But before you watch the induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, here’s an in-depth look at the other seven members of the Hall’s Class of 2018.
Team: Houston Oilers (1975-1984)
Born: Feb. 7, 1953, in Mobile, Ala.
College: Jackson State
Drafted: 1975, first round (sixth overall)
Why he’s in: Brazile, nicknamed “Dr. Doom” for his size (6 feet 4, 241 pounds) and speed (4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash), earned seven straight Pro Bowl nods from 1977 to 1983, five first-team All-Pro honors from 1976 to 1980 and the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 1975. Widely considered one of the league’s supreme hitters and pass rushers, he led the Oilers as a rookie to their first season above .500 in eight years. He is a member of the 1970s NFL All-Decade roster.
By the numbers: Brazile started and played 147 consecutive games (an Oilers record), and had 14 fumble recoveries, 13 interceptions for 201 yards and 11 sacks. The sacks came over the last three seasons of his career, from 1982 to 1984, as the NFL did not officially record them until 1982. Tackles were not recorded until 2001.
Career highlights: Piloted the Oilers to AFC title games in 1978 and 1979, as well as 10-win seasons from 1978 to 1980. Brazile (unofficially) had 95 solo and 98 assisted tackles for a career-best 185 during the 1978 season, including nine tackles during that season’s AFC championship game.
Did you know? The moniker “Dr. Doom” didn’t come from fans or media, but from College Hall of Fame linebacker Richard Wood, who was then playing for Southern California. Wood came up with the name while talking with sportscaster Howard Cosell before the college all-star game, referencing a cartoon character. Cosell had to persuade Brazile to accept the name, saying, “It means ‘Death On Offensive Men.’ It fits you.”
On being named to the Hall of Fame: “That’s a phone call I’d been waiting on for years, to say that I’m being considered to go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Brazile told AL.com. “It means so much to me to try to sum it up in one word, I just can’t do it. I get all types of emotions with it, feelings that normally I don’t have. I’m so excited, and not just for Robert Brazile. This award is going to touch the city of Mobile, my children, my family, my coaches, my teammates, my college. It’s a lot of people involved in it.”
What they’re saying about him:
“There’ll never be another one like Robert. They finally got him up there where he belongs. I couldn’t feel happier.”
“Congratulations to Robert. That’s such an incredible honor for him to achieve. It’s what every football player works for and dreams about. I hope he enjoys wearing that gold jacket because that’s going to be an unbelievable experience for him.”
Team: Green Bay Packers (1958-1968)
Born: Jan. 23, 1936, in Jordan, Mont.
Drafted: 1958, fourth round (39th overall)
Why he’s in: Kramer overcame multiple injuries, including intestinal problems that needed eight surgeries, to be considered one of the NFL’s top blockers. He was named a member of the All-NFL team five times and is a three-time Pro Bowl selection. A member of the 1960s NFL All-Decade team, Kramer also earned spots on the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary team and the NFL 50th Anniversary Team.
By the numbers: Kramer scored 177 points on 90 extra points and 29 field goals as the team’s kicker over the course of three seasons.
Career highlights: Kramer was valued by his teammates for his leadership, which helped the Packers to wins in Super Bowls I and II and five NFL championships, including a block in the 1967 “Ice Bowl” that allowed Bart Starr’s game-winning touchdown. He set an NFL championship game record for most field-goal attempts with five against the New York Giants in 1962. He also set the Green Bay franchise record for most single-season PATs with 43 in 1963. His only postseason loss in 11 seasons came against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL championship game in 1960.
Did you know? Kramer became a sportswriter while still playing for the Packers. He published two books during his career, including a best-selling chronicle of life as a professional offensive lineman called Instant Replay. He also wrote a 1985 book on where the Packers’ Super Bowl I players ended up, and released a CD set in 2005 that includes Vince Lombardi’s last speech as Packers coach in the locker room after Super Bowl II.
On being named to the Hall of Fame: “There were 10 times I was waiting for a knock on my door and it didn’t come. So there wasn’t a great deal of confidence that it was going to happen this time,” Kramer told 247sports.com. “I’ve got my family with me and a bunch of friends, yeah. So we go to the door and it’s the maid. So we gather ourselves and try and get it back together, and all of a sudden the door goes, 'Boom, Boom Boom.' I said, 'That’s it,' and the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen, the big hunk down here at the end [Hall of Fame president David Baker] was standing there with the cameras and stuff behind him. I was over the top. It was something I was afraid to believe in, I was afraid to hope for, so I kept trying to keep those emotions out there somewhere. But, hey, I’m here and I’m part of the group. Thank you very much.”
What they’re saying:
“Jerry had that Lombardi-like feeling: you never quit. He’s well deserving of this honor. We’ve got a spot that’s been waiting a long time for him in the Hall of Fame. I wish I could be the first man to congratulate him.”
