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Claude Humphrey, Falcons standout defender, gets his Hall call

Atlanta Falcons v Los Angeles Rams Getty Images

Upon seeing his Pro Football Hall of Fame bust, Claude Humphrey kissed it and gave it a pat on the head.

And then, upon starting his speech, the former Falcons and Eagles defensive end had a message.

“Now, they told me that I only had 10 minutes up here, but let me start off by telling you I’ve waited almost 30 years to get to this podium, so don’t rush me guys — I’m going to be here for a minute,” Humphrey said as the crowd cheered.

Indeed, no member of the Hall’s Class of 2014 waited longer for induction than Humphrey, whose playing career wrapped up 33 years ago.

But on Saturday, the 70-year-old Humphrey finally had his day in Canton.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 1968 NFL Draft, Humphrey recorded 122 career sacks in 14 seasons, according to Pro Football Hall of Fame data.

In his 11 seasons in Atlanta, the Falcons never made the postseason, but Humphrey’s play didn’t escape notice. He earned Pro Bowl honors six times in the 1970s.

Though Humphrey missed the entire 1975 season with a knee injury, he returned to play six more seasons, garnering Pro Bowl honors in 1977. Humphrey finally reached the postseason in 1979 as a member of Philadelphia, and he would play on the 1980 Eagles club that reached Super Bowl XV.

In his speech, Humphrey took a moment to remember his late wife, whom he recalled as a “special person” who did everything she could to advocate for his Hall candidacy.

Humphrey also had kind words for long-time NFL coach Marion Campbell, the former Falcons defensive coordinator and head coach whom he credited for helping him improve his technique.

Dick Vermeil, Humphrey’s coach in Philadelphia, was in attendance in Canton, and Humphrey took a moment to praise Vermeil’s work.

“This man worked tirelessly to take a football team that perhaps may not have been a great football team, but he had a bunch of young guys who really got into what he was preaching, and we ended up going to a Super Bowl,” Humphrey said.

Claude Humphrey was presented by his daughter, Cheyenne Humphrey-Robinson.

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12 Responses to “Claude Humphrey, Falcons standout defender, gets his Hall call”
  1. militantgod says: Aug 2, 2014 8:54 PM

    He deserved that speech.

  2. bcajun says: Aug 2, 2014 9:02 PM

    Falcons are you ready for that smack down thats going to happen to you guys come week one…WHO DAT!!

  3. captaincanoe says: Aug 2, 2014 9:18 PM

    Nice. One the names I remember as a youth when I started getting into football.

  4. raiderapologist says: Aug 2, 2014 9:19 PM

    bcajun says: Aug 2, 2014 9:02 PM

    Falcons are you ready for that smack down thats going to happen to you guys come week one…WHO DAT!!
    ——————
    I’m old enough to remember Humphrey, a really good player, and smart enough to know bcajun is a grave-pisser.

  5. burtmurphy1 says: Aug 2, 2014 10:09 PM

    Raiderapologist:

    Exactly. Just ignore the saint fan.

    It was a good speech. Well deserved addition to the Hall.

  6. sammadison says: Aug 2, 2014 10:12 PM

    Well deserved induction. Congrats.

  7. drs76109 says: Aug 2, 2014 10:54 PM

    As an Eagles fan, I am so glad that Claude Humphrey today received this very overdue honour.

  8. thegregwitul says: Aug 2, 2014 11:12 PM

    Great speech, it’s always a treat to hear from the old greats.

  9. kojak772014 says: Aug 2, 2014 11:41 PM

    Charles Haley? Joe Klecko?

  10. bassplucker says: Aug 3, 2014 12:27 AM

    That dude is 70? Wow. He obviously hasn’t missed any meals but he still looks pretty good anyway. And for an NFL player of that era, still seems to have his wits about him.

  11. earlofoxford17 says: Aug 3, 2014 9:26 AM

    Claude was THE key veteran addition that put the Eagles into their first Super Bowl.

  12. mysterytonite says: Aug 3, 2014 3:59 PM

    I’m so glad their is a senior committee to see that great players are not forgotten. Also, it seems that those players get in due to a true democratic process, unlike the way the others are voted in by bias sports writers pushing their agenda when most don’t know sh!t from shampoo. Why does the media have say on who gets in over the players enshrined?

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