Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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27 Oct 2008

Kurt Warner: Hall of Famer?

compiled by Vince Verhei

This is an Audibles special, reprinting a recent e-mail discussion among the FO writers regarding the Hall of Fame chances of Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner.

Ned Macey: I missed out on Audibles because I was out of town on Sunday, but I ran across the discussion of Kurt Warner, Hall of Famer. I did this research outraged at the suggestion that he was a Hall of Famer but not remembering exactly what was said. Upon further review, Sean's statement was reasonable, but since I already spent the past hour watching this atrocious baseball game, I figured I'd send it out.

I looked at our stats (passing only) for four random quarterbacks: Warner, Steve McNair, Trent Green, and Chad Pennington. The first two have some HOF support, the latter two none.

In terms of career DYAR before this season:
Green: 6,216
McNair: 6,003
Warner: 4,831
Pennington: 3,403

In terms of career DVOA
Green: 13.7%
Warner: 12.7%
Pennington: 8.6%
McNair: 8.5%

Career 1,000-DYAR seasons
Green: 4
Warner: 2
McNair: 2
Pennington: 1

Career 500-DYAR seasons
McNair: 6
Green: 5
Warner: 4
Pennington: 3

In terms of Warner's great seasons, he was playing with an amazing collection of talent: Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt. In 2000, Warner's DVOA was 25.2%. Filling in, Green's was 25.2%. In 2002, Warner's DVOA was -17.2%. Filling in, Bulger's was 34.6% (the woeful Jamie Martin's was -19.8%.)

Unless Warner has two or three more years like this in him, Green clearly is ahead of him, and based on surrounding talent, I'd take McNair too. When their careers are all done, I think among "contemporaries" of Warner, he'll be behind: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Donovan McNabb, Green, McNair. I don't think eight quarterbacks playing at the same time should ever make the HOF.

Mike Tanier: You can't discount the Super Bowls in a HOF argument. Hall of Fame arguments are different from arguments of current value, etc. It's more an argument of "What he did" as opposed to "How good he was".

Warner is behind Peyton, Favre, and Brady (threw shoo-ins), but he is ahead of the others because he is 1-1 in Super Bowls while the others are 0-0 or 0-1. This may not be fair or logical on some levels, but the Hall exists for casual fans and medium fans, not just for heavy-duty fans like us and our readers.

I am lukewarmish about Warner as a Hall of Famer. Just sayin'.

Let me throw this idea out there: Say there was a player whose entire career was spent doing nothing but rushing for 1-yard touchdowns. He was a 275-pound benchwarmer who only got the ball on the 1-yard line and, let's say, long snapped. Every year, he would get 15 carries for 12 yards and 12 touchdowns. He did this for five years on a great team. Each year, his team made the playoffs and 3 times this guy made the Super Bowl.

In two of the three Super Bowls, he scored 1-yard touchdowns that either gave his team the lead at the end or tied the game. All told, he scored six 1-yard touchdowns on eight tries, and his team won three Super Bowls. He scored a total of 14 playoff touchdowns in his career, most of them victory-important.

This guy made the cover of Madden one year (they were featuring their Goalline Dive Stick), got a McDonald's ad, got famous in a William Perry way but never became a laughingstock. He was respected by his teammates, all agreed that he helped the team. He made the Pro Bowl as a fullback in two slow years. After his career, he became a color commentator and was generally liked.

1) Do you think this guy would get HOF support?

2) Would you vote for him?

I don't have answers, just throwing it out there.

Doug Farrar: Thing that has always hit me about Warner is that his three greatest seasons coincided with Faulk's greatest Rams seasons. And as much as Warner did, I'd put the reasons for that great offense as 1) Faulk; 2) Martz; 3) Warner/Offensive line. From 1998 through 2001, Faulk made a really strong case for himself as the greatest multi-purpose back of all time. He did it with Warner and other guys more than Warner did it with Faulk at his peak and other guys. Faulk had that kind of season on a 3-13 Colts team in 1998 as well.

If I'm considering a quarterback was that much of a beneficiary of a teammate who was more of a slam-dunk HOFer than he, I want crazy, insane, bats**t numbers for more than three years. Not a guy whose career numbers are fairly similar to Jeff Garcia's. Beyond those three seasons, he's been sort of a stat-compiler, to dig up a word Mike and I used a lot in the HOF Index piece.

Aaron Schatz: I just remember that Bill Belichick's game plan for the Super Bowl was not "Stop Warner." It was "Stop Marshall Faulk." Warner's stats in 2002-2003 were pretty bad. Obviously there were injuries, but he had Holt, Bruce, Orlando Pace, Faulk all around him in those years as well. You can't forget Pace when you talk about the collection of talent Warner played with -- he played in an offense that was designed to have very little protection besides the five linemen, but he happened to have the best left tackle of the generation to anchor that line.

Russell Levine: He was certainly playing at Hall of Fame level on a Super Bowl champion, and we was the justifiable league and Super Bowl MVP that year. That and what are likely to be pretty impressive career totals will earn him consideration, but his peak just didn't last long enough.

Then again, the football hall of fame seems to have the lowest standards for entry of any of the four major sports, so who knows.

Aaron Schatz: Heh. It only has the lowest standards if you play quarterback or running back. If you play offensive line or any defensive position other than "pass rusher" it seems to have the highest standards.

Ned Macey: Here's my point about Warner: He often is compared to Terrell Davis as guys with ridiculous peaks. But, we never got to see Davis' decline because of injuries, so we are sort of are left assuming he would keep dominating. While Warner has had minor injuries for years, we've seen for the past seven years that he is a pretty good quarterback when not surrounded by Faulk in his prime and Bruce/Holt/Pace. For three straight years and three different coaches (2003-2005) he was benched after being the Week 1 starter. I'm not really sure he's a better quarterback than Jeff Garcia.

Considering the success Green and then Bulger had with those same weapons and Martz, it seems pretty ridiculous to think that the guy who has shown nothing that would indicate HOF without those weapons deserves to be in based on 2.5 years playing with those weapons.

Eli Holman: I think that a decision to support Warner for HOF depends on the classic question of whether you believe that the hall is designed to remember on-field performance or "famous" NFL players. I feel that unlike McNair, Green, Pennington, and others who came up through traditional football channels, the unique thing with Warner is the rags-to-riches story: going from Iowa Barnstormers/practicing by throwing rolls of toilet paper at his grocery store job to Super Bowl MVP. From that side of things, he seems Hall-worthy to me as I can't think of any similar story in the modern NFL.

Russell Levine: Excellent point.

Mike Tanier: I agree with Elias, and at some point that "fame" factor has to work into the argument a little.

The closest comp to Warner is Joe Namath, a guy with a few awesome years, a dramatic Super Bowl, and a blah, injury-filled decline. Namath isn't in the HOF for his stats, he's in for being a guy who changed the game. I am cool with that, and if I am doing some kind of stat thing with HOF quarterbacks I tend to lump Namath with the "contributors," like the owners and commissioners.

Warner is a better player than Namath, I think, and went to two Super Bowls instead of one, and is doing more with his decline, though I don't really care about any of these recent seasons in a HoF argument. His storyline, with the grocery store and Arena ball, is worth something. But I think it falls short of HOF standards.

Doug Farrar: I'm not sure how much I buy the "Multiple Super Bowls" argument. I did at first, but Jim Plunkett was 2-0 in Super Bowls and won a Super Bowl MVP. If Bob Griese wasn't a quick healer, Earl Morrall might very well have been 1-1 in Super Bowls. I don't think anyone could make a half-serious HOF argument for either one of them. On the other hand, you have people like Steve Young whose single Super Bowl performance put him over the top.

Mike Tanier: It's part of a resume, not a resume. And for the HOF I think you have to look at what did happen, not what could have happened. Otherwise, you get the "Brian Sipe could have won four Super Bowls and had Terry Bradshaw numbers on that team" type arguments.

Plunkett and Morall were long-career, knockaround guys who wound up with great teams late in their careers. Interesting players. Neither of them had a year like Warner where he became "the talk of the league" and vaulted to stardom.

Phil Simms is the borderline HOFer with a resume a little comparable to Warner's. The numbers are nowhere near the same in the peak, but Simms has more overall accomplishments.

Doug Farrar: Not sure about the Sipe comparison. Morrall started Super Bowl III and took over for Griese in Week 5 of the 1972 season, starting every game until he was replaced halfway through the AFC Championship. Did that for the only undefeated team in NFL history. The guy was 75 minutes away from probably going 1-1 in Super Bowls, and having that gawdawful III performance somewhat erased in the memories of the general public. All I'm saying is that while I don't discount it as a factor, I tend not to place postseason performance on as much of a specific and separate pedestal because there are enough "eh" Super Bowl quarterbacks to make me wonder.

Patrick Laverty: "Then again, the football hall of fame seems to have the lowest standards for entry of any of the four major sports..."

You might get some disagreement from Ray Guy or Fred Smerlas. Or anyone who's been a part of the baseball Veteran's Committee, a.k.a. "Yogi's friends and teammate election committee."

Jason Beattie: Or everyone here in Denver.

Ben Riley: One other thing that shouldn't matter but does: Writers vote players into the HOF, and Kurt Warner is one of the best interviews in the NFL. He's extraordinarily generous with his time with reporters and goes out of his way to provide thoughtful responses to even the most mundane of questions. Actually, he's pretty generous and thoughtful overall -- perhaps you heard the recent story about how, whenever he eats out with his family, he anonymously chooses to pick up the tab of someone else in the restaurant? I'm an atheist and even I find his devotion to his faith admirable.

None of this changes the fact that his wife runs Bartertown, of course.

Patrick Laverty: Doing the only slightly anonymous comparison, I'm not sure anyone's ready to put Player A in Canton:

Player A: 14 seasons, two Super Bowls, 44,611 yards, 251 touchdowns, 206 interceptions, 98-95 career team record, four Pro Bowls.

Warner: 11 seasons, one Super Bowl win, 25,716 yards, 164 touchdowns, 105 interceptions, 48-37 career team record, one NFL MVP, one Super Bowl MVP, three Pro Bowls.

Is Kurt Warner more deserving than Player A, Drew Bledsoe? Or is Warner another Roger Maris?

Aaron Schatz: Well, that's sort of a silly comparison. Warner's whole argument is an absurd peak. Bledsoe's peak didn't even come close, but he had the longer career. Apples and oranges, really. Or, since they are both quarterbacks, Asian pears and Bartlett pears.

Patrick Laverty: "Warner's whole argument is an absurd peak."

Kinda like Roger Maris.

Mike Tanier: Maris is a great comp. He had a high peak on a great team and surely got a boost from his supporting cast. His late career was a long series of duh seasons bouncing around the league.

Warner was beloved, great copy. Maris was completely destroyed by the New York media, even though both were salt-of-earth midwesterners. Maris' character assassination at the hands of the New York media more or less barred him from Cooperstown.

Big difference between the two halls is that Canton voters value peaks more and are more generous for short careers. A Dale Murphy type player typically makes the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Patrick Laverty: And Jim Rice would be wearing a gold jacket today.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 27 Oct 2008

68 comments, Last at 03 Nov 2008, 6:10am by Bobman

Comments

1
by Becephalus :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 12:29am

Post I made in audibles on this subject earlier today:

Warner I think is making a good run towards solidifying his spot in the HoF. I was fairly anti-Warner before this year and thought the calls for him to make it based on a great three year peak were suspect, but a nice year like this in a completely different place several years later after many thought he was done would mean a lot to me if I were a voter. That said I think both the Bruce/Holt combos and the Fitz/Boldin combo are really really really good, and I cannot believe the cardinals are considering letting Boldin get away (very gutty performance by him given his condition).

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

2
by Becephalus :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 12:33am

Oh and despite what i said above, if I ran the hall of fame I wouldn't allow another skill position player until there were double or triple the current number of lineman and defensive players, but that is apparently not what the hall is about.

