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Three with Steelers Connections Will Be Honored by Pro Football Hall of Fame

Three people with ties to the Steelers will be honored as recipients of the Pro Football Hall of Fame “Awards of Excellence” this August.



Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame
The exterior of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where the Steelers exhibit Forged in Black and Gold has opened on Jan. 27, 2024. -- Logan Carney / Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers long-time video director who is now the team’s director of facilities Bob McCartney, former Steelers wide receivers coach Lionel Taylor and former Steelers media relations director Dan Edwards will all be honored as recipients of the Pro Football Hall of Fame “Awards of Excellence” this August, the team announced on Wednesday.

This is the third year for the Awards of Excellence, which started in 2022 to honor those in five categories who contribute to the success of the team. They include assistant coaches, athletic trainers, film/video directors, equipment managers and public relations personnel. Former Steelers public relations director Joe Gordon and equipment manager Tony Parisi were part of the initial group honored with the Awards of Excellence in 2022.

McCartney has worked for the Steelers for 51 seasons and the first game he ever filmed was when Franco Harris caught the “Immaculate Reception.” McCartney didn’t get the shot, however, as he ran out of film.

“I had a film changing bag and if you were good at it, you could do it in under two minutes. Well, I had never done it before, but I tried it. I was like this isn’t going to work right,” McCartney told Teresa Varley of “The game comes back, referee blows the whistle and we’re going to start again. There’s no way I’m going to do this. It wasn’t required as part of the exchange at that point in time. I literally packed up the gear and went downstairs on the elevator and I walked up the hallway. I was going to drop the equipment that we had off in Les Banos’ office, which was behind home plate based on the layout of Three Rivers.”

Taylor was the Steelers wide receivers coach from 1970-1976. He played a big role in developing two future Hall of Famers in Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. Taylor left the Steelers after the 1976 season to take a receiver coaching position with the Los Angeles Rams. Taylor was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1980, becoming the first Black offensive coordinator in NFL history.

Taylor had several other coaching stops before retiring in 1998. Prior to his coaching career, Taylor was a  wide receiver primarily with the Denver Broncos of American Football League (AFL), he led the league in receptions for five of the first six years of the league’s existence. The second player to lead a league in receptions for at least five seasons, Taylor is currently the last to do so. He was the third wide receiver to reach 500 receptions in pro football history. Despite impressive accolades, he has yet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Edwards spent 10 seasons with the Steelers, before joining the expansion Jaguars as one of their first employees. He was hired by Gordon, who was part of the first class to earn the honor. Edwards worked with two Hall of Fame coaches in Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher during his tenure in Pittsburgh.

The names of the winners of the Awards of Excellence will be placed on display inside a designated area of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum in Canton. Award recipients will be invited to the 2024 Enshrinement Week and will be recognized in Canton this August.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who mentored Mike Tomlin in Tampa Bay, is also a recipient for the Awards of Excellence. Longtime Broncos trainer Steve Antonopulos is another notable named that will be honored.

The Hall of Fame will recognize the 15 Awards of Excellence recipients in Canton with an evening reception June 26 and a luncheon June 27 emceed by Hall of Famer Dan Fouts.