Quotes about the Class of 2004

Quotes about the Class of 2004

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"I am absolutely flabbergasted."
- Bob Brown commenting on his election to the Hall of Fame

"I didn't want to be a shock absorber; I wanted to deliver the shock."
- Bob Brown about his playing style

"He would strike out at you; he wanted to do bodily harm. I always felt satisfied when I had a good game against Bob because his intention was to inflict pain."
- Carl Eller, Minnesota Vikings defensive end and fellow Class of 2004 enshrinee

"Bob Brown is the finest offensive lineman in pro football."
- Hall of Fame coach George Allen following 1969 trade that landed Brown with the Rams.

"When he pulls out to lead a sweep, there are two things for a guy like me to do, get out of the way or get hurt."
- Herb Adderley, Hall of Fame corneback

"This young man is undoubtedly one of the finest athletes in professional sports today."
- Joe Kuharich in 1966, then general manager and coach of the Eagles

"It felt like the world turned upside down. I've never been hit like that. That Brown's too much. He manhandles you but he is so nice about it."
- Atlanta Falcons linebacker Tommy Nobis following his first collision with Brown

"I've been in the league 10 years and I'm not easily impressed, but that guy is fantastic."
- Cleveland Browns defensive end Paul Wiggin, 1967

"He is the best to ever play his position."
- Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, 1969

"Brown is just the most devastating football player I've ever seen."
- Raiders head coach John Madden, 1971


"This was a moment that I wanted and prayed for, for a very, very long time."
- Carl Eller, moments after his election to the Hall of Fame

"Just figure to put on a good rush and everybody meet at the quarterback."
- Carl Eller sharing his philosophy on defense, 1969

"He's coming along faster than we had anticipated.
- Vikings head coach Norm Van Brocklin, Oct. 1964 (Eller's rookie season)

"I think he's the best defensive end in pro football."
- Kansas City Chiefs' Aaron Brown prior to Super Bowl IV

"I have more problem in practice than against any defensive end I've faced in a game."
- Hall of Fame tackle and Vikings teammate Ron Yary commenting on practicing against Eller

"You know….he's going to make me into a good offensive tackle."
- Ron Yary

"Carl was a great athlete and football player. He was a very determined player that was never satisfied with just playing the game. You had to respect him because he wasn’t out there to play. He was out there to win."
- Paul Krause, Hall of Fame safety and teammate with Vikings

"One way you achieve greatness in this game is through super-ability. Carl has that and he also has super-durability. He plays with pain, with hurts, and he plays just as well. Some players play with pain, but they cannot play as well when they are hurting."
- Vikings Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant

"He has the physical requirements. Beyond that, intelligence. And he still has the young man's approach to the game. He likes it, enjoys it, and wants to be the best."
- Hall of Famer and Vikings General Manager Jim Finks, 1972


"I'm really kind of speechless to be honest with you."
- John Elway upon learning of his election to the Hall of Fame

"As an individual football player, this is the ultimate compliment you can have."
- John Elway on his election to the Hall of Fame

"I haven't been back to Cleveland since 'The Drive.' All the fire hydrants were painted orange with my number on them. I just wonder if the paint's come off yet."
- John Elway, who will return to northeast Ohio for his induction in August

"John Elway may be one of the best all-time quarterbacks, particularly in the clutch. When the game was on the line, he was like Michael Jordan — he wanted the football. In those situations, I don’t know if I know anyone that did a better job of handling that than John did."
– Dan Reeves, Elway's former coach with Broncos

"I don’t know of any one quarterback in the history of the league, unless maybe you go back to Sammy Baugh, that would be rated ahead of John Elway."
Hall of Famer Tex Schramm

"I don't know where the franchise would be without John. You're talking about a different football team. People don't realize how quickly you become a 4-12 team without a great player at quarterback."
- Wade Phillips, former head coach of the Denver Broncos

"He may, in fact, ultimately be the greatest to have ever played this game at that position. The guy is the greatest competitor I have ever witnessed in sport."
- Coach Marty Schottenheimer

"To John Elway, football was the greatest game in the world. And to the game of football, John Elway was the greatest ambassador imaginable. He combined talent and character to become an incomparable performer and champion on the field."
- Paul Tagliabue, NFL Commissioner

"They talk about 47 comebacks. The thing that was so impressive was the concentration level and poise and thriving on pressure."
- Mike Shanahan, head coach of the Denver Broncos

"For 16 years, John Elway was the Denver Broncos."
- Pat Bowlen, owner of the Denver Broncos


"I think I would trade a Super Bowl championship for the Hall of Fame."
- Barry Sanders

"When I think about the Hall of Fame, it seems like that's something that happens to someone else. You think Dick Butkus, Walter Payton, names of that light. To be here, I truly feel out of place."
- Barry Sanders

"You think you have a sure tackle and you don't. With Barry Sanders, you never can count on a sure tackle."
- Keith Millard, former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman

"He gets you off balance trying to tackle him. You go one way, and he comes back the other way."
- Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary

"Barry is truly unique. I've seen guys who could maneuver in the open field and make the first tackler miss, or guys who could break a tackle and pick up extra yardage. But the thing that Barry does is this: While's he's giving the first fake and dodging that tackler, he's already thinking about the next defender and how he's going to get by him."
- Billie Matthews, Lions running back coach

"Barry is like a little genius. Each play he runs is like an individual play which is sometimes great to watch and sometimes spectacular."
- Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown

"I don't know who to compare him to. I never played against Gale Sayers, but I saw him on film, and Sanders does the same things he used to do.  He puts a move on a defender, and you see the guy's knees buckle."
- Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long

"A lot of times on defense, you sit on the sideline, but when you play with Barry, you tend to watch. When I was there (Detroit), I always watched. He can make a one-yard gain look outstanding."
- Defensive tackle Kelvin Pritchett, one-time teammate of Sanders

"Don't go looking for him. Let him come to you. If you go looking for him, you'll find him – in the end zone."
- John Mitchell, Steelers defensive line coach

"Everybody knows he's a great running back. You get the ball in his hands, he can score on any play. But the way he remains so humble, and has been throughout his career, is what impresses me the most."
- Lions center Kevin Glover


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