I don't think 4 or 6 QBs from the same era should be in but that is how the hall works.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

21
by billsfan :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 12:35pm

Dr. Z has been known to call Left Tackle a Skill Position

26
by D :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 1:57pm

So which of these four would you kick out: Elway, Young, Marino or Moon?

32
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:44pm

Don't forget Troy Aikman and Jim Kelly.

36
by Becephalus :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:15pm

Well since you asked if I were running a hall of fame I would set specific goals for what percentile a player needed to be in to justify his presence there. Right now it seems if you have a superbowl win you only need be a top10 QB for a few years and that is enough. This means most of the QBs who are good enough to start for 8 or 10 years are contenders which I think is just silly.

I would admit cutting one of those above 4 would be tough (I have zero problem with ditching Aikman and Kelly both of whom were forgettable when considered in context IMO. Young and Marino were both truly great, personally I think Elway is a bit overrated but he would just barely get in, Moon not so much unless you would want to do it in honor of his pioneering which I think is a legitimate reason. Of course that seems harsh right now with the permissive climate we are in, but it is still much less harsh than it is for 20 or the other 24 positions.

Among the currently playing crop under this harsher scheme I would take Manning, and Farve, Brady would be on the edge but get in.

People get way too attached to their own heros, and overvalue wins and playing on good teams. As it is now being in the hall doesn't mean much if you a QB or RB other than you were able to start in the league for 15 years which is a huge accomplishment, but ideally not what the HoF is about.

Did anyone watching AIkman ever think, wow this guy is truly great...

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

37
by Becephalus :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:21pm

To put it more simply: I don't think the hall of fame should tell us which players had long successful careers or which players won multiple super bowls. We can look that information up. It should distinguish among the above players who is truly great in that set (In one clear sense anyone who even sniffs a start the NFL is a great player this is part of the problem people have I think.) A place to distinguish and honor those who experts feel are the best of the best.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

3
by b-rick (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 1:28am

I think his 99 season was the best I have ever seen a qb have, that includes Marino 84 and Brady 07, and his 3 year run from 99 to 01 was the best I have ever seen by anyone. Part of that stems from the fact that he came out of nowhere. He was essentially the Roy Hobbs "The Natural" of the NFL. BTW, not a Rams fan.

I personally think more of guys who were totally dominant for a short period of time than players who were good for a long time and compiled impressive stats, but with the exception of Gale Sayers the HOF voters disagree. This is why Curtis Martin will have an easier time making the HOF than Terrell Davis which is absurd.

60
by bachslunch (not verified) :: Thu, 10/30/2008 - 7:45pm

b-rick said: "I personally think more of guys who were totally dominant for a short period of time than players who were good for a long time and compiled impressive stats, but with the exception of Gale Sayers the HOF voters disagree. This is why Curtis Martin will have an easier time making the HOF than Terrell Davis which is absurd."

Actually, it's not absurd at all. There is much value to playing at a high level for a long time. This is the peak vs. career-value argument, and HoF voters in football and other sports think it's worth rewarding. I agree.

4
by SteveGarvin :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 1:40am

I think Warner can be seriously considered if he leads the Cards to something credible here in the next couple of years... He is putting up numbers this year and, despite his penchant for the clutch failure since being in Arizona, the numbers do not lie. Two more seasons of 30+ TD, 3800-4200 yard seasons and he will have two mountains on his career landscape...

I've always thought he was accurate but prone to mistakes - but this conversation gets more "real" if he produces wins in Arizona.

5
by Clark (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 1:41am

I think the best comparison for Warner is Bert Jones. Warner won't be completely forgotten because he won a Super Bowl, but he won't make the Hall of Fame, and it won't really be remembered how great he was for awhile.

6
by Sid :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:04am

I'd definitely put Warner in before I put in Bledsoe, Testaverde, or McNair, but none of them really are Hall of Famers. End the oversaturation of quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame.

What Warner has going for him is at least he was truly great and on top of the game for a period. However, his peak was too short for me to put him in. His years with the Cardinals are not seasons that get someone into the Hall of Fame. Has he been good this season? Sure, but it's not really part of the picture.

7
by Levente from Hungary :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:41am

From DJ Gallo
With his touchdown pass to Roy (E!) Williams at the end the first half against Tampa Bay, Brad Johnson moved into 51st place on the all-time list with 166 touchdown passes, behind such notable quarterbacks as -- well, I'm not going to list them all. He's pretty far down the list. But he did move ahead of one particularly notable quarterback: Troy Aikman.

Johnson also has a higher career quarterback rating (82.7) than Aikman's (81.6). And a better completion percentage (61.7 versus 61.5). And fewer interceptions (120 versus 141).

Of course, comparing Brad Johnson to Troy Aikman is laughable. First of all, Aikman and Johnson played in far different eras -- Aikman came into the league a full three years before the current Cowboys quarterback. Plus, Aikman won his Super Bowls playing with the likes of Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Jay Novacek, a star-studded offensive line and a stout defense. He only had to manage the game and get the ball into the hands of his Hall of Fame playmakers. Johnson won his Super Bowl playing with the likes of Warrick Dunn, Keenan McCardell and a stout defense. So clearly Aikman is the superior quarterba- … wait, it's still sounding like Johnson might be better!

Oh, right. I almost forgot. Aikman played for the Cowboys, while Johnson toiled for the Vikings, Redskins and Buccaneers.

So to recap: Aikman > Johnson.

9
by Becephalus :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 7:13am

That is the second most humorous thing I have read this month. Honestly the Hall of Fame is such a mess I am sill never sure why we bother talking about it.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

61
by bachslunch (not verified) :: Thu, 10/30/2008 - 7:48pm

Care to elaborate on why the Pro Football HoF is "a mess?"

8
by James-London :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 5:16am

I'd say yes, on the basis that his best years were absurdly good. Speculating slightly, if the Cards get to the NFCCG this year, and make the playoffs again next year, and Warner keeps the starters job, I think he gets in.

