Friday, August 3, 2012
Curtis Martin was model of consistency
Al Bello/Getty ImagesThe Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012 consists of six members, the seventh consecutive year there have been at least six enshrinees. The Honor Roll for the Hall of Fame now stands at 273.
Only three players rushed for more yards in NFL history than Curtis Martin.
None of the six players made it in his first year of eligibility.
Running back Curtis Martin spent 11 seasons in the NFL and led his team in rushing each season. He ranks fourth in NFL history with 14,101 yards rushing.
Martin rushed for at least 1,000 yards in 10 of his 11 seasons -- only Emmitt Smith had more 1,000-yard seasons in NFL history (11). Martin will join Hall of Famer Barry Sanders as the only running backs to start their careers with 10 straight 1,000-yard seasons.
Willie Roaf played 13 seasons for the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs (1993-2005). In his second season, Roaf was named to the first of his 11 Pro Bowls. Only three offensive lineman since 1970 have been named to more Pro Bowls than Roaf: Bruce Matthews (14), Will Shields and Randall McDaniel (12 each).
Center Dermontti Dawson spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1988-2000). He became Pittsburgh’s starting center in 1989, replacing future Hall of Famer Mike Webster. (He also doubled as team's long snapper from 1988-93.) Dawson was named first-team All-Pro six consecutive years (1993-98), selected to play in seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1993-99) and played in 170 consecutive games before his streak ended in 1999 with a hamstring injury.
On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Jack Butler -- like Dawson -- spent his entire career with the Steelers (1951-59). Butler is one of three players in NFL history with four touchdown receptions and four interceptions returned for touchdowns, along with Johnny McNally and Joe Golding. This was his first year as a finalist after having been eligible for 50 years.
Of the six players going into the Hall on Saturday, Chris Doleman is the only one who played for more than two teams during his career. Doleman played for the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers during his 15-year career. He’s one of five players to record at least 21.0 sacks in a season and his 150.5 sacks ranks fourth since 1982, the year sacks became an official statistic.
Defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy spent his entire career with the Seattle Seahawks (1990-2000) and was named to the Pro Bowl eight times. Only offensive tackle Walter Jones (9) has been named to more in franchise history. Kennedy started a club record 100 straight games, and in 1992 was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. This despite the fact that Seahawks finished 2-14, tied with the New England Patriots for the worst record in the NFL.