Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Feb 2011

Dent, Faulk, Sharpe, Others Make Hall

Your Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees:

- Richard Dent
- Marshall Faulk
- Chris Hanburger
- Les Richter
- Deion Sanders
- Shannon Sharpe
- Ed Sabol

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 05 Feb 2011

123 comments, Last at 13 Feb 2011, 5:31pm by Dice

Comments

1
by TimK :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 8:50pm

Glad to see Sharpe and Sabol in there.

Faulk too.

Wouldn't have minded seeing Sanders waited a little bit as he was a great cover man, but really did avoid the tackling side of the game at times...

Not completely sold on Dent, and Hanburger and Richter well before my time.

Still seems like a fair selection of positions and people.

2
by PatsFan :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 9:11pm

About time Ed Sabol made it in!

4
by Jerry :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 9:54pm

He just shouldn't be competing with players for a spot.

28
by 3.141592653 not... :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 4:51am

I never would have voted for Ed Sabol, if I was voter over a player.

3
by Thok :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 9:42pm

Given that all 17 finalists seem to deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, I'm happy that the maximum number got in.

I'm not sure I would have picked the exact five nonsenior candidates who got in out of the 15 choice, but hopefully all of them get in later.

5
by T. Diddy :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 10:19pm

Dent, Faulk, Sharpe, And Some Others Make Hall

Raiderjoe'd that for you.

6
by Shattenjager :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 10:27pm

I'm surprised at Sharpe getting in over Curtis Martin but otherwise I think this was pretty predictable.

I guess this means I no longer have to alienate other Bronco fans by being the only one who thinks Sharpe doesn't belong in.

15
by Theo :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:15am

He made the TE position into what it is today.

18
by Shattenjager :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 1:07am

Someone is going to have to explain to me sometime what position Todd Christensen, Ozzie Newsome, Kellen Winslow, Joe Senser, Mike Ditka (early in his career), Mickey Shuler, and Steve Jordan were playing before Shannon Sharpe.

I know he, Ben Coates and Tony Gonzalez really popularized the tight end who was essentially a full-time receiver, but it's not really true that they didn't exist before him. It's similar to how, even though he really popularized it, Roger Craig isn't really the first pass-catching running back (Chuck Foreman, Joe Washington, Charley Taylor, Lydell Mitchell, Ted Brown, Tony Galbreath, William Andrews, and Ricky Young).

21
by Anon (not verified) :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 2:01am

I would add John Mackey to your list of tight ends.

79
by spenczar :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:46pm

And you are missing RB Lenny Moore who led his team in receiving yards in 1958, and had more receiving yards than rushing yards 8 out of 11 seasons in the 50s and 60s with the Colts.

7
by Bob Costas (not verified) :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 10:52pm

I don't have a problem, nor am I surprised, that all of those guys got in. I just wish that Dawson or Roaf had been inducted. The Hall of Fame sure could use some non-QB/RB/WRs.

10
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 11:33pm

To Bob,

You muszt know some of the Seniros Committee people. Please tell them to pick Cliff Branch or Ken Stabler for the sneiors pickls next year. Branch all-time gerat WR. Excellent speed merchant. Big time threat. 501 catches, 8685 yards, 17.3 aveg, 67 touchdowns. 3 time Super bowl winner.

Cliff Branch 2012 Hall of Fame inductee

Help get him in, Boib.

19
by Shattenjager :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 1:08am

You want Stabler before Lamonica?

20
by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 1:13am

yes, made post about thuis a month or so agoo. maybe if seach FO for Raiderjoe Stabler soemthing come up. not sure but try it. will also look for the psots

22
by Shattenjager :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 2:37am

Is this the one you meant?

"by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 8:34pm

Both great with Raiders. Stabler struglged mightily afetr leave Raiders. Stinky with Oielrs and Saimts. Think Stabler's best seoasn 1976) better than Lamonica's best seaosn (1969). Stabler extrememely accurtate specially foir time period. 66.7 comple percentahe in 1976.
Stabler was better QB probably beucause was tougher
in pocket and more accurate with ball. Look at Sea of Hands play, Stabler throw gerat pass with defenders all over him. Vert cool and calm in face of pass rush. Lamonica weaker that department, but still great.

Very close thoguh so if someone want to say Lamonica better not goign to argue. Is like spiltting hairs."

I usually don't read the comments to the DVOA postings, so I missed it.

From just looking at their stats, I always thought Lamonica was better. However, I've always wondered if Lamonica's look better than they should since he would have had Biletnikoff at his statistical (and I would assume physical) peak. It could be sort of a Daunte Culpepper-Randy Moss situation.

I also would have said that ability to avoid sacks looked to be pretty decidedly in Lamonica's favor (Lamonica's Sack %+ is 116 for 1968-1973 while Stabler's for his career is 106 for his career), but if, as you're saying, he wasn't as "cool and calm in the face of the pass rush," maybe he just threw the ball away quicker and ended up making fewer plays as a result. That could also partly explain why Lamonica's completion percentage was much lower. Interesting.

And I will fully join in supporting Branch, Lamonica, and Stabler for the HOF, even though I'm a Broncos fan.

32
by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 10:05am

Yes, thsat was it. Thank you for fidning. Saw others about stabler but coudl not find that one when try lats night.

24
by Mike Elseroad (not verified) :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 2:45am

I am NO way shape or form a Raiders fan but if Lynn Swann is in the HOF, then Cliff Branch should be too.

25
by RickD :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 3:23am

No!

The logic "all players better than the worst player in the Hall should also be let in" just lets too many people in. Can't we just admit the Hall made a mistake with Swann?

