Remembering the newest NFL Hall of Famers

Published 2:31 pm Friday, August 7, 2015

Today in Canton, Ohio, six former NFL players will be inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame.

The player inductees, who help comprise the 53rd Hall of Fame class, are players who I enjoyed watching.

Inductee Jerome Bettis, who played 1993 to1995 with the Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams and from 1996 to 2005 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, is one of my favorite running backs of all time.

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Nicknamed the Bus for his bruising running style, Bettis, who was offensive rookie of the year in 1993, comeback player of the year in 1996, and Walter Payton man of the year in 2001, would carry would-be tacklers with him for extra yardage. Often it would take two or three men to get him on the ground.

I also enjoyed watching wide receiver Tim Brown, who played with the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders from 1998 to 2003 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004. He was a nine-time pro bowler. He was fifth all time in reception with 1,094 receiving yards, sixth all time in touchdown receptions with 100 and seventh all time in all-purpose yards with 19,682.

More often than not, he broke open for long gains after bringing in short pass receptions.

Representing the defensive side of the ball in the newest Hall of Fame class is outside linebacker Charles Haley, who played from 1986 to 1991 with the San Francisco 49ers and from 1992 to 1996 with the Dallas Cowboys.

He was two-time all pro and five-time pro bowler. He won five Super Bowl championships during an eight-year span from 1988 to 1995.

The one deceased member of the newest Hall of Fame class is former linebacker Junior Seau, who was a six time all pro and 12-time pro bowler. Seau played with the San Diego Chargers from 1990 to 2002.  He was one of the hardest hitting defenders of all time.

The final two players are offensive guard Will Shields, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1993 to 2006 and was on the 2000s all decade team. He was the 2003 Walter Payton man of the year, a two-time all pro and 12 time pro bowler.

Center Mick Tingelhoff played with the Minnesota Vikings from 1962 to 1978. While he was manning the middle for the Vikings, the team reached four Super Bowls in eight seasons from 1969 to 1976. He helped protect Hall of Fame quarterback and former Georgia Bulldog All-American quarterback Fran Tarkenton.

Tarkenton, who I saw play in college and the pros, had a great knack for scrambling free and picking up yardage after it looked like he was being trapped. Long time late Monday Night Football commentator Howard Cosell labeled Tarkenton the “scrambler and gutty gambler.”