2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame capsules
Published 10:13 pm Thursday, August 3, 2023
A capsule look at those elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Sunday:
Virginia. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 197-2012. 16 seasons, 241 games.
Selected in the third round (66th overall) in 1997 … Started 215 consecutive regular-season games (224 counting postseason) … Finished career with 47 regular-season interceptions for 923 return yards and eight touchdowns all Tampa Bay franchise records … Totaled 14 defensive and special teams touchdowns (8 INT, 4 FR and 2 on special teams) … Twice intercepted three passes in a game and six times forced at least two turnovers in a game … NFLs all-time leader in sacks for cornerback … Only player in NFL history with a least 45 interceptions and 25 sacks … Three-time All-Pro … Selected to five Pro Bowls … Member of NFLs All-Decade Team of the 2000s … Led NFL with 10 interceptions in 2001 … Led Buccaneers in interceptions six times … Voted team captain nine times … Buccaneers winner of Ed Block Courage Award in 2011.
Email newsletter signup
Washington. St. Louis Cardinals 1973-77, San Diego Chargers 1978-86. 14 seasons, 195 games.
Revived the St. Louis Cardinals (1973-77) and the San Diego Chargers (1978-1986), leading both franchises to the playoffs after extended postseason droughts … Posted overall winning records with each organization … APs NFL Coach of the Year in 1974 … UPIs and PFWAs NFC Coach of the Year in 1974 … PFWAs AFC Coach of the Year in 1979 … Led the Cardinals to the 1974 and 1975 NFC East Division crowns … 1979-1981 San Diego Chargers earned AFC West Division titles … Known for his “Air Coryell” offensive strategy that would lead the league in passing yardage seven times in nine seasons … Won 100 games coaching at both the collegiate (127-24-3) and professional (114-89-1) levels … Future Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches Joe Gibbs and John Madden served as college assistants under him … Member of the College Football Hall of Fame … served in the U.S. Army.
West Virginia. Chicago Bears 19-58-59, Dallas Cowboys 1961-73. 15 seasons, 180 games.
Selected seventh overall in 1958 by the Chicago Bears … Retired after two seasons following what was considered a career-ending knee injury during training camp in 1959 … Decided to make a comeback in 1961 after appearing in a West Virginia alumni game … Traded to Dallas prior to the 1961 season … Named MVP of Super Bowl V, making Howley the first defensive player and first non-quarterback to win the award … Also holds the distinction of being the only player from a losing team to be named MVP of the Super Bowl … Finished his career with 25 interceptions and two touchdowns … Named to six Pro Bowls (1966-70, 1972) … First-team All-Pro five times (1966-70) … Second team All-Pro in 1971 … Named to the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1977.
|Defensive End, Defensive Tackle, Nose Tackle|
Temple. New York Jets 1977-87, Indianapolis Colts 1988. 12 seasons, 155 games.
Selected 144th overall in 1977 by the New York Jets … Teamed with Abdul Salaam, Mark Gastineau and Marty Lyons to form one of the top defensive lines in the NFL, known as the “New York Sack Exchange.” … Named UPI NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1981, leading the league with 20.5 sacks … First-team All-Pro honors twice (1981, 1985) … Named to four Pro-Bowl teams (1982, 1984-86) … After moving to nose tackle during the 1985 season, Klecko became the second player in NFL history (after Hall of Famer Frank Gifford) to be selected to the Pro Bowl at three different positions … One of only five Jets to have his jersey number (‥73) retired, along with Dennis Byrd and Hall of Famers Joe Namath, Don Maynard and Curtis Martin.
Pittsburgh. New York Jets 2007-2012, 2017, Tamp Bay Buccaneers 2013, New England Patriots 2014, Kansas City Chiefs 2017. 11 seasons, 145 games.
Selected 14th overall in 2007 by the New York Jets … Started at cornerback all 16 games for the Jets during his rookie season, earning him a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team … Started at left cornerback for New England and had one sack and one solo tackle in the Patriots 28-24 win over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX … First-team All-Pro honors four seasons (2009-2012) … Elected to participate in seven Pro Bowls (2009-2012, 2014-16) … Named to the NFLs All-Decade Team of the 2010s … New York Jets team MVP in 2009 and 2011 … Finished his 11-year NFL career with 29 interceptions, with three returned for touchdowns, and 139 passes defensed. In 2009, led the NFL in passes defensed with 31 … Second in Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2009.
