Pittsburgh Steelers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Updated on November 5, 2019
Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Kevin Greene gives his acceptance speech during the 2016 NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement
Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Kevin Greene gives his acceptance speech during the 2016 NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement | Source

If you watch any NFL football game, you will hear broadcasters describe players using some of the most glowing, hyperbole-ridden, superlative-packed language ever spoken. Not since the days when Caesar ruled the Roman Empire has one man gushed over another in such an adoring and worshipful manner. Their flattery gets a little crazy, and when Tom Brady is on the field, these commentators give the impression Brady might raise his arms out to his sides and levitate himself into the sky at any moment.

Is it annoying? Sometimes. But often, broadcasters are putting into words what the rest of us are thinking. Pro football players are unbelievable athletes, and they seem to be made of something other than the stuff of mere mortals.

The NFL distinguishes the most elite players from this throng of Earthbound gods by bestowing Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, Player-of-the-Year awards, and other accolades. But any player can have one good year and win an award. While awards are good indications of superior play in a given season, there is only one real measure of a players’ greatness throughout their career: enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

There are 326 individuals enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Players and coaches must be retired for five years before they can be nominated. After nomination, there is a rigorous, multi-step selection process that whittles the nominees down to a small class of 4-8 individuals, a truly elite group. These men are officially enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a ceremony every August.

The Pittsburgh Steelers currently have 27 former players, coaches, and executives enshrined in the Hall. They played a major role in making the Steelers franchise and the NFL what it is today.

List of Steelers in the Hall of Fame

Player
Jersey Number
Position
Year Enshrined
Seasons
Terry Bradshaw
12
Quarterback
1989
1970-1983
Franco Harris
32
Fullback
1990
1972-1983
Joe Greene
75
Defensive Tackle
1987
1969-1981
Jack Lambert
58
Linebacker
1990
1974-1984
Lynn Swann
88
Wide Receiver
2001
1974-1982
John Stallworth
82
Wide Receiver
2002
1974-1987
Jack Ham
59
Linebacker
1988
1971-1982
Mike Webster
52
Center
1997
1989
Mel Blount
47
Cornerback
1989
1970-1983
Jerome Bettis
36
Running Back
2015
1996-2005
Rod Woodson
26
Cornerback
2009
1987-1996
Dermontti Dawson
63
Center
2012
1988-2000
Ernie Stautner
70
Defensive Tackle
1989
1950-1963
Bobby Layne
22
Quarterback
1967
1958-1962
Jack Butler
80
Defensive Back
2012
1951-1959
Bill Dudley
35
Running Back
1966
1942, 1945-1946
John Henry Johnson
35
Fullback
1987
1960-1965
Johnny "Blood" McNally
15
Back
1963
1934, 1937-1938
Cal Hubbard
36
Offensive Lineman
1963
1936
Marion Motley
36
Fullback
1968
1955
Kevin Greene
91
Linebacker
2016
1993-1995
Len Dawson
16
Quarterback
1987
1957-1959
Walt Kiesling
35
Offensive Lineman / Coach
1966
1937-1938, 1940-1942, 1954-1956
Arthur J. Rooney
n/a
Owner, Founder, Chairman
1964
1933-1988
Dan Rooney
n/a
President, Chairman
2000
1955-2017
Chuck Noll
n/a
Head Coach
1993
1969-1991
Bert Bell
n/a
Co-owner
1963
1941-1946

Steelers’ Primary Hall of Famers

Primary Steelers Hall of Famers played all or a significant portion of their career with Pittsburgh. These are some of the greatest Steelers of all time. Some won championships, some set records, and all are beloved in the Steel City.

Terry Bradshaw

Though he is known today as the best Steelers quarterback of all time, Terry Bradshaw struggled when he came into the NFL in 1970. The Steelers were one of the worst teams in pro football, and their 1-13 record during the 1969 season had allowed them to choose Bradshaw with the number-one overall pick.

