Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and linebacker Kevin Greene are both finalists for the 2013 Class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bettis has been a finalist each of the three years he has been eligible and Greene, who played three seasons with the Steelers, was also a finalist in 2012.
Bettis wasn’t aware the finalists were being announced on Friday morning, and was surprised and thrilled upon hearing the news.
“It’s an honor to be considered a finalist. There are some great names on that list,” said Bettis. “If you do get your name called, it’s an honor. If you don’t it’s an honor to be associated with those great names. You can’t be mad if someone else gets in because it’s all great players on the list. It can be frustrating at times because you want to be in, but those they put in there are more than deserving of the honor.
“When you understand it’s a process and it may not happen for you, it’s not tough. You have to be comfortable with your place in history and what you were able to accomplish. That is what I am. I am comfortable with my place in history and what I have been able to do.”
Bettis began his career with the Los Angeles Rams in 1993 but had his best days once he was traded to the Steelers on draft day in 1996. Bettis was the Steelers leading rusher from 1996-2001 and 2003-04, amassing 50 100-yard games with the team. Bettis rushed for 10,571 yards with the Steelers, and 13,662 career yards, ranking him fifth overall in NFL history when he retired.
Bettis’ first year of eligibility he was on the list with running backs Marshall Faulk and Curtis Martin. Faulk was elected in 2011 and Martin in 2012, and this year Bettis is the only running back on the list of finalists.
“I hope it goes like you want it to, but you can never be sure,” said Bettis. “You can’t assume and I won’t do that. Hopefully this is the year.”
The Class of 2013 will be announced on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, the day before Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The following is the complete list of the Hall of Fame finalists.
• Larry Allen – Guard/Tackle – 1994-2005 Dallas Cowboys; 2006-07 San Francisco 49ers
• Jerome Bettis – Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams; 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
• Tim Brown – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner/Punt Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders; 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles; 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings; 2002 Miami Dolphins
• Curley Culp* – 1968-1974 Kansas City Chiefs; 1974-1980 Houston Oilers; 1980-81 Detroit Lions
• Edward DeBartolo, Jr. – Owner – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
• Kevin Greene – Linebacker/Defensive End – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams; 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers; 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers; 1997 San Francisco 49ers
• Charles Haley – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers; 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
• Art Modell – Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns; 1996-2011 Baltimore Ravens
• Jonathan Ogden – Tackle – 1996-2007 Baltimore Ravens
• Bill Parcells – Coach – 1983-1990 New York Giants; 1993-96 New England Patriots; 1997-99 New York Jets; 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
• Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills; 2000 Washington Redskins
• Dave Robinson* – 1963-1972 Green Bay Packers; 1973-74 Washington Redskins
• Warren Sapp – Defensive Tackle – 1995-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 2004-07 Oakland Raiders
• Will Shields – Guard – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
• Michael Strahan – Defensive End – 1993-2007 New York Giants
• Aeneas Williams – Cornerback/Safety – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals; 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
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