“On behalf of the entire Green Bay Packers organization, I want to congratulate Jerry on this well-deserved honor. I’m so happy for Jerry. His patience has been rewarded, as he will finally be going into the Hall of Fame after being a finalist 11 times. He was a key part of the offenses on the great Lombardi teams, as well as an outstanding leader. He’s remained actively involved with the Packers over the years and is beloved by our fans.”
Position: Wide receiver
Born: Dec. 7, 1973, in Alexander City, Ala.
Drafted: 1996, third round (89th overall)
Why he’s in: A six-time Pro Bowl selection, five-time All-Pro and four-time All-NFC honoree, Owens had hands magnetized to the ball. His career yardage and touchdown reception count placed him second and third, respectively, in NFL history when he retired. Owens was also named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
By the numbers: Owens amassed 1,078 catches for 15,934 yards — 14.8 yards a catch — and 153 touchdowns. He had 60 or more catches in 12 of his 15 seasons and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark nine times. He is still the 49ers’ runner-up in receiving yards (8,752), receptions (592) and touchdowns (83).
Career highlights: As a complement to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, Owens began an unprecedented three-season period (2000-2002) of catching 290 passes for 4,163 yards and 42 touchdowns with a single-game record for receptions (20) against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 17, 2000. With the Eagles, Owens had nine catches for 122 yards in Super Bowl XXXIX in a loss to the New England Patriots.
Did you know? Owens was a four-sport athlete at Russell High in Alabama — basketball, baseball, track and field as well as, of course, football. Later, he tried to quit football in favor of basketball, but continued with it when the athletic director at Tennessee-Chattanooga permitted him to keep both.
On being named to the Hall of Fame: “Congrats to the HOF CLASS OF 2018. We’re GOLDEN.”
What they’re saying:
“He should be in. Period.”
“Congrats, man. Yes, I wasn't a supporter but I sincerely hope this brings you joy, peace and a new level of respect. You were a tremendous football player. Be a good teammate to your fellow HOFers. Congrats.”
“Terrell Owens gave our organization eight great seasons of service and some terrific memories that will live on in 49ers lore. He is one of the most accomplished wide receivers in the history of the NFL, and very deserving of this selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 49ers organization would like to congratulate him for this great honor.”
Position: Wide receiver
Born: Feb. 18, 1977, in Rand, W.Va.
Drafted: 1998, first round (21st overall)
Why he’s in: A member of the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team, Moss is a six-time Pro Bowl selection and earned four first-team All-Pro laurels, along with the 1998 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
By the numbers: Moss had 10 seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and nine with 10 or more touchdown receptions, solidifying his place in the NFL record book for receiving yards (15,292, fourth) and career touchdowns (156, second).
Career highlights: Moss exploded onto the scene with four catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns in his first game, and went on to set an NFL mark for most touchdown receptions by a rookie (17). Nine seasons later, Moss caught 23 touchdown passes, breaking Jerry Rice’s 20-year-old single-season record, for the 2007 Patriots (16-0). He played in two Super Bowls.
Did you know? Moss overcame transgressions to get to where he ended up. After pleading guilty to battery in high school, Notre Dame pulled its scholarship offer. Then, after failing a parole-sanctioned drug test, Moss lost his place at Florida State, so he went to Marshall — the school he’d lead to a Division I-AA national championship.
On being named to the Hall of Fame: “It was just tears of joy,” Moss said. “When you play this game and you put your heart and soul into this game, to be rewarded with that gold jacket, it speaks volumes. Actually, I’m speechless.”
What they’re saying:
“They call this dude The Freak for a reason, congrats bubs.”
“Randy Moss made defensive coordinators change game plans and sometimes abandon philosophies. When you can change the way a coach sees the game, who has been around the game all their life, you are undoubtedly a first ballot HOFer.”
Team: Chicago Bears (2000-2012)
Born: May 25, 1978, in Pasco, Wash.
College: New Mexico
Drafted: 2000, first round (ninth overall)
Why he’s in: Urlacher was named 2000 Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording eight sacks and two interceptions. He was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 for posting 171 tackles (10 for loss) and six sacks. Considered the heart of the Bears, Urlacher led Chicago to four division crowns (2001, 2005-2006, 2010). He was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, a five-time first-team All-Pro honoree and a member of the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team.
By the numbers: Over 182 career games, Urlacher had 1,358 tackles, 41 1/2 sacks, 22 interceptions for 324 yards, 90 passes defended, 12 forced fumbles, 16 fumble recoveries and two touchdowns.
Career highlights: Urlacher was the first Bear to record a 90-plus-yard turnover return for a touchdown, against the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, and an 80-plus-yard interception return for a score, with an 85-yard run against the Green Bay Packers in 2007. Despite a loss to the Packers in the 2010 NFC championship game, Urlacher recorded nine tackles and a sack, along with an interception for 29 yards. In his one Super Bowl appearance, a 29-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI, he had seven tackles, four assists and a pass defended.
