Game Preview: Steelers vs. Vikings (Hall of Fame Game)

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-0)
Date: Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Site: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (22,364) • Canton, Ohio
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
TV Coverage: NBC (locally WPXI-TV, channel 11)
Announcers: Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color analyst), Paul Burmeister (sideline)
Local Radio: Steelers Radio Network, WDVE-FM (102.5)/WBGG-AM (970)
Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Tunch Ilkin (color analyst), Craig Wolfl ey (sideline)
National Radio: Westwood One Sports
Announcers: Scott Graham (play-by-play), James Lofton (color analyst)


Jerome Bettis is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jerome Bettis was honored for his illustrious career as one of the NFL's most prolific running backs as he was elected to the Pro Football Hall f Fame Class of 2015, and will be enshrined on Saturday, August 8, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

Bettis played in 192 regular-season games in his 13-year career, spending his fi rst three years with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and the final 10 with the Steelers. The Detroit native registered the sixth-most rushing yards (13,662) in NFL history. Bettis eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in 61 games during the regular season and three times in the postseason, compiling a 47-17 record in those contests.

He recorded 78 rushing touchdowns as a member of the Steelers during the regular season, the second-most in franchise history behind Hall of Famer Franco Harris (91). In all, Bettis led his team in rushing 11 seasons, three with the Rams and eight with the Steelers. His eight 1,000-plus yard seasons tied for third-best in the NFL when he retired.

Bettis was named to six Pro Bowls, voted fi rst team All-Pro twice, second team All-Pro once and was the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year in 1996. In 10 years in Pittsburgh, Bettis helped the Steelers reach four AFC Championship games and win Super Bowl XL in 2005, finishing his career with a victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Before he came to Pittsburgh in 1996 and recorded 1,431 rushing yards in his fi rst season, the Steelers had only one 1,000 yard rusher in the previous 12 seasons.

The Steelers will open up the NFL's preseason slate in this week's NFL/Hall of Fame Game vs. the Minnesota Vikings in Canton, Ohio. Sunday night's contest at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium will mark the sixth time the Steelers have played in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game and the fi rst time since 2007.

Below is a list of the franchise's six previous appearences in the annual NFL/Hall of Fame Game:

September 8, 1963
Cleveland Browns, 7
Pittsburgh Steelers, 16

September 6, 1964
Baltimore Colts, 48
Pittsburgh Steelers, 17

July 30, 1983
New Orleans Saints, 14
Pittsburgh Steelers, 27

August 1, 1998
Pittsburgh Steelers, 6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 30

August 5, 2007
New Orleans Saints, 7
Pittsburgh Steelers, 20

Series History: Series began in 1962
Overall Regular Season: Vikings lead, 9-7
At Pittsburgh: Steelers lead, 5-4
At Minnesota: Vikings lead, 5-2
Neutral Sites: n/a
Streak: Vikings won previous meeting
Last Regular-Season Meeting: Sept. 29, 2013 at Minnesota
Minnesota 34, Pittsburgh 27
Postseason Series: Steelers lead, 1-0
Last Postseason Meeting: Jan. 12, 1975 at Minnesota
Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6 - Super Bowl IX
(preseason and postseason record not included in overall series record)

This week's game marks the sixth occassion the Steelers will have played in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game and the fi rst time since 2007...Pittsburgh and Minnesota will meet for the fi fth time in preseason action since 2000 this week...the two teams have split the previous four exhibition contests at two games each.


*Former Steelers/Vikings

• Steelers HC Mike Tomlin served as the Minnesota Vikings DC in 2006.
• Steelers RB coach James Saxon held the same position with the Vikings from 2011-13.
• Vikings WR coach George Stewart was a member of the Steelers' ST coaching staff from 1989-91.
• Minnesota RB coach Kirby Wilson served in the same capacity with the Steelers from 2007-13.
• Minnesota WR Mike Wallace was a third-round selection (84th overall) by Pittsburgh in the 2009 NFL Draft.
• Wallace was a teammate of Vikings CB DeMarcus Van Dyke in Pittsburgh from 2011-12.

