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Number Of Steelers Named Modern-Era Nominees For Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class Of 2024


A little over a month after the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was enshrined in the hallowed halls in Canton, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced 173 modern-era nominees for the Class of 2024 Tuesday morning.

Among the 173 modern-era nominees are a handful of former Pittsburgh Steelers, led by wide receiver Hines Ward and outside linebacker James Harrison. Last November, Ward and Harrison were named semifinalists for the Class of 2023 but came up short in the finalist voting.

Now, they are getting another shot and are joined by former teammates in nose tackle Casey Hampton, linebackers James Farrior and Joey Porter, as well as defensive back Carnell Lake and kicker Gary Anderson. Former Steelers defensive back Allen Rossum was also named a nominee.

Former head coach Buddy Parker was previously named a Senior Finalist for the Class of 2024.

Ward, a third-round pick out of the University of Georgia in the 1998 NFL Draft, played 14 seasons with the Steelers, adding two Lombardi trophies and a Super Bowl MVP to his resume during his career in the Black and Gold. He finished with 1,000 career receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns in the 14 seasons and was considered the best blocking wide receiver in the game throughout his career.

Ward finds himself in a group of 23 total wide receivers as nominees, which includes names like Anquan Boldin, Donald Driver, Torry Holt, Derrick Mason, Steve Smith Sr., Reggie Wayne and Wes Welker.

Harrison spent 14 seasons with the Steelers as well, and now sits second in career sacks with 80.5 in franchise history after T.J. Watt broke the record Monday night. Harrison recorded 811 tackles, 84.5 sacks, 34 forced fumbles, nine recoveries, eight interceptions and a touchdown in his career. He also has a Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008 on his resume, and was voted first-team All-Pro twice, earning five trips to the Pro Bowl as well.

Additionally, Harrison’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII remains a top NFL play of all-time. He retired a two-time Super Bowl champion and played in four Super Bowls in total.

Harrison finds himself among a linebacker group of nominees that includes former teammates in Farrior and Porter, as well as names like Lance Briggs, NaVorro Bowman, Tedy Bruschi, London Fletcher, Willie McGinest, Patrick Willis and Julius Peppers.

Farrior spent 10 seasons with the Steelers and recorded at least 100 tackles in six of those seasons, including a career-high of 141 in 2003. Along with his ability to get to the football and get guys on the ground on a consistent basis, Farrior was also an adept blitzer, recording 30.0 career sacks in Pittsburgh in Dick LeBeau’s Fire X Blitz package. He also really developed in coverage in his time in the Steel City, recording eight interceptions in total, including a pick-six in 2004 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Porter spent eight seasons with the Steelers and recorded 60.0 career sacks, earning three All-Pro accolades and three Pro Bowl trips.

Lake spent 10 years with the Steelers and was a versatile piece in the secondary, sliding between safety and cornerback throughout his career, earning him a spot on the 90s All-Decade team in the NFL. Hampton was the classic run-stopping nose tackle who ate up space and blockers, letting linebackers roam freely behind the five-time Pro Bowler.

The list of Modern-Era Nominees will be reduced to 25 Semifinalists in November.

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