Q&A with Hall-of-Fame DE Claude Humphrey

Falcons great defensive end Claude Humphrey gets inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as his bust that will sit in Canton is revealed

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Who was the toughest offensive lineman you played against in your career?

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CH:

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All of them, because in the mid-60s, all the guys that are in the Hall of Fame are right tackles. You start from guys who played all the way to the late 70s, all the great offensive tackles are tackles that lined up on the right side and lined up in front of me every Sunday; so, to pick out just one as the greatest is just too hard. I played against Bob Brown, who was a tremendous tackle. I played against Rayfield Wright, who was just fantastic; I played against Ron Yary, who was just fantastic, Dan Dierdorf, who was just fantastic; now there are just four guys who are in the Hall of Fame and they were all right tackles and I had to line up against them every Sunday.

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RF: Who was the toughest QB to sack?

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CH: Fran Tarkenton, no doubt; that's easy. If I had gotten a sack every time I caught Fran Tarkenton, my sack stats would be astronomical. Fran Tarkenton, by far, was the quarterback that gave me the most problems.

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RF: Did you really appear on the hit TV show, The Dukes of Hazzard?

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I was on the Dukes of Hazzard, but all the time that I was there, every morning, I would have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to drive down to the location; it made me know that I was a football player and that I needed to be back out on the football field. I enjoyed it though; I really, really enjoyed being a part of the Dukes of Hazzard and I was very happy about their success. They were great guys to be around and to sit with them and listen to their stories, that was a great experience for me. The show was titled "The Repo Men" and I was one of the guys trying to repo the General Lee; it was great.

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Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith on Humphrey:

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"I'm very excited for Claude. I've had an opportunity to just be around him a handful of times. I was a young man watching him play and he was one of the most dominating guys that played on the defensive line. It's well deserved for Claude and his family and really our Atlanta Falcons family. It's quite an honor to have one of our early-on Atlanta Falcons going into the Hall of Fame."

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Atlanta Falcons DE Chuck Smith (1992-1999) on Humphrey:

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"Claude's always been humble and when you think of him as a player, he was such a dynamic defensive lineman and such a big-time player in his day. He had so much power and speed, when he came off the ball. He could play the run, he could rush the passer; he was just such a valuable force. Claude had incredible technique. I'm a huge fan of Claude Humphrey, because I'm a lifetime Falcons fan. I remember growing up and my dad would talk to me about him, but I also got a chance to actually watch him, so I have a unique perspective. I am also proud that he set a legacy and a bar for us in one position that we've had a lot of success at with this great organization, the defensive end position. We've produced a lot of defensive ends and Claude is the foundation of that and I'm just so proud for him to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, because he represents not only the best off the field, but the best on the field as a Falcon."

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