Willie Roaf – Hall of Famer

From Indianapolis, Indiana

It was a surprise when he didn’t make it last year, but no surprise on Saturday when former Chiefs-Saints OT Willie Roaf was announced as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012.

The six-member group besides Roaf includes C Dermontti Dawson, DE Chris Doleman, DT Cortez Kennedy, RB Curtis Martin and senior candidate DB Jack Butler.

Roaf survived three votes by the Hall’s 44-person Board of Selectors to earn enshrinement. He got through the vote from 15 to 10, and then 10 to 5 and then a yes or no vote by the selectors. A candidate had to get at least 80 percent of the 44 votes each time ballots were turned in.

Former Chiefs G Will Shields went out on the first vote of the meeting, when the list was cut from 15 to 10 players. Joining him on the outside were RB Jerome Bettis, WR Tim Brown, LB Kevin Greene and former San Francisco owner Ed DeBartolo.

On the vote from 10 to five, those sliced were CB Aeneas Williams, DE Charles Haley, Coach Bill Parcells, WR Cris Carter and WR Andre Reed.

That left the final five – Dawson, Doleman, Kennedy, Martin and Roaf.

The final vote is yes or no and the board voted yes on all five. Joining them was Butler.

At 6-5, 300 pounds, Roaf was a first-round draft choice out of Louisiana Tech by the New Orleans Saints in the 1993 NFL Draft. He would spend nine seasons in the Big Easy, before he was traded to the Chiefs in 2002 for a third round draft choice. He played for four seasons in the red and gold. Overall, he played 13 seasons and 189 games, and was voted to 11 Pro Bowls and was a seven-time first-team All Pro. He was part of the league’s All-Decade team of the 1990s.

Roaf will be 42 years old in April and has already decided that his father Clifton will make his presentation in Canton for the induction ceremonies in August.

He becomes the 19th offensive tackle to earn induction into the Pro Football Hall, joining Bob Brown, Roosevelt Brown, Lou Creekmur, Dan Dierdorf, Forrest Gregg, Lou Groza, Stan Jones, Bruce Matthews, Mike McCormack, Ron Mix, Anthony Munoz, Jim Parker, Bob St. Clair, Art Shell, Jackie Slater, Rayfield Wright, Ron Yary and Gary Zimmerman.

And Roaf becomes the 15th person with a connection as player or coach with the Chiefs to earn induction. He’s the fifth player who began his career with another team and then came to Kansas City to finish playing days, joining Mike Webster (1997), Joe Montana (2000), Marcus Allen (2003) and Warren Moon (2006). Former Chiefs head coach Marv Levy was inducted in 2001.

They join team founder Lamar Hunt (1972), LB Bobby Bell (1983), LB Willie Lanier (1986), QB Len Dawson (1987), DT Buck Buchanan (1990), K Jan Stenerud (1991), coach Hank Stram (2003), CB Emmitt Thomas (2008) and LB Derrick Thomas (2009).

Among those 15 names, Moon Montana, Allen and Stenerud were elected in their first season of eligibility.

Here are some details on the other five inductees:

DB Jack Butler, 6-1, 200 pounds, (1951-59) – he played 9 seasons for the Steelers, after signing with his hometown team after coming out of St. Bonaventure. Butler ranked second in league history with his 52 interceptions at the time of his retirement. He was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1950s. Butler was born in November 1927 in Pittsburgh. After his career ended due to a leg injury, he became a scout and for many years ran the Blesto Scouting Combine.

C Dermontti Dawson, 6-2, 299 pounds, (1988-2000) – Dawson was the man who replaced legendary Steelers center Mike Webster after being drafted in the second round by Pittsburgh out of Georgia. He went on to eclipse most of Webby’s standards during his 13 seasons. He was named to seven Pro Bowls and was six times first-team All-Pro.

DE Chris Doleman, 6-5, 270 pounds, (1985-1999) – Doleman played for the Vikings, Falcons and 49ers, after entering the NFL as a first-round choice in 1985 out of the University of Pittsburgh. He played in 232 games, starting at linebacker and moving to defensive end in his second year. In 1992 he was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Year. His 150.5 sacks is the fourth highest total in the league. He was named to eight Pro Bowls and was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1990s.

DT Cortez Kennedy, 6-3, 298 pounds, (1990-2000) – Coming out of the University of Miami, he was the third player drafted in the 1990 NFL Draft, and ended up playing in 167 out of a possible 176 games. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler and was All-Pro five times, plus he was defensive player of the year in the NFL in 1992.

RB Curtis Martin, 5-11, 207 pounds, (1998-2005) – Starting his career as a third-round draft choice of the New England Patriots, Martin would move on to the New York Jets and establish himself as one of the best rushers in the league. By the time he was done, Martin was the NFL’s fourth all-time leading rusher with 14,101 yards. He also caught 484 passes for 3,320 yards.

3 Responses to “Willie Roaf – Hall of Famer”

  • February 4, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    A tremendous and well deserved honor for a great Chief. Not only was he a HOF player on the field but a class act off the field. Congratulations Willie.

  • February 4, 2012  - ED J says:

    Congrads to Big Willie

  • February 4, 2012  - ED J says:

    At anytime Bob you can write article on our new OC. I’m interested in your thoughts on the hire.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News