I know that the season is right around the corner, but the article about Casey made me wonder who will get in the HOF from this era.
In my opinion there are
3 4 locks for the HOF and some that should be in consideration.
One of the definition for the HOF is the question, can you tell the story of the NFL without talking about that person.
Locks for the HOF
Troy: You can not talk about the Steeler defense of the 2000's without talking about how Troy was all over the field. His interceptions, sacks and game changing tackles. He made the Steelers the dominating defense of the decade. OC had to game plan for him and QB's had to know where he was at all times.
Hines Ward: The Steeler offense ran because of his blocking and receiving. He was the leader of the team. He caught big catches and made huge powerful blocks. He was the heart and sole of the team. He was SBXL MVP and a big part of one other win and another trip. He was the best blocking WR in the game. He has a rule named after him.
The Bus aka Jerome Bettis: He was Steeler smash mouth football in the late 90's and early 2000's. He was instrumental in us getting to SBXL and other AFC championship games. He was a leader of the team that was so dominate in the early 2000's. He finished as one of the all time leading rushers at a time that the game was evolving from a running game to a passing game.
Alan Faneca: I forgot Faneca and thanks to somebody else I am adding him. He was the best G for most of the decade. Was instrumental in the Steelers run game that won SBXL and got to 2 other AFC Championship games. He also was a major force with the Jets run game and the development of 2 rookie OL with the Jets.
There are 4 possible selections
Casey Hampton: How can you tell the story of the Steeler defense and the DL without talking about how Casey plugged the middle? You can not. He was critical in us being the #1 defense against the run. Even though he was not recognized by "experts" as the best, those that know FB, know what he did.
Aaron Smith: Hands down the best 3-4 DE of the era on the best defense of the era. Nuff said.
Big Ben: 2 SB wins and another trip to the dance. His game against the Seahawks was bad, but we do not get there without him. He won the games against the Bengals, Colts and Broncos. Especially with his tackle. His come from behind wins and ability to move in the pocket were what our kids will talk about. One more SB win and he is a lock.
James Harrison: If he has another 2-3 years like the last few years he will be a lock. Defensive Play of the Year, anumber of PB, 2-3 SB wins, he will be a lock.
Bill Cowher: Is 1 SB win enough? He had 15 great seasons and a number of AFC championship games and 1 other trip in 95 to the SB. But was that enough. Can you tell the story of the NFL without talking about Cowher? Not sure.
Too Young to Tell
Pouncey, Woodley, Timmons, Wallace, Tomlin
Time will tell if others will make this list over the years. Guys like Farrior may get consideration from the veterans committee if we win 1 more before he calls it a day.
So, Hear We Go Steelers.