Or I could make the case that Swann was one of the key players in the 1970s who helped football pass baseball in popularity and become the #1 sport in America. Statistically he wasn't much of a player. But he had some spectacular postseason games and helped make the Super Bowl the #1 sporting event in the world.

In any case, Cliff Branch can get in the WR queue. There are many more deserving candidates, and still more are coming relatively soon.

48
by Mike Tanier :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 5:54pm

Stallworth was the mistake, not Swann.

53
by Bobman :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 11:54pm

I've never heard that sentiment before--usually the reverse. Take away two super bowls worth of acrobatic catches, and Swann was an above-average player, no? Probably not even the best on his own team....

54
by Jerry :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 1:36am

Swann was an awesomely acrobatic receiver in an era where that was uncommon. He made those catches in Super Bowls, but he also made them against the Browns in October, and the phrase "Lynn Swann-type catch" was heard in those days. Stallworth also regularly made terrific catches, and he put up bigger numbers by playing five more years. They're both worthy Hall of Famers.

83
by Mike Tanier :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 8:01pm

Swann was the better receiver than Stallworth during the first 3 Steelers Super Bowl teams. He had those great seasons during the height of the dead ball era in the NFL. He then went on to get injured and slow down just as the passing rules opened up.

Stallworth, who was a very solid #2 and great system fit, then had a massive 1979 season. Tremendous year. He was then hurt in 1980, very good in 1981 and 82, hurt in 83. His numbers looked fantastic, because it was still early in the days of the 16-game schedule, we were still impressed by perennial 1,000-yard receivers, and he was still productive when the other Steelers were fading, so he got lots and lots of ink.

Swann's numbers are so depressed that they distort what he did. Stallworth's numbers were inflated by being among the first generation of guys to have big post-78 years. Neither is an all-world HoF candidate, and neither would get a sniff without the jewelry, but I think Swann was better.

122
by JIPanick :: Sun, 02/13/2011 - 2:33pm

IMHO, both were serious mistakes.

69
by Dean :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 10:42am

Stabler is NOT a Hall of Famer.

Now, Branch, on the other hand... It's a shame he's not already in. And it's actually kind of embarassing that Lynn Swann is in and yet Cliff Branch is not. Throw out the numbers for a second (despite the fact that Branch's were better). Cliff Branch made more big catches than Lynn Swann ever did.

8
by t.d. :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 11:03pm

I was surprised that Dent wasn't regarded with the same reverence as Singletary and Hampton, as his emergence seemed to coincide with the Bears' arrival as a truly fearsome defense

9
by Yaguar :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 11:29pm

http://footballoutsiders.com/player/18043/marshall-faulk

Take a look at Faulk's receiving DVOA from 1998-2001. During his peak, he was the best possession receiver of all time, who also just happened to run the ball at a Hall of Fame level.

11
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 11:34pm

Yes, Faulk true superstar. No quesiton about it, first ballot guy. Execllent player. Greta guy, too.

29
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 4:57am

Holy, holy crap. I knew he was a first-ballot hall of famer, but I might have underrated him. There are seasons where he literally could have not carried the ball once and still deserved to go to the pro bowl based on receiving alone. Ten yards per pass attempt to a running back!? Faulk would deserve enshrinement had he not played a snap outside of the 1998-2001 seasons.

91
by Independent George :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:33pm

Wow. That's my exact reaction, too. I knew he was great, but I couldn't quantify just how good he was during those years - and it turns out he was even better than I remembered.

12
by andrew :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 11:44pm

I used to consider Carter a slam dunk HOF, at the time he was #2 in everything to Jerry Rice. And it wasn't just the numbers, it was the nature of some of his impossible catches, one-handers, sideline painting (there's one he had against Denver where he caught a ball that looked about 2 yards out of bounds and still kept his toes in bounds).

Now, I'm beginning to doubt he will ever get in. I know there are arguments against, and he's dealing with being in a trio of WR with comparable stats (just comparable, his still exceed them). I'm beginning to think one of the main strikes is the not winning a superbowl.

13
by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 11:49pm

D. Maynard retired a s leadrr in recpetions and rec yards but dikdnt make Hall till 9th year eligible.

A Monk waited long time.

L. swann very llong wait, too.

Hall of fame voters very weirid with widie receivers.

C Crater goign to get in. Vrey good chance next year.

30
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 5:12am

I agree with Raiderjoe that he'll likely make it. Raw numbers make him look like a no-brainer for the Hall, but those numbers include some seasons of mediocre per-play production, with quarterbacks forcing him the ball zillions of times. DYAR likes but doesn't love him; it thinks Jimmy Smith was somewhat better. My impression of Carter is of a very intelligent receiver with great kinesthetic awareness and awesome hands, who was great at sideline catches and catches in traffic. Unfortunately he needed to be great at catching the ball in traffic because he often wasn't quick enough to gain much separation. Probably an all-time great receiver in goal-line situations.

35
by Tom Selleck (not verified) :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 11:18am

The biggest strike against Carter is he was never a dominator. He played 16 years and was never ever in the top 5 for receiving yards in a season. He's what FO would call a "compiler". All he really did was be above average for a really long time. He was never dangerous. He's the Raphael Palmeiro of football.

37
by andrew :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 11:49am

He was about receptions, first downs, and touchdowns.

He lead the league in receptions when he set the NFL record (at the time) with 122 receptions in 1994. He got 122 again the following year when the record was broken by Herman Moore's 123 (and he would have had it if the Vikings had not accepted a penalty on their final drive of that season).

His most dominant stat was his touchdowns....("all he does is catch touchdowns"). He lead the league in touchdown receptions three times ('95, '97 and '99).

