Steelers' great Woodson among Hall of Fame nominees
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Former Steelers great Rod Woodson joins Buffalo defensive end Bruce Smith, both eligible for the first time, highlight the 133 nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009, released today.
Woodson should be the first post-Steel Curtain era Steelers player inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the first since John Stallworth was inducted in 2002. He was voted to the NFL's prestigious all-75th anniversary team and played 17 seasons as a cornerback and safety in the NFL.
He played his first 10 seasons as a cornerback with the Steelers, then left as a free agent and played with San Francisco, Baltimore and Oakland, winning a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens.
Woodson made the Pro Bowl 11 times and his 71 career interceptions rank third all-time in the NFL.
Hall of Fame selectors will whittle the list to 25 modern-era semifinalists next month, then to 15 finalists. A final vote will take place Jan. 31, when between four and seven members are selected from the 15 finalists and two seniors nominees, Bob Hayes and Claude Humphrye.
Former Steelers center Dermontti Dawson, linebackers Kevin Greene and Hardy Nickerson, personnel director Art Rooney Jr and coach Buddy Parker are repeat nominees, as are former Pitt linemen Russ Grimm and Mark May and linebacker Rickey Jackson.
The complete list of nominees:
First-Year Eligible Nominees
RUNNING BACKS -- Larry Centers, Brian Mitchell (also KR/PR)
TIGHT ENDS -- Shannon Sharpe, Frank Wycheck
OFFENSIVE TACKLE -- Lincoln Kennedy
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN -- John Randle (DE/DT), Bruce Smith (DE), Dana Stubblefield (DT)
LINEBACKER -- Jessie Armstead
DEFENSIVE BACKS -- Darren Woodson (S), Rod Woodson (CB/S)
QUARTERBACKS -- Ken Anderson, Boomer Esiason, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Ken Stabler, Joe Theismann, Doug Williams
RUNNING BACKS -- Ottis Anderson, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Greg Pruitt (also KR/PR), Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters
WIDE RECEIVERS -- Cliff Branch, Harold Carmichael, *Cris Carter, Wes Chandler, Gary Clark, Isaac Curtis, Henry Ellard, Irving Fryar, Roy Green, Harold Jackson, Herman Moore, Stanley Morgan, *Andre Reed, Sterling Sharpe
TIGHT ENDS -- Mark Bavaro, Todd Christensen, Ben Coates, Russ Francis, Brent Jones, Steve Jordan
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN -- Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Jim Covert (T), Randy Cross (G/C), Dave Dalby (C), Dermontti Dawson (C), Ray Donaldson (C), *Russ Grimm (G), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Kent Hill (G/T), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), *Bob Kuechenberg (G), Jim Lachey (T), Henry Lawrence (G/T), Mark May (G/T/C), *Randall McDaniel (G), Max Montoya (G), Marvin Powell (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN -- Ray Childress (DT/DE), *Richard Dent (DE), Chris Doleman (DE/LB), Carl "Big Daddy" Hairston (DE/DT), Charles Haley (DE/LB), Ed "Too Tall" Jones (DE), Cortez Kennedy (DT), Joe Klecko (DE/DT/NT), Steve McMichael (DT/NT), Leslie O'Neal (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT), Art Still (DE)
LINEBACKERS -- Cornelius Bennett, Robert Brazile, Kevin Greene (LB/DE), Ken Harvey, Rickey Jackson, Tom Jackson, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Hardy Nickerson, Chris Spielman, Pat Swilling, Darryl Talley, *Derrick Thomas
DEFENSIVE BACKS -- Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S), LeRoy Butler (S), Deron Cherry (S), Raymond Clayborn (CB), Kenny Easley (S), Lester Hayes (CB), Albert Lewis (CB), Ken Riley (CB), Eugene Robinson (S), Donnie Shell (S), Louis Wright (CB)
PUNTERS/KICKERS -- Rich Camarillo (P), *Ray Guy (P), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P)
SPECIAL TEAMS/WIDE RECEIVER -- Steve Tasker
COACHES -- Don Coryell, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves, Clark Shaughnessy
CONTRIBUTORS -- Bud Adams, Gil Brandt, C.O. Brocato, Leo Carlin, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Ben Dreith, Bob Harlan, Jerry Jones, Art Modell, Art Rooney, Jr., Ed Sabol, Steve Sabol, *Paul Tagliabue, Ralph Wilson, Jr., Ron Wolf, George Young