The 2019 NFL season is full of unknowns and anticipation. But before the league can move forward, they must take time to step back and reflect. This weekend, eight well-deserving members of the football community will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
When you think of the greatest safety of all time, Ed Reed is one of the first names that come to mind. The 12-year NFL veteran made 9 Pro Bowls, five time first team All-Pro selections and named Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.
With all of his accomplishments, one moment stands out for Reed. Above all, winning his first and only Super Bowl in his hometown of New Orleans is his favorite moment of his NFL career.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who coached Reed from 2008-12, said Reed is “one of the top ten players in the game, in my mind.”
When the conversation about greatest tight ends, Tony Gonzalez is high up that list. The 14-time Pro Bowler finished his 17 year NFL career as the all-time leader in receptions (1,325) and receiving yards (15,127) for a tight end.
The Denver Broncos will be well represented this weekend in Canton, Ohio. Two of the franchise’s figureheads: cornerback Champ Bailey and the team’s late owner Pat Bowlen will be immortalized in the Hall of Fame. Bailey is a three-time first team All-Pro. He holds the NFL record for most Pro Bowl selections by a defensive back with 12. When asked about the weekend, Bailey said, “every moment is special so I’m just trying make sure I enjoy it, bask in the moment.”
Similarly, owner Pat Bowlen was a fixture in the Broncos organization. He led the Broncos franchise to three Super Bowl championships and seven AFC titles. Former Broncos quarterback John Elway said it was an honor to play for an owner like Bowlen.
There are several notable names in this class. Ty Law, who won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, will be enshrined this weekend. Former Patriots receiver Randy Moss had high praise for Law, who would often be against Moss on the field.
Offensive lineman Kevin Mawae played sixteen seasons in his NFL career, with seven coming with the New York Jets. The eight-time Pro Bowler talked about what his enshrinement means to him.
Gil Brandt, who built two Super Bowl winning teams with the Dallas Cowboys, will also be enshrined into the Hall of Fame this weekend.
Humbled By the Honor
Each of the eight inductees have made their own unique contributions to the game. However, they all have one thing in common. They are all humble and appreciate joining the Hall of Fame fraternity. Kansas City Chiefs legend Johnny Robinson best expresses the meaning of entering the Hall of Fame.