On one of those "top 10" programs he was rated #1 for "best hands in football", the program includes a lot of his greatest catches. Its those types of catches more than anything else that I think should put him there. I don't think I've ever seen anyone better at catching with one hand.

42
by Temo :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:46pm

His most dominant stat was his touchdowns....("all he does is catch touchdowns"). He lead the league in touchdown receptions three times ('95, '97 and '99).

And yet he was 40th in DVOA in '95 (11th DYAR), 50th in '97 (32nd DYAR), and 7th in '99 (2nd DYAR). In '97 teammate Jake Reed was 1st in DYAR and DVOA, in '95 Reed was 21st in DVOA and 16th in DYAR, and in '99 Randy Moss was 3rd DYAR and 6th DVOA.

So you could make the case that in all 3 of those seasons he wasn't his team's best receiver.

56
by MC2 :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 1:52am

I think FO's stats, while great for analyzing teams, are basically worthless when it comes to evaluating individual players (except for QBs, where they're pretty good).

58
by tuluse :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:24am

Are you really going to argue that Jake Reed was better than Cris Carter?

71
by Temo :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:05am

Career-wise? No. For a few years? Yes. Which is a mark against Carter.

101
by andrew :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 9:20am

In each of those seasons Reed was a #2 receiver. Carter was the #1. Meaning he drew the #1 corner, if not the double team, and Reed was free to exploit lesser cornerbacks.

Don't get me wrong, I loved Reed, but he was never in the same conversation as Carter. The second Moss arrived (I remember all three of them had these "3 Deep" baseball caps they were wearing) Reed became the #3, even before he got hurt in '98.

55
by MC2 :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 1:49am

On one of those "top 10" programs he was rated #1 for "best hands in football" ...

I agree about Carter's hands (and his deserving to be in the HOF), but that list was a joke. For example, they didn't even have Moss in the Top 10. On the other hand, they had Fitzgerald in the Top 5, based on the strength of his ability to go up and wrestle jump balls away from the defender. While I'll admit Fitz is great at that, Moss has had single seasons where he made more of those type of catches than Fitz has made in his entire career.

77
by andrew :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 1:14pm

I'm not sure what year that came out, but it was a few years ago.

FWIW Peter King in this week's MMQB stated that he no longer thinks any of the three (Carter, Reed and Brown) will now make it based on opinions in the room, basically a belief that receivers are interchangeable and anyone could have done what they did.

hrm... (not a knock on king, who voted for Carter, but on the rest of the voters).

King also points out that Carter's career numbers are very close to Marvin Harrison's... and Harrison had the benefit of Peyton Manning.

In looking at them (all four in this case), who they had throwing them their passes:

Carter: Cunningham, Gannon, Salisbury, McMahon, Moon, Johnson, Cunningham, George, Culpepper and Fiedler (in his brief stint with Miami). (and that's not counting a number of games with Spergon Wynn). No one QB for that long.

Brown: Schroeder, Hostetler, George, Hollas, Gannon and Greise (in his brief stint with Tampa). Longest stint was Gannon.

Reed: Ferragamo, Kelly, Collins, Flutie... and Johnson (in his brief stint with the Redskins). Kelly took up the bulk of his career.

Harrison: Jim Harbaugh, Peyton Manning. All Manning after first 2 years.

Based on this you'd have to say Harrison would be the least deserving of the four.... except he won a ring.

84
by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 8:58pm

King's always working an angle so it's hard to put a lot of stock in what he says. (He could just be trying to show how much more enlightened he is compared to all the other voters--it's all about the ego.) And there were guys writing those exact things about Art Monk right up until he made it in. But Carter had better hope they don't go to 18 games because that will hurt his shot considerably once voters get used to seeing higher reception numbers across the board.

86
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 9:26pm

King has it out for Harrison. There is no way Marvin Harrison does not deserve to be a Hall of Famer. King even says stuff like "when Reggie Wayne retires with great numbers, it will diminsh Harrison." Wayne won't sniff Marvin's career numbers. Manning or no Manning, Marv's peak was Rice-esque.

98
by GO PATS (not verified) :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 2:17am

Please don't even mention Harrison in the same breath as Jerry Rice. It's not even close. If Harrison played a hundred seasons he would not be close to Jerry Rice. He was a pure system guy in a very pass oriented offense led by manning. Oh and he all but dissapeared in EVERY PLAYOFF game he played in. He didn't win a ring, he just happened t play on a team that won a superbowl (against that other soon to be HOF QB - Rex Grossman). Please, NO WAY IN HELL IS HARRISON A HOF - I will take Tim Brown, Carter and Andre Reed first.

108
by Adam B. :: Wed, 02/09/2011 - 11:03am

There is no way Marvin Harrison does not deserve to be a Hall of Famer.

Assuming he didn't kill anyone.

114
by andrew :: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 8:50am

I agree...

but the statement was more on whether he was more deserving than Carter, who is having trouble getting in.

Straight up comparison showed their stats to be remarkably close.

Harrison: 1102 rec, 14580 yds, 128 tds.
Carter: 1101 rec, 13899 yds, 130 tds.
A difference of 1 catch, 681 yds, and -2 tds.

One thing that my hurt carter is that his career overlapped Jerry Rice's more, especially the years when he was still in his prime.

While Rice's career was from '85 to '04 but his peak years ran through '96 (he suffered that season ending injury in '97, came back and had many productive seasons after that but never again lead the league in any category, which he routinely did in receptions, yards and TDs before that. Carter's peak years were '93 to '00. Harrison's peak years were '99 to '06.

At no time during Carter's career... even during his best seasons of '94 and '95, when he had 122 catches each season (and 7 and 17 tds respectively) could you say Carter was the best receiver in football. That would still be Jerry Rice, who had 112 and 122 catches those two seasons and easily lead the league in yards.

