Accent on defense in HOF Class of 2009

Posted by ESPN.com staff
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will welcome six new members Saturday when the Class of 2009 is enshrined.

Honorees Bruce Smith, Rod Woodson, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson Jr., Randall McDaniel and Bob Hayes will be hailed for their accomplishments during the ceremonies in Canton, Ohio.

Defensive standouts Smith -- who starred primarily with the Buffalo Bills -- and Woodson -- who excelled with the Pittsburgh Steelers among other teams -- are first-ballot inductees.

At 90, Buffalo Bills owner and American Football League pioneer Wilson is the oldest person ever inducted; former Minnesota Vikings star guard McDaniel is the only offensive lineman in this class; former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Thomas and former Dallas Cowboys receiver Hayes are receiving posthumous honors.

Wilson chose ESPN anchor Chris Berman, a longtime friend, to present him. Former Bills defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell will present Smith. Woodson has chosen Tracy Foster, a business partner, as his presenter.

McDaniel picked high school athletic director O.K. Fulton as his presenter.

Former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach will honor Hayes, and former Chiefs president Carl Peterson will salute Thomas.