How Long Must We Wait? (Dirt's Song)

How long will it be until Peter King and the rest of the crew at the Pro Football Hall of Fame place Dermontti Dawson into the hall of fame. 2007 will be the third year of eligibility for a player who was truly unlike any other center, before or after.

Dawson was drafted in 1988 and played until injuries forced him out of the game in 2000. He played his entire career for the Steelers and except for his first year, when he played beside Mike Webster, he played Center on the offensive line. Dermontti was named to every Pro Bowl from 92-99. He made the 1990s All Decade Team at center and played in 177 consecutive games. In short he was a stud.

But what truly makes Dermontti special, at least in my eyes, is that he played his position in a way that nobody else could. Dermontti is the only center who I can recall that consistently pulled on running plays. He would not only quarterback the line and snap the ball but he would then lead block on sweeps and traps. No center does this because you have to be so quick off the ball; it is generally guards that pull. A center who can get out and lead block completely changes how a team plays defense, making Coordinators game plan specifically for the Steelers.

Looking around the league now, there is no one with Dermontti’s set of talents who can do that now. I know that it takes a couple of years for Offensive Lineman to get in the Hall, but it has been a couple of years now, and it is time for Dirt to be in the Hall.

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