They Said It: Edgerrin James' Hall Of Fame Career

Edgerrin James will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio this weekend. Ahead of the legendary quarterback’s enshrinement, Colts.com dove into the archives and looked back on James' time in Indianapolis. 

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Edgerrin James, after being elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020:

"It means everything to me to be sitting here. After I've been through the process for years … you just have to be patient. The work is done, it's just a matter of time. It's one of those things you can't be too high to too low about, and when your number is called you get to be right here where we are today."

Edgerrin James, in an interview with JMV on 1070 The Fan this week:

"Mr. Irsay, that's my man. It's hard to put a number or say how much — everybody that knows me knows Mr. Irsay from Day 1, me and Mr. Irsay, becoming a Colt is family. And family is eternal. We're locked in. He means a lot to me, my family, that organization, the city of Indianapolis, I think everybody can only say good things about a person that's a natural giver, a person that really steps out and supports and helps you, especially people like myself coming from South Florida, didn't really know anybody up there, people like him made it easy for me.

"The way the city embraced me — at first it was, I was unknown, and so when you're unknown you don't really know how to take people, they don't know how to take you. But then all of a sudden when I get around there, the people in the Midwest, they're different from the people down South. They're nicer, Midwest people are nicer. Down south people are aggressive, it is what it is. That was easy, the people in the Midwest, the people in Indianapolis, they made me feel comfortable anywhere I went. And it started from there. The organization, Mr. Irsay and the Colts, it was so welcoming that one could only like going up there and being a part of it. Especially being 20, 21, you don't really know people and getting away from your element and all you can lean on is the people you encounter. And the people I encountered, they did a great job."

Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay, in an 2020 interview with Colts.com:

"I mean, he was just magic. So strong. Just could change direction on a dime. Would block. Unselfish. Just everything in a Colt you're looking for. He is as tough as you get, and he is extremely charismatic, and I consider him just one of my best friends on the planet. I love him. I just love him, and I know our fans do, too."

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy, on an episode of "The Last Word" with Jeffrey Gorman and Matt Taylor:

"I came the year he was coming back from his surgery. He had two just phenomenal years where he was the best back in football, and then he got the ACL injury in 2001, I came in 2002, and he was just really starting to get back. And he gained about 1,400 yards for us and just had a wonderful year. But it wasn't until the next year, 2003, that I think he was really fully recovered.

"But I'll tell you this about Edgerrin: the most complete back that I've ever been around. Obviously a great ball carrier — could run inside and outside — but he blocked and pass protected as well as any back that I've ever seen, caught the ball out of the backfield, tremendous hands, great route runner, understood things and he was a great teammate. So if you describe a Hall of Famer to me, that's him — complete back, and a great teammate."

Former Colts quarterback Jim Sorgi, in an interview with Colts.com in 2016:

"What got overlooked with Edge, and it's not going to show up in his numbers, is his pass protection. My man could pass protect like nobody's business. If a linebacker came off the edge, if we gapped down to a linebacker and a defensive end came off the edge, he was sticking them and gave Peyton so much time to throw the ball. I think that gets over shadowed. Nowadays you have a third-down back that's going to be your pass protector or catch the ball out of the backfield. Edge could run, catch and block."

Former Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson, in an interview with Colts.com in 2016:

"As far as a running back goes, what couldn't he do? He was one of the most well-rounded running backs to ever play in the National Football League. To be able to hit the home run, to catch the ball out of the backfield, to pick up blitzes, he was a guy that was reliable/dependable and a playmaker at the same time. It's not too often you get that type of value out of that position.

"You look at the age and time we are in now, where you have to have multiple backs---you have your first/second down back and you have your third-down back. Edge was all of those things wrapped up into one. That's what made him unique and made him one of the best running backs to come through the National Football League, especially the organization of the Colts."

Former Colts linebacker Gary Brackett, in an interview with Colts.com in 2016:

"You used to call them Edge-isms. He used to have his own little logic and thinking. Most guys in the locker room anything goes. Guys just spit out facts whether it's factual or not. But Edge would always reserve his opinion until he did research on a topic. Edge read like every night. Everybody just thought this phenomenal player would show up on Sunday's and he was just a great player, but he was so intelligent. People wouldn't give him credit for it.

"We played chess almost every away game, flying to the stadium and flying back. He wasn't the biggest fan of airplanes, so he played chess to keep his mind off the plane. Me, a young, 23-year-old kid, playing against this potential Hall of Famer, he was so even keel and I got so much smarter sitting there. I think I owe so much of my success in a lot of those conversations for how he approached the game. That's how I approached the game in how I took care of my body, eating the right stuff, what I did in the community, giving back."

Look back at the Hall of Fame career of Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James as he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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