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Shields falls short in bid for Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at 6:21 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, at 6:02 p.m.

Pro Football Hall of Fame selectees

• RAY GUY, Raiders: Guy turned the punting job into a defensive weapon after he became the first player at his position to be selected in the first round of the draft in 1973. He made “hang time” part of the football vernacular while playing all of his 207 games in 14 seasons with the Raiders.

• DERRICK BROOKS, Buccaneers: Brooks was the cornerstone of a Bucs defense that led the league in 2002 and ’05, and the NFC five times. He was The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year when Tampa Bay won its only Super Bowl after the 2002 season.

• WALTER JONES, Seahawks: Seattle certainly got a winner when it moved up to the No. 6 spot in the 1997 draft to take Jones. He immediately provided blindside protection for Warren Moon and quickly became the first Seahawks lineman to earn a Pro Bowl spot. He was one of the chief road graders who helped Shaun Alexander rush for 266 yards in a 2001 game (the fourth-highest total in NFL history) and then rush for a team-record 1,880 yards and 28 TDs in his MVP season in 2005.

• MICHAEL STRAHAN, Giants: Strahan set the NFL record for sacks in a single season, getting 22 1/2 in 2001. The one most people remember is the record-setter in the final game of the regular season, when Green Bay’s Brett Favre seemed to lay down on a play late in the game. While there is controversy about that play, Strahan was one of the top two-way defensive ends.

•  ANDRE REED, Bills, Washington: Reed came out of little Kutztown (Pa.) University and played his first 15 seasons with Buffalo, getting to four Super Bowls, but never winning one. His final season was with Washington. His 951 career receptions are third in league history, highlighted by nine consecutive seasons of 50-plus catches.

• AENEAS WILLIAMS, Cardinals, Rams: Williams was a shutdown cornerback in his 14 NFL seasons, the first 10 with the Cardinals and the last four with the Rams. He had 55 career interceptions, getting at least one in every season except his last. He had five or more in picks in six seasons, with nine being his best in 1994. Williams shared the NFL record for longest fumble return with a 104-yarder for a touchdown against Washington in 2000, his last year with the Cardinals. He started at cornerback for the Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl and played safety in his final two seasons.

• CLAUDE HUMPHREY, Falcons, Eagles: The Hall of Fame doors finally opened for Humphrey on his 28th year of eligibility and his fifth as a finalist. A durable six-time Pro Bowl pick, Humphrey had 122 career sacks in 14 seasons with the Falcons and Eagles, who acquired him after a brief retirement in the 1978 season. His 14 1/2 sacks in 1980 helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl.

— Former Chiefs guard Will Shields failed in his bid for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Shields, one of 15 modern-day finalists for the third straight year, made the cut to 10 finalists, but was not among the players elected by the 46-member Board of Selectors.

The Class of 2014 will consist of former Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks, Seattle offensive tackle Walter Jones, Buffalo wide receiver Andre Reed, New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan and Arizona/St. Louis cornerback Aeneas Williams, Atlanta/Philadelphia defensive end Claude Humphrey and Oakland punter Ray Guy.

Humphrey and Guy were nominated by the Seniors Committee. Brooks and Jones were first-time finalists.

Those eliminated in the final round besides Shields were Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis, outside linebackers Kevin Greene and Charles Haley and Indianapolis wide receiver Marvin Harrison,

The five who did not survive the first cut were kicker Morten Andersen, Oakland wide receiver Tim Brown, San Francisco owner Eddie DeBartolo, coach Tony Dungy and Tampa Bay/Denver safety John Lynch.

After waiting 23 years, Guy is the first punter elected to the Hall of Fame.

“Good things are worth waiting for,” Guy said Saturday night. “It’s just a matter of time when it will show up. And I knew it would, sooner or later. It had to, whether it was me or somebody down the road. But sooner or later, it had to show up, because that is a part of a football game.”

Each of the incoming Hall of Famers walked to the stage at Radio City Music Hall at The NFL Honors program, and was announced individually. Strahan, who helped the Giants make two Super Bowls, got a huge cheer from the home crowd.

The induction ceremony will be Aug. 1 in Canton, Ohio.

| The Associated Press contributed to this story

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