AP – Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher terrorized opposing offenses from the middle of the field. Randy Moss and Terrell Owens did the same to defenses on the outside.
The two hard-hitting linebackers and two big-play receivers highlighted an eight-person class voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Safety Brian Dawkins also received at least 80 percent support from the 47 Hall of Fame voters, along with contributor Bobby Beathard and senior nominees Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile.
But the biggest stars of the class are the two linebackers that made it on their first tries, and the pair of lightning-rod receiver who sometimes caused as many problems for their own teams as for the opposition. Moss also made it on his first try, while Owens needed to wait for his third year on the ballot to get enough support.
Moss and Owens each played for five teams in their careers as they often wore out their welcome with their inability to get along with teammates and coaches at times.
But at their best, there were few players ever able to strike fear in defenses as much as Moss and Owens, who were both all-decade selections for the 2000s.
Moss burst on the scene as a rookie in Minnesota in 1998 when he caught a league-leading 17 TD catches and helped lead the Vikings to the NFC title game. His combination of speed and athleticism made him the game’s most dangerous big-play threat and led to the phrase “You got Mossed” for embarrassed defensive backs.