Hall of Fame No.5: Willie Anderson, Offensive Tackle, Cincinnati Bengals
This may be a surprise, but there could be a reason why. For much of Anderson’s career, the Cincinnati Bengals, who are now in the Super Bowl to the shock of many people, were amongst the worst clubs in the league. Bad Drafting, Cheap management, black cloud hanging over, you name it.
But in every dark hole, there is a light, and that was Anderson. Taken 10th in the ’96 draft out of Auburn, Anderson made four consecutive Pro Bowls and earned First-Team All-Pro honors for three straight seasons (04-06).
He was a bright spot for a team that was purely a disappointment most of the time. Also, it took Tony Boselli a very long time to get in, so there is some satisfaction over an offensive lineman getting his dues.
Nevertheless, despite all the turmoil that existed within the organization during his tenure, Anderson will be given his gold jacket at some point. His play as a right tackle emphasized the importance of that position in addition to the left tackle position. He’ll be in Canton soon enough, just not today.