Guy, Brooks, Jones among 7 elected to Hall of Fame
NEW YORK (AP) — Ray Guy has become 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.
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.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org