Pittsburgh legends Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis delivered the Steelers’ draft pick and some words in memory of late team chairman Dan Rooney.
The two Super Bowl-winning, retired Steelers tailbacks came to the stage in Philadelphia as the Steelers made their pick (linebacker T.J. Watt), and paid fitting tribute to Rooney, a member of the Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport and lifelong figure within the Steelers’ organization. He died this month at age 84.
Rooney was the son of Steelers founding owner and NFL pioneer Art Rooney, and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport. He served as the team’s controlling owner from 1988–2003 before ceding control gradually to other members of the family. He is the father of current Steelers owner Art Rooney II.
Rooney is credited for the “Rooney Rule” that stipulates teams must interview at least one minority candidate for general manager and head coaching vacancies.
From 2009–2012, Rooney also served as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland.