Seven finalists made the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Class of 2014 that was announced on Saturday, including recent stars, older luminaries and the first-ever pure punter to be enshrined.
In addition to all of the on-field credentials, he was also impeccable off the field and in the locker room. Brooks was and remains a constant factor in the Tampa Bay community, and was the undisputed leader for nearly every Bucs team he was a part of. Without him, there's no Tampa 2, there's no all-star defense, and there's no Super Bowl in Tampa. And now, there's no Hall of Fame without Derrick Brooks.
"I'm thrilled for Michael," said John Mara, the Giants' president and chief executive officer. "He was one of the greatest players in franchise history. Without him, there's no way we would have won Super Bowl XLII. Not only was he a huge part of that team because of his play on the field, he was the leader of that defense. The other players looked up to him. He established a mark for consistency during his outstanding 15-year career. Very few people played the position as well as he did, particularly because he played the run as well as being a great pass-rusher. He was a leader and a great player and I'm delighted that he is going to his rightful place in Canton."
Walter Jones is a no-brainer as a Hall of Famer, and it just tells you how incredibly dominant he was that he gets in on his first ballot. Jones is considered by many as the best left tackle of all time, could be considered among the best offensive linemen in the NFL's history, and is obviously up there as one of the Seahawks' best players ever.
The class has more than just first-ballot inductees -- former Buffalo wide receiver Andre Reed, who had been on the ballot for nearly a decade, will be inducted as well. Buffalo Rumblings reflected on Reed and the great Bills teams he played on.
Reed's selection ends his eight-year wait for enshrinement. He retired from pro football in 2000 after a 16-year playing career - 15 of which came with the Bills - that saw him set several franchise records and emerge as a vital cog in the Bills' famous K-Gun offense. Jim Kelly, Reed's quarterback, and running back Thurman Thomas had already made it to the Hall from that offense; now the third member of the triplets is set to join them. Reed remains the all-time leader in Bills history in receptions (941), yards (13,095) and touchdowns (86).
"All of us at the Cardinals are ecstatic for Aeneas who is a true Hall of Famer in every sense of the word," said team President Michael Bidwill. "His play on the field made him one of the NFL's all-time great players but his integrity and character were just as exceptional. Aeneas, Tracy and their family have been an integral part of the Cardinals family and I can't think of a better person to become the first from the team's Arizona era to be enshrined in Canton."
The Class of 2014 is an historic one for the NFL Hall of Fame, as Ray Guy became the first pure punter to earn induction into Canton. Silver and Black Pride talked about Guy's impact on the game, especially at his own position.
The term "hang time" was invented because of Guy. He was the first pure punter the game had ever seen. Before him punting was not taken seriously enough for teams to have one guy to perform the function. After him, punter became a pure position. He changed the game. That's what it means to be a Hall of Famer.
Humphrey played for the Falcons from 1968 to 1978, taking a break in 1975, and also played for the Eagles from 1979 to 1981. With the two teams, he amassed 126.5 sacks, 6 Pro Bowl selections and 8(!) All-Pro selections, 5 First-team and 3 Second-team.