The 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame has eight new people being inducted in this year’s class. The following players, owners and front office executives are being elected in 2019: Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Ed Reed and Johnny Robinson.
As is the typical NFL tradition, the Hall of Fame Game between the Falcons and Broncos kicks off the preseason. The game also leads into this weekend’s gold jacket ceremony for the eight new inductees.
Gonzalez is one of the top tight ends to ever play in the NFL and is known for his time with the Chiefs and Falcons. Gonzalez recently tweeted out a letter he had written to himself at the start of his career.
“Surreal that this note was written 20+ years ago and 3 days from today I will be enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame. Grateful is an understatement. #RoadToCanton,” Gonzalez tweeted.
Reed joins Gonzalez as another familiar face to many football fans. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh raved about his former player alluding to the idea that Reed is the “greatest safety in the history of football.”
“You go into the Hall of Fame, you’re a legendary football player,” Harbaugh noted to ESPN. “But in my mind, there are levels in the Hall of Fame too. And I think Ed Reed, it would be hard to argue that he’s not the greatest safety in the history of football, right? He’s one of the top 10 players maybe in the history of the game, in my mind.”
Former Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen Is Being Inducted as a Contributor
Bowlen is being inducted into the 2019 class as a contributor. The longtime Broncos owner died in June after battling Alzheimer’s. John Elway cited Bowlen’s ability to delegate as one of the reasons for his success.
“Pat’s greatest strength, to me, was how he made you feel,” Elway explained to ESPN. “He guided the organization, made decisions, listened to opinions, tried to hire the best people, and he made it clear the Denver Broncos were about trying to be world champions all the time. But he did it while letting people do their jobs and he made everyone feel like they had a piece in it. And the credit always went to other people from him. But really he was behind it all.”
Longtime Cowboys Scout Gil Brandt Is Part of the 2019 Class
Brandt was a longtime scout for the Cowboys who was a pioneer in the analytics movement. Brandt helped create a computer system to target players in the NFL draft. Brandt’s influence can be seen at the NFL Combine where several of the drills are metrics that the former scout emphasized as Yahoo Sports detailed.
Brandt, known as one of the founding fathers of modern scouting, revolutionized football in the 1960s with computer technology. He analyzed data of players’ height, weight and 40-yard dash time and graded them.