Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011

On August 6, 2011, some of the NFL's all time greats will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The seven inductees are Marshal Faulk, Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders, and Shannon Sharpe.

Marshall Faulk - RB St. Louis Rams, Indianapolis Colts

2nd overall pick of the 1994 NFL Draft, Faulk played 12 seasons, rushed for 12,279 yards and 100 touchdowns. He also caught 767 passes, for another 6,875 yards and 36 receiving touchdowns. He is one of only three players with 12,000 rushing and 5,000 receiving yards. His ability to run the ball and catch it out of the backfield made him one of the most explosive players in the history of the NFL.

Richard Dent  - DE Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles

202 other players were picked before the Chicago Bears selected Dent in the 1983 NFL Draft. By the 1984 NFL season, he was one of the best defensive players in the league, and led the NFC with 17.5 sacks. The 1985 Chicago Bears were one of the greatest football teams in NFL season and Richard Dent had a lot to do with it. That season, he led the entire NFL with 17 sacks, had 2 interceptions (1 for a touchdown) and was named Super Bowl XX MVP.

Chris Hanburger - LB Washington Redskins

Chris played 14 years for the Redskins and was a 9x Pro-Bowler. In 1972, he was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year. He played before sacks became an official NFL statistic and was widely regarded as one of the smartest players on the field. He was drafted in the 18th and final round of the 1965 NFL Draft. Being drafted that low, he is NOT the lowest drafted player to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That distinction belongs to Roosevelt Brown Jr., who was selected by the New York Giants in the 27th round (321st overall pick) of the 1953 NFL Draft.

Les Ritcher - LB Los Angeles Rams

Les was the #2 pick of the 1952 NFL draft, by the NY Yanks. Unfortunately, the team folded soon after and all rights were turned over to the expansion team, Dallas Texans, however, the Los Angeles Rams were so impressed with Ritcher, they traded 11 players to get him, let him complete two years of military service and had him on the field in 1954. This was the second largest trade for one single player. The plan worked out well as Ritcher was an 8x Pro Bowler during his 9 year career. He never missed a single game during his entire career.

Ed Sabol - Co-Founder of NFL Films

One of the most important figures in bringing the NFL to living rooms and TV's all over the country. At 36 years old, Ed Sabol started NFL Films in 1962, with his son Steve. His voice is one of the most recognized in the history of the NFL.

Deion Sanders - CB Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens

"Neion-Deion." "Primetime." Sanders was one of the most dominating players in the history of football. Offensive coordinators spent many countless Sunday afternoons trying to keep the ball away from him. In 14 NFL season, he made 9 Pro Bowls, was a 2x NFC Defensive Player of the Year ('93-'94), the AP Defensive Player of the Year (1994) and is a 2x Super Bowl Champion. He intercepted 53 passes, returning 9 of them for touchdowns. He also was a prolific punter returner (6 for touchdowns) and kick returner (3 for touchdowns).

Shannon Sharpe - TE Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens

Shannon's career started off rather slowly (1,061 yds, and 4 touchdowns during first three years), but things really picked up for him during his fourth NFL season, which he almost doubled his career yardage and tripled his touchdown receptions. By the time he retired (after 14 seasons), he was the All-Time leading tight end with 815 receptions, 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns. He also won three Super Bowls, twice with the Broncos and one with the Ravens.

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