LeRoy Butler jumps into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

CANTON, Ohio (AP) – Leroy Butler inducted himself into the Professional Football Hall of Fame with the same enthusiasm he celebrated at Lambeau Field.

Four Times All-Pro Safety He was the first of eight members of the 2022 Class to be honored Saturday at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame.

Butler began referring to the song, “DJ Khaled said it best: ‘God did.'” When you play with the Green Bay Packers, you open a lot of doors. When you win the Super Bowl, you open more doors. When you are selected into the Hall of Fame, soccer heaven opens. It’s a rare company.”

Butler drew cheers from the Jaguar crowd in attendance to witness Tony Boselli’s instigation when he mentioned his upbringing in Jacksonville.

Thank you, Duval, Butler said. “My mother, who grew up in poverty, made us think about the rich every day because it’s not about what you have or what you have, it’s how you act.”

Butler helped relive the glory days of Green Bay during a 12-year career. His versatility as a safety set the standard for a new wave in the position and earned him a spot on the league’s All-Decade team in the 1990s.

Butler created “Lambeau Leap” and had a key sack in Green Bay’s Super Bowl victory over New England. He failed to become the first player in league history to end his career with 40 interceptions and 20 sacks.

Sam Mills, 5-foot-9 linebacker nicknamed “The Field Mouse” During his 12-year career with the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers, he was posthumously recruited after Butler. An inspiring personality, Mills overcame tremendous odds to make it to the NFL.

Mills played third-division football and was not drafted. He was snapped by the CFL’s Cleveland Browns and Toronto Argonauts and began his career with the Philadelphia Stars in the USFL. Jim Mora, who coached the stars, brought him to New Orleans in 1986 and Mills never looked back.

“He was told he wasn’t good enough to play college football or old enough to play professional football, and at 27, he wasn’t young enough to play in the NFL and yet we’re here to celebrate today,” Melanie said. Mills, Sam’s widow.

Mills made 1,265 tackles, had 23 recoveries, forced 22 fumbles, had 20 and a half sacks, and had 11 interceptions in 12 seasons. He was also part of the first four playoff teams in the history of the Saints and the first in the history of the Panthers.

Mills became an assistant coach with the Panthers after his retirement. He was diagnosed with bowel cancer prior to the 2003 season, but continued to train during his treatment and gave what is known as his “Keep on Beating” speech on the eve of the Super Bowl with New England at the end of that season.

Mills passed away in April 2005 at the age of 45. His motto “Keep hitting” is still the motto of the Panthers.

In a year when there were no candidates on the first ballot, recruits endured long waits to get into the hall.

Defensive intervention Richard Seymour didn’t wait long to get a taste of success in the NFL. He was part of three Super Bowl teams In his first four seasons with the New England Patriots.

Seymour referred to the defensive strengths of those teams but did not mention Tom Brady by name.

“We had a young quarterback, but we made it through,” Seymour said, drawing a chuckle from the crowd.

Seymour had 57 1/2 career sacks in 12 seasons, his first eight in New England before ending his career with the Oakland Raiders.

He said, “I’m steeped in humility because it’s not about what it says about me but what it says about us and what we can do together.” “I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I didn’t come here on my own. Neither of us did. None of us could be.”

42-year-old Seymour choked and thanked his wife, Tanya.

“Football is what I do, but family is what I am,” he said. “Thank you for everything you have added to my life. This day belongs to my family. The Bible teaches that your fortunes are in your family.”

Seymour called his three children “the greatest joy.”

“Of all I have accomplished,” he said, “there is no greater honor than to be your father.”

Seymour paid tribute to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, former Raiders owner Al Davis, and his son, Mark Davis.

He attributed his success to lessons he learned from Patriots coach Bill Belichick: Work hard, be meticulous in your preparation, support your teammates and respect your opponents.

“This wouldn’t have happened without coach Belichick,” Seymour said.

Longtime Chief of Staff Art McNally gave a video speech after he was inducted as a contributor.

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