It’s been less than one week since former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and even though he’s still several months away from officially being inducted, the NFL’s sixth-leading rusher is already campaigning for one of his former teammates to one day be enshrined with him in Canton.
During a NFL Network interview with all of the modern-era members of the 2015 Hall of Fame class, Bettis said that former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was the best player he has every played with, against or seen during his career. He then proceeded to make a case for Ward’s future induction.
“The guy I hope can be sitting right here one day is Hines Ward,” Bettis told Steve Wyche. “He was a guy – wasn’t the fastest guy, wasn’t the strongest guy. Had great hands, but his determination, his work ethic is what I was impressed by and with his small frame, to do what he was able to do, he was impressive.”
Ward, like Bettis, will probably have a tough time making into Canton on his first ballot. In fact, he might very well have to wait until Marvin Harrison, Isaac Bruce, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss all get their bust and that could take some time.
While Ward did record 1,000 receptions during his career, he might have a long wait ahead of him. 2017 is the first year that he will be eligible, so Bettis has plenty of time to campaign for him moving forward. At least he is paying it forward right from the start.