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Friday, August 3, 2012
HOF12: Inside job for Dawson, Kennedy

By Mike Sando


CANTON, Ohio -- Two of the quickest interior linemen in NFL history are heading into the Pro Football Hall of Fame together in the Class of 2012.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers center Dermontti Dawson and former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy were first-team all-decade selections for the 1990s. Both retired following the 2000 season. Each played his entire career with the same team.

Dawson went to seven Pro Bowls. Kennedy went to eight.

The symmetry of their careers struck me while listening to both men during a media session Friday featuring members of the 2012 class.

Dawson distinguished himself by moving as well or better than just about any center ever. He was quick enough to snap the ball and execute pulling blocks, giving the Steelers an edge in their running game.

Kennedy generated rare power and quickness. His 1992 season ranks among the greatest for any defender. Tackles weren't supposed to collect 14 sacks in a season, particularly while dominating against the run, as Kennedy did.

The video features Dawson's thoughts on Kennedy. Dawson also explains what helped him (Dawson) gain the notoriety that contributed to his selection for the Hall of Fame.

I'll be back in a bit with some thoughts from Kennedy. He tends to shy away from interviews, but I think he enjoyed this one, given the occasion.