Stallworth shares his take on Bettis, Ward


LATROBE, Pa. - A week from now John Stallworth will be in Canton, Ohio, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony catching up with old friends and reliving good times.

More than that, though, he will be there to welcome the Hall of Fame Class of 2015, which includes a member who is special to Stallworth.

Former running back Jerome Bettis will be the next Steelers player to enter the Hall of Fame, and Stallworth is ready to welcome him with open arms.

"It's a special time I am sure for Jerome," said Stallworth. "For me, when I went in it was seeing all of the things you did, all the workouts, all the pain, playing hurt, all of the sacrifice when you could have been doing things other guys were doing and you chose to work on your craft.

"It is recognition that all of that is worthwhile. That means a whole lot. I am sure that is going through Jerome's head. Another Steeler, another guy worthy of going into the Hall of Fame. Excited for him, his family and the organization."

Bettis will become the 23rd member of the Steelers organization to be inducted in to the Hall of Fame, and one who represents a new era of great players in the organization.

Take a look at former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis during one of his most memorable performances.

"It's recognition that the organization is still developing players, bringing them along and there are still good people in the organization," said Stallworth. "The Hall of Fame is a recognition of your skills as a player, but I think it's also a recognition of you as a person. Particularly in this organization, the Pittsburgh Steelers, being a good person is important.

"Jerome is that. He was a role model for the players who played with him, younger players, and a role model for the entire city. He continues to do that and is an asset to the City of Pittsburgh."

Stallworth would like to see one of Bettis' teammates join him in the Hall of Fame in the coming years, wide receiver Hines Ward. Ward would first be eligible in 2017 and Stallworth thinks his numbers are worthy of making it.

"I think his numbers indicate he should," said Stallworth. "Again another good person, a good person for the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Steelers. He has the numbers to go in. It seems the receivers are stacking up and the Hall of Fame committee has an issue with that. He has what it takes to go in there."

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