PITTSBURGH, PA – One former Steelers great gets the call, or more literally, the knock on the door, while another has to wait (again). Safety Troy Polamalu has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, but Guard Alan Faneca misses out for the fifth year in a row.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 1, 2020
Polamalu, who becomes the 80th player to be elected in his first year on the ballot in history, played 12 seasons for the Steelers from 2003-14 after being a first-round draft pick out of USC in 2003, winning two Super Bowls. He made eight Pro Bowls, was selected four times as a first-team All-Pro, received second-team All-Pro honors twice and was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.
Polamalu was previously selected as a member of the NFL’s 2000s all-decade team and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ all-time team. Polamalu was also recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He finished his NFL career by playing in 158 games and recording 770 tackles, 12 sacks, 32 interceptions, 14 forced fumbles and scored three touchdowns.
While this year’s induction ceremony will have a major Steelers vibe to it with Polamalu joining a class that already includes Bill Cowher, Donnie Shell and Buddy Parker, it will also be bitter sweet for Steelers Nation with Faneca being left out.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 1, 2020
The Steelers’ first-round pick out of LSU in 1998, Faneca played 13 NFL seasons, spending his first 10 years in Pittsburgh from 1998-07, taking part in the team’s Super Bowl XL victory. Over the course of his career, Faneca was named to nine Pro Bowls, was a six-time first-team All-Pro and a two-time second-team All-Pro. He was named to the NFL’s 2000s all-decade team and the Steelers’ All-Time Team.
Ryan Shazier on Nearly Fighting Le’Veon Bell at Practice
Le’Veon Bell’s exit from the Pittsburgh Steelers after holding out the entire 2018 season was certainly a contentious one, but during his time in Pittsburgh, he was largely a well-liked and respected member of the Pittsburgh locker room.
Even this summer, with Bell a member of the New York Jets, he worked out with Steelers running backs James Conner and Jaylen Samuels, suggesting there is no hard feelings between the star running back and his former teammates.
But even amongst teammates, disagreements and alterations can be common. Former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier might be one of the most level-headed players to suit up in black and gold over the last decade, but he recalled one time that he and Bell nearly came to blows during practice, while appearing on The Ringer Podcast.
“There was a few times me and Le’Veon would butt heads,” Shazier said. “Le’Veon’s a cool dude, too, but we’d have periods in practice when the linebackers would go against the running backs.”
— Ringer Podcast Network (@ringerpodcasts) October 14, 2020
Shazier recalled a time when he was dominating Bell in a one-on-one drill on a day the team was practicing without pads. After being beaten twice, Bell decided to stiff arm Shazier, which is against the limited contact rules of the practice, drawing the ire of the usually cool linebacker.
“He was so mad at me because I made a good play that he came back and was like ‘Nah, let’s do that again’ and then I was right there the same time but he stiff-armed me,” Shazier recalled. “Then we almost got into a fight, me and Le’Veon, that quick. It’s like there’s rules to the game and you know the rules.”
But Shazier said the situation never escalated beyond that.
“We just chopped it up,” he said. “I was just like, man, Le’Veon got mad in this situation. All right, whatever. Let’s move on. It’s really hard to get me to want to fight you.”
Ben Roethlisberger Sets Steelers Games Played Record
PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger is the Steelers’ new ironman.
Roethlisberger broke a team record during Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans at Heinz Field by suiting up for his 221st game. He broke the team record of 220 games played that had been held by center Mike Webster since 1988.
Roethlisberger was the Steelers first-round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and has spent his entire career in Pittsburgh. The 38-year-old passer set the Steelers’ record for seasons played in 2019 with his 16th season played and is now in his 17th season.
He’s won two Super Bowls with the team, has been selected to six Pro Bowls and has twice led the NFL in passing yards.
He is the Steelers’ all-time leader in passing yards, entering the 2020 season with 56,545, nearly double that of second-place Terry Bradshaw. Nine of the 10 best passing seasons and nine of the 10 best passing games in team history belong to Roethlisberger.
He also holds the team career record for highest completion percentage, passer rating and touchdown passes.
Polamalu, Lloyd Headline 2020 Steelers Hall of Honor Class
The Steelers announced James Farrior, Greg Lloyd, Troy Polamalu, Mike Wagner and Dwight White will join their Hall of Honor.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 26, 2020
Polamalu, who will officially be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next year, will now also headline this Steelers Hall of Honor class. The team’s first-round pick in 2013 out of USC, Polamalu is widely regarded as one of the best safeties of all-time. He was named to eight Pro Bowls, four First-Team All-Pro teams, and won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. The safety known for his high-flying style also earned two Super Bowl rings in his 12 seasons in Pittsburgh.
Greg Lloyd served a pivotal role in the Steelers defenses of the 90s. Lloyd recorded 53.5 sacks, 34 fumbles. His best seasons came from 1993-1995, each of which earned him First-Team All-Pro recognition.
Linebacker James Farrior signed with the Steelers as a free agent in 2002. He won two Super Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro in 2004.
Mike Wagner and Dwight “Mad Dog” White provide the “Steel Curtain” era of the 1970’s representation in this year’s class. Wagner and White were both part of 4 Super Bowl championship teams during their decade with the Steelers. Statistically, Wagner recorded 36 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries while White ranks 10th in franchise history with 46 sacks.
It was an honor to play with some of these greats!! This class is more than deserving, these men are leaders who set the example.
— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) September 26, 2020
In 2017, the Steelers opened their Hall of Honor and inducted 24 inaugural members. They then added five more inductees the next year. Four new members joined last season.