As Willie Roaf prepares to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend in Canton, Ohio, he recently spent some time reflecting back over his career in a media conference call. The subject of his career credentials came up, and the offensive tackle made it quite clear that without his time with the Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL great would not likely be making his acceptance speech on Saturday.
When asked about why he chose to come back to Kansas City after a debilitating knee injury, the former Saints legend said he knew he had to keep going.
"I didn't want to end my career like that," said Roaf. "I don't think that if I had come back off the knee injury and had played in Kansas City Would be in the Hall of Fame now. If you look at Richmond Webb's numbers in Miami, I think [he] went to seven Pro Bowls and had some real good years blocking for Dan Marino, [yet] he hasn't made a finalists list yet. I think our credentials to this point, when I left New Orleans, I think he made the all-decade team, but I think they were pretty similar.
"I just wanted to comeback and really establish myself as one of the best tackles again. It was more when I got hurt and left, I still had some football left in me. Going to Kansas City and getting another chance gave me a spark."
A spark is one way to say it, but Roaf was an essential cog in a line that's one of the better ones in NFL history. Along with Will Shields and Brian Waters and Casey Wiegmann, Roaf was an anchor for the Chiefs blind side and added another four Pro Bowl seasons with KC.
Roaf will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 4.