Saturday Night the National Football League inducts the class of 2019 into the Professional Football Hall of Fame. Several members spent time with the New York Jets.
It’s the NFL’s Hall of Fame Weekend. The festivities began Friday night with the opening of the 2019 exhibition season as Denver beat Atlanta. Today however is the coup de gras. eight new members will be inducted as the class of 2019. Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Ed Reed, and Johnny Robinson are officially enshrined Saturday evening. Three members of the class Reed, Law, and Mawae have ties to the New York Jets.
Ed Reed may go down as the best safety of his era and some say the best period. He could do it all, there were few if any weaknesses in his game. The former University of Miami star could cover deep, come up into the box to stuff a run, or blitz the quarterback all equally well. What he is also most known for is his tremendous leadership. It may be cliché to say a player is like another coach on the field, but it fits Reed’s game to a tee.
A New York Jets player for only one season, Reed was signed in November of 2013, to provide some relief to a beleaguered secondary. His Gang Green career lasted only seven games but included three interceptions. All totaled, Ed Reed went to nine Pro Bowls, was named to the All-NFL team five times, won a Super Bowl and was the 2004 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.
Cornerback Ty Law is best known as a member of the New England Patriots where he played 10 seasons and won three Super Bowls. However, he played for the Jets on two different occasions. The first time was in 2005 when he went to his fifth Pro Bowl. That season, led the NFL with 10 picks, defended 18 passes and had 62 tackles. He came back again in 2008, but by then wasn’t the same player as before.
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The former Michigan Wolverines defensive back was New England’s first-round draft pick (23rd overall) in 1995. He spent 15 seasons in the NFL making the lives of opposing quarterbacks miserable. Law intercepted 53 passes in his career, seven of which were pick-sixes. A number that ranks him 11th all time.
Kevin Mawae was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round (36th overall) of the 1994 draft. He may have started in the Emerald City, but his career took off when he came to the New York Jets in 1998 when he was brought in by Bill Parcells. The 6-4 center instantly became the leader of Gang Green’s offensive line. That year the Jets went 12-4 and won the AFC East.
He was a staple of the Jets roster over his eight seasons in New York. Mawae played in and started 118 games from 1998-2005. His game played streak (which totaled 177 including his time in Seattle) was broken due to a serious upper arm injury in October 2005, which effectively ended his career in New York.
Gang Green made the playoffs in four of his eight seasons. Mawae went to six straight Pro Bowls between 1999 -2004. Two of those seasons, 1999 and 2001 he was selected to the All-NFL team.