During Harrison's peak years Rice was, while still productive at the end of his tenure in SF and then Oakland, past his prime and not in the short list of best receivers playing at that time.

116
by tuluse :: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 1:36pm

You could easily argue Moss or TO was better than Harrison during Harrison's peak years.

Having to be the best at your position is the worst criteria for the HOF ever.

117
by Dean :: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 1:49pm

It's a bad influence from baseball people. They're the ones who have also created this absurd notion that a player is somehow less of a Hall of Famer if the player has to wait a year rather than getting inducted right away.

88
by MC2 :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:16pm

If I had a vote, I would definitely vote for both Harrison and Carter. I watched both of them throughout their careers, and it seems obvious to me that either of them would have put up good numbers playing with almost any QB.

On the other hand, I would probably vote against both Reed and Brown. They were both great players, but they just weren't quite dominant enough to get my vote. If I had to vote for one of them, I would probably choose Brown, even though I think Reed has a better chance of actually getting in, since the voters tend to reward players who played on winning teams and punish guys who were stuck on losing teams.

14
by MilkmanDanimal :: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 11:56pm

Sanders and Faulk seemed no-brainer first-ballot picks. No problems with Sharpe or Dent, and, competing with players or no, glad to see Sabol in. It's the Hall of Fame, not "Hall of Quality Playing". Sabol did great things to increase the fame of the NFL, and I'm glad he got in. Totally deserving.

16
by Mr Shush :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:32am

Yeah, I would say that the question for both Faulk and Sanders is "Where do they belong in the GOAT discussion?" not "Do they belong in Canton?"

In Faulk's case, I think the answer is that with 2010 rules and conditions, I'd take him over anyone, but within the context of era, he's battling Sanders and Simpson for spots 2-4 behind Brown. Yes, I like peak performance more than longevity. No, I am not a big fan of Curtis Martin (as a Hall of Fame candidate; by all accounts he's a great guy).

God knows how to even begin an attempt at all-time CB rankings.

All the other selections are players I think belong, but I would rather have seen Kennedy, Dawson and probably Doleman than Sharpe or possibly Dent.

And yes, Sabol deserved to get in, even competing with players, but he still shouldn't have been competing with players.

33
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 10:31am

Walter Payton?
Also: here's at least a starting point for all-time defensiveback:
http://pfref.com/tiny/v4hJd

38
by Noah of Arkadia :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:05pm

Payton > Sanders by a very solid margin

44
by Intropy :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 1:02pm

For CBs, off the top of my head I would put Sanders behind Dick Lane, Mel Blount, and Rod Woodson.

Brown was a fullback, so you can let Faulk, Sanders, and Simpson jockey for 1-3, though I'd put Walter Payton and Emmit Smith in the discussion and take OJ Simpson out.

45
by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 1:25pm

I cannot even imagine putting Sanders ahead of Payton. For all the "Barry Sanders had no help in Detroit" stuff that gets bandied about (and he had plenty of help), Payton utterly carried that '85 Bears team (along with many other years). I used to think of Willie Gault as this huge threat, he caught 33 balls that year total (Payton led the team with 49).

Not to launch into yet another debate on the merits of Barry Sanders (but to apparently do just that), but Walter Payton was pure awesomeness in about every facet of the game.

57
by Anon (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 1:54am

As was Sanders. Payton didn't carry that Bears team - the D carried that Bears team. They destroyed teams in the playoffs yet Payton's stat line was:
67-186 2.78YPC and no TDs. The Bears put up 91 points in 3 games and Payton didn't score a single point. I am not saying Payton wasn't great - but he was not the reason that 85 Bears team was so dominant.

59
by tuluse :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:29am

Sanders didn't block, and was not nearly the receiving threat Payton was despite playing later in the evolution of the game when running backs were more utilized in the passing game.

Walter Payton's '77 season is probably among the top 3 all time for a running back just taking over and carrying his team. Only OJ Simpson could really compare in that respect.

Sanders didn't have a lot of help, but he generally had more than Payton. I don't mean to say Sanders was anything other than great here, either. Just that Payton was a top 2 running back of all time without argument in my mind. The only back you can say produced better is Jim Brown.

61
by Aaron Brook's Good Twin (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:39am

Sanders played with better receivers than Payton, commensurate QBs, and had nowhere near the offensive line. Sanders best line was in 1991, and 40% of that line was either killed or paralyzed that year.

But the better comparison is performance after retiring. The Lions' run game imploded after Sanders retired. He was easily 500 yds/season better than replacement level. The Bears' run game was reduced, but not nearly to the same extent.

As to not blocking -- have you actually watched any film of Lions games? They played a one-back, no TE offense. Sanders was the only blitz blocker, and was fully capable of picking up blitzing LBs. The only mobile QB he ever played with was an INT machine who defined "lack of situational awareness" (Andre Ware), and Scott Mitchell was a Leftwich-like sack magnet. In fact, the Lions QB/WR situation when he started his career was sub-Bears level, which is impressive.

62
by tuluse :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 3:27am

Two words: Bob Avellini

65
by Anon (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 6:04am

In an era adjusted setting is he really that much worse than Rodney Peete or Bob Gagliano? All three of them were INT machines.

63
by MC2 :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:14am

I can't really say which of them was better, since I saw Sanders for his entire career, and Payton only toward the end of his. But one argument in favor of Sanders that no one has mentioned is ball security. For his career, Payton averaged a fumble every 50 touches, an alarmingly high rate. (By comparison, Adrian Peterson, who has been frequently criticized for being careless with the ball, averages a fumble every 63 touches). Sanders, on the other hand, took excellent care of the ball, averaging a fumble every 83 touches.

