One of the best all-purpose running backs, best cover corners and best tight ends to ever play in the NFL will enter the NFL Hall of Fame in 2011.
Marshall Faulk, the former St. Louis Rams running back, will enter the Hall of Fame as one of the most versatile running backs to ever play in the NFL.
Drafted in 1994, Faulk was the Offensive Rookie of the Year, won the NFL MVP in 2000 and was named Offensive Player of the Year three times over his career. He is the 10th leading rusher in NFL history with 12,279 yards and also added much as a receiver out of the backfield.
Marshall Faulk is also a big reason many fantasy football owners won their leagues from 1998 through 2001. There was no one better at the time.
Shannon Sharpe is joining the Hall of Fame after his 14 year career with Denver and Baltimore. He won three Super Bowls in a four-year span, twice with Denver and once with the Ravens. When he retired in 2001, Sharpe held the record for most receptions, yards and touchdowns for a tight end.
“This caps off a tremendous football career by a guy who truly was self-made and worked his tail off to become one of the best players in the history of the NFL,” said John Elway, who was Sharpe’s quarterback in Denver.
The most flamboyant player to ever play in the NFL is also getting into the Hall of Fame this year as Deion Sanders is a first-ballot inductee. He’s a two-time Super Bowl winner and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1994. He played for Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco and Baltimore.
“He was an electrifying performer who put fans on the edge of their seats every time he manned his cornerback position or dropped back to receive a kickoff or field a punt,” Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. “Deion is, without question, one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL.”
Richard Dent, a famed member of the ‘80s Chicago Bears team that won Mike Ditka his only Super Bowl as a head coach, is the next Hall of Fame inductee.
Dent was the MVP of that 1986 Super Bowl team and finished his career with 137.5 sacks.
“It was a long time coming, I am very happy,” Dent said. “If you can do your thing the way [Walter Payton] did his, you can be in the Hall of Fame. I am so thankful for this.”
The other 2011 NFL Hall of Fame nominees are not as big of names but are worthy nonetheless.
Les Richter, who passed away last year, played for the Los Angeles Rams in the ‘50s and ‘60s. He was named to eight straight Pro Bowls as a linebacker.
Chris Hanburger played for the Washington Redskins for 14 years, playing in nine Pro Bowls.
Ed Sabol is the founder of NFL Films, one of the greatest institutions in the National Football League. With him in control of the production, NFL Films won 52 Emmy Awards.
Induction ceremonies for the 2011 NFL Hall of Fame are Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio.
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