Jerome Bettis, Kevin Greene among Hall of Fame finalists


CANTON, Ohio - Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and outside linebacker Kevin Greene are among 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bettis, the mega-sized running back who gained more yards for the Steelers than anyone except Franco Harris, is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the third consecutive year.

Former Steelers outside linebacker Kevin Greene, a skilled pass rusher for the Blitzburgh defenses of the 1990s, also is among the 15 finalists.

Bettis is the sixth leading rusher in NFL history and the only one of the top 10 not enshrined in Canton. He ran for 13,662 yards for the Rams and Steelers, with most — 10,571 yards — coming with the Steelers from 1996 to 2005. He had eight career 1,000-yard seasons.

Bettis retired after the Steelers won the Super Bowl in his hometown of Detroit during the 2005 season.

The hall announced Friday that defensive end Michael Strahan and defensive tackle Warren Sapp made the cut, along with tackle Jonathan Ogden and guard-tackle Larry Allen.

Other finalists are receivers Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed; LB-De Charles Haley; guard Will Shields; defensive back Aeneas Williams; coach Bill Parcells; and owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell.

The two senior nominees are defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson. The selection committee will weigh the merits of both candidates and can choose to enshrine either, both or neither.

Between four and seven new members will be selected Feb. 2, the day before the Super Bowl, in New Orleans.


Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE and The Associated Press contributed to this report.