I'd agree with the comments above though about addressing the imbalance between 'skill' position players and O-linemen and defensive players.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

10
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 8:03am

In the "short high peak" vs "stat compiler" debate, I thing you have to ask which is easier i.e. more common? Are there more guys like Warner, Trent Green, Rich Gannon, and Ken Anderson or like Bledsoe, Testaverde, Kerry Collins, and Dave Krieg? (Am I even being fair in listing the guys I already have?) Let's keep it to QBs because it may vary by position.

(Formerly "The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly")

11
by starzero :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 8:27am

i wouldn't put trent green in the hall of fame. i'd consider warner, though i think he doesn't quite squeak in. someone should be consistently great for an extended period, like peyton or brady. warner is more of a second-tier qb. he's been effective and has a good story, but people aren't involving him in arguments about the best quarterback playing today. it seems to me there are some players widely held to be greats, and those players should probably be in the hall of fame. i'm not sure about anyone else.

12
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 8:46am

Let me throw this idea out there: Say there was a player whose entire career was spent doing nothing but rushing for 1-yard touchdowns. He was a 275-pound benchwarmer who only got the ball on the 1-yard line and, let's say, long snapped. Every year, he would get 15 carries for 12 yards and 12 touchdowns. He did this for five years on a great team. Each year, his team made the playoffs and 3 times this guy made the Super Bowl.

In two of the three Super Bowls, he scored 1-yard touchdowns that either gave his team the lead at the end or tied the game. All told, he scored six 1-yard touchdowns on eight tries, and his team won three Super Bowls. He scored a total of 14 playoff touchdowns in his career, most of them victory-important.

Hall-of-famer. Some guys (one so far, almost certainly two more soon) can get in for kicking exploits. Some guys are in as pass rushers. Darrell Green is probably is for his return game as much as his DB skills. The HoF has shown it's open to specialists that do one thing really well, and I think an unstoppable touchdown force who constantly delivers in crunch time would be enshrined.

Isn't his nose for the end zone a big part of Marcus Allen's HoF resume?

13
by John Walt :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 9:05am

I think the important thing here for Warner is that he is on the bubble. The thing that will push him over the edge is the rags-to-riches story that was mentioned above. It IS called the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Greatness. This is about famous more than stats. Warner definitely has that going in his favor and that is why Aikman makes it over Brad Johnson.

14
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 9:18am

All MT's example makes me think is that TOM RATHMAN SHOULD DAMN WELL BE IN THE HALL OF FAME!

Sod Warner, Rathman was awesome, he ran like Brandon Jacobs, had amazing hands and was a devastating lead blocker. I've been getting very quietly annoyed for most of this season as the 'wildcat' has swept through the league, grinding my teeth as commentators queef on about the multiple running threats and I think, "didn't teams use fullbacks as runners in the past, and maybe they still should, instead of relying on a plethora of Tes, H-backs and Welkeriffic slot receivers." Offense reached its peak in 1989 and its been downhill ever since. I blame the Cowboys for beginning the trend of blocking-only-fullbacks.

23
by TomG :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 12:55pm

Amen. And at the induction ceremony, they should show a clip of him a few years back stalking the sidelines, using the gym teacher’s handkerchief to blow out a snot of epic proportions. Before that incident he was merely my favorite fullback. After that day, he was my hero.

62
by bachslunch (not verified) :: Thu, 10/30/2008 - 8:11pm

Tom Rathman has about a billion strikes against him when it comes to legit HoF consideration, among them:

1. he played around the same time as Roger Craig, who has hugely better rushing and receiving stats and won't likely get in the HoF himself. And it's hard to see how any blocking prowess on Rathman's part would make up for this gulf.

2. his career is short by HoF standards, only 9 years with one of those shortened.

3. he never rushed for more than 427 yards in a season.

4. he has no 1st team all pro selections, no pro bowls, and is not a member of any all-decade teams.

And since when is Brandon Jacobs a Hall of Famer?

Geez, you might as well be stumping to get Clarence Peaks in the HoF, who might actually be more deserving than Rathman when you adjust for era. Sorry, but I don't see a case for Rathman at all.

15
by Mark Shirk (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 9:22am

As a baseball guy who loves hisotry I would like to point out that neither Jim Rice nor Roger Maris had absurd peaks. Both had decent ones but not nearly enough to make a 'peak' argument for the HOF.

48
by Dennis :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:50pm

How is 61 homers (back when only one other player had ever hit 60) not an absurd peak?

63
by bachslunch (not verified) :: Thu, 10/30/2008 - 8:15pm

Absurd peak, yes, at least in terms of raw numbers -- though like Ruth, Maris benefited from Yankee Stadium's short RF fence.

Is a one year absurd peak enough to get Maris (or anyone else) in the BBHoF? No.

16
by Fergasun :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 9:57am

The biggest offense I took to Cardinals QBs in Audibles was the tripe regaring Matt Leinart "not getting a fair shot". Not sure if it was the same audibles, but I think you guys really have some 'splaining to do on that one.

17
by ch (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 10:37am

"For three straight years and three different coaches (2003-2005) he was benched after being the Week 1 starter."

There are some extenuating circumstances in two of those three years: in 2004 the Giants drafted Eli Manning and were really anxious to put him in. They went 5-4 under Warner and 1-6 under Manning. I think it's really hard to say Manning was the better choice that year. I think that was the head coach and front office trying to justify a major trade. In 2005 he got injured, benched for a couple games when a McCown brother played one good game against SF, then put back in when the McCown played like a McCown. He got hurt again later in the year.

18
by ch (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 11:12am

I think Kurt should be in the Hall of Fame. Here's something not mentioned: MVP awards. Kurt has two, everyone eligible for the Hall that has two (Jim Brown, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, Steve Young) is in the Hall. Peyton Manning has two, Brett Favre has three. They'll get in the Hall.

Players mentioned who don't have MVP awards: Jeff Garcia, Trent Green, Phil Simms, Jim Plunkett, Drew Bledsoe. Kurt's not going to put up the career numbers of someone like Bledsoe or Simms, but he's had less opportunity to do so given his late start into the NFL, injury history, and coaching usage. If Leinart didn't have such a poor preseason Warner wouldn't get to start this year, and Warner's 2008 season so far is close to the numbers he put up during his 3 year peak without the wealth of offensive talent he had around him with the Rams.

