Kevin Greene, the Green Bay Packers’ former outside linebackers coach, was eliminated during the next-to-last round of voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.
Getting the call to the Hall on Saturday were linebacker Derrick Brooks, punter Ray Guy, defensive end Claude Humphrey, offensive tackle Walter Jones, wide receiver Andre Reed, defensive end Michael Strahan and defensive back Aeneas Williams.
Greene, the NFL’s career leader among linebackers with 160 sacks, was a finalist for the third time.
Brooks never missed a game during his 14-season career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A six-time All-Pro selection and member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s, he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. He averaged a remarkable 146 tackles. Six of his 25 interceptions were returned for touchdowns, including a league-record three in '02. He holds Tampa Bay records for tackles in a game (23), defensive TDs in a season (four), career starts and games, and tackles (2,196).
Guy becomes the first full-time punter to earn election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An impact player throughout his entire 14-season career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, he was named All-Pro six straight years. The Southern Mississippi product averaged 42.4 yards, falling under the 40-yard bar only during the strike-shortened 1982 season. Only three of his 1,049 punts were blocked, and he set an NFL record with 619 in a row without a block. He had 209 punts downed inside the 20-yard line, including 77 in his final three seasons.
Humphrey was named first-team All-Pro five times and earned six Pro Bowl nods during his career with the Atlanta Falcons (1968-1978) and Philadelphia Eagles (1979-1981). Although not an official statistic at the time, he is credited with 122 career sacks. His 14.5 sacks in 1980 helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl.
Jones stepped into a starting role as a rookie and excelled as one of the game’s finest tackles during his 12 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s, he was named All-Pro six times and voted to nine Pro Bowls. He was one of the chief road graders who helped Shaun Alexander rush for 266 yards in a 2001 game — the fourth-highest total in NFL history — and then rush for a team-record 1,880 yards and 28 TDs in his MVP season in 2005.
Reed caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns in his 16-season career. He hauled in 50 or more passes in 13 seasons, which ranked second at the time of his retirement. He had nine consetuve 50-catch seasons and played in four consecutive Super Bowls with Buffalo.
Strahan recorded double-digit sack totals six times in a nine-season span including a NFL single-season record 22.5 sacks in 2001. The one most people remember is the record-setter in the final game of the regular season, when Green Bay's Brett Favre seemed to lay down on a play late in the game. A five-time All-Pro pick, he amassed 141.5 sacks in his 15-season career with the New York Giants.
Williams, a four-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowl selection, intercepted 55 passes for 807 yards and nine touchdowns during a 14-season career with the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. Williams shared the NFL record for longest fumble return with a 104-yarder for a touchdown against Washington in 2000, his last year with the Cardinals. He started at cornerback for the Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl and played safety in his final two seasons.
The Selection Committee started Saturday’s meeting by debating the two senior finalists, Guy and Humphrey. Both candidates were required to receive at least 80 percent of the vote to earn election.
Next, the committee debated the 15 modern-era candidates. The first cut trimmed the field to 10, with kicker Morten Andersen, receiver Tim Brown, contributor Eddie DeBartolo Jr., coach Tony Dungy and safety John Lynch eliminated. After one last round of discussion, running back Jerome Bettis, Greene, defensive end Charles Haley, receiver Marvin Harrison and guard Will Shields were eliminated.
That left Brooks, Jones, Reed, Strahan and Williams, who all received the necessary 80 percent of the vote to be elected. They will be inducted on Aug. 1 in Canton, Ohio.