Florida A&M. Cincinnati Bengals 1969-1983. 15 seasons, 207 games.
Selected by the Bengals in the 1969 AFL-NFL Draft after playing quarterback at Florida A&M … Converted to cornerback and played 15 NFL seasons over three decades (1969-1983) … Played in 207 NFL games, amassing 65 interceptions … Selected AP All-Pro in 1983 … Selected AP All-AFC in 1975, 1976 … Held or shared six Cincinnati team records through his final season with the Bengals … Led team in kickoff return yardage during his rookie season … Earned the AFC interception title in 1976, 1982, 1983 … Led the Bengals in interceptions seven times (1969, 1974-76, 1981-83) … Ranks fifth (tied with Charles Woodson) on the NFLs career interceptions list.
Wisconsin. Cleveland Browns 2007-2017. 11 seasons, 167 games.
Outland Trophy winner as the nations top interior lineman and a consensus All-American following his senior season at Wisconsin … Selected third overall in 2007 by the Cleveland Browns … Started at left tackle all 16 games for the Browns his rookie season, finishing second in AP Offensive Rookie of the Year voting to Minnesotas Adrian Peterson … Known for his agility, strength and durability, he played an NFL record 10,363 consecutive snaps a streak that ended Oct. 22, 2017, after suffering a triceps tear against the Tennessee Titans … Allowed only 30 sacks in his remarkable career, despite facing several Hall of Fame sack specialists and many teams’ top pass rushers … Was the first offensive lineman in NFL history to be named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first 10 seasons … First-team All-Pro honors six seasons (2009-2011, 2013-15) and second-team All-Pro twice (2008, 2012) … Named to the NFLs All-Decade Team of the 2010s … Well-known for his involvement in the community, he was selected as the Cleveland Browns Walter Payton Man of the Year three times (2010, 2012, 2016).
Texas Tech. Miami Dolphins 196-2007, Dallas Cowboys 2008. 13 seasons, 184 games.
Selected in the fifth round (154th overall) in the 1996 draft … Versatile and instinctive middle linebacker who made immediate impact … Intercepted three passes for 64 yards, one touchdown and 131 tackles, 49 assisted tackles and two sacks to earn teams MVP honors and named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year, 1996 … Led Dolphins in tackles 10 seasons … Racked up 100 tackles in each of his first 11 seasons … Amassed 22 tackles (14 solo) in 2001 playoff game versus Baltimore Ravens … Set Dolphins career record with four interceptions returned for touchdowns … Career statistics include 17 interceptions for 170 yards … Registered 20.5 career sacks … His 168 starts were most by a Dolphins defensive player … First player in team history to win Leadership Award (voted by teammates) three times … First-team All-Pro five times (1998-99, 2002-03, 2006); second-team All-Pro twice (2001, 2005) … Voted to seven Pro Bowls.
Troy State. Dallas Cowboys 2005-2013, Denver Broncos 2014-16. 12 seasons 178 games.
Selected 11th overall in the 2005 draft … Entered the NFL in 2005 as an underdog with something to prove started all 16 games at right outside linebacker and amassed 58 tackles and a team-best eight sacks … Led the Cowboys in sacks for eight seasons, 2005-2012 … Led the NFL with 20 sacks (2008) and 15.5 sacks (2010) … Played on only one team with a losing record during his career and helped lead his teams to five playoff appearances … Started at weakside linebacker in the Broncos Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers, amassing three solo tackles and two assists, two sacks and four hits on the quarterback … Career stats: 138.5 sacks, intercepted three passes for 44 return yards and one touchdown and also returned two fumbles for touchdowns … Still holds the Cowboys’ career sacks record with 117 … Voted first-team All-Pro four times (2007-09, 2011); second-team All-Pro three times (2006, 2010, 2012) … Selected to nine Pro Bowls (2007-2013, 2015-16) … Named to the NFLs All-Decade Team of the 2000s.