NEW YORK (AP) — Ray Guy is the first punter elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Joining the long-time Oakland Raider were two first-time eligible players, linebacker Derrick Brooks and offensive tackle Walter Jones.
The class of 2014 also included defensive end Michael Strahan, receiver Andre Reed, defensive back Aeneas Williams and defensive end Claude Humphrey, who like Guy was a senior selection.
The announcement was made Saturday night at NFL Honors, less than 24 hours before the Denver Broncos meet the Seattle Seahawks in the first Super Bowl in a non-domed stadium in a cold-weather city.
Among the finalists who didn't get in were two with ties to the Indianapolis Colts and current Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning — coach Tony Dungy and receiver Marvin Harrison.
Each of the incoming Hall of Famers walked to the stage and was announced individually. Strahan, who helped the Giants make two Super Bowls, got a huge cheer from the home crowd.
Induction will be on Aug. 1 in Canton, Ohio.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
Derrick BrooksLinebacker6-0, 232 1995-2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers ... 14 seasons, 224 games. First year eligible. ... Selected by Buccaneers in first round (28th player overall). ... Never missed game in career. ... Earned All-Rookie honors. ... Elected to 11 Pro Bowls. ... In 1997, led Bucs to first postseason appearance since 1981 ... NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. ... Helped Tampa Bay post top defense in NFL twice (2002 and 2005) NFC five times (1998, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2007). ... Named All-Pro six times, All-NFC eight times. ... Selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s. ___
Ray GuyPunter6-3, 195 1973-86 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. ... 14 seasons, 207 games. Senior nominee. ... First punter ever drafted in first round, Raiders 1973 (23rd player overall). ... Became impact player from very first game as a rookie. ... Had best average (45.3 yards) as rookie. ... Career average was 42.4 yards. ... Averaged under 40 yards only one season in NFL career. ... Led NFL in punting in 1974, 1975, 1977. ... Had only three of 1,049 punts blocked. ... Had 619 punts without a block, 1979-1986. ... Veteran of 22 postseason games, adding 111 punts for 42.4 average. ... All-Pro six straight seasons, 1973-1978. ... Played in seven Pro Bowls, including six straight from 1974 to 1979. ... Played in seven AFC championship games and three Super Bowls. ... Three-game Super Bowl totals: 14 punts, 41.9-yard average. ... Had 57 punts inside 20-yard line, 1984-1985. ... First punter to hit Louisiana Superdome scoreboard, 1977 Pro Bowl. ___
Andre ReedWide Receiver6-2, 190 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins. ... 16 seasons, 234 games. Selected by Buffalo in fourth round (86th overall) of 1985 draft. ... Most prolific receiver in Buffalo Bills history. ... His 951 career receptions were third in NFL history at time of his retirement. ... His 941 career receptions still are a Bills record and 266 more than No. 2 on that list. ... His 13,095 yards receiving and 36 games with 100-plus yards are current team records. ... Known for gaining yards after catch. ... His 13 seasons, including nine consecutive, with 50-plus receptions is exceeded only by Jerry Rice. ... Reed is tied with Bills running back Thurman Thomas for team's most career touchdowns (87), most of them on passes from Jim Kelly. ... Kelly-Reed tandem held NFL record for career receptions (663) until 2004 when eclipsed by Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison. ... Known for toughness, he made many of his receptions over the middle. ... Selected to play in seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1989-1995). ... Had 85 catches for 1,229 yards, including five 100-yard games, in postseason play. ___
Claude HumphreyDefensive End6-4, 252 1968-74, 1976-78 Atlanta Falcons. 1979-81 Philadelphia Eagles. ... 13 seasons, 171 games. Senior nominee. ... Falcons' first-round pick (third player overall) in 1968 draft. ... Recorded 11.5 sacks his first year and was NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year. ... Credited with 122 career sacks. Led team in sacks nine of 13 seasons. ... Earned first-team All-Pro five times. Selected for six Pro Bowls. ... Missed just two games before season-ending knee injury in 1975. Rebounded with career-best 15 sacks in 1976 and was chosen team MVP. ... Traded to Eagles in 1979 for two fourth-round picks following brief retirement. ... In 1980, his team-high 14.5 sacks helped Eagles advance to 1981 Super Bowl. ___
Walter JonesTackle6-5, 300 1997-2008 Seattle Seahawks. ... 12 seasons, 190 games. First year eligible. ... Selected in first round (sixth player overall) by Seahawks in 1997. ... Earned starting left tackle spot in rookie training camp. ... Consensus pick for multiple all-rookie teams ... Following the 1999 season, Jones became the first offensive linemen in Seahawks history to be elected to the Pro Bowl, the first of nine All-Star appearances. ... Team leader and integral part of Shaun Alexander's MVP season in 2005 when RB ran for franchise-record and league-high 1,880 yards and set NFL mark for TDs in season. ... All-Pro six times (2001-02, 2004-07). ... Named to NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s. three straight seasons (1999-2001). ___
