The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Which Steeler not currently in the Hall of Fame or in the running do you believe most deserves to be in?
This topic comes up every year, naturally, when the Hall of Fame voting comes around. But given that we have gotten one long-suffering injustice finally out of the way with Donnie Shell finally being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I figured it would be a good time to go back over it once again.
Of the Steelers players throughout team history who are not currently enshrined, slated to be enshrined, or in the running to be enshrined, which do you believe is the most deserving, and the most overlooked? Please limit your answers to those who would be considered ‘major contributors’, and not just having played one or two years with the team.
I figure the three most popular answers will be Hines Ward, L.C. Greenwood, and Andy Russell. Greenwood, perhaps, gets hurt because he played in an era before sacks were regarded as an official statistic, so it’s a bit less apparent to just how good he was. He was a six-time Pro Bowler, a two-time first-team All-Pro, and a member of the NFL All-70s Team.
Russell predated many from the Steel Curtain era and was a key cog mixing in with Jack Ham and later Jack Lambert at linebacker. A seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro (once first-team), he’s another who often gets overshadowed.
Then there is Ward, whose numbers as a wide receiver seem to look less and less impressive with each passing year. Those who watched him know, of course, that he can’t be judged solely by stat lines, and that’s not even talking about his blocking.
Which of these three do you believe most deserves to be in? Is there somebody else who is an even more significant oversight?