Dave Robinson thanks his family, coaches

AP

Fifty years from his rookie season, the Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed Dave Robinson in the door.

And it was a long road for Robinson, who played for legendary coaches, and broke barriers.

He began his speech by wishing happy birthdays to friends and relatives, and leaned on the impact of his family throughout his speech. He thanked his wife for supporting him when they went to Green Bay, when they were one of the few African American families in that part of Wisconsin.

“For me, this is the biggest day ever, the biggest day of the 21st century for the Robinson family,” he said.

Robinson followed the lead of Jonathan Ogden by keeping things light, and keeping it moving, talking for 14 minutes, and joking that some of friends that have passed “may be looking up at me.”

Robinson, one of the keys to Vince Lombardi’s Packers defenses (and the 12th from those teams to make the Hall), was voted in as a veteran’s committee candidate.

He was part of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1960s, and finished his career with two seasons with the Redskins.

After playing for Joe Paterno at Penn State, Robinson played for Lombardi and then George Allen.

That kind of coaching helped make him the player he was, but his skills got him to Canton on a special anniversary.