67
by tuluse :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 9:37am

You have to adjust for era there. Payton had above average ball security for the time he played.

93
by MC2 :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:41pm

That may be true, but it's still an advantage for Sanders, who had amazing ball security for any era. Of course, that doesn't prove anything either way as far as who was the better all-around RB, but it is something that should be factored into the argument.

64
by Anon (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:57am

I am not sure how you can say Sanders didn't block. First off, generally he was the *only* player picking up blitzing defenders. No TE and no FB pretty much requires you to be a decent blocker.

Have you actually looked at Sanders receiving stats? He played in a Run n Shoot offense so it is pretty difficult to set up screens and make the RB the focal point of the passing play. Generally, the RB isn't very high in the read progression because there are 4 WRs on the field for every play. Also, it wasn't like Payton was some amazing pass catcher that the Bears had to get the ball to - all the RBs for the Bears caught a lot of balls. Going off of PFRs stats Payton caught a total of 492 receptions. The other Bears listed as RBs caught over 642 balls. If you were a gambler placing a bet on whether or not the Bears would throw the ball to Payton or another RB on the team - you would pick the other RBs. Compare that to Sanders' 352 receptions. The other RBs for the Lions caught a grand total of 101 balls. If anything, Sanders got his number called for pass catching much more often than Payton did compared to his teammates. The Bears just threw more passes to RBs in general.

Sanders had slightly more recognized offensive help but Payton almost always had a great D to keep the running game relevant. To the best of my knowledge Sanders never played with a QB that made a pro bowl or 1st team AP squad and never played with another HOFer. I am not sure there is a RB in the HOF that could make that claim besides Floyd Little (and I think putting him in was a mistake).

Brown is third on my list behind Sanders and Payton. Brown got the benefit of being a great athlete playing in an extremely weak era (compared to the modern game).

74
by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:47am

Jim McMahon made the Pro Bowl in 1985, even though his numbers weren't that great at all (the Bears were 20th in passing offense). It's not like Payton had HOF offensive linemen either. I just scrolled through a bunch of years on PFR, and he led the Bears in receptions year after year, he blocked, he always got positive yards, he was a short-yardage guy . . . he was a complete back, in every way. His 1977 season is beyond insane:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1977/rushing.htm

He had 50% more yards than anybody else in the league. He averaged 0.7 more yards a carry than the next guy in the top 30 or so players in rushing yardage that year (Tony Dorsett had 4.8, you know, the guy known for long, exciting runs). Payton's QB was, as mentioned, Bob Avellini, who was BOB AVELLINI. Yeah, Sanders 1997 year ( the 6.1 ypc year) was phenomenal, but there were many players with huge rushing totals that year, and Herman Moore was still Herman Moore.

God, yes, Sanders was the most exciting runner I've ever seen by far, but there's a lot more to being a great back than "being exciting". I'm reasonably certain Chicago QBs faced a lot fewer 3rd and 15s, because Payton knew to go forward when he needed to.

75
by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:50am

Feh, stupid double-post.

76
by Anon (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 12:02pm

Sanders 94 and 97 season was better than Payton's 77 season. Averaging 6+ YPC in the modern game is an insane accomplishment - especially when you get enough carries to break 2000 yards. In Barry's 1994 season he averaged 2 more yards per carry than league average. The only player in the next 50 rushers to come within less than 1 yard of Barry was Steve Young - the 51st rusher in the league.

Also, Barry was a good short yardage guy. He got his number called on the goal line at a much higher rate than Payton did. Barry was the only RB/WR to score a rushing TD on his team in 5 of the 10 years he played - no one in the history of the NFL is even close to that.

Lastly, the #2 all time in negative yards is Walter Payton so he didn't always get positive yards.

95
by BigCheese :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 1:33am

You do realize that 1977 was a 14-game season, and that pro-rating Payton's numbers to 16 games gives him more yards from scrimage than either of Sanders' seasons, right?

Also, since Payton had 38 more games than Sanders to acumulate negative yardage, and still didn't catch Barry (I tried to look up the difference, which I'm guessing is not trivial, but couldn't find the data anywhere), I'm going to say that it's still not even close.

- Alvaro

99
by Anon (not verified) :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 3:48am

Yes, but I make a similar argument by saying: You do realize that Payton had more carries than Sanders. If you gave Sanders the same number of carries he would have more yards than either of Payton's seasons.

Payton lost 4.4 yards per game on average and gained 92.4
Sanders lost 7.3 yards per game on average and gained 107.1

17
by BigCheese :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:34am

Sabol and Dent are long overdue. Faulk's defintely a first-ballot guy, as is Sanders (even with the tackling-optional phillosophy). I'm shocked Sharpe gets in when Carter doesn't.

- Alvaro

23
by Mike Elseroad (not verified) :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 2:41am

In my humble opinion, Richard Dent, Charles Haley and Chris Doleman are viritual clones of one other. What makes Dent the most derserving of those 3 guys to make the Hall? Is it because he was a key guy on arguable the greatest defense of all time? I'd really like to get some feedback on that.

If the Hall is gonna recognize strong defensive right ends, someone should start making a case for Harvey Martin and Coy Bacon. In their day, they HAD to be as good as Dent, Haley & Doleman.

I'm glad to see that Ed Sabol made it. You can make a valid argument that the work that Ed and his son Steve have done was most responsible for pro football passing baseball as America's most favorite sport.

