Whew, Canton seems to be picking up the pace; six players inducted last year, and seven this year! It's exactly what was needed; too many of these players had been clogging up the list and making it hard to get in. This year's inductees:
Derrick Brooks, Linebacker, Tampa Bay (1st year of eligibility): No questions asked Hall of Famer. A defensive player of the year award, 11 Pro Bowls and 5 All-Pro seasons.
Walter Jones, Tackle, Seattle. Nine Pro Bowls and 4 All-Pros.
Andre Reed, WR, Buffalo. A fine player, at the position most clogged these days. Marvin Harrison and Tim Brown didn't get in this year, but they are inevitable picks eventually. I would have taken Harrison first out of this trio, but Reed has been waiting the longest.
Michael Strahan, NYG, DE. Another easy pick.
Aeneas Williams, DB, AZ-StL. Great player, glad to see him get the recognition he deserved.
Ray Guy, P, Oak. Certainly one of the greatest punters of all time. By the way, I remember the announcers well into the 1980s telling us that he had never had a punt blocked; according to Pro Football Reference this is untrue; two were blocked in 1978 and one in 1979.
Claude Humphrey, DE Atl-Phi. Vaguely remember him from the Philly days, but Atlanta in the 1970s didn't get much national TV.
Morten Andersen. Most points ever, most games ever, most field goals ever. He's the kicker on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 1980s and 1990s team. Certain to get in sometime in the next couple of years.
Roger Craig, RB, SF-Oak-Min. One of my favorite players ever. He put every ounce of effort into every run. The signature play during the 49ers run from 1984-1989 was Roger Craig catching a screen pass from Joe Montana and barreling around end to punish some hapless DB at the end of the play. What got me was that Craig never seemed to look back for the pass; he would just put up his hand and Montana would hit it.
Terrell Davis, RB, Den. Another great player with a similar career to Craig--somewhat short, but oh, how sweet.
Overall, I am very encouraged that the NFL seems to have broken up the logjam at the Hall of Fame. The pace of inductions means that some of the quality players who have missed out for years, will finally get in, and we can have a meaningful dialogue about those who remain.