Within two years, Bradshaw led the Steelers to their first-ever playoff victory, and in 1974 he brought a Super Bowl win to the Steel City. By the end of the 1970s, the Steelers had become known as one of the greatest teams in NFL history and the team of the decade. Bradshaw won four Super Bowls during his career as a Steeler and earned the MVP award for his performances in two of them.

Enshrinement Class

1989

Position

Quarterback

Years with Steelers

1970-1983

Accolades with Steelers

  • 3 Pro Bowls
  • 1 All-Pro Selections
  • 1978 NFL MVP Award
  • 1978 Bert Bell Award (NFL Player of the Year)
  • 4 Super Bowl Championships
  • Super Bowl X MVP
  • Super Bowl XIV MVP

Stats with Steelers

  • 168 Games
  • 27,989 Passing Yards
  • 212 Passing TDs
  • 2,257 Rushing Yards
  • 32 Rushing TDs

Franco Harris

Harris came to the Steelers in 1972 and earned Offensive-Rookie-of-the-Year honors right out of the gate. By the time he left in 1983, he had become the third all-time leading rusher in NFL history.

Harris was the feature back in a running attack that carried the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories. He earned the Super Bowl MVP Award for his 158-yard performance in Super Bowl IX and is today ranked second all-time in playoff rushing yards.

Harris finished his career with the Seattle Seahawks in 1984, but for 12 seasons he was one of the best ever to wear the black and gold.

Enshrinement Class

1990

Position

Fullback

Years with Steelers

1972-1983

Accolades with Steelers

  • 9 Pro Bowls
  • 1 All-Pro Selection
  • 4 Super Bowl Championships
  • Super Bowl IX MVP
  • 1972 Offensive Rookie of the Year

Stats with Steelers

  • 165 Games
  • 11,950 Rushing Yards
  • 4.1 YPC
  • 91 Rushing TDs

Joe Greene

Defensive tackle Joe Greene came to the Steelers in 1969 as the first-ever draft pick of new head coach Chuck Noll. The Steelers went 1-13 in Greene's first season, their worst record ever. But changes were coming to Pittsburgh, and through smart draft choices, Noll built a championship team. Joe Greene took home Defensive-Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 1969 and went on to become one of the most dominant defensive tackles the NFL had ever seen.

Many football historians consider "Mean" Joe Greene the greatest Steeler of all time. He was the start of the Steelers' '70s dynasty. As the cornerstone of the Steel Curtain defense, he was a key player in four Super Bowl championships.

Enshrinement Class

1987

Position

Defensive Tackle

Years with Steelers

1969-1981

Accolades with Steelers

  • 10 Pro Bowls
  • 4 All-Pro Selections
  • 4 Super Bowl Championships
  • 1969 Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • 1972 Defensive Player of the Year
  • 1974 Defensive Player of the Year

Stats with Steelers

  • 181 Games
  • 1 Interception for 26 Yards
  • 1 Fumble Recovery

Jack Lambert

As a rookie in 1974, Jack Lambert stood 6’4" and tipped the scales at just over 200 pounds. That is about the size of many wide receivers. Few would have guessed that the skinny kid from Kansas State would become one of the most feared middle linebackers in NFL history.

Lambert was fierce and ruthless on the field, both a vicious run stopper and a ball hawk who managed to grab 28 interceptions in his career. Along with defensive tackle Joe Greene, he set the tone for the legendary Steel Curtain defense of the ‘70s.

Enshrinement Class

1990

Position

Linebacker

Years with Steelers

1974-1984

Accolades with Steelers

  • 9 Pro Bowls
  • 6 All-Pro Selections
  • 1974 Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • 1976 Defensive Player of the Year
  • 4 Super Bowl Championships

Stats with Steelers

  • 146 Games as a Steeler
  • 28 Interceptions for 243 Yards
  • 17 Fumble Recoveries
  • 8 Sacks*

* The NFL did not begin tracking sacks until 1982

Lynn Swann

Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw earned the nickname the Blonde Bomber due to his powerful arm and fondness for tossing deep passes. In the 1974 draft, the Steelers acquired a pair of receivers who were as skilled at catching bombs as Bradshaw was at throwing them.