The Hall's selectors seem to have their heads in the sand when it comes to pro football's prolific increase in passing since the 1978 rules changes. Aaron and other guys who contribute to this website and the yearly Outsider Almanacs have mentioned in several essays that many mainstream analyists believe that what we've been seeing since those changes is some sort of abberation. That the 1960's Packers, undefeated Dolphins and mid-70's Steelers who all relied on overwhelming running games and superlative defenses played "real" football and that all of the passing and receiving numbers we've seen since the 1978 rules changes are somehow cheap. That has to be the major reason that Tim Brown and Cris Carter aren't in yet and why it took Shannon Sharpe, James Lofton and Art Monk forever to get in.

I'm very confident that if Vince Lombardi were coaching today in this enviornment, he'd be throwing it around all over the yard as much as Mike Martz if he had a good quarterback. Look at what Don Shula did when he had Dan Marino.

The Hall needs to clean house and get some new blood on its selection committee. They also need to create a contributor category, like the MLB HOF does, so that key contributors like the Sabols, Paul Tagliabue, Buddy Ryan & Don Coryell aren't competing for spots in the Hall with players.

26
by tuluse :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 4:02am

What makes Dent the most derserving of those 3 guys to make the Hall?

He's been waiting 2 more years.

They also need to create a contributor category, like the MLB HOF does

I thought they had a contributor category.

27
by Intropy :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 4:22am

They just need to allow more players in per year. They've been doing the 4-7 thing since the league was half the size it is now.

31
by Thok :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 7:44am

This. And this is why I don't play the why Dent rather than Doleman or Haley game. All three deserve to go in at some point, and if you force them to compete with each other than none of them go in rather than all of them.

In fact, I suspect this is part of the reason why Sharpe got in relatively quickly: I don't think he's better than other players on the list, but since he's the only reasonable tight end candidate on the ballot, he doesn't have to deal with the issues that the various gluts have to deal with.

36
by paytonrules :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 11:45am

+1

I'm not sure there was a name on the finalist list that wasn't deserving. I'm shocked Dent got in, simply because I thought there were so many others that were gonna be ahead, not because he doesn't belong.

The fact that so many great finalists didn't get in makes me prefer the football HOF to the baseball one, where everybody who belongs gets in on the first ballot and we end up arguing over the margins.

96
by BigCheese :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 1:36am

Ryan Sando would like a word...

- Alvaro

49
by Lance :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 7:07pm

They just need to allow more players in per year. They've been doing the 4-7 thing since the league was half the size it is now.

I've been saying this for years. Just look at the finalists for this year:

C. Martin, J. Bettis, M. Faulk, T. Brown, A. Reed, C. Carter, D. Dawson, R. Dent, C. Haley, C. Doleman, C. Kennedy, S. Sharpe, plus Ed Sabol and senior candidates Chris Hanburger and Les Richter. I think most agree that "contributors"-- refs, executives, etc.-- plus coaches should have their own slot. So leaving Sabol and the seniors out, that's a list of 12 guys with just four getting in. Yet, I think a strong case can be made for the other eight.

That's fine if every year the list of new potentials was just one or two. But it's not. Here is a list of the 26 semi-finalists. This an impressive list, when added to the 8 or who weren't elected this year. 2012 doesn't look to add to many "first ballot" candidates, so perhaps some of the log jam will clear up. But for 2013, the list of new eligible players includes L. Allen, J. Ogden, W. Sapp, M. Strahan, and B. Young.

Point is, I agree with Intropy that if they don't raise the cap for modern era players, a lot of deserving guys are going to be left out.

34
by MainerRaider (not verified) :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 11:04am

Seriously, Tim Brown and Cris Carter are still getting shafted?

39
by jackinabox (not verified) :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:06pm

For me, the player has to be, for a least a small sustained period, the most dominating player at their position.

Would that apply for Carter or Brown? Were they ever that?

After all Jon Kitna has piled up some impressive career passing numbers, but nobody is jumping at the bit to plug him into the Hall (I hope).

40
by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:24pm

Carter was always considered a huge threat to score, and he was one of those guys with the combination of great hands and solid route-running to where he was open when he needed to be. I think he'll get in at some point, just because he had a really great peak--from 95-99 he scored 65 TDs in five years, leading the league three times. Averaging 13 TDs a year for five years is pretty impressive. I think that's enough of "a thing" to where it makes him memorable.

Tim Brown? I don't think there's nearly as much of a case for him. He was quite good for many years, but I never remember saying "oh, crap, where's Tim Brown on the field?" Cris Carter? Yeah, I remember saying that regularly.

Then again, if Art Monk can get in . . .

43
by Temo :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:49pm

His Advanced Stats from 95-99 are problematic, however.

46
by MilkmanDanimal :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 1:26pm

I strongly doubt the HOF electors are going to rely on DVOA; I think his traditional stats are good enough to get him in.

47
by Temo :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 1:58pm

If you're making a case for his enshrinement, it doesn't make sense to disregard information that may support the arguments of the people who are not voting him in currently.

If the argument of those people is that he wasn't a dominant receiver, then the advanced stats may support that argument.

72
by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:25am

Well, there are two points here--point one, HOF electors are not going to rely on FO's advanced stats. That was simply a statement; you're talking about, by and large, aging sportswriters who I'm guessing aren't rushing out to embrace the statistical revolution. When asked whether I think someone will get in, DVOA and DYAR are effectively irrelevant to the discussion.

Point two, I don't think FO's advanced stats are the be-all, end-all for ranking players. I never thought of Cris Carter as an utterly dominant player circa Jerry Rice, but he's one of the first guys I think of when I think about body control, hands, and the ability to get his feet down when he needs to. Is that statistically relevant? Nope. That being said, you need a "thing" to be memorable, and that's Carter's. Four different starting QBs in that span (old Warren Moon, Brad Johnson, old Randall Cunningham, old Jeff George).

