Last year, the question was asked regarding why offensive linemen don't really get as much love from the Hall of Fame as some of the other positions do. This year, the Hall's six-man class included two excellent offensive linemen in Willie Roaf, who played as recently as 2005, and Dermontti Dawson, from 1988 to 2000 as the center of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Roaf was a seven-time first-team All-NFL player and nine-time All-Conference (six NFC, three AFC) player who made eleven Pro Bowls, missing only two - as a rookie, and during his injury-shortened 2001 season. Dawson took over the Steelers' center position from Hall of Famer Mike Webster for thirteen seasons, making seven straight Pro Bowls, playing in 170 consecutive games (second in Steelers' team history) as well as three AFC Championship games and Super Bowl XXX.
The complete class is as follows:
- CB Jack Butler (1951-1959): 52 interceptions in 103 games, four touchdowns, one fumble recovery for a touchdown; four touchdown receptions; involved in BLESTO, a scouting service that eventually led to the combine and all-encompassing draft coverage.
- DE/LB Chris Doleman (1987-1999): 232 games played; eight seasons of ten or more sacks; eight Pro Bowls, First-Team All-Pro in 1987, 1989, and 1992, First-team All-NFC four times. 150.5 career sacks, only missed two games due to injury.
- DT Cortez Kennedy (1990-2000): 1992 Defensive Player of the Year (Seahawks went 2-14) - 14 sacks, 92 tackles that season. 58 career sacks, 3 INTs, one fumble recovered for a touchdown; eight Pro Bowls, All-NFL 1992, '93, '94; second-team All-Pro twice, All-AFC four times.
- RB Curtis Martin (1995-2005): Rookie of the Year; started career with 10 straight 1000-yard seasons (only Barry Sanders did the same); 90 TDs, 14,101 yards on 3,518 carries; 56 games over 100 yards; 484 receptions for 3,329 yards, 10 touchdowns; 2-2 passing with 2 touchdowns. 9 games over 100 yards as a rookie.
- C Dermontti Dawson (1988-2000)
- OT Willie Roaf (1993-2005)
You can check out their speeches and more on the Hall of Fame right here. Also, don't forget the Hall of Fame game will be later tonight.