UNITY TWP., Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers announced their 2022 Hall of Honor Class Saturday from the Fred Rogers Center of Saint Vincent College.
The class includes:
Heath Miller, Tight End, 2005-2015;
Sam Davis, Offensive Lineman, 1967-1979;
Ray Matthews, Running Back, 1951-1960;
Myron Cope, Radio, 1970-2005.
Miller was the biggest name as inarguably the best tight end in franchise history. He finished with 6,569 receiving yards and 45 receiving touchdowns and played a major role in the team’s Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII victories.
“It’s hard to put into words, to be honest,” Miller said after his induction. “I knew this was in existence but I didn’t give too much thought to one day being part of it. When you think of the legacy of the Steelers and the great players who’ve come through here, to even be mentioned in the same area code as those guys is hard to put into words.”
Art Rooney II, who spoke at the start of the ceremony, offered his memories, thoughts and appreciation of Miller after the ceremony.
“Heath was a model citizen,” Rooney said. “A team player, unselfish, and did whatever had to be done to keep having success. He was a model professional football player. I’m not sure there were ‘wow’ moments with Heath off the field. He was a quiet, humble guy and a great teammate. He was part of the glue of that team.”
Despite playing 11 seasons for the Steelers, Rooney’s favorite memory of Miller stems from his rookie season and playoff run to Super Bowl XL.
“It’s hard to pick out one,” Rooney said of his favorite moment of Miller. “The playoff game in Indianapolis when we took an early lead had a lot of passes to Heath in the early part of the game that set the tone. It established Heath as somebody to be reckoned with.”
Davis worked his way from being an undrafted free agent in 1967 to become a starting offensive lineman by 1970. He became a staple of the Steelers’ offensive line across all four of their Super Bowl victories in the 1970s.
“Sam came on a little bit slow,” Rooney said of Davis. “But he worked his way into being a foundation of that line. I always say that line didn’t get the credit they deserved because they played as a unit most of the time. There wasn’t much turnover on that line for most of the years. Sam was a key part of it and a captain. He’s the kind of guy we like to recognize.”
Matthews was a 1951 seventh round pick who became a two-time Pro Bowl running back for the Steelers during the 1950s. He led the NFL twice in yards per touch in 1952 and 1955, which were both of his Pro Bowl seasons.
“That one, I can’t help you with,” Rooney said with a chuckle when asked if he had a favorite Mathews moment. Mathews retired from the NFL when Rooney was eight years old. “I remember people talking about Ray, but that’s as far as I can go with it. My dad and my grandfather used to talk about him and thought he was a great player.”
Cope was the longtime Steelers radio broadcaster who started his career announcing for the team in 1970. He famously played a large role in the development of the Terrible Towel as a franchise symbol. His efforts to develop a rally gimmick in 1975 led to the Steelers possessing one of the most iconic fan items in all of NFL history.
“I do remember the early days,” Rooney said of Cope. “A lot of people thought, ‘why do you have that guy with the weird voice on the radio?’ He was one of a kind. He had his radio show every night and on Friday nights he would get the fans fired up for the game on Sunday. He brought so much energy and spirit to Steelers nation. He was very special.”