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Steelers Scout Bill Nunn Finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers scout Bill Nunn has been named as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021, the hall announced on Tuesday.

Nunn, who died in 2014, was a key figure in the Steelers’ success in the 1970s and helped revolutionize the scouting process for players at historically black colleges and universities, that had been previously underrepresented in the NFL.

“You don’t know how much this means to us,” Nunn’s daughter, Lynell Nunn, said in a press release.

A Homewood native, Nunn attended Westinghouse High School and played basketball West Virginia State College before moving on to a career in journalism with the Pittsburgh Courier, where he was a sportswriter, sports editor and eventually managing editor of what was at the time one of the most influential black publications in the country.

It was while he was with the Courier that Nunn first attempted to gain recognition for athletes at traditionally black schools, creating a black college All-America list. The Steelers noticed and hired him in 1968 to their scouting department.

In 1969, thanks to Nunn’s scouting, the Steelers struck gold by landing defensive end L.C. Greenwood out of Arkansas Pine-Bluff in the 10th round of the NFL Draft. In 1970, they look Mel Blount out of Southern in the third round. In 1972, they got Ernie Holmes from Texas Southern in the eighth round and in 1974, in one of the best draft classes in NFL history, the Steelers took John Stallworth from Alabama A&M in the fourth round and signed Donnie Shell from South Carolina State as an undrafted free agent.

Nunn is the lone finalist recommended by the nine-member contributor committee. Nunn will now be voted upon by the entire 48-member selection committee on Feb. 6, 2021. Up for consideration will be Nunn, senior committee finalist Drew Pearson, coaches committee finalist Tom Flores and 15 modern era finalists.

The Class of 2021 will be enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 8, 2021.

The Steelers have not had any nominated through the contributor committee, which dates back to 2015, though executives Art Rooney (1964) and Dan Rooney (2000) were previously enshrined. 

Shell, fellow safety Troy Polamalu and coach Bill Cowher were part of the hall’s Class of 2020. Before that, the last Steelers to go into Canton were Tony Dungy and Kevin Greene in 2016 and Jerome Bettis in 2015.

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Should Steelers Sign Zach Banner to be Starter in 2021?

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Zach Banner has become a prominent member of the Steelers, but that’s not because he’s had success on the field over the past year. Banner’s success has come off the field by connecting with fans on social media and doing his part to help those in need than he has on a football field. But by no means is that Banner’s fault.

He suffered a season ending torn ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. This injury was especially devastating for the USC product because it occurred on the heels of Banner winning the starting right tackle position following a tough training camp battle with Chukwuma Okorafor.

Due to Banner’s injury, it was Okorafor who ended up starting 16 games, including the postseason. While Banner kept in good spirits and became his team’s loudest cheerleader on Twitter during games, it was clear he wanted to be on the field and contributing.

Earning a starting spot as a member of the Steelers offensive line was a major career achievement for Banner, but it was one he didn’t get to enjoy. With Banner expected to be ready for a return next season, should the Steelers sign the 27-year-old with the anticipation that he could be a key piece to bolster the offensive line that was missing during the 2020 season?

Do you believe in Zach Banner? Comment below with why or why not.

Do you still believe in Zach Banner?

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Zach Banner Announces Self-imposed Social Media Ban Until he Signs New Deal

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Zach Banner is sending a clear message about his priorities ahead of the 2021 NFL season. Banner, who is a free agent and looking for a new deal with the Steelers, tweeted that he is going to stay off social media until he officially signs on the dotted line.

Zach Banner has become a prominent member of the Steelers, but that’s not because he’s had success on the field over the past year. Banner’s success has come off the field by connecting with fans on social media and doing his part to help those in need than he has on a football field. But by no means is that Banner’s fault. He suffered a season ending torn ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. This injury was especially devastating for the USC product because it occurred on the heels of Banner winning the starting right tackle position following a tough training camp battle with Chukwuma Okorafor.

Due to Banner’s injury, it was Okorafor who ended up starting 16 games, including the postseason. While Banner kept in good spirits and became his team’s loudest cheerleader on Twitter during games, it was clear he wanted to be on the field and contributing.

Earning a starting spot as a member of the Steelers offensive line was a major career achievement for Banner, but it was one he didn’t get to enjoy. Banner now hopes to return to Pittsburgh and be the missing piece the Steelers offensive line desperately needs.

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Rooney: Steelers Plan to Return to St. Vincent for 2021 Training Camp

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There is plenty that remains up in the air about the 2021 NFL offseason, but the Pittsburgh Steelers still have plans to resume one of their enduring traditions that was broken by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Steelers were forced to forgo their trip to the campus of St. Vincent College near Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 2020 due to the NFL’s rules regarding keeping players isolated during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s unclear how much those restrictions will change for the NFL teams this summer, but as things stand as of today, the Steelers are still making plans to return to the Laurel Highlands for the team’s annual training camp this summer.

“As we sit here today, our plan is to have training camp in Latrobe,” team president Art Rooney II said to Steelers.com on Friday. “We still have a ways to go to get there, but I think there’s a pretty good chance that’s going to be able to happen. We’re still hopeful we’re going to have some form of offseason program, and it’s probably not going to start on time but I think it’s important particularly for the young players that we get back to having an offseason program and then a full training camp and preseason games. I think we need to have that to help the young players continue to develop.”

Displaced from their usual bucolic summer home and from UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side due to capacity limitations, the Steelers spent the 2020 training camp and preseason at Heinz Field.

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