Area Connections
• Vikings AOL coach Hank Fraley was a standout offensive lineman at Robert Morris University from 1996-99.
• Minnesota's QCl coach Andrew Janocko was a backup QB for the University of Pittsburgh from 2006-09.
• Vikings QB coach Scott Turner spent 2008-09 as an offensive assistant at the University of Pittsburgh and 2010 as the school's WR coach.
• Vikings G Brandon Fusco is a native of Cranberry Twp., Pa. and is a graduate of Seneca Valley High School. He played collegiately at Slippery Rock University.
• Vikings rookie OT T.J. Clemmings played at the University of Pittsburgh from 2010-14.

NFL Connections
• Pittsburgh OC Todd Haley and Minnesota HC Mike Zimmer worked together for the Dallas Cowboys from 2004-06, while Vikings CB Terence Newman was a player.
• Pittsburgh OL coach Mike Munchak and Minnesota DB coach Jerry Gray worked together for the Tennessee Oilers/Titans from 1997-00.
• Steelers STC Danny Smith also coached with Gray for the Buffalo Bills from 2001-03, and again from 2006-09 in Washington.
• Steelers TE coach James Daniel and Vikings WR coach George Stewart were on the Falcons' staff in 2003.
• Steelers RB James Saxon and Vikings DC George Edwards were on the Miami Dolphins coaching staff from 2008-09.
• Saxon also worked with Vikings STC Mike Priefer from 2006-07 for the Kansas City Chiefs.
• Steelers conditioning coordinator Garrett Giemont and Vikings OC Norv Turner worked together for the Los Angeles Rams from 1985-90.
• Steelers QB Bruce Gradkowski (2011-12) and LB James Harrison (2013) were members of the Cincinnati Bengals while Zimmer served as the team's DC.
• Steelers LB Arthur Moats played for the Buffalo Bills from 2010-11 while Edwards was the DC.
• Steelers DT Cam Thomas played for Turner from 2010-12 during his tenure as the San Diego Chargers HC.
• Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams played for the Carolina Panthers while Vikings OL coach Jeff Davidson was the Panthers OC from 2007-10.
• Williams also played with Vikings CB Captain Munnerlyn in Carolina from 2009-13.

College Connections
• Pittsburgh C Maurkice Pouncey and OT Marcus Gilbert were teammates with Vikings DE Justin Trattou at the University of Florida from 2007-09.
• Gilbert and Trattou also played with Vikings DT Shariff Floyd in 2010.
• Steelers TE Heath Miller played his final two seasons at Virginia from 2003-04 while Minnesota's head S&C coach Evan Marcus held the same position at Virginia.
• Steelers G David DeCastro and Vikings G David Yankey played together on Stanford's offensive line from 2010-11.
• Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was a Michigan State teammates of Vikings CB Trae Waynes in 2012.
• Pittsburgh TE Matt Spaeth and Minnesota CB Marcus Sherels played together at the University of Minnesota from 2004-06.
• Steelers CB Brandon Boykin (2008-11) and LB Jarvis Jones (2010-12) and Vikings K Blair Walsh (2008-11) played together at the University of Georgia.
• Pittsburgh WR Markus Wheaton and Minnesota DE Scott Crichton were teammates at Oregon State from 2011-12.
• Steelers DE Stephon Tuitt and Vikings WR DaVaris Daniels were teammates at Notre Dame from 2011-13.
• Steelers QB Landry Jones and Vikings T Phil Loadholt were teammates at the University of Oklahoma in 2008.
• Jones also played alongside Vikings OT Tyrus Thompson at Oklahoma from 2010-12.
• Steelers LB Sean Spence and Vikings CB DeMarcus Van Dyke both played collegiately at the University of Miami from 2008-10.
• Spence was also a teammate of Vikings TE Chase Ford in 2010 and 2011.
• Steelers LB Vince Williams and Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes were teammates at Florida State from 2009-12.
• Pittsburgh DT Steve McLendon and Minnesota RB DuJuan Harris both played at Troy from 2007-08.
• Steelers P Brad Wing and Vikings DE Danielle Hunter were LSU teammates in 2012.
• Steelers CB Antwon Blake and Vikings RB Joe Banyard played together at UTEP from 2009-10.
• Steelers TE Jesse James and Vikings LB Gerald Hodges both played at Penn State in 2012.
• Steelers S Gerod Holliman played alongside Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater and DE B.J. Dubose at Louisville from 2012-13.

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