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Class of 2020's Bill Cowher Supports Enshrinement's Postponement

Class of 2020's Bill Cowher Supports Enshrinement's Postponement

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Story Courtesy of CBS Sports

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Bill Cowher was one of 20 former NFL coaches, players and executives who were supposed to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. But after the Hall of Fame decided to postpone this year's festivities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cowher and the rest of this year's class will have to wait until next summer to be formally inducted into Canton. 

A day after the Hall of Fame decided to both postpone the induction ceremony as well as cancel the annual Hall of Fame Game (which was slated to be played between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys), Cowher, who coached the Steelers from 1992-2006, offered his support of the Hall of Fame's decision via social media. 

Cowher's tweet came shortly after Jimmy Johnson, who was also slated to receive a gold jacket this summer, offered his thoughts on the Hall of Fame's decision via social media. 

On Friday, Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker said that the Hall initially thought about doing something virtually for this year's class before ultimately deciding to postpone the ceremony altogether. 

"A lot of the joy of the enshrinement is making that enshrinement with your family and your friends and your teammates that helped you get here," Baker said during an appearance on NFL Network. "So we felt thought that it was important to have all those things."

Baker said that next year's induction class will include separate ceremonies for the centennial class and next year's induction class. 

"We're going to extend the weekend," Baker said of next year's festivities. "And we'll make everything a little bigger, a little bit longer, but it will be compressed into five or six days that we think will be one of the greatest gatherings in football, ever." 

The Hall of Fame's centennial class includes Cowher, Johnson, five modern day inductees, 10 senior players and three contributors. The modern day inductees include safety Steve Atwater, receiver Isaac Bruce, guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Edgerrin James, and safety Troy Polamalu. The senior inductees include receiver Harold Carmichael and end Mac Speedie; offensive linemen Jim Covert, Winston Hill and Duke Slater; safeties Cliff Harris, Bobby Dillon and Donnie Shell; and defensive linemen Alex Karras and Ed Sprinkle. The three contributions are Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and George Young. 

Notable players who will be eligible for next year's induction class include quarterback Peyton Manning, defensive back Charles Woodson and receiver Calvin Johnson. 

Despite the Hall of Fame's recent postponements, NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash said on Thursday that teams are still planning on opening their respective training camps late next month. Pash also alluded to the possibility of a shortened preseason due to the ongoing pandemic. 

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