LeBeau, Randle, Grimm enter Hall of Fame

CANTON, OHIO (AP) - After a 32-year wait, Dick LeBeau finally was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

“Man, this really is a great day to be alive,” said LeBeau, elected by the senior committee and the first of seven men who entered the shrine.

He was immediately followed by John Randle, who as a defensive tackle with the Vikings and Seahawks accumulated 137 1/2 sacks in 14 seasons, most for anyone at that position.

Russ Grimm, called the “Head Hog” by former Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel, followed Randle into the hall.

LeBeau was chosen for his 14-year career as a cornerback with the Detroit Lions, even though he’s best known as an assistant coach, the mastermind of the zone blitz. Currently the defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, LeBeau singled out his players who sat in a corner of Fawcett Stadium.

“I am being inducted as a player and believe me that makes me most proud,” LeBeau said. “I did that for 14 years. but for the last 38 years I have been a football coach.

“They are here,” he added, pointing to the Steelers, who he helped win two Super Bowls in the last five seasons. “That’s just about the highest compliment ever paid to me in my life.

“Ambassador (Dan) Rooney is here. I am truly humbled by that. They let this football team come out of training camp … think about that, it’s like having another road game.

“I wouldn’t want to be here without you: offense, defense and special teams.”

The players stood in applause and fans in the crowd whirled Terrible Towels in tribute.

LeBeau finished his 14-year career in 1972 with 62 interceptions, still eighth in NFL history. He led the league in picks in 1970 with nine.

Elected by the senior committee, LeBeau joins Dick “Night Train” Lane and Yale Lary, who played in the same secondary, in the hall.

The 73-year-old LeBeau, the oldest coordinator in the league, noted how making the Hall of Fame surpassed his previous best moment in football.

He recalled the Steelers‘ visit to the White House after winning the 2009 Super Bowl, and President Barack Obama asking where he was standing.

“The president signaling me out, this might be highest moment of my life, there certainly can’t be anything great than this,” LeBeau said he thought.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player