Steelers News

Bettis Believes Faneca, Shell, Cowher All Belong In Hall Of Fame

With the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend coming to a close, the players honored during the event are starting to relax.

One of those players is Jerome Bettis, who at first struggled during previous media sessions to name players that should be in the Hall of Fame with him (other than Alan Faneca). However, after having some time to think and with the excitement over his enshrinement dying down, the Bus was finally able to give his insight on who he believes deserves the highest honor in Pro Football.

During the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinees’ GameDay Roundtable on Sunday, Bettis let the crowd know who he thinks should be getting their gold jackets soon.

“For me, it’s a couple of guys, one I didn’t have the pleasure of playing with, who I would have loved to play with, was Donnie Shell.”

There’s been a recent push for Shell to get in as a Senior Committee nominee, which nominates one player from the pre-1989 era every year.

Shell was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, and a three-time AP first-team All-Pro selection. Shell also won four Super Bowls as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 70s.

In addition, Bettis also mentioned his former coach, Bill Cowher as deserving of the honor.

“My coach, Bill Cowher,” said Bettis. “You think about the standard he kept with the Steelers, year in and year out, losing 5,7,10 players every year ( he coached ), but to continue to keep that franchise right there at the top, year in (and) year out, I think he needs consideration.”

Bettis also mentioned his former teammate, Alan Faneca, again as a player who should be joining him in the Hall of Fame.

“Alan Faneca was a great guard for me for a lot of years, and he deserves consideration, because he’s coming up.”

Bettis had already touched on how great Faneca was, and how he needs to be considered as a first-ballot hall of famer when he becomes eligible for the honor next year. However, this just shows how much he values Faneca, and how highly he thinks of him as a player.

As for Cowher, that’s a new take that we haven’t heard from the new Hall of Famer.

Cowher coached the Steelers from 1992-2006, and won a fifth Super Bowl for Pittsburgh in 2005. Cowher also won eight division titles, and was named Sporting News NFL Coach of the Year in 1992 and 2004.

There has been a lot of debate over Cowher’s possible future enshrinement, but you can’t deny his track record and his stability as Chuck Noll’s successor.

As for Shell, he should have been in the Hall of Fame years ago. He was a key part to the great 1970s Steelers defenses that dominated the era. I would be surprised if Shell didn’t get in sometime in the next three years, likely when there isn’t another former Steeler in the class.

And Faneca, well I’ve already touched on my thoughts about Faneca in a previous article, but he’s arguably one of the greatest offensive linemen to ever play the position, and certainly should be considered next year.

Overall, Bettis laid out some solid candidates for enshrinement, and hopefully, the selection committee was listening.

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