Former Kansas City Chiefs Player, Will Shields, Elected To Pro Footbal Hall of Fame
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced on Saturday that former Chiefs G Will Shields will be enshrined as part of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015.
“Will’s achievements and contributions to our franchise and community over 14 seasons were extraordinary,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “Will was a true ‘iron man’ – never missing a game in 14 seasons – and his career and character place him among the greatest in Chiefs history. Will’s enshrinement further cements his place as one of the NFL’s all-time greats. He spent his entire career in a Chiefs uniform; he embraced the city and our fans and we are thrilled for Will, his wife Senia and the Shields family.”
Shields becomes the 11th longtime member of the Kansas City Chiefs to be enshrined. He joins Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Len Dawson, Lamar Hunt, Willie Lanier, Jan Stenerud, Hank Stram, Derrick Thomas, Emmitt Thomas and Curley Culp, who all have earned the NFL’s highest individual honor.
During his 14-year career, Shields was selected to 12 consecutive Pro Bowls, earning his first trip to the NFL’s annual all-star game following the 1995 season. He has played in 12 career Pro Bowls, which stands tied for first all-time in NFL history for most Pro Bowl game appearances. He received first-team AP All-Pro honors twice during his career and was a five-time honoree (first and second-team) for All-Pro by the AP. Shields was also named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
Shields played in 224 regular season games (223 starts) during his 14 years with Kansas City (1993-06). His 224 games played and his 223 consecutive starts with the Chiefs both rank first in team history. His 14 seasons donning a Chiefs uniform tie him for the second-most seasons played in franchise history. He originally entered the NFL as a third-round selection (74th overall) of Kansas City in the 1993 NFL Draft out of Nebraska.
The Fort Riley, Kan., native offered a stalwart presence on the interior of the Chiefs offensive line that saw some of the most successful offenses in franchise history. During those 14 seasons, the Chiefs ranked in the top five in total offense six times and ranked in the top five in rushing offense seven times. Shields helped pave the way for five individual 1,000-yard rushers during his time with the Chiefs. He was part of a blocking unit that helped Kansas City lead the league in rushing offense in 1995 with 2,222 yards and also helped block for RB Priest Holmes as he claimed the NFL’s rushing title in 2001 with 1,555 yards on 327 carries. In 2011, Shields was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and in 2012 he was enshrined as the 42nd member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame.
Shields helped anchor an offensive line that served as the foundation for one of the most potent offensive stretches in Chiefs history. In 2004, the Chiefs set an NFL single-season record with 398 first downs and led the league in total offense for the first time in franchise history, averaging a club-record 418.4 yards per game. Kansas City also set a single-season team record with 4,406 passing yards in 2004. In 2003, his squad claimed the AFC West title with a 13-3 record after posting a team-record nine consecutive wins to begin the season. Kansas City led the league with a club-record 484 points. In 2002, the Chiefs led the NFL with 467 points and set a franchise mark with 6,000 yards of total offense with Shields in the trenches.
In 2003, the entire National Football League community recognized Shields for his extensive work off the field as he was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winner. At the time, he was the fourth member of the Chiefs to take home the honor, recognizing not only on-field excellence but also off-the-field outreach. Through Shields’ “Will to Succeed Foundation” that he established in 1993, more than 100,000 individuals have been positively impacted through various programs.
The 2015 Hall of Fame Class will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 8.
(Courtesy of Kansas City Chiefs)