, RB coach from 1972-2007. Dick Hoak was a coach for more years than some of you were alive!
Myron Cope: Legendary broadcaster, inventor of the Terrible Towel!
Bill Nunn: 1970-2014, super scout, helped scout 70s Steelers
Ernie Holmes: DT, 1971-77, member of Steel Curtain
Mike Wagner: S, 1971-80, Safety for all 4 70s Super Bowl teams. 36 career interceptions
JT Thomas: CB, 1973-82, Cornerback for all 4 70s Super Bowl teams. 20 career interceptions
Gary Anderson, K, 1982-94, on NFL 80s and 90s All-Decade teams, all time Steelers scoring leader.
Louis Lipps, WR, 1984-91, 4th on Steelers all time receiving list, 2 time Pro Bowl. The 80s were a rough decade for the Steelers but Louis Lipps was a bright spot.
Merrill Hoge: RB, 1987-93, 34 touchdowns. Not great stats but plenty of heart.
Keith Willis: DE, 1982-87,89-91, 59 career sacks. One of the best defensive players of the 80s.
David Little: ILB: 1981-92, defensive leader of the 80s teams.
Dwayne Woodruff: CB, 1979-90, 37 interceptions. Best Cornerback on the 80s teams before the Woodson era.
Tunch Ilkin: T, 1980-92, Made Pro Bowl 2 times plus Steelers broadcaster
Greg Lloyd: OLB, 1988-97, 5 times Pro Bowl, All Pro, 1994 AFC defensive player of the year. He can thought of as the leader of those nasty 90s defenses.
Carnell Lake: S, 1989-98, All Pro, 3 times Pro Bowl, 1997 AFC Defensive player of the year, 90s NFL All-Decade Team. Great safety plus he had to play cornerback for a season when Woodson got hurt and was great at that too.
Dermontti Dawson: C, 1988-2000, 7 times Pro Bowl, 6 times All PRo, 90s NFL All-Decade Team. 2nd best Steelers center ever.
Bill Cowher, coach, 1992-2006, 1 Super Bowl champ, 1992 NFL Coach of the Year.
Levon Kirkland: ILB, 1992-2000, NFL 90s All-Decade Team. Another great linebacker on those great 90s defenses.
Jason Gildon: OLB, 1994-2003, 3 time Pro Bowl, 1 All-Pro. 80 career sacks.
Chad Brown: OLB, 1993-96, 3 time Pro Bowl, 2 times All Pro. Only a few years as a Steeler but still part of those great 90s defenses.
Eric Green: TE, 1990-94, 2 times Pro Bowl. Didn’t play long but still had some great years.
Barry Foster: RB, 1990-94, 2 times Pro Bowl, 1 All-Pro, AFC Offensive player of the year. Like Green, didn’t play long but had some great years.
Neil O’Donnell : QB, 1990-95, 3rd best quarterback in team history. Might not be in because of Super Bowl XXX.
Troy Polamalu: S, 2003-14, 2 Super Bowls, 8 Pro Bowls, 5 times All Pro, 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the year, 2000s All-Decade Team. Lock for the NFL Hall of Fame.
Hines Ward: WR, 1998-2011, 2 Super Bowls, Super Bowl XL MVP, 4 Pro Bowls. Should be in NFL Hall of Fame but might not make it.
Alan Faneca: G, 1998-2007, 1 Super Bowl, 7 Pro Bowls, 7 times All Pro, 2000s All-Decade Team. Will probably be in NFL Hall of Fame eventually.
Joey Porter: OLB, 1999-2006, Super Bowl XL champion, 4x Pro Bowl, 2x All-Pro, NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
Casey Hampton: DT, 2001-12, 5 times Pro Bowl, 2 Super Bowls. Not great stats, but a huge (no pun intended) part of those great defenses in 2000s.
Aaron Smith: DE, 1999-2011, 2 Super Bowls, 1 Pro Bowl, 2000’s All-Decade Team. Another one with not great stats but did a great job giving the linebackers opportunities to make plays.
Heath Miller: TE, 2005-15, 2 Super Bowls, 2 Pro Bowls. Best Steelers TE ever. Great at catching and blocking.
James Farrior: ILB, 2002-11, 2 Super Bowls, 2 Pro Bowls, 2 times All Pro. Leaders on all those 2000s great defenses.
Brett Keisel: DE, 2002-2015, 2 Super Bowls, 1 Pro Bowl. Another leader on those great defenses.
Willie Parker: RB, 2004-09, 2 Super Bowls, 2 Pro Bowls, 1 All Pro. Didn’t play long but had some great years plus had that long run in Super Bowl XL.
Santonio Holmes: WR, 2006-09, Super Bowl XLIII MVP. Another one that didn’t play long but had a memorable Super Bowl.
Lawerence Timmons: ILB, 2007-16. 1 Super Bowl. Not a great career but solid.
Ike Taylor: CB, 2003-14. Best cornerback of 2000s so far.
Plaxico Burress: WR, 2000-2004. 2 1000-yard seasons. Didn’t play long but had a couple good years.
Photo Credits: Zimbio
Lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan here.