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A Gentle Giant: 49ers' Bryant Young Heads to Hall of Fame

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Bryant Young (97) is carried off the field by teammates after his team's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game in San Francisco, on Dec. 23, 2007. Young's ability to inspire — both through his play and through his response to unimaginable setbacks on and off the field — finally earned him admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, nearly 15 years after his last game.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Bryant Young (97) is carried off the field by teammates after his team's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game in San Francisco, on Dec. 23, 2007. Young's ability to inspire — both through his play and through his response to unimaginable setbacks on and off the field — finally earned him admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, nearly 15 years after his last game. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(AP) -- Bryant Young straddled the classic football divide between discipline and ferocity more adeptly than just about any player of his generation.

For every minute of a 14-year NFL career spent entirely with the San Francisco 49ers, Young was a model teammate and a soft-spoken leader who selflessly made everybody around him better.