The Pro Football Hall of Fame will open its books for five new members Saturday in Canton, Ohio, with several of the NFL’s biggest starts from the 1990s leading the class.
This year’s class features one of the most storied and accomplished running backs in the league’s history, former Pittsburgh Steeler Jerome Bettis, as well as former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown, and late legendary linebacker Junior Seau.
This year’s class is two shy of 2014’s, which was led by defensive stars Derrick Brooks and Michael Strahan, and receiver Andre Reed.
The class also includes two contributors. Bill Polian, who built up the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, and Indianapolis Colts as a general manager, and Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf.
But the main event features Bettis, Brown, Seau, guard Will Shields, center Mick Tingeloff, and defensive end Charles Haley. Let’s take a look at each’s accomplishments over their historic careers.
Jerome Bettis, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams (1993-2005)
Nicknamed “The Bus” for his ability to truck defenders for extra yardage, Bettis finished sixth all-time with 13,662 rushing yards over his 13 year career and helped the Steelers win Super Bowl XL.
Tim Brown, WR, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1988-2004)
One of only 10 receivers to record 1,000 receptions or more, Brown ranks fifth all-time with 1,094 catches, sixth with 14,934 yards, seventh with 100 touchdowns. A nine-time Pro Bowler, Brown collected 1,000 or more yards in nine consecutive seasons.
Will Shields, G, Kansas City Chiefs (1993-2006)
Shields is the ninth Chief who spent the majority of his career in Kansas City to be enshrined. He was elected to the Pro Bowl 12 times during his 14-year career, was a two-time first-team All-Pro, and never missed a single game.
Mick Tingeloff, C, Minnesota Vikings (1962-1978)
The oldest member of the class at 75, Tingelhoff was undrafted but moved up to the starting lineup in 1962 and stayed there for 17 years. He started 240 games, and helped Minnesota reach the postseason 10 times and the Super Bowl four times.
Charles Haley, DE, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys (1986-1999)
Finally making the HOF after coming up short five times, Haley is the only player in NFL history to win five Super Bowls. He won three with the Cowboys during their incredible run in the early to mid-1990s, and played in six NFC Championship games over seven years. A five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro, Haley finished with 100.5 career sacks.
Junior Seau, LB, San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots (1990-2009)
Seau is the only player of this year’s class to make it on the first ballot. Feared against the pass and the run, Seau was a prolific tacklers and all-around defender who was named to 12 Pro Bowls and six All-Pro first teams. He also carried San Diego to its only Super Bowl appearance and nearly recorded a perfect season with the Patriots in 2007.