CANTON, OH — As those who often dreamt of hearing their name called in the Valhalla of football gods, the Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class had a very secondary feel.
Denver Broncos CB Champ Bailey, New England CB Ty Law, Kansas City Chiefs CB Johnnie Harrison and Baltimore Ravens S Ed Reed led a pre-dominantly defensive back-led class that would hear their names forever immortalized down in Canton.
Among the others that were inducted were longtime Broncos owner, Pat Bowlen, who passed away, Dallas Cowboys executive, Gil Brandt, New York Jets Center Kevin Mawae and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez.
While all who were inducted in this fateful Saturday evening were worthy of hearing their names called and deservedly earned admittance into professional football’s most hallowed and storied hall, one cannot help but notice that for the first time in its illustrious history that four defensive backs would hear their names called in the NFL’s Golden Age of Offense.
With the exception of Robinson, three of the four defensive backs in Reed, Bailey and Law all are from the turn of the millennium and in the era of quarterbacks passing for 5,000 yards and the game now being slanted towards offenses and points being scored.
Don’t be shocked if other present-day defensive backs–since they along with left tackle and quarterback–are the three most premier positions in football are inducted within the next 3-5 years.
Names such as the late Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins, two-time Super Bowl champion safety from the Pittsburgh Steelers S Troy Polamalu, three time Super Bowl champion S from the New England Patriots in Rodney Harrison just to name a few.
In what was the highlight moment of Saturday night, and in front of a rowdy and boisterous Ravens section, Reed, who was greeted with chants of “REEDDD!!” like he was back in Baltimore gave the crowd a bit of juice in what was truly an amazing night of emotional tear-jerking speeches given by all of the 2019 class in saying that his home was in Baltimore, but is now home in Canton.
And much like his fellow secondary breathen, took it all the way back for a score.
Reed, Law and Bailey are likely to begin a long run of DB’s being called to Canton. Don’t be shocked to see more of them soon.