The Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Slate Finalists for the Class of 2020 were announced on Thursday and includes three former members of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Former Steelers safety Donnie Shell is among the Seniors players, (which are players who have played more than 25 seasons ago), while former head coaches Bill Cowher and Buddy Parker are among the coaches selected who are eligible.
According to the Thursday announcement by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a Blue-Ribbon Panel, comprised of many members of the overall Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Hall of Famers, coaches, football executives and several leading historians, were asked to scrutinized the merits of nearly 300 candidates nominated for consideration as part of the Hall’s special Centennial Class of 2020. The group of nominees were then reduced to a list of finalists that will ultimately be debated in a meeting in early January and voted on by the Blue-Ribbon Panel to elect the 15-member “Centennial Slate” to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Those new enshrinees will be revealed in the days following the vote.
The finalists will be deliberated by that Blue-Ribbon Panel in January from which 10 Seniors, three (3) Contributors and two (2) Coaches will be elected to the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2020.
Shell, who played all 14 seasons of his NFL career from 1974-1987 with the Steelers, was five-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro selection, and four-time Super Bowl champ. He finished his career with 51 career interceptions, still the most in NFL history for a strong safety and had 19 fumble recoveries. He had a least one interception in each of his 14 seasons.
As for Cowher, who was the Steelers head coach from 1992-2006, he compiled a regular season record of 149-90-1 in his 15 seasons in Pittsburgh. He won eight division titles, made the playoffs 10 times during which the Steelers participated in 21 total playoff games. Those 21 playoff games included six appearances in AFC Championship Games and two trips to the Super Bowl, in which the Steelers were 1-1 and winners of Super Bowl XL.
Parker, on the other hand, coached the Steelers from 1957-64 and complied a record of 51-47-6 in his eight season.
While it is certainly nice to see Shell, Cowher and Parker all make the list of Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Slate Finalists this year, it’s very disappointing that former scout Bill Nunn and former defensive lineman L.C. Greenwood didn’t. Nunn, who passed away in 2014, was one of the primary architects of the Steelers teams of the 1970s that won four Super Bowls. Greenwood, on the other hand, was as integral part of the Steelers famed Steel Curtain defense that helped the team win those four Super Bowls in the 1970s. He sadly passed away in 2013.