Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.
By Ed Bouchette Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and a number of his former players are among the 103 modern-day nominees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame that were announced this afternoon.
Cowher left the Steelers after the 2006 season and this is the first year he is eligible for the Hall of Fame after waiting the required five years.
Among those former Steelers nominated are two who were finalists last year, center Dermontti Dawson and halfback Jerome Bettis.
From the 103 nominees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees. The list of 25 semifinalists will be announced in mid-November.
The list of 25 semifinalists will be further reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists and announced in early January.
The final list of nominees that will be considered for election will consist of the 15 modern-era finalists and the two senior nominees, former Steelers defensive back Jack Butler and former Detroit Lions guard Dick Stanfel, who were selected this last month by the Hall of Fame's Senior Selection Committee.
Preliminary List of Nominees for the Class of 2012
First-year Eligible Nominees
Quarterback -- Drew Bledsoe
Running Backs -- Tiki Barber, Stephen Davis
Wide Receivers -- Keyshawn Johnson, Rod Smith
Offensive Lineman -- Will Shields (G)
Defensive Back -- Troy Vincent (S)
Kicker -- Mike Vanderjagt
Coaches -- Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, Marty Schottenheimer
QUARTERBACK -- Phil Simms
RUNNING BACKS -- *Jerome Bettis, Larry Centers, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Eddie George, *Curtis Martin, Brian Mitchell (also KR/PR), Gerald Riggs, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters
WIDE RECEIVERS --*Tim Brown, *Cris Carter, Gary Clark, Mark Clayton, Henry Ellard, *Andre Reed, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith
TIGHT ENDS -- Todd Christensen, Frank Wycheck
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN -- Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Jim Covert (T), *Dermontti Dawson (C), Joe Fields (C), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), Jim Lachey (T), *Willie Roaf (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN -- Dave Butz ((DE/DT), *Chris Doleman (DE/LB), Carl Hairston (DE/DT), *Charles Haley (DE/LB), Ed "Too Tall" Jones (DE), *Cortez Kennedy (DT), Joe Klecko (DE/DT/NT), Dexter Manley (DE), Charles Mann (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT)
LINEBACKERS -- Cornelius Bennett, Kevin Greene (LB/DE), Ken Harvey, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills
DEFENSIVE BACKS -- Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S) LeRoy Butler (S), Kenny Easley (S), Albert Lewis (CB), Donnie Shell (S), Aeneas Williams (CB/S), Darren Woodson (S)
PUNTERS/KICKERS -- Gary Anderson (K), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P) SPECIAL TEAMS/POSITION PLAYER -- Steve Tasker
COACHES -- Bill Arnsparger, Bud Carson, Don Coryell, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Chuck Mather, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil
CONTRIBUTORS -- K. S. (Bud) Adams, Bobby Beathard, Gil Brandt, Leo Carlin, Jack Kent Cooke, Otho Davis, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Ron Gibbs, Jim Kensil, Eddie Kotal, Art McNally, Art Modell, Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, Burl Toler, Sr., Jim Tunney, Ron Wolf, George Young