The 2009 NFL Hall of Fame inductees were an impressive lot, and of course those who didn’t make it in were a surprise to some. Chris Carter and Shannon Sharpe were not among the players inducted into the 2009 NFL hall of fame. But this article is about those who were inducted. All stats used in this article are from profootballreference.com.
Bruce Smith DE Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins
The NFL all time sack leader and he played in 4 (and lost) Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills. Bruce Smith played an amazing 19 seasons with the Buffalo Bills and Washington (4 years) Redskins.
Bruce Smith played in 279 games and had 200 quarterback sacks and 1,078 tackles in his career. He also had 2 interceptions and forced 43 fumbles, and had a touchdown on a fumble recover. It is a toss up if Bruce Smith or Reggie White is the best defensive end of all time.
Ralph Wilson Owner of the Buffalo Bills
Ralph Wilson is an original founder of the AFL (American Football League) and owner of the Buffalo Bills. He owned the Bills when they went to an amazing 4 straight Super Bowls though they lost each one.
Derrick Thomas OLB Kansas City Chiefs
Derrick Thomas played 11 seasons at outside linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs. Other than Lawrence Taylor he was the best pass rushing linebacker I ever saw. Derrick Thomas was taken from us way too soon. He once sacked Dave Krieg of the Seattle Seahawks 7 times in one game!
In 169 games for the Chiefs Derrick Thomas put up some great stats, like his 126.5 quarterback sacks. Thomas also had 601 tackles and 1 pass interception in his career. Thomas was a threat to score when he got the ball, he got 4 touchdowns among his 19 fumble recoveries as a Kansas City Chief.
Randall McDaniel G Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It is hard to judge offensive linemen unless you see them play because they pretty much have no stats. Randall McDaniel played 14 years with the Vikings (12) and Bucs, and at a high level. He went to 12 pro bowls during his career. Not big by today’s standards at 6ft 3 and 276s pounds, he was a dominant force on the offensive line.
“Bullet” Bob Hayes WR Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers
“Bullet” Bob Hayes was billed as the world’s fastest human after winning an Olympic gold medal before joining the Dallas Cowboys. Not many men actually change the way the game is played but Bob Hayes did. He was so fast that the zone defense was pretty much put in place to stop him.
“Bullet” Bob Hayes played 10 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and part of a season with the San Francisco 49ers. In 132 games he caught 371 passes for 7,414 yards, 71 touchdowns and an amazing 20.0 yards per catch average. He also added 1,158 yards and 3 touchdowns on punt returns in his career.
Rod Woodson CB and Safety Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders
Rod Woodson may be the best pure athlete to ever play defensive back in the National Football League. He was a pure lock to be a 2009 NFL Hall of Fame inductee. Woodson has been named to every all pro or all time NFL team he was eligible for. He played corner until he was too old then switched to safety and intercepted even more passes.
Woodson played 15 NFL seasons and 238 games for 3 teams. He intercepted 71 passes for 1,483 yards and 12 touchdowns. Rod Woodson also recovered 23 fumbles for 137 yards and one touchdown. Woodson also added over 7,000 combined punt and kick return yards and 4 more scores.