Did you know? There is a street name in Urlacher’s honor in Lovington, N.M., the jumping-off point for his storied career. Urlacher helped his alma mater, Lovington High, to a 14-0 record and a state title as a senior, leading the school to retire his No. 11 jersey on “Brian Urlacher Day” in February 2001.
On being named to the Hall of Fame: “I didn’t set out to play football to get into the Hall of Fame. … I played football because I loved it. It was a great job, and I just loved playing the game.”
What they’re saying:
“You don’t get the chance very often to coach and be around a player and person like Brian Urlacher. He absolutely knew what every player on the defense was supposed to do, on every play.”
“I think he’s the smartest player that I’ve ever played against. No one has played the position like he did, with the freedom to check in and out of coverages. And then obviously, the talent is second to none. A guy that fast, that athletic, and with those instincts.”
Teams: Kansas City Chiefs, scout (1966-1967); Atlanta Falcons, scout (1968-1971); Miami Dolphins, director of player personnel (1972-1977); Washington Redskins, general manager (1978-1988); San Diego Chargers, GM (1990-1999)
Born: Jan. 24, 1937, in Zanesville, Ohio
College: Cal Poly
Why he’s in: After a career as a scout for the Falcons and Chiefs, Beathard was hired by the Dolphins in 1972, helping lead them to two Super Bowl appearances. As Washington’s general manager, he piloted the Redskins to five playoff appearances in six years and two Super Bowl trophies (XVII and XXII). As the Chargers GM, Beathard helped San Diego earn its first division title in over 10 years and reach the Super Bowl for the first time.
By the numbers: During his career, Beathard helped create 10 first-place teams and five second-place teams. Overall, his teams won 10 division titles, seven league or conference championships, and four Super Bowls.
Did you know? Beathard and Hall of Fame coach John Madden were roommates while attending Cal Poly.
On being named to the Hall of Fame: "I never looked at it like I was trying to get into the Hall of Fame. I loved doing my job and always had fun doing my job. And as it turned out, we won a lot of games. The only thing I said to my wife when they gave us the news is my worst nightmare is having to give a speech. So if I have to do that, it'll be the shortest one up there."
What they’re saying:
“Bobby was the architect of many of our dearest memories as Redskins fans, and the run of dominance he helped build will always hold a special place in our minds and in our hearts. We cherish his contributions to the Washington Redskins, and we are proud tonight to see that his contributions to the game will be forever immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
“I am happy for Bobby and the entire Beathard family upon hearing of this richly deserved honor. His legacy has always lived forever in Redskins history, and I am pleased to see that it will live forever in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well.”
Teams: Philadelphia Eagles (1996-2008); Denver Broncos (2009-2011)
Born: Oct. 13, 1973, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Drafted: 1996, second round (61st overall)
Why he’s in: He was named to nine Pro Bowls and was a leader on every defense he played. A ferocious hitter who could stop the run or cover wide receivers and tight ends downfield, Dawkins was named All-Pro and All-NFC five times. He is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
By the numbers: Dawkins played 224 career games, had 1,131 tackles (895 solo), intercepted 37 passes and returned them for 513 yards and two touchdowns; he also had 26 sacks 19 fumble recoveries.
Career highlights: Dawkins was the Eagles’ defensive MVP five times and made eight playoff appearances in his 13 years in Philadelphia. He and the Eagles reached four straight NFC championship games from 2001 to 2004, losing the first three, but reaching the Super Bowl in 2004. They took down the Atlanta Falcons, 27-10, in the NFC championship game that season. The only Super Bowl appearance of his career was a loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville.
Did you know? Dawkins graduated from Raines High School in Jacksonville. More than 20 Raines players went on to the NFL, but Dawkins is the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The previous Jacksonville-area player to enter the Hall of Fame was former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Bob Hayes in 2009.
On being named to the Hall of Fame: "It's kind of hard to believe that a small safety from Jacksonville, Florida, to find himself in the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Dawkins told the Eagles’ team website. “I never thought about that growing up. There's going to be a lot of celebration going on. When I get in, we all get in. You're going to have an opportunity to celebrate a Super Bowl as well. I see myself as a husband, a father, and hopefully a good friend to all individuals I come in contact to."
What they’re saying about him:
“Congrats to the class of 2018 being inducted to the NFL’s HOF. Well deserve honor for all of the individuals. Especially for my brotha and friend, @BrianDawkins. I was honored to be your teammate and brother.”
“Congrats @BrianDawkins on being inducted into the NFL Hall Of Fame! The highest form of respect for what you’ve done on the field and how you’ve forever changed the game! I appreciate all that you’ve poured into me.”
Sources: profootballhof.com, philadelphiaeagles.com