19
by Temo :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 11:51am

We're all conceding that Warner had impressive peaks that resulted in multiple MVP awards.

However, none of those guys got in because they have multiple MVP awards. They all had long, productive careers. And before you use Steve Young as an example of a "high peak guy", note that he has played nearly 60 more games than Warner, and finished his career with the highest career passer rating ever.

To me, it comes down to "When I think of this guy's era, will I remember him as one of the best players?" And when I think of QBs of his career, he was not a top 5 guy... even if he was top 2 for 3 years.

As for the Brad Johnson/Troy Aikman thing: Even as a Cowboys fan, under the previous argument (of the best players of the era), I can't put Aikman in the hall. I would put in Charles Haley and Darren Woodson, neither of which will get into the hall for different reasons.

35
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:09pm

They can't put Haley in for fear of what he'd get up to at the opening ceremony; if the world wasn't ready for nearly seeing Janet Jackson's nipple, I'm sure that no one really wants to see the Charles Haley show (hey kids, anybody want to see an impression of an elephant?).

25
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 1:29pm

Shoot, I vote this comment out-thinks everyone so far on the topic.

20
by MJK :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 12:04pm

Remember, as John Walt pointed out, it is the Hall of FAME, not the Hall of Greatness. Ostensibly, it's not honoring the best players, but the ones that are most famous. These two often go hand in hand, but not always (see Joe Namath). And it's voted on by writers, not by coaches or by other players that had to play against (or with) these guys.

To me a good litmust test of whether a player is likely to get in (not whether he should get in) is the following three questions:

1) While he's playing, is his name familiar even to non-football fans (i.e. people that say "football--that's the pointy one, right?").
2) 5 years after he retires, is he very familiar (i.e. they recognize his name and know what position he played and what team he played for) to casual football fans who are not fans of his team?
3) Was he noted by serious football fans/football historians for innovating or changing the game in any way, or being the greatest ever at something?

If the answer to any of these is "yes", AND his numbers at his position are reasonably comparable to folks already in the Hall, AND there is nothing in his career that weighs in as a strong negative, then there's a real chance he'll get in. If not, he is at best on the bubble. Winning SB's, Pro-bowls, MVP's, etc., are important because they contribute to (1) and (2).

Under these criteria, Bledsoe and Green will never get in (Bledsoe because he had such a negative end of his career, and Green because he was criminally under-covered throughout his entire career). Warner is, at present, a long shot...he has done nothing to change the game, I don't think my non-football watching friends have heard of him (while they have heard of the likes of Brady, Manning, and LdT), and if he retired tomorrow, people in five years probably wouldn't be bringing up his name up in a discussion of great QB's. But if he has a career renessaince and, say, brings the Cardinals to a SB or a couple of NFC CG's, then maybe he starts getting talked about...

59
by bachslunch (not verified) :: Thu, 10/30/2008 - 7:36pm

Myself, I see Namath as a HoF anomaly. Like Warner, Namath had a great, if very short peak -- but unlike Warner, Namath was the QB for the Super Bowl win that put the AFL on par with the NFL and indirectly forced the merger of these two leagues. Warner has no such historical importance.

Namath is also, for what it's worth, the first team QB for the AFL all-time team, chosen in 1970 by a panel of Hall of Fame selectors comprised of professional football writers from American Football League cities. Again, no such boost for Warner.

Besides, not every player many casual fans have heard of will be HoF-ers. Otherwise, guys like Kenny Stabler would already be in.

22
by TomG :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 12:38pm

1) While he's playing, is his name familiar even to non-football fans (i.e. people that say "football--that's the pointy one, right?").
2) 5 years after he retires, is he very familiar (i.e. they recognize his name and know what position he played and what team he played for) to casual football fans who are not fans of his team?
3) Was he noted by serious football fans/football historians for innovating or changing the game in any way, or being the greatest ever at something?
If the answer to any of these is "yes", AND his numbers at his position are reasonably comparable to folks already in the Hall, AND there is nothing in his career that weighs in as a strong negative, then there's a real chance he'll get in. If not, he is at best on the bubble. Winning SB's, Pro-bowls, MVP's, etc., are important because they contribute to (1) and (2).

So what you’re saying is if the guy is famous for his play and has comparable Hall of Fame numbers, he should be a Hall of Famer?

I like it.

24
by Bruce G. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 1:03pm

The superbowl argument by Mike Tainer seems silly to me. The fact that someone never made and/or won a superbowl doesn't negate his ability or worthyness for the hall, especially in today's game with knee-jerk coaching changes. Does one really need to be reminded that Dan Marino never won the super bowl? Yet to keep him out of the hall would cause us to question whether the earth's axis was off tilt when the voting took place. I'm not trying to compare Marino with Warner, but at the same time Kurt won one and Dan did not...that doesn't make Kurt more Hall worthy in my eyes and I question anyone who thinks it does.

27
by Alex (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:09pm

Here's a good question:

Who deserves to be in the Hall more? Kurt Warner or Lynn Swann?

64
by bachslunch (not verified) :: Thu, 10/30/2008 - 8:26pm

Actually, not really that good a question, if you ask me:

1. any argument that tries to compare a person not in the HoF to one of its weakest inductees is not a good argument. And Lynn Swann is one of the HoF's weakest members.

2. given that one's a WR and the other's a QB, I'm not sure how one would make a comparison.

28
by Stop the Redskin hating (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:23pm

Kurt Warner in the Hall of Fame? We're talking about Kurt Warner the quarterback, right?

I propose a moratorium on the induction of any more quarterbacks into the HOF until sufficient time has passed that Warner is nowhere near the top of the list of potential inductees.

34
by RickD :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:59pm

He isn't near the top of the list now.

I defy anybody to look at Warner's stats from 2002-2006 and argue that any player in the Hall of Fame could put up those numbers over a five year period.

29
by Stop the Redskin hating (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:35pm

This raises an interesting question. Do we have statistics for career DVOA, etc. for Kurt Warner or others? Is there a correlation between career stats through the lens of Football Outsiders and HOF induction?

