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The NFL recently announced their "Team of the Decade", and just like in the 1990s, three Steelers were named to the first team. The squad is selected every 10 years by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, so it's a pretty good look into the voters' brains for future inductees.

The honorees this time around from Team Rooney were safety Troy Polamalu, guard Alan Faneca, and linebacker Joey Porter, who all seem like worthy choices. In the last decade, the Steelers were also represented by three players: center Dermontti Dawson, linebacker Kevin Greene, and corner Rod Woodson. In fact, the team has never had more than three players on the decade teams, not even in the '70s, when they placed Joe Greene, Jack Ham, and Lynn Swann on the first team.

Polamalu, who entered the league in 2003, can add this to his Hall of Fame bio, having already been named to five Pro Bowls and two first-team All-Pros in his career, in addition to owning two Super Bowl rings. The only negative from his time in the NFL would be games lost to injury - 19 in all - since he took over as the starter in 2004. That's more than an entire season lost for Polamalu and the Steelers, and nearly 20% of his career as a starter spent on the sidelines. Voters will not gloss over that fact, but I still think he's a slam dunk candidate for enshrinement.

Faneca, who fled the Steelers as a free agent in 2008 for the green (literally and figuratively) of the New York Jets, is a nine-time Pro Bowler, six-time first-team All-Pro, and Super Bowl champion with the 2005-06 Steelers. A bust in Canton would seem to be an inevitable for the former LSU Tiger.

Porter, a third-round pick of the Steelers in 1999 out of Colorado State, was in the news for a different reason on Monday, requesting a trade from the Miami Dolphins. Assuming that no one wants to take on a highly-paid, sometimes-malcontent, aging linebacker, he will more than likely be released by the Dolphins later this month. Porter has averaged nearly 11 sacks a season since coming over to the Dolphins in 2007, but his sack numbers virtually fell in half from 2008 to 2009, going from 17.5 in 2008 to nine in 2009.

Porter's Hall of Fame candidacy is much more dicey than Polamalu's or Faneca's, despite his presence on the decade team. He has a member of four Pro Bowls and was a first-team All Pro in 2002, winning one Super Bowl ring in 2005-06, but my money on him on the outside looking in. Call it a hunch.

As far as my thoughts on the All-Decade Team in general, it's sort of a tough call because some players like Shaun Alexander peaked much earlier in the decade and became irrelevant as the years wore on. But all in all, I can't find anything to complain about. For once.

League announces 2000s NFL All-Decade Team []

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