One was Lynn Swann, a wide receiver whose acrobatic catches have become the stuff of NFL legend. Swann hauled in many long passes, but he wasn’t only a deep threat. He was also tough, fearless in traffic, and reliable. He helped the Steelers win four Super Bowls, and his 161-yard performance in Super Bowl X earned him the MVP award.

Enshrinement Class

2001

Position

Wide Receiver

Years with Steelers

1974-1982

Accolades with Steelers

  • 3 Pro Bowls
  • 1 All-Pro Selection
  • 4 Super Bowl Championships
  • 1 Super Bowl MVP

Stats with Steelers

  • 336 Receptions
  • 5,462 Receiving Yards
  • 51 Receiving TDs

Lynn Swann's jersey in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Lynn Swann's jersey in the Pro Football Hall of Fame | Source

John Stallworth

Even if opposing defenses managed to stop Lynn Swann, they still had to contend with receiver John Stallworth. Stallworth came to the Steelers in the same draft as Swann. From 1974 to 1982, they were the main players in one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the NFL, and essential to Pittsburgh’s four Super Bowl wins of the ‘70s.

Swann retired in 1982, but Stallworth continued his career until 1987. He won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 1984 and finished his career as the top receiver in Steelers' history.

Enshrinement Class

2002

Position

Wide Receiver

Years with Steelers

1974-1987

Accolades with Steelers

  • 3 Pro Bowls
  • 1 All-Pro Selections
  • 4 Super Bowl Championships
  • 1984 NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Stats with Steelers

  • 165 Games
  • 537 Receptions
  • 8,723 Receiving Yards
  • 63 Receiving TDs

Jack Ham

Jack Ham was athletic, tough, and smart, the perfect fit for a defensive scheme that asked a lot of its outside linebackers. His greatest strength was his versatility, as he was equally adept when rushing the quarterback, stopping the run around the outside of the line, or dropping back into pass coverage. In 12 seasons with the Steelers, he earned six All-Pro nominations and made eight straight Pro Bowls.

Today, Jack Ham is regarded as one of the best outside linebackers in NFL history. He was a key part of the Steelers dynasty of the ‘70s that won four Super Bowl championships.

Enshrinement Class

1988

Position

Linebacker

Years with Steelers

1971-1982

Accolades with Steelers

  • 8 Pro Bowls
  • 6 All-Pro Selections
  • 4 Super Bowl Championships

Stats with Steelers

  • 162 Games
  • 32 Interceptions for 218 yards and 1 TD
  • 21 Fumble Recoveries for 1 TD
  • 3 Sacks*

* The NFL did not begin tracking sacks until 1982.

Mike Webster

“Iron Mike” came to the Steelers as one of the picks in the legendary 1974 draft, when Coach Chuck Noll chose four Hall of Famers. Though undersized as a rookie, through strength training he built himself into one of the best centers in the NFL. Webster played in 220 games with the Steelers from 1974 to 1988 and had a streak where he started 150 straight games. When he finally left the Steel City, he was the last remaining player who had contributed to all four Super Bowls in the 1970s.

Enshrinement Class

1997

Position

Center

Years with Steelers

1974-1988

Accolades with Steelers

  • 9 Pro Bowls
  • 5 All-Pro Selections
  • 4 Super Bowl Championships

Stats with Steelers

  • 220 Games

Mel Blount

Few NFL cornerbacks have made as big an impact as Mel Blount did in the 1970s. Tall for his era at 6’3", Blount had the size and strength to play the run, but also the speed for man-to-man coverage. His tenacious harassment of receivers in bump-and-run coverage led to the NFL's current interpretation of the Illegal Contact rule. In other words, Blount was so dominant they had to change the rules.

In 200 games over 14 seasons, Blount racked up 57 career interceptions and helped win four Super Bowls. He made two All-Pro Teams, five Pro Bowls, and earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1975.

Enshrinement Class

1989

Position

Cornerback

Years with Steelers

1970-1983

Accolades with Steelers

  • 5 Pro Bowls
  • 2 All-Pro Selections
  • 4 Super Bowl Championships
  • 1975 Defensive Player of the Year

Stats with Steelers

  • 200 Games
  • 57 Interceptions for 736 yards and 2 TDs
  • 13 Fumble Recoveries, 2 TDs

Jerome Bettis

Jerome Bettis started his career with the Los Angeles Rams, and came to the Steelers in 1996. Pittsburgh had just lost Super Bowl XXX to the Dallas Cowboys and had dismissed Bam Morris, a powerful running back with off-the-field issues.

At around 250 pounds, Bettis’ punishing downhill running style matched the Steelers offense perfectly. He quickly became a fan favorite and earned the nickname “The Bus.”

Bettis ended his career with a Super Bowl XL victory in his hometown of Detroit, one of the greatest wins in Steelers' history. He exited the NFL as one of the leading rushers of all time.

Enshrinement Class

2015

Position

Running Back

Years with Steelers

1996-2005

Accolades with Steelers

  • 4 Pro Bowls

  • 1 All-Pro Selection

  • 1 Super Bowl Championship

Stats with Steelers

  • 145 Games

  • 10,571 Rushing Yards

  • 3.9 YPC

  • 78 Rushing TDs

Rod Woodson

The Steelers struggled in the mid-to-late ‘80s. Gone were most of the big names from the glory years of the 1970s. There were no more superstars in the Steel City.

That changed in 1987 when the Steelers drafted cornerback Rod Woodson. Woodson had blazing speed. Soon, pundits were calling him the fastest man in the NFL and one of the best defensive backs. He was a dangerous return man, as well, who could score any time he touched the ball. Woodson helped the Steelers return to form, and by 1995, Pittsburgh was back in the Super Bowl.

Enshrinement Class

2009

Position

Cornerback

Years with Steelers

1987-1996

Accolades with Steelers

  • 7 Pro Bowls

  • 5 All-Pro Selections

  • 1993 Defensive Player of the Year

Stats with Steelers

  • 134 Games

  • 38 Interceptions for 779 Yards and 5 TDs

  • 22 Fumbles Recovered for 1 TD

  • 257 Punt Returns for 2,362 Yards and 2 TDs

  • 220 Kick Returns for 4,894 Yards and 2 TDs

Dermontti Dawson

While Dermontti Dawson may not be as well known as some of the other Hall of Famers in this article, he is certainly among the elite Steelers of all time. He made seven Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams, and in the early-to-mid ‘90s, he was considered the best center in the NFL. Dawson paved the way for power backs like Barry Foster, Bam Morris, and Jerome Bettis. He played a large role in Steelers’ Super Bowl season in 1995, under Coach Bill Cowher. The Steelers have a tradition of great centers and tough offensive line play, and Dawson certainly made his mark during his career.

Enshrinement Class

2012

Position

Center

Years with Steelers

1988-2000

Accolades with Steelers

  • 7 Pro Bowls

  • 6 All-Pro Selections

Stats with Steelers

  • 184 Games

Ernie Stautner

Along with Joe Greene, Ernie Stautner is one of two Steelers to have their jersey numbers officially retired by the franchise. For 14 seasons, he was an undersized but overpowering defensive tackle on Steeler teams that lost more often than they won.

Stautner made nine Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team in his career. Perhaps as importantly, he played at a time when the Steelers were cementing their reputation as one of the toughest teams in the NFL. Stautner certainly had a part in building that reputation and the tough image that the Steelers carry with them to this day.

Enshrinement Class

1989

Position

Defensive Tackle

Years with Steelers

1950-1963

Accolades with Steelers

  • 9 Pro Bowls

  • 1 All-Pro Selection

Stats with Steelers

  • 173 Games

  • 2 Interceptions

  • 23 Fumble Recoveries

  • 3 Safeties

Bobby Layne

Unlike most of the players in this article who made their marks as Steelers, Bobby Layne was already a superstar when he came to Pittsburgh. He spent the prime of his career in Detroit, where he quarterbacked the Lions to three NFL Championships.

