Print and Go Back AFC East [Print without images]

Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Accent on defense in HOF Class of 2009

Posted by staff

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will welcome six new members Saturday when the Class of 2009 is enshrined.

2009 Hall of Fame Induction Coverage
Saturday in Canton, Ohio, six men will be hailed as the latest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bruce Smith, Rod Woodson, Ralph Wilson, Randall McDaniel, and posthumous honorees Derrick Thomas and Bob Hayes form the Class of 2009. The ceremonies will air live, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN and ESPNHD. Follow's coverage.

• Our future HOF nominees: Story | Podcast
Chat: Hall of Fame inductee Rod Woodson
Chat: Hall of Famer Warren Moon
Wickersham: Wilson valued for impact
Scouts Inc.: Top 5 CBs in the NFL today
Walker: Is Rod Woodson the best CB ever?
Graham: Bruce Smith, Sackmaster
Blogs: More Hall of Fame coverage

Honorees Bruce Smith, Rod Woodson, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson Jr., Randall McDaniel and Bob Hayes will be hailed for their accomplishments during the ceremonies in Canton, Ohio.

Defensive standouts Smith -- who starred primarily with the Buffalo Bills -- and Woodson -- who excelled with the Pittsburgh Steelers among other teams -- are first-ballot inductees.

At 90, Buffalo Bills owner and American Football League pioneer Wilson is the oldest person ever inducted; former Minnesota Vikings star guard McDaniel is the only offensive lineman in this class; former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Thomas and former Dallas Cowboys receiver Hayes are receiving posthumous honors.

Wilson chose ESPN anchor Chris Berman, a longtime friend, to present him. Former Bills defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell will present Smith. Woodson has chosen Tracy Foster, a business partner, as his presenter.

McDaniel picked high school athletic director O.K. Fulton as his presenter.

Former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach will honor Hayes, and former Chiefs president Carl Peterson will salute Thomas.

Bob Hayes Position: Wide receiver
Team: Cowboys/49ers
Years: 1965-1975
Seasons: 11
Honors and Achievements:
• Seventh-round choice in 1964
• Four-time all-NFL performer
• Cowboys-record 71 TDs
Randall McDaniel Position: Guard
Teams: Vikings/Buccaneers
Years: 1988-2001
Seasons: 14
Honors and Achievements:
• First-round pick in 1988 draft
• Blocked for six 1,000-yard rushers
• Selected to 12 consecutive Pro Bowls
Bruce Smith Position: Defensive end
Teams: Bills/Redskins
Years: 1985-2003
Seasons: 19
Honors and Achievements:
• No. 1 overall pick in 1985 draft
• NFL's all-time leader in sacks (200)
• Member of four consecutive AFC championship teams
Derrick Thomas Position: Linebacker
Teams: Kansas City Chiefs
Years: 1989-1999
Seasons: 11
Honors and Achievements:
• Finished career with 126.5 sacks
• Member of the NFL's all-decade team in 1990s
• Selected to nine Pro Bowls
Ralph Wilson Position: Founder/Owner
Teams: Buffalo Bills
Years: 1960-present
Honors and Achievements:
• One of the original founders of American Football League
• Formed Bills in 1959
• Served on NFL pension committee among others
Rod Woodson Position: Cornerback/Safety
Teams: Steelers/49ers/Ravens/Raiders
Years: 1987-2003
Seasons: 17
Honors and Achievements:
• Member of NFL's 75th anniversary team
• Selected to 11 Pro Bowls
• 71 career interceptions