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Ogden, Robinson, Allen enter Hall of Fame
CANTON, OHIO (AP) - As relaxed as if he had no one to block, Jonathan Ogden became the first Baltimore Raven enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Ogden was the leadoff inductee Saturday night in his seven-member class, just as he was the first player drafted by the Ravens after the franchise moved from Cleveland in 1996 and was renamed. The man who made that selection, fellow Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome, now Baltimore’s general manager, presented the massive offensive tackle.
A former college shot putter at UCLA, at 6-foot-9, 345 pounds, Ogden was an imposing presence at tackle for a dozen seasons in Baltimore, winning the 2000 NFL championship. Six months after the Ravens won their second Super Bowl, Ogden gave a smooth, humor-laden speech, always in control _ just like he was when neutralizing even the best opponents.
Ogden, who was given a 2013 Super Bowl ring by the team, made the hall in his first year of eligibility. He was a six-time All-Pro, made the Pro Bowl 11 times and was the main blocker when Jamal Lewis rushed for 2.066 yards in 2003.
“Talent isn’t enough,” Ogden said. “A lot of people have talent, they don’t always live up to it. For me it is about maximizing, striving for perfection.
“I am so proud to be the Baltimore Ravens‘ first Hall of Fame inductee.”
One of the key blockers for Dallas as Emmitt Smith became the NFL’s career rushing leader, Allen made six All-Pro squads and 11 Pro Bowls in his 14 seasons, the final two with San Francisco. He won the Super Bowl in the 1995 season and was voted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility,
“I just knew I had to win every play,” he said. “That’s the reason I am here I knew if I lost a play, I had 45 seconds to get even.”
Presented by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who drafted Allen out of small-college Sonoma State in 1994, Allen punctuated his discourse with the requisite “How about them Cowboys?” as he joined the likes of Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders in the hall.
Robinson became the 12th inductee from the vintage Packers coached by Vince Lombardi to be enshrined. Robinson was a prototype outside linebacker who could rush the quarterback, cover tight ends or running backs on pass plays, and stop the run. He made the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1960s and won three NFL titles, including the first two Super Bowls.
“This is the biggest day of the 21st century for the Robinson family,” he said, adding that he “lives 25 miles from here but it took me 38 years to get here.”
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