I'm not completely and utterly sold on Carter, but I think he gets in and is deserving enough. Not Jerry Rice, but still a great, great, player, and IMO more deserving than Reed or Tim Brown.

41
by tuluse :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 12:25pm

That is an awfully high standard.

No offensive lineman should be inducted while Munoz played? Or receiver for about the first 15 years of Rice's career? Or end while Reggie White was dominating?

50
by dmb :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 7:28pm

I would've preferred Kennedy and Dawson to Sharpe and possibly Dent, but I agree with the horde of comments that there were (and perpetually are) more deserving candidates than there are slots.

I find it interesting that Hanburger took so long to get in; I would expect a player with 9 Pro Bowl appearances and 4 years as a first-team all pro, playing his whole career on a big-market team, to make it in more quickly. This isn't a comment on his worthiness as a candidate; I really don't know enough to assess that. I'm just a little surprised that it took as long as it did. (Although I guess being a defensive player probably had a lot to do with it...)

51
by Shattenjager :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 7:55pm

I agree that it's bizarre how long it took Hanburger. I would actually like to hear an explanation (if there is one).

60
by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:34am

Hanburger very standoffish with emdia when play. so those people remmber that when came time to vote on Hanburger when he becmae elgiible for Hall of Fame. The Hall selectoros at time just did noit like him.
Now he gets in in 2011 when panel consist of many new people

52
by Dice :: Sun, 02/06/2011 - 8:43pm

A friend and I wrote to Peter King about Hanburger 4 or 5 years ago, and while he said he'd address the Hangman/HOF deal in a column, AFAIK he never did. Maybe he'll mention Hanburger in this week's column.

66
by starzero :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 9:36am

I wasn't paying attention to football when Shannon Sharpe and Deion Sanders played, so I don't really know what impact they had on the game. I know Deion played two sports, but mostly I know them as flash TV personalities. Can anyone give me nutshell explanations for why they are HOF worthy?

--
hail damage

68
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 10:30am

Sanders - Top three all-time cover corner; some think he's number one. Good at returning interceptions for touchdowns. Very good kick and punt returner at various points in his career as well. Pretty useless in run support but so good at coverage as to make that irrelevant, IMHO.

Sharpe - Read tight end DYAR 1993-2003.

73
by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:29am

I've been watching football pretty obsessively for 30 years, and Deion Sanders is the most exciting and one of the singly most dominant defensive players I've ever seen. Couldn't tackle worth a crap. Would often not even try. Usually didn't need to, because QBs would just avoid his part of the field. Simply great in coverage, good at baiting the QB to trying to make a throw and then taking it to the house on a pick six.

Fast, shifty, smart . . . an obnoxious blowhard who could back it up. Couldn't tackle, didn't want to, didn't need to. He was a pain in the butt who was loads of fun to watch. If I'm building an all-time NFL team, he's one of my corners. The other corner will be a guy who would, you know, actually tackle.

85
by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 9:17pm

"Couldn't tackle, didn't want to, didn't need to." Awesome assessment. He was almost like a flag football player in the NFL--he'd have been ridiculed if he wasn't so darn good. I don't know when the phrase "shutdown corner" was coined but I don't recall it prior to Sanders playing and he certainly popularized the concept.

89
by Ronnie (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:22pm

"Can anyone give me nutshell explanations for why they are HOF worthy?"
Tough question given there's so little information on guys from that bygone era. I used to have a clay tablet with some good info on them, but it fell off the shelf and broke.

70
by Dean :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 10:46am

I don’t have that much of an issue so much with Dent as I do with the idea that there are more qualified guys out there than him. He took plays off, but when he played hard, he gave us some eternal memories.

Deion is a very frustrating selection. For all his prodigious talent, his legacy is that he watered down defense and made people believe it was OK to line up on D and be a pussy. Just to compare him to his peers, he wouldn’t make a pimple on the ass of Aeneas Williams. Sanders built his rep on scoring TDs, but both guys returned 9 INTs for TDs. Additionally, it puts a de facto stamp of approval on jackassery.

Marshall Faulk is a little bit of a surprise but very much deserving. People here in STL thought he was a lock, and I wasn’t so sure, but I certainly agree that his selection is well deserved.

Ed Sabol is an inspired choice. He has created more legends than anyone. On a side note, NFL Films should pay whatever it takes to hire Sam Elliot to narrate their product.

Shannon Sharpe is a borderline choice. Great receiver. An afterthought as a blocker. But he put up some amazing numbers in his day.

I feel bad for the snubs. Aeneas Williams, Curtis Martin or Cortez Kennedy would have been better selections than Sanders and Dent. Martin I’m sure will get in next year. Williams, I think, will have his day soon. Kennedy may end up having to be a Seniors Nominee in a couple decades, and that would be sad.

78
by Tri Shanku (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:10pm

Does anyone here think that Bettis is a surefire hall of famer? Without looking up his stats, my personal feeling is that he is a borderline case, but I had not watched him with much attention until the tail end of his career, so I am quite likely wrong.

80
by Anon (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 3:02pm

I don't think Bettis or Martin should get in the HOF - both were compilers that weren't dominant players. During their careers Sanders, Smith, Tomlinson, Faulk, James, Davis, Green, Portis and Alexander all played. I would take any of those guys for stretches of at least 4-5 years over Bettis and Martin. I could toss in Holmes and Barber for shorter periods and Dillon for a guy that put up consistently great numbers on horrible teams (and had a awesome season once he finally got to a contender at the age of 30).

81
by Dean :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 3:46pm

Martin was most definitely dominant in his prime. To me, he's a borderline HOF, but he wouldn't cheapen the place by his induction.

