On Saturday, Aug. 4, the 2001 class will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The seven-member class will bring the total number of pro football heroes enshrined in the Hall of Fame to 211.
Nick Buoniconti Linebacker. Boston Patriots 1962-'68, Miami Dolphins 1969-'74, '76. The facts: Played in five AFL All-Star games with the Patriots and one with Miami after his 1969 trade. ... Was Dolphins' MVP in '69. ... Following AFL-NFL merger, was named to two more Pro Bowls, in '73 and '74. ... During seven seasons with Miami, the Dolphins made three consecutive Super Bowl appearances (VI, VII, VIII). Miami won two of those, including after its undefeated season in '72. ... Recorded 32 career interceptions. ... Will be presented by his son, Marc Buoniconti. Joel Buchsbaum says: "Buoniconti was a guy who the NFL thought was too small. But Mike Holovak, who was putting together the Boston Patriots at the time, had an uncanny knack for finding undersized, wrong-sized players for the NFL who would turn into tremendous players for him. Later on in (Buoniconti's) career, he was traded to the Dolphins and was the catalyst of the 'No-Name Defense.' Buoniconti never really was big enough. He did not have exceptional speed, but he had exceptional quickness, exceptional reaction speed, exceptional instincts and, unlike most linebackers his size, he was able to see things. Somehow, he would see through the forest, whereas most linebackers his size had areas where they just couldn't see. Plus, he was a tremendous on-the-field leader."
Marv Levy Coach. Kansas City Chiefs 1978-'82, Buffalo Bills 1986-'97. The facts: Overall record was 154-120-0. ... Ranked 10th in NFL history at the time of his retirement. ... Left Chiefs following the 1982 strike-shortened season. ... Set a new standard for NFL head coaches when he led the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls. ... Guided Buffalo to playoffs in eight of 12 seasons. ... NFL Coach of the Year in '88. ... Will be presented by former Bills and current Colts GM Bill Polian. Joel Buchsbaum says: "Levy was the ultimate professional coach. He was an extremely bright man, yet he had an uncanny knack to interact and get through to all of his players. He also was one of the most adaptable coaches in the league. When he came in, he used a wing-T offense in Kansas City because he didn't have receivers, he had runners, and he didn't have an offensive line that could pass block. Yet, when he went to Buffalo, he went to one of the most wide-open offenses in the game because it fit Jim Kelly the best. (Levy) had a great ability to fit the scheme to what his players did best, instead of the other way around. He also was very fundamentally and technically sound and was one of the first coaches in the league to realize the value special teams had, and that special teams were really one third of the game. When he was with the Bills, their special teams were always one of the best in the league."