30
by Kenneth (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:40pm

Warner: 11 seasons, one Super Bowl win, 25,716 yards, 164 touchdowns, 105 interceptions, 48-37 career team record, one NFL MVP, one Super Bowl MVP, three Pro Bowls.

Warner had TWO NFL MVPs.

This is a big point to me. Personally, I don't think Warner deserved both those MVPs. But if you accept that he does/did, it seems hard to keep a guy with those accomplishments out. Like someone else already said, everyone else who has hit that mark is either in the HoF or a sure thing.

I personally feel Warner is barely out of the Hall, but two MVPs is a strong argument, to me.

31
by livingonapear :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:44pm

I balk at the idea that "Fame" is more important than, or even as important as greatness. There are plenty of exhibits in the Baseball HOF that highlight colorful personalities, heartwarming stories, and general history that cover players not enshrined. So you don't really need a bust of Joe Namath, just a kiosk with his more memorable moments (or maybe a pair of pantyhose). Busts should be reserved for the elite, and that is how I feel.

So, how long until McNabb gets one of these here threads. My vote, even as a McNabb booster, is "nay."

38
by Wait, what? (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:23pm

As an Eagles/McNabb fan- no, he doesn't belong in the Hall. I wish he did, but he doesn't. It's not as though he couldn't turn it around (winning the next three Super Bowls would probably do it, vast improbability though it is), but I don't see that happening. I think if we ever seriously argue the HOF merits of anyone on this Eagles team, it'll be Westbrook (and I don't think that debate is worth starting yet either).

Also, no on Warner. Both for "will he" and "should he," which are obviously two different questions. I am obliged to add my voice to the chorus of "more linemen, less quarterbacks," but I do so while recognizing that the Hall of Fame just doesn't work that way, and never will, for so many reasons. Hell, maybe it shouldn't. I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about it, though.

33
by RickD :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 2:54pm

Warner in the Hall of Fame?

Of course not!

You don't fall off the radar when your career should be peaking and make the Hall of Fame.

The fact that Warner had two MVPs should reflect poorly on the voters and not positively only Warner's HoF chances.

(And I don't understand how somebody can argue that he didn't deserve the MVPs, but since he got them, they should count in his favor. Undeserved awards count in a player's favor???)

40
by Becephalus :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:34pm

That is a perfectly rational and consistent position. It is something like the following: "I do not personally believe MVPs are a good metric for picking candidates because they are often given out to the wrong people, but the process as currently construed seems to consider them highly, so under the current process those MVPs should mean a lot, just as the MVP of other players have."

It is simply someone trying to avoid bias.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

47
by RickD :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:50pm

I disagree. Admission to the Hall of Fame is a judgment call, as is voting for the MVP. A person who says "he didn't deserve the MVPs, but since he got them, I think he should be in the Hall, too" is waiving his judgment in favor of the judgment of the MVP voters, while pretending that doing so preserves "objectivity" in what is supposed to be a judgment call in any case.

39
by TomG :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:24pm

Whenever the discussion of Kurt Warner’s HoF worthiness, I inevitably think of Randall Cunningham. Like Warner, Cunninham had a three-year span of HoF-quality play (1988-1990), followed by a late-career resurgence (1998) interspersed with seasons derailed by injuries/mediocrity/whatever. While Cunninham’s peak was nowhere near as high as Warner’s, he also was surrounded by lesser talent and an offense not as conducive to big numbers as the Greatest Show on turf. And it’s safer to say Cunningham’s injury was a lot more detrimental to his style of play than Warner’s. Is Cunningham a Hall of Fame QB? When it comes to a position like QB, where there seems to be a greater tendency towards longevity than that of a position like RB, should a peak, no matter how great, really matter all that much without some sort of context (e.g. career-ending injury)? Is Neil Young somehow wrong?

55
by Staubach12 :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 11:57pm

Cunningham's peak wasn't even close to Warner's. It's not a good comparison.

56
by Staubach12 :: Wed, 10/29/2008 - 12:06am

Cunningham's peak wasn't even close to Warner's. It's not a good comparison.

41
by Keasley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:49pm

If playing with Holt and Bruce mitigates Warner's success during his peak with the Rams then, arguably, playing with Boldin and Fitzgerald mitigates his 'career renaissance' now.

So, add yet another reason we have to wait a few years to be able to analyze Warner's legacy. Lets wait and see:

*How many more productive years Warner has
*If he can lead the Cardinals to some playoff success (a feat no quarterback has accomplished)
* What kind of HOF credentials Boldin and Fitzgerald amass.

before we get out the 'anointing oil'

42
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 3:56pm

Am I wrong, or did this guy play for three different teams, losing his job for the first two, in a three-year span? I'm going to go out on a limb and say that that's not indicative of a HoFer.

43
by Staubach12 :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:04pm

Let me reaffirm the notion that it is the Hall of Fame, not the hall of greatness. The Hall is a museum meant to preserve the game's history, and I think Warner did enough in his career to warrant induction. The fact is, I'll tell my grandkids stories about Warner and the Greatest show on Turf; I won't be telling them about Bledsoe, Green, Garcia, or McNair.

Let's also consider that this is the PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME and consider Warner's place in the history of the pro game. Warner absolutely dominated the AFL for three years and then he came and dominated the NFL for three years. Normally, I don't give non-NFL accomplishments much credit. Guys like Flutie never proved that they could dominate at the NFL level, so their CFL accomplishments are not HOF worthy. But Warner proved that the greatness he displayed in the AFL could translate to the NFL. In other words, I consider his career to have a six-year peak that included an absurdly good three year peak. At very least, his AFL career needs to be considered when talking about his HOF chances.

The guy was a two-time NFL MVP. How do you keep a two-time MVP out of the Hall?

In terms of his short peak in the NFL, I think he's somewhat comparable to Dan Fouts--except that he had two MVPs to Fout's one and he won a Superbowl whereas Fouts never made an appearance (remember: Hall of Fame, not hall of greatness). Fouts was incredible (for his era) for three years, but the rest of his seasons were pretty forgettable. Granted, Fouts had more longevity, but should the Hall really reward guys for their mediocre years?

