Before the biggest names in football take the step into Pro Football HOF immortality, they need to be presented. For some players the selection of their presenter is an immediate decision, but for others it can take months of contemplation. But with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls quickly approaching, all eight inductees have made their choices. Today we’re looking at the first four presenters for the 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony:
Bob Babich, Presenter for Brian Urlacher
There’s something special about the relationship between a player and a position coach. For former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, it was the most impactful bond he made during his 13-year playing career.
That’s why Urlacher gave former Bears linebackers coach and defensive coordinator Bob Babich the honor of inducting him into the Pro Football HOF. Babich coached Urlacher for nine seasons (2004-2012) and was partially responsible for the linebacker being named the 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Urlacher admitted that the decision of who to select didn't come easily after playing under several influential coaches during his career, but Babich’s name never left the back of his head.
“He challenged me every day, whether it was in our meetings, our walk-throughs, our practices… He made football fun for me. I enjoyed going to work every day. I enjoyed going to meetings, even though I didn’t like meetings. I enjoyed going because Bob made them fun.”
While Urlacher decided to hang up his cleats in 2013, Babich still finds his home on the sidelines. The 57-year old is entering his second season as the linebackers coach for the Buffalo Bills, while also enjoying stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers since his departure from Chicago.
Diaymon Lewis, Presenter for Ray Lewis
The passion that former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis brought to the football field can only be rivaled by the fervor he possesses when speaking about the presenter for his Pro Football HOF induction.
Lewis’ eldest daughter, Diaymon, will be the one to present her father to the crowd in Canton.
“My presenter is somebody I trust with my legacy even after I’m gone,” Lewis said. “I raised her under me. She’s driven. She’s inspirational. She’s wired right.”
This will be only the sixth time that a daughter has served as a presenter for the Pro Football HOF.
Diaymon shouldn't have trouble coming up with the right words to describe her father. According to Lewis, Diaymon’s early draft for her speech includes several of the life lessons that Lewis taught her throughout her childhood. While Lewis exhibits immense pride in his daughter, it’s also likely that there will be a fair amount of waterworks shed during this induction.
Thaddeus Moss, Presenter for Randy Moss
The family tradition will continue with former Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss, who has selected his son, Thaddeus, to present for him.
When Moss was first informed of his induction into the Pro Football HOF, he recalled the desire to have former Vikings head coach Dennis Green induct him into Canton. However, that dream quickly faded from Moss’ head -- Green died in 2016 due to cardiac arrest.
With the option of Green off of the table, Moss decided to hand the honor to his oldest son.
“Throughout my 14-year career there’s been ups and downs of my career, but for my son to be able to present me would be good for me to know that my son is presenting me and I think it would mean a lot to him,” Moss said.
The 20-year old Thaddeus is entering his first season of eligibility at LSU, where he plays tight end, after sitting out a season following his transfer from N.C. State University.
Thaddeus has big shoes to fill on the gridiron, though -- his father finished his career second all-time in receiving touchdowns (156) and fourth all-time in receiving yards (15,292).
While most fans know Moss for his blazing speed and jaw-dropping catches, he says that his son’s speech will reveal more about who he is as a father rather than who he was as a player.
George Stewart, Presenter for Terrell Owens
Very few people know the real T.O. Because of this, one of the most talked about receivers in NFL history had to dig deep into his playing history to select his presenter for the Pro Football HOF.
Luckily for Owens, the search returned a fantastic result.
Owens has selected former 49ers wide receivers coach George Stewart to present him. Stewart served as San Francisco's special teams coach from 1996 to 1999 before moving up to his stint with the wide receivers from 2000 to 2002.
Stewart’s speech may be the most anticipated of the weekend, with Owens preparing all of the onlookers to expect the unexpected.
"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am,” Owens said. “To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."
Owens’ development under Stewart proved to be invaluable to his career. The electric pass catcher went on to finish third all-time in touchdown receptions (153) and second all-time in career receiving yards (15,934). Ironically enough, both of those receiving stats records are topped by fellow 49ers legend Jerry Rice -- who worked with Stewart from 1996 to 2000.
Stewart is a 30-year NFL coaching veteran, and currently serving as the special teams coordinator and assistant head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.
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