Layne came to Pittsburgh via trade in 1958 at the age of 32 and led the Steelers to a winning season. He posted a career record of 27-19-2 as Pittsburgh’s quarterback, which was pretty impressive considering the Steelers’ usual fate back then. Layne retired after the 1962 season holding NFL records for most passing yards and touchdown passes in a career.

Enshrinement Class

1967

Position

Quarterback

Years with Steelers

1958-1962

Accolades with Steelers

  • 2 Pro Bowls

Stats with Steelers

  • 9,030 Passing Yards

  • 66 Passing Touchdowns

  • 382 Rushing Yards

  • 8 Rushing Touchdowns

Jack Butler

Jack Butler was a hard-hitting defensive back who played for the Steelers in the 1950s. In 104 games, he collected 52 interceptions and ran four back for touchdowns. He made four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro rosters, all during a career when his team didn’t post a winning record until his final season. Butler’s 10-interception performance during a 12-game season in 1957 is impressive even by today’s standards. He also stepped in on offense from time to time and caught four touchdown passes in his career.

Butler was an old-school Steeler who never quite got the recognition he deserved. He was finally enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2012, 53 years after he had played his last down.

Enshrinement Class

2012

Position

Defensive Back

Years with Steelers

1951-59

Accolades with Steelers

  • 4 Pro Bowls

  • 3 All-Pro Selections

Stats with Steelers

  • 104 Games

  • 52 Interceptions for 827 yards and 4 TDs

  • 10 Fumble Recoveries, 1 TD

Bill Dudley

Bill Dudley played for three teams during his NFL career, but he made his greatest impact in Pittsburgh as a runner, passer, kick returner, and placekicker. He was also the punter! He made All-Pro during his rookie year and led the Steelers in both passing and rushing in 1942 and 1946.

In between, World War II took him away from the NFL. Though he only played two full seasons with the Steelers, Dudley still totaled 1,504 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns and 948 passing yards during his time in Pittsburgh.

Enshrinement Class

1966

Position

Running Back

Years with Steelers

1942, 1945-1946

Accolades with Steelers

  • 1 Pro Bowl

  • 1 All-Pro Selection

Stats with Steelers

  • 1,504 Rushing Yards

  • 10 Rushing Touchdowns

  • 948 Passing Yards

  • 4 Passing Touchdowns

John Henry Johnson

If you ask Steelers fans to name the top five rushers in team history, chances are you’ll hear a lot of names before someone mentions John Henry Johnson. Johnson was a physical fullback who plowed over Steelers opponents from 1960 to 1965. He is currently the fifth leading rusher in the history of the franchise, ahead of better-known Steelers greats such as Rocky Bleier, Barry Foster, and Merril Hoge.

Johnson’s contributions in San Francisco and Detroit helped solidify his place in the Hall of Fame. He piled up a total of 6,803 rushing yards and 48 touchdowns in his career and contributed to Detroit’s NFL championship in 1957.

Enshrinement Class

1987

Position

Fullback

Years with Steelers

1960-1965

Accolades with Steelers

  • 3 Pro Bowls

Stats with Steelers

  • 67 Games

  • 4,381 Rushing Yards

  • 4.4 YPC

  • 26 Rushing TDs

Steelers' Minor Hall of Famers

Minor Hall of Famers are players who spent the majority of their careers elsewhere. It would have been nice if they had hung around longer, but Steeler Nation can claim them as their own anyway.

John McNally

Johnny “Blood” McNally is a legendary figure from the early NFL. Known as the “Vagabond Halfback,” he spent time with six different teams, including the Pottsville Maroons, Duluth Eskimos, and Milwaukee Badgers. He played seven years with the Green Bay Packers and had two separate stints with Pittsburgh in 1934 and 1937-38. In his NFL career, he rushed for 386 yards and five touchdowns, caught 67 passes for 1,117 yards and 37 touchdowns, and passed for 299 yards and four touchdowns, because halfbacks did that back then.