Michael StrahanDefensive End6-5, 255 1993-2007 New York Giants ... 15 seasons, 216 games. First-year eligible. ... Selected in second round (40th player overall) in 1993 draft. ... Dominant pass rusher and excellent at defending the run. ... Recorded 141.5 career sacks. ... Had 38 multi-sack games during career. ... Registered double-digit sack totals six times during nine-season span, 1997-2005. ... Suffered torn pectoral muscle in 2004 but rebounded following season by starting all 16 games and amassing 11.5 sacks. ... Named first-team All-Pro five times (1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005). ... All-NFC five seasons. ... Voted to seven Pro Bowls. ... Set NFL single-season sack record with 22.5 sacks, 2001. ... Also won NFL sack title in 2003 with 18.5 sacks. ... Named unanimous NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 2001. ... Started at left defensive end in two NFC championship game wins, two Super Bowls. ... Recorded two tackles, one assisted tackle, one sack and one pass defended in Giants' 17-14 win over Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl, his last NFL game. ... Selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s. ___
Aeneas WilliamsDefensive Back5-11, 194 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-2004 St. Louis Rams. ... 14 seasons, 211 games. Selected by the Cardinals in third round (59th overall) of 1991 draft. ... Starred at cornerback for 12 seasons before switching to safety. ... Named to Pro Bowl seven times as a cornerback and once as a safety. ... First career interception came in NFL debut. ... Compiled five or more interceptions in a season six times. ... Recorded 55 interceptions for 807 yards and nine touchdowns. ... Had a then-record 104-yard fumble return vs. Redskins in 2000. ... Selected to NFL's All-Decade Team 1990s. ___ Source: Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Guy turned the punting job into a defensive weapon after he became the first player at his position to be selected in the first round of the draft in 1973. He made "hang time" part of the football vernacular while playing all of his 207 games in 14 seasons with the Raiders.
The Southern Mississippi product averaged 42.4 yards, falling under the 40-yard bar only during the strike-shortened 1982 season. Only three of his 1,049 punts were blocked, and he set an NFL record with 619 in a row without a block. He had 209 punts downed inside the 20-yard line, including 77 in his final three seasons.
Brooks was the cornerstone of a Bucs defense that led the league in 2002 and '05, and the NFC five times. He was the AP Defensive Player of the Year when Tampa Bay won its only Super Bowl after the 2002 season.
The linebacker never missed a game in his 14 seasons and averaged a remarkable 146 tackles. Six of his 25 interceptions were returned for touchdowns, including a league-record three in '02. He holds Tampa Bay records for tackles in a game (23), defensive TDs in a season (four), career starts and games, and tackles (2,196).
Seattle certainly got a winner when it moved up to the No. 6 spot in the 1997 draft to take Jones. He immediately provided blindside protection for Warren Moon and quickly became the first Seahawks lineman to earn a Pro Bowl spot. He was one of the chief road graders who helped Shaun Alexander rush for 266 yards in a 2001 game — the fourth-highest total in NFL history — and then rush for a team-record 1,880 yards and 28 TDs in his MVP season in 2005.
Strahan set the NFL record for sacks in a single season, getting 22½ in 2001. The one most people remember is the record-setter in the final game of the regular season, when Green Bay's Brett Favre seemed to lay down on a play late in the game.
While there is controversy about that play, the gap-toothed Strahan was one of the top two-way defensive ends. Younger teammates said he taught them how to work to become NFL players, and he walked away from the NFL after winning the Super Bowl in February 2008.
Reed came out of little Kutztown (Pa.) University and played his first 15 seasons with Buffalo, getting to four Super Bowls, but never winning one. His final season was with Washington. His 951 career receptions are third in league history, highlighted by nine consecutive seasons of 50-plus catches.
Long before people spoke about yards after the catch, Reed was doing it. He finished with 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns.
A walk-on at Southern University, Williams was a shutdown cornerback in his 14 NFL seasons, the first 10 with the Cardinals and the last four with the Rams. He had 55 career interceptions, getting at least one in every season except his last. He had five or more in picks in six seasons, with nine being his best in 1994.
Williams shared the NFL record for longest fumble return with a 104-yarder for a touchdown against Washington in 2000, his last year with the Cardinals. He started at cornerback for the Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl and played safety in his final two seasons.
The Hall of Fame doors finally opened for Humphrey on his 28th year of eligibility and his fifth as a finalist. The durable six-time Pro Bowl pick had 122 career sacks in 14 seasons with the Falcons and Eagles, who acquired him after a brief retirement in the 1978 season. His 14½ sacks in 1980 helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl.
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