Martin, 4 linemen make Hall of Fame

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 03, 2012
Running back Curtis Martin and four linemen were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, along with one senior committee choice. Martin is the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history. He is joined by Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Willie Roaf, Dermontti Dawson, and senior selection Jack Butler. Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter and Bill Parcells were among the finalist who didn't make it. A panel of 44 media members voted. The inductions are in early August in Canton, Ohio. Martin made it for his consistency and durability, rushing for 14,101 and 90 touchdowns. He rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first 10 seasons, the first three with New England and the others with the Jets. The 1995 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Martin won the NFL rushing title in 2004 with 1,697 yards. Doleman and Kennedy were sackmasters from the defensive line, Doleman at end and Kennedy at tackle. Doleman had 150 1/2 sacks in his 15 seasons, mostly with Minnesota, and was one of the prototype agile yet powerful pass rushers who dominate the game today. He made the Pro Bowl eight times and was fourth on the sacks list when he retired. Kennedy was a force inside, both as a run stopper and in threatening quarterbacks. The 1992 Defensive Player of the Year made eight Pro Bowls, had 58 sacks - an unusually high total for a tackle - and spent his entire 11-season career with Seattle. Roaf spent one season at right tackle, then the rest of his 13 seasons on the left side, making 11 Pro Bowls. He made the All-Decade team for the 1990s. Dawson made seven Pro Bowls as the Steelers' center, that rare snapper who also could block defensive players one on one. He replaced a Hall of Famer, Mike Webster, and started for Pittsburgh for most of his 13 pro seasons. Butler also played for the Steelers as a cornerback from 1951-59, picking off 52 passes, at the time second most in NFL history. But he was best known for his tackling skills. Guard Will Shields didn't get in - the only first-year eligible player to make the 15-man finals. Shields started all but one of the 224 games in his 14 seasons in Kansas City. Bettis also fell short. He was the 1993 Offensive Rookie of the Year with the Rams who retired in 2006 after winning his only Super Bowl with the Steelers. He is the NFL's No. 5 career rusher. Parcells coached the Giants to Super Bowl titles in the 1987 and 1991 games and also lost the 1997 Super Bowl with New England. He coached the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, too. Carter is the No. 4 career receiver with 1,101 in 16 seasons with three teams. Others not voted in were receivers Tim Brown and Andre Reed, defensive end/linebackers Kevin Greene and Charles Haley, defensive back Aeneas Williams, and former 49ers owner Ed DeBartolo Jr. The other senior finalist, guard Dick Stanfel, was not chosen, either.
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