Kenny Easley, the Oscar Smith High School graduate who became the hard-hitting safety for the Seahawks and a member of the 1980s All-Decade Team, was inducted Saturday night into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
A seniors committee choice, Easley played only seven seasons and 89 games for Seattle. But what an impact he made as an intimidator and ballhawk.
The 1981 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Easley was the league’s top overall defender in 1984 when he had a league-leading 10 interceptions, a career high.
Easley, who was presented for induction by his high school coach, Tommy Rhodes, retired after the 1987 season. He had to wait 24 years before being voted into the hall.
“I was first nominated for the hall in 1997,” Easley said. “Twenty years later — be anxious for nothing — the Hall of Fame was dropped on the shoulders of Kenny Easley like a pair of shoulder pads. Some folks said I deserved to be in the hall earlier; I don’t believe that. Others say he didn’t play long enough, I don’t believe that.”
Easley concluded a politically and religiously toned speech by saying: “I thank you for welcoming me into your exclusive club.”