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Woodson and Dawson Among Hall of Fame Finalists

Two former Steelers are among those that are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The two players are cornerback Rod Woodson and center Dermontti Dawson. The Class of 2009 will be announced at a press conference at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 31, at the Super Bowl media center.

Here are the bios on the two Steelers that are up for possible induction into the Hall of Fame:

Dermontti Dawson

Center. . .6-2, 288 . . .Kentucky. . .1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers. . .13 playing seasons, 184 games. . .Steelers’ second-round draft pick (44th player overall), 1988 NFL Draft . . .Second-team All-SEC at Kentucky. . .Started five of eight games played as a rookie at right guard. . .Missed eight weeks at midseason with knee injury. . .Became starting center in 1989 replacing future Hall of Famer Mike Webster. . .Doubled as team’s long snapper, 1988-1993. . . Named Co-AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year (with Richmond Webb) by NFL Players Association, 1993. . .Selected as NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year, 1996. . .Played in 170 consecutive games before streak ended in 1999 due to hamstring injury. . .His exceptional speed and strength enabled him to do things not typical of a center. . .Named first-team All-Pro six consecutive years (1993-1998). . . Selected to play in seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1993-99). . .Anchor on offensive line that led Steelers to five AFC Central Division championships and one AFC championship. . .Born June 17, 1965 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Rod Woodson

Cornerback/Safety. . .6-0, 200. . .Purdue. . .1987-1996 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers, 1998-2001 Baltimore Ravens, 2002-03 Oakland Raiders. . .17 playing seasons, 238 games with 229 starts. . .Steelers first-round draft pick (10th player overall), 1987 NFL Draft. . .First-team All-America at Purdue. . .First interception of pro career resulted in 45-yard touchdown return. . . From 1991-94 recorded 12 sacks and 19 interceptions, returning three for TDs. . .In 1995 suffered serious knee injury with recovery time projected to be six to 12 months. . . Returned to action in just four months and played in Super Bowl XXX. . .Member of NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team and NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. . . NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1993. . . Intercepted 71 passes in career; third on NFL all time list. . . Is NFL’s all-time leader in interception return yardage (1,483). . .Holds NFL record for most interceptions returned for TDs (12). . .Six-time first-team All-Pro choice (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2001). . .Earned All-Pro honors as cornerback, kick returner, safety. . .Chosen to play in 11 Pro Bowls – seven with Steelers, three with Ravens, and one with Raiders. . .Born March 10, 1965, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

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