49
by RickD :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:52pm

it's called the "Hall of Fame", but its meaning is "Hall of Greatness".

How do you keep a 2-time MVP out of the Hall of Fame? By judging his career as a whole, and not merely by his best two seasons. Which is what the voters of the Hall are supposed to do in any case.

54
by Staubach12 :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 9:02pm

it's called the "Hall of Fame", but its meaning is "Hall of Greatness".
Really? Then how do you explain the presence of Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Joe Namath, Troy Aikman, and Terry Bradshaw?

65
by bachslunch (not verified) :: Thu, 10/30/2008 - 10:18pm

In response to "it's called the "Hall of Fame", but its meaning is "Hall of Greatness"."

Staubach 12 said: "Really? Then how do you explain the presence of Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Joe Namath, Troy Aikman, and Terry Bradshaw?"

Not every person in the Pro Football HoF is an elite choice, and there's an explanation for most of them. Aikman and Bradshaw are classic examples of QBs who got a leg up over their Hall-of-the-Very-Good(HotVG) numbers by winning several Super Bowls. Swann did as well, and except for Paul Hornung, he's pretty much the only non-QB who got the same kind of postseason success boost. Have already discussed Namath above. It's not clear to me what motivated the election of Wayne Millner, another weak choice.

Stallworth is a better class of player, if not at the top level.

Besides, if "fame" mattered so much, Ken Stabler and Ray Guy would have been in long ago.

44
by horn (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:06pm

2 NFL MVP awards and a Super Bowl MVP qualifies you in my book. Every other player with 2 MVPs is in the HoF. He barely gets in, but he gets in.

It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Stat Compilers - so Krieg and Bledsoe don't get in. Warner does.

In his *prime*, he was the best QB of the past 40 years, barring maybe Montana. And I'm not a Rams fan.

46
by Justin Zeth :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:13pm

The most important contributors to the Greatest Show on Turf were, in my opinion:

1. Orlando Pace.
2. Marshall Faulk.
3. Mike Martz.
4. Kurt Warner.
5. Torry Holt.

For my $5, Orlando Pace is one of the very greatest--let's say one of the ten greatest--football players in history. He was the engine that made the 1999-2003 Rams go.

BUT -- it's really a distinction without a difference. Take out ANY of those five guys and you still have a very good offense, but you don't have the Greatest Show on Turf anymore.

If you ask me who's the first member of the 1999-2001 Rams that should go in the Hall of Fame, with zero hesitation I say it's Orlando Pace. Great, great, great, underappeciated player.

I don't think Warner is really Hall of Fame material, but... well, there's precedent for eight simultaneous quarterbacks being in the Hall. How many guys that were active in, say, 1992 are in the Hall or will be? Montana. Young. Aikman. Kelly. Moon. Marino. Elway. Favre. That's eight, more than 25% of the quarterbacks in the league.

You could probably get to eight QBs right now that may conceivably wind up in the Hall of Fame. Favre, Brady, and Manning are already locks, McNabb is probably going to go in; that's four. Brees is building a strong statistical case. I think Roethlisberger's getting hit so much he's going to have a too-short career, but he could go in if I turn out to be wrong. Eli Manning may be the most overrated quarterback at least in recent memory, but he's certainly famous; if he keeps it up and stays healthy, he'll probably get in. It's probable two of the Brees/Roethlisberger/E. Manning group will go in. There's Warner; he certainly could go in. And we don't know yet how things will go for guys like Phil Rivers, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan.

I'd set the over under that, eventually, seven quarterbacks currently active and starting will be in the Hall of Fame. I doubt there will be that many offensive linemen.

51
by RickD :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 5:01pm

Picking 1992 allows you to get all the QBs from the brilliant class of '83, as well as the later stars Aikman and Favre.

Citing one year where 8 great QBs were on the field at once does not then imply that every era will have 8 Hall-worthy QBs on the field at the same time.

There are already too many QBs in the Hall of Fame, we don't need to add borderline candidates out of boredom or a drive to make sure any candidate at least as good as the worst player already in the Hall also makes it in.

Right now, after Favre, Brady, and Manning, I don't see other QBs who have already qualified. There are certainly some QBs who might make it in, if they can continue playing at their current level. But all of Brees, Roethlisberger, Eli, Rivers, Cutler, and Carson Palmer (remember him?) have had off years.

I am of the school of thought that Steve McNair should _not_ get voted in. Phil Simms should not get in. Bob Griese is in, but should not be.

45
by Justin Zeth :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:12pm

In his *prime*, he was the best QB of the past 40 years, barring maybe Montana. And I'm not a Rams fan.

Even assuming that's strictly based on statistics, Peyton Manning would like to introduce himself, and also Dan Marino.

If you're not talking about statistics, but rather a kind of "which quarterback would you want to anchor your franchise during his three year peak?" question, off the top of my head, guys I'd pick before Kurt Warner that have played in the past 40 years would include... Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, John Elway, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Joe Montana. Probably Brett Favre. Probably Drew Brees. Maybe Warren Moon. Bert Jones, based on his two best years. Johnny Unitas.

50
by Dennis :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 4:56pm

I'd take Dan Fouts over a bunch of those guys. It's a great point - there are a lot of QBs who had a great 3-year peak.

52
by TheDudeAbides (not verified) :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 5:47pm

Warner's Hall of Fame credentials depend on his time in the desert. The Cardinals DVOA and future strength of schedule place them firmly in the battle for a first round bye. The Cardinals are now an excellent team and there is every reason to believe they'll be better next year. Moreover, barring injury, there is a strong likelihood that Warner will finish the season 2nd in DYAR. Considering the Cardinals have a better chance for team success than the Saints and the current dearth of other strong candidates, a good statistical finish combined with a good team record will put Warner in a strong position for his 3rd MVP.

If the Cardinals become a solid playoff team, it will be hard to overlook the role Warner played in quarterbacking two moribund franchises during their renaissance. Sure, sophisticated fans will realize football teams have many moving parts, but the Rams were terrible before Warner and fairly quickly slid back into the abyss. The Cardinals have been an embarrassment and Matt Leinart was light years away from leading them to the playoffs.

