NEW YORK (KDKA/AP) — Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Donnie Shell is going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He joins former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher. They will be inducted as part of the hall’s celebration of the NFL’s 100th season.
Steelers President Art Rooney released this statement to congratulate Shell:
“I want to congratulate Donnie Shell for his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a dynamic defender for our historic Steel Curtain defense in the 1970s.
“As an undrafted rookie Donnie immediately earned the nickname “the Torpedo” for his physical special teams play. Donnie became a starter and a force from the strong safety position both as a tackler stopping the run and a ball hawk having 51 interceptions – a record for the strong safety position. Donnie is now the fifth member of our 1974 rookie class to be inducted.
“We are excited he will be honored with our sport’s highest individual honor this summer in Canton.”
Shell played for the Steelers from 1974-1987.
“I’m really excited about Donnie Shell and Bill Cowher going into the Hall of Fame,” Rooney told KDKA’s Bob Pompeani. “Donnie we felt was long overdue. … we’ve been on cloud nine.”
In addition, former Pitt player Jim Covert is the ninth Panther to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He joins legendary names like Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett and Dan Marino.
Covert is the ninth Panther to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining DE/LB Chris Doleman (2012), TE Mike Ditka (1988), RB Tony Dorsett (1994), OL Russ Grimm (2010), LB Rickey Jackson (2010), QB Dan Marino (2005), RB Curtis Martin (2012) and LB Joe Schmidt (1973).
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) January 15, 2020
Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue made the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his fifth attempt. Tagliabue and former New York Giants general manager George Young made it as contributors.
Ex-Dallas Cowboys safety Cliff Harris and former Cleveland receiver Mac Speedie completed the centennial class.
The class of 10 senior candidates, three contributors and two coaches are part of the 100th season celebration.
Also going into the hall are Harold Carmichael, Steve Sabol, Bobby Dillon, Winston Hill, Duke Slater, Ed Sprinkle, Alex Karras and Jimmy Johnson.
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