Sharpe joins stellar class in Hall of Fame

February 5, 2011
photo - Shannon Sharpe Photo by CHRISTIAN MURDOCK, THE GAZETTE

Shannon Sharpe became the fourth former Bronco to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Sharpe, Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk led a class of seven voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Joining them were Richard Dent, Ed Sabol, Les Richter and Chris Hanburger.

Sharpe starred for Denver and Baltimore for 14 seasons and won three Super Bowls in a four-year span, two with Denver, one with Baltimore. He held league records for a tight end in receptions, yards and touchdowns when he retired in 2003.

“If I had a thousand tongues, I couldn’t say how happy and proud I am,” Sharpe said. “I don’t know what I did to deserve this.

John Elway knew.

“This caps off a tremendous football career by a guy who truly was self-made and worked his tail off to become one of the best players in the history of the NFL,” said Elway, who was Sharpe’s quarterback in Denver.

Sharpe always knew football was going to be his profession.

“If you are going to have letters behind your name, I wasn’t going to have M.D. or PhD. HOF is pretty good,” he said.

Sharpe joins Elway, Gary Zimmerman and Floyd Little as the only Broncos in the Hall.

Sanders always was Prime Time. Now he’s all-time. As talkative as he was talented, known as much for his celebration dances as his interceptions and kick returns, Sanders was an outstanding cornerback and sometime receiver with five teams. He’s a two-time Super Bowl winner and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1994.

Faulk won a Super Bowl with the 1999 Rams, was the 1994 Offensive Rookie of the Year, 2000 NFL MVP and a three-time Offensive Player of the Year (1999-2001). Faulk is the 10th leading career rusher with 12,279 yards, and for a half-dozen seasons was the most versatile back in football, as much a threat as a receiver as a runner.

Bears defensive end Dent was the MVP of the 1986 Super Bowl and finished with 137½ career sacks. In 1984, Dent began a 10-year period in which he made 10 or more sacks in eight of 10 seasons.

Richter, who made eight straight Pro Bowls, played linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams from 1954-62. He also was a center and kicker.

Hanburger spent all 14 pro seasons with the Redskins and played in nine Pro Bowls. He was known for using clothesline tackles that eventually were outlawed.

Sabol founded NFL Films and was selected as a contributor.

Induction ceremonies are Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio.


6-2, 230, Tight End

1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens. 14 seasons, 204 games.

Selected by Denver in the seventh round (192nd overall) of 1990 draft. ... At time of retirement, his 815 career receptions and 10,060 yards and 62 TDs were all NFL career records for a tight end. ... His 214 receiving yards vs. Kansas City in 2002 is an NFL single-game record for a tight end. ... Tied NFL record with 13 receptions in single postseason game (vs. Raiders, 1993). ... Three times during career amassed over 1,000 yards receiving. ... Earned first- or second-team All-Pro honors five times and first- or second-team All-AFC honors six times. ... Selected to play in eight Pro Bowls (1993-1999, 2002). ... In 1996 led all tight ends in receptions (80), receiving yards (1,062 yards), and receiving touchdowns (10). ... Following season had career best 1,107 receiving yards for career best 15.4 yard average. ... An integral part of Broncos’ 1998 and 1999 and Ravens’ 2001 Super Bowl championships.




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