While the odds may be somewhat low of an Arizona Super Bowl appearance in the next two years, a Cardinals appearance would virtually lock Warner in the Hall.

It also seems somewhat disingenuous to pawn Warner's successes off on the peripheral players. Warner's aerial attack in the desert has come without an elite LT and without a decent RB. Moreover, Anquan and Larry have actually not played in the same game that many times during Warner's tenure. The most recent two weeks without Anquan Kurt lit up opposing secondaries by turning Steve Breaston into a DYAR darling (9th). It is simply a fact that the Rams stopped having a similar kind of success after Warner left. It is noted several places that Warner's peak years corresponded with Faulk's peak years, but other places it is stated that Faulk had a similar season in Indy that was unsuccessful from a win/loss perspective. It should also be noted that even after Faulk, the Rams have had one of the NFL's best run/catch RBs and to little success.

As for the Martz argument, Martz is certainly a genius and one of the top couple offensive coordinators, but also that while he has had success running up yardage stats with other QBs, Warner was the only QB who consistently delivered red zone production and a good win/loss record. It gets lost that Warner was actually poised to re-write the NFL record book in the year between the Super Bowls before he went down with injury. It is often taken as evidence that he wasn't the important piece when Green arguably outperformed him in his absence. This argument loses luster, however, when one notes that Trent Green was the second best QB in the NFL from 2002-2005. Green's DYAR and DVOA for those years place him firmly second behind Peyton Manning, and far, far ahead of Tom Brady. (Green missed any chance at the HOF behind Carl Peterson's anemic drafting/player acquisition record on defense which cost Green a shot at MVPs and Super Bowls.) FO even ran a piece about quarterbacks and how even the best QBs' performances are strongly dictated by the strength of the opposing defense. The only QB who proved truly matchup proof according to FO stats: Trent Green.

In the end, if Warner finishes his fairytale story with something remarkable in Arizona, he'll be a HOF no-brainer. The lost middle years will be written off to injury, the benchings to injury and the desire of management to get young, highly drafted QBs in the lineup. And do not underestimate the chances something special is going to happen this year. If you were to give early odds on the 2008 MVP, Warner would be the betting favorite.

53
by livingonapear :: Tue, 10/28/2008 - 6:03pm

Well, Favre will obviously make it, as will Manning and Brady, but other than that I don't see anyone who is a real lock. I'd like to think the Brees and Rivers have some sort of chance, but not too many people go gaga over them. I hope and pray that Eli doesn't get in. I mean, unless he really improves. I know that QB rating is a flawed stat, but I have a hard time seeing a career sub 80.00 perfomer go to the hall.

57
by Whatev (not verified) :: Wed, 10/29/2008 - 3:04am

So, assuming you don't think Warner is HoF-worthy now, what is the minimum he would have to do, in your mind, to make him worthy? If, for example, winning the Super Bowl with the Cardinals (pretty unlikely, but by no means impossible) would make him a good candidate in your collective eyes, I would say that the best thing to do would be to postpone the argument until we see how he does.

68
by Bobman :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 6:10am

If Warner wins a SB with AZ this year, he is a lock for the HoF.

I am not saying I agree with that, but I'd lay $1,000 on it and I am not a gambler. 1) Voters love post-season appearances and success. 2) His stats are good, superior to some HoFers.... and 3) The sheer improbability of winning with AZ might make him an instant entry, like the Catholic church accelerating the sainthood requirements once every millennium.

I think that in 15 years, he will be most famous for having that 1999 arrangement with Jesus, whereby God's son bet heavily on the Rams to win with Zeus and Odin, and therefore had to make it happen in order to win his money. Warner was stupid enough to publicly acknowledge this tainted win, thereby putting his very career in jeopardy. Unable to prove anything, the NFL turned a blind eye.

Seriously, though, ask my wife and that's what she'll remember. Fame cuts both ways. 20 years after retirement, Peyton Manning will be known by non-fans as "that guy in all the commercials" and maybe a senator, not a monster QB. So maybe famousness is not a valid criterion. My criteria would be maybe a 3-4 year span of dominance (most people would pick him as the top 1-2 players at his position without hesitation) and then another 6+ years of being a top-5 or top-8 talent. Bonus points for team wins, post-season glory, and more than 10 years of elite status. Add in "good citizen" as well. Super bonus points for fundamentally changing the game. Warner hits one of the must-haves but not both, and then a handful of the bonuses but they don't compensate enough.

Now, this sounds like the SATs only taking your highest test scores--you take the test 10 times and only your top score matters (IIRC form the early 80s). Sorry, but if I am a college admissions guy, I look at all your failures and say "what's up there?" Similarly, I look at KW's 4-fumble performances and say WTF? A great descriptive phrase coined here a couple years ago for him was "fumble-prone liability" as in how many games into a promising season will it take for him to reveal himself to be one? To me, that's a big minus.

58
by Justin Zeth :: Wed, 10/29/2008 - 5:28am

Another thing we all forget about, discussing what he might accomplish this year, is he's Kurt Warner. He's going to get hurt and miss 4-12 weeks any game now.

I'd like to think the Brees and Rivers have some sort of chance, but not too many people go gaga over them.

Drew Brees = Warren Moon.

I mean, not yet, but he's certainly squarely on that kind of career path.

66
by @nonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 10/31/2008 - 1:46am

Since this is the Pro Football HOF I think that you have to consider what Warner did in the Arena league as well. I mean how many players have had success in the arena league and then come over to the NFL and have success. And saying that he's been successful is a bit of an understatement.

67
by bachslunch (not verified) :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 12:57pm

The Pro Football HoF has pretty much always been the NFL HoF, with exceptions made for some players in the American Football League and AAFC, especially if they had good years in the NFL too.

Other leagues just don't seem to factor in with HoF voters, and that includes the Canadian Football League and the various later fly-by-night leagues such as the WFL, USFL, and such. If they did, Cookie Gilchrist and Mac Speedie would have gotten elected long ago. I don't see that the Arena League will be seen any differently.