Highly decorated group enters Hall of Fame
New York Giants sack master Michael Strahan and Raiders punter Ray Guy were among seven former NFL players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame during ceremonies at Canton, Ohio, on Saturday.
They joined defensive end Claude Humphrey, linebacker Derrick Brooks, tackle Walter Jones, receiver Andre Reed and cornerback Aeneas Williams in boosting the Hall’s ranks to 287.
“I’ve waited almost 30 years to get to this podium, so don’t rush me, guys,” said 70-year-old Humphrey, who retired in 1981 after earning Pro Bowl honors six times during a 13-year NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.
Strahan, like Brooks and Jones a member of the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s, recorded 141.5 sacks during his 15 seasons with the Giants. He was named first team All-Pro four times (1997, 1998, 2001, 2003).
Guy, the first punter selected in the first round of an NFL Draft in 1973, also became the first full-time punter enshrined in the Hall.
“It’s been long, long overdue, but now the Hall of Fame has a complete team,” said Guy, who led the NFL in punting in 1974-75 and 1977 and played in seven Pro Bowls during his 14-season career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.
Brooks, who won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2002 season when he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, paid tribute to his mother and his coaches, as he led off the speeches.
The linebacker spent 14 seasons in the NFL and went to the Pro Bowl 11 times.
Jones, considered one of the NFL’s best-ever tackles, was inducted in his first year of eligibility. A six-time All-Pro, he played 12 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.
Reed played on Buffalo Bills teams that went to four consecutive Super Bowls but lost them all. The most prolific receiver in Bills history, he earned Pro Bowl honors seven times during a 16-season career spent all but one year with Buffalo.Williams played 14 seasons with Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. Selected for the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1990s, he earned Pro Bowl honors seven times at cornerback and once as a safety.