Inducted

1963

Position

Running Back

Years with Steelers

1934, 1937-1938

Cal Hubbard

Cal Hubbard was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers (then called the Pittsburgh Pirates) for part of his final year in the NFL in 1936. He spent the majority of his career with the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. He made four All-Pro teams and won four NFL championships in his nine-year career.

Year Inducted

1963

Position

Offensive Lineman

Years with Steelers

1936

Marion Motley

Marion Motley was a 230-pound fullback who trampled defenses for nine NFL seasons. He spent eight of those seasons with the Cleveland Browns, one of the Steelers' biggest rivals, and only made a brief stop in Pittsburgh for his final year. As a Steeler, he only carried the ball twice for eight yards. As a Brown, he ran for 4,712 yards and 31 touchdowns. Motley made one Pro Bowl and two All-Pro teams as he helped the Browns win four AAFC Championships and one NFL Championship.

Inducted

1968

Position

Fullback

Years with Steelers

1955

Kevin Greene

Linebacker Kevin Greene terrorized quarterbacks as a member of the Los Angeles Rams for eight years before coming to Pittsburgh in 1993. In three seasons with the Steelers, he racked up 35.5 of his 160 career sacks and played a key role in Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl appearance in 1995. He left to play for Carolina for the 1996 season, and eventually retired in 1999 ranked number three in NFL history for career sacks.

Year Inducted

2016

Position

Linebacker

Years with Steelers

1993-95

Len Dawson

Pittsburgh drafted Len Dawson in 1957 and parked him on the bench for three years. In 1960, they traded him to Cleveland, who didn’t treat him much better. By 1962, Dawson had won an AFL Championship as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Texans. During his 19-season career, he made 7 Pro Bowls and 2 All-Pro teams, and he won one Super Bowl and three AFL Championships.

Inducted

1987

Position

Quarterback

Years with Steelers

1957-1959

Arthur J. Rooney statue at Heinz Field. Rooney founded the Pittsburgh franchise in 1933.
Arthur J. Rooney statue at Heinz Field. Rooney founded the Pittsburgh franchise in 1933. | Source

Steelers Owners and Coaches in the Hall of Fame

Arthur J. Rooney

The history of the Pittsburgh Steelers starts with Arthur J. Rooney. Rooney, affectionately known as “the Chief,” was an NFL icon who founded the Steelers in 1933 and served as Team President until his passing in 1988. His dedication to the Steelers organization and the city of Pittsburgh are a big reason the team is so successful today. The Chief endured decades of losing until his beloved Steelers finally won a championship in 1974. The Rooney family has maintained majority ownership over the Steelers since the team’s inception.

Dan Rooney

Art Rooney’s son, Dan, played a major role in the Steelers’ success starting in the 1970s. He was the General Manager responsible for hiring Coach Chuck Noll, and he served as the team’s chairman from the time of his father’s passing in 1988 until his death in 2017. Outside of football, Rooney served as Ambassador to Ireland from 2009-2012 under President Barack Obama.

Chuck Noll

Coach Chuck Noll came to the Steelers in 1969. Before Noll, the Steelers had been perennial losers with only one playoff appearance in their history. By 1974, Noll had built a championship team. Under his leadership, the Steelers won four Super Bowls in the 1970s and are widely considered the team of the decade. Noll retired after the 1991 season with a record of 193-148-1. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

Bert Bell

Bert Bell was a team owner and executive and a key player in bringing the NFL to Pennsylvania. He was coach and part-owner of Philadelphia Eagles and had a stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1941-1946. While he is revered today as an NFL executive he was also one of the worst coaches in NFL history. He led the Eagles and Steelers to a combined record of 10 wins, 46 losses, and 2 ties, giving him a career winning percentage of .179.

Walt Kiesling

Kiesling is remembered in Pittsburgh as the Steelers coach from 1939 to 1944 and 1954 to 1956, during which periods he posted a record of 30 wins, 55 losses, and 5 ties. Before he retired and became a coach, he was a good player. Walt Kiesling played guard and tackle for six different teams--including the Steelers--during his 13-year career, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

Steelers Hall of Fame Snubs

Selection to the NFL Hall of Fame caps a player’s legacy as one of the greatest of all time, but the process is far from perfect. Because of the small number of individuals inducted every year, some amazing players wait years or even decades to get in. If several nominated players played the same position, the Hall often seems reluctant to induct them all at once. As time passes and former players fall out of the public eye their chances of enshrinement diminish.

Several former Steelers probably deserve to be in the Hall of Fame today but have yet to make the cut, including:

L.C. Greenwood

Defensive end L.C. Greenwood was one of the most dominant pass rushers of his era. He lined up alongside Joe Greene as part of the Steelers’ Steel Curtain defense and helped bring four Super Bowl championships to the Steel City.

Hines Ward

Ward is the best Steelers wide receiver of all time and one of only a few NFL players with 1,000 career pass receptions. He won two Super Bowls and was voted MVP in one. He’s missed the final cut three times so far.

Alan Faneca

Alan Faneca was one of the best guards in the league during his time in the NFL. He was voted to nine Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams, and he won a Super Bowl, yet he still somehow missed the final cut for the Hall of Fame in 2019.

Greg Lloyd

Outside linebacker Greg Lloyd racked up 54.5 sacks in an NFL career where he made five Pro Bowl rosters and three All-Pro teams. He played most of his career during a time when the Steelers struggled, but he was a major contributor to the Super Bowl run of 1995.

Carnell Lake

Lake was a former college linebacker and one of the best safeties in the league when All-Pro cornerback Rod Woodson went down with a knee injury in 1995. Lake stepped in at corner and made the Pro Bowl while helping the Steelers get to the Super Bowl. He made five Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team in his career.

Hines Ward deserves a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Hines Ward deserves a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame | Source

Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame FAQ

Which jersey numbers have the Steelers retired?

Though the Pittsburgh NFL franchise has been around since 1933, the team has only retired two jersey numbers in its entire history: Ernie Stautner’s No. 70 and Joe Greene’s No. 75.

How many Steelers are in the Hall of Fame?

The Steelers have 27 representatives in the Hall of Fame. This includes 23 players plus four coaches and executives.

Is Troy Polamalu in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Not yet! Troy Polamalu is not eligible for nomination until 2020 when he will most likely be enshrined on his first ballot.

Which Steelers receivers are in the Hall of Fame?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have two pure wide receivers in the Hall of Fame: John Stallworth and Lynn Swann. Both played during the Super Bowl dynasty of the 1970s

Which NFL team has the most players in the Hall of Fame?

The Chicago Bears have the most Pro Football Hall of Famers with 33 players, coaches, and executives enshrined as of 2019.

Making the Hall of Fame

Every football fan believes more of their team’s players should be in the Hall of Fame. It is also easy to identify dozens of players who are worthy of induction yet remain on the outside. There lies the biggest problem the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and halls of fame in general: If you let everybody in, it is no longer special. The Hall of Fame must truly represent the best of the best.

How does the NFL strike a balance between keeping the Hall of Fame exclusive while at the same time making sure great players get the recognition they deserve? It seems an impossible task.

Some people would like to see the classes expanded to include more players. The NFL will do exactly that in 2020, enshrining 20 new members as part of its 100th-year celebration. This will help fast track a few deserving players who have been waiting far too long.

Hall of Fame inductions and snubs give us one more thing to talk about (and argue about) when it comes to pro football. We all know the great players who are shoe-ins five years after retirement, and we know Tom Brady is going to fly there like Superman after he takes his final snap. However, the players in the gray areas make for some very interesting conversations. That, after all, is why we watch sports.

References and Statistical Resources

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