Hall of Fame Sacks Greene Again
HOF Jack Butler (Matthew Emmons/Getty)
HOF Jack Butler (Matthew Emmons/Getty)
For Packer Report
Posted Feb 4, 2012


There will be six inductees in the Class of 2012, but Kevin Greene — the NFL's career sacks leader among linebackers — will not be among them. Curtis Martin is the headliner in a group that doesn't include Bill Parcells or any wide receivers.

INDIANAPOLIS — Two former members of the Pittsbugh Steelers were voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, but Green Bay Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene was not among them.

Running back Curtis Martin headlined the six players elected for enshrinement as the Class of 2012 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He will be joined by Steelers center Dermontti Dawson, Vikings defensive end Chris Doleman, Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, Saints and Chiefs offensive tackle Willie Roaf and Steelers cornerback Jack Butler. The group will be enshrined during a ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 4.

With two former Steelers gaining entry, there are 20 players in the Hall of Fame whose primary team was Pittsburgh. That trails Chicago (27) and Green Bay (21).

Greene, the NFL’s all-time sacks leader among linebackers, was one of 17 finalists but did not make it to the final 10 in Saturday’s voting. He was the only player with any Packers ties among this year's finalists.

Martin, a third-round pick by the Patriots in 1995 who played for the Jets from 1998-2005, retired as the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history with 14,101 yards.

"I don't see this as a totally individual goal," Martin said. "It's my teammates, the coaches ... I even think that ownership has something to do with it. As much as this is an individual accomplishment, it's difficult for me to view it that way."

Notably absent from the Class of 2012 are former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo and coach Bill Parcells, who were the most discussed finalists this week in Indianapolis among the 44-member voting committee.

DeBartolo, who owned the 49ers for a 24-year span that included five Super Bowl champions, failed to make cut to 10 names Saturday. Parcells, who coached the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys, was dropped from consideration when the committee trimmed to the five finalists.

Parcells likely will have a significant role in the ceremony, however, as Martin said he'd like Parcells to present him. The two spoke before the announcement was made and wished each other luck.

"He meant so much to me," Martin said. "If I did dream of anything, it would be going into the Hall of Fame with the guy responsible for my career being what it has been. That's the only bittersweet moment for me. That would have been icing on the cake for me."

"There's God and there's Parcells in terms of their meaning to my career."

No wide receivers were selected to the 2012 class, with Tim Brown, Chris Carter and Andre Reed struggling to separate themselves and likely splitting votes. Carter and Reed did make it to the final 10, along with Parcells, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley and defensive back Aeneas Williams.

Running back Jerome Bettis, linebacker Kevin Greene and guard Will Shields joined DeBartolo and Brown in not reaching the final 10.

Former Lions guard Dick Stanfel, who along with Butler were the two senior selection nominees, did not receive enough votes to be inducted.

The Hall of Fame has 273 members with the six selected Saturday.

Martin was a third-round pick by the Patriots in 1995 who rushed for 30 yards on his first career carry. He signed a six-year, $36 million deal as a free agent with the division-rival Jets in 1997, and his 17,421 combined net yards are 10th in NFL history.

Among his career highlights was winning the rushing title at 31, the oldest player ever to do so.

"I think that may have been one of the factors that weighed in (to making the Hall of Fame)," he said. "That's something that I'm proud of as far as an individual accomplishment. If I could say I have one individual goal as an athlete and as a running back, it was to win a rushing title."

Dawson was a second-round pick by the Steelers in 1988 and played in 184 games over 13 seasons. He took over the starting job from future Hall of Famer Mike Webster in 1989 and played in 170 consecutive games. Dawson was a first-team All-Pro six consecutive years and was selected to the Pro Bowl seven consecutive years.

Doleman was a feared pass rusher who was a first-round pick by the Vikings in 1985. He led the NFL with 21 sacks in 1989 and finished his career with 150.5, which was fourth in NFL history when he retired in 2000 as an eight-time Pro Bowl pick.

Kennedy played 11 seasons after being the third overall pick by Seattle in 1990. He owns the franchise record with eight Pro Bowl selections, and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 while playing for a 2-14 team. He led all interior linemen with 14 sacks that season while racking up a career-high 92 tackles.

Roaf was the eighth overall pick by the Saints in the 1993 draft and went on to play 189 games over 13 NFL seasons, the first nine with New Orleans before signing with the Chiefs in 2002 and playing his final four seasons with Kansas City. He was selected to 11 Pro Bowls and named first-team All-Pro seven times.

"We're glad to congratulate William Roaf in his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame," Saints owner Tom Benson said. "He meant a great deal to our team during his career with us. He was the best player on our team during his entire tenure with us, one of the top players in the history of our franchise and one of the NFL's greatest at his position."

Butler played in 103 games for the Steelers over nine seasons, retiring following a leg injury late in the 1959 season. He had 52 career interceptions, six of which he returned for touchdowns.


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