I agree with you about Bettis. He's the Favre of RBs. Played the media - especially Peter King - like a fiddle. But he should have to buy a ticket like anyone else.

82
by Thok :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 6:14pm

That's an insult to Favre, who had a peak that Bettis can only dream of. Bettis is more like the Testaverde or Bledsoe of RB's.

103
by Dean :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 10:18am

The comparison was for their media savvy. I never made any comparison of their on the field credentials.

87
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 9:30pm

Brett Favre's peak was absolutely Hall worthy. Calling Bettis the "Favre of running backs" is a great disservice to Favre, who in his day was the best QB in the league (or at least tied with Steve Young).

92
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:35pm

I think there's a bit of recency bias in thinking Martin was much better than Bettis: Bettis' best years were early in his career - between 1993 and 1997 - whereas Martin's best year was his age 31 season in 2004. Bettis was first team all pro twice, to Martin's once, and a pro bowler six times to Martin's five (though if anyone can explain to me what the hell Bettis was doing playing in the Pro Bowl in 1994 I'd love to know. I think they're both pretty marginal candidates; there are too many running backs in the hall as is, longevity is (for my taste) overvalued relative to peak performance as is, and while I wouldn't hate to see either of them there, I'd be pretty irked if either of them got in before the likes of Dawson, Kennedy, Roaf, Doleman, Aeneas Williams and more besides, without even mentioning the guys who will become eligible over the next few years.

97
by BigCheese :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 1:50am

Green... as in Ahman Green? He of the 1883 rushing yards as his massive outlier career year? I'm no fan of Bettis, but I definitely want some of what you're smoking.

- Alvaro

100
by Anon (not verified) :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 4:10am

Really? Ahman Green's best 5 year stretch were the 2000-2004 seasons. During that time his stat line was.
1467 carries 6848 yards 48 rushing TDs 4.7 YPC
282 receptions 2188 yards 13 receiving TDs

Coincidentally, Martin's best 5 years were those as well. His stat line
1604 carries 6816 yards 40 rushing TDs 4.2 YPC
255 receptions 1697 yards 4 receiving TDs

I don't know about you - but Ahman Green for those 5 years was significantly better than Martin. Both of them destroy Bettis' best 5 years even if you cherry picked them.

Even if you remove their best seasons Green is better. He still leads in every category except for total rushing yards. Martin beats him out by 150 yards but it takes him about 120 more carries to do it.

104
by Shattenjager :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 2:51pm

During those years, Green fumbled 29 times and Martin fumbled 8 times.

105
by Anon (not verified) :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 4:07pm

Yes, Martin was the GOAT of holding on to the ball there is no disputing that. It still doesn't make his peak 5 years nearly as good as Green's.

106
by Shattenjager :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 5:22pm

Not NEARLY as good?

Ahman Green is underrated, but so is the value of not fumbling. The latter probably more so.

107
by Anon (not verified) :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 5:56pm

Negatives
Green fumbled 21 more times.

Positives
He scored 18 more times.
He average .5 more yards every time he took a carry (resulting in having more yards than Martin in 140 less carries). To put that in perspective Martin needed about a half a season more to match Green's rushing yardage output.
He caught about 30 more receptions for close to 500 more yards which is a season+ of Martin's production yardagewise.

I would trade an extra fumble every 4 games for consistently better production on every carry and reception for a 5 year period.

110
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 02/09/2011 - 9:04pm

Equally, Green played with Brett Favre, Martin didn't. Yes, he had some seasons of good Chad Pennington, but I think it's fair to say that one of the respects in which Pennington was not as good as his advanced statistics was that his lack of arm strength meant safeties spent more time in the box than they would have against a quarterback with equivalent direct production and a more conventional skillset.

90
by Ronnie (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:27pm

Not surefire but he's probable. To make the Hall it's just as important being memorable as good and there were enough Chris Berman "Boom, Bam" moments that people will always remember The Bus. In contrast, a guy like Curtis Martin never really had that personae. I never thought of him as a potential Hall of Famer when he played and thus don't consider him a probable candidate now. Good player. Just not great.

94
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:03am

Welll if you liek your Hall of famemrs to be better plauers than non-Hall of Famemrs then you want Martin in over Bettis or Martin in ebofore Bettis get in becausue Martin better than Bettis.

Martin - 5 time all-pro, 2 time consensus 1ts tema
bettis- 3 and 1

Marrti- n better stats

Not relally sure why there is debate

102
by Dean :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 10:17am

It's only debatable because Bettis is a big star. He's the loveable fat guy who knew how to generate postive press.

Martin simply did his job - and did it at a much higher level than Bettis ever did.

109
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 02/09/2011 - 9:01pm

Wait, what?

Martin was first team all pro only once, Bettis twice, at least according to Pro Football Reference. And Bettis also made more Pro Bowls.

111
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 02/09/2011 - 10:28pm

Pro Blows= crap.

Asa for all-pro, copied and pasted htuis from profootballrferecne-

Year Team Level Voters
1995 1st Team All-Conf. Pro Football Weekly
1995 1st Team All-Conf. UPI
1996 2nd Team All-Conf. UPI
1999 2nd Team All-NFL Associated Press
2001 1st Team All-Conf. Pro Football Weekly
2001 2nd Team All-NFL Associated Press
2001 1st Team All-NFL Pro Football Writers
2001 1st Team All-NFL Sporting News
2004 1st Team All-Conf. Pro Football Weekly
2004 1st Team All-NFL Associated Press
2004 1st Team All-NFL Pro Football Writers
2004 1st Team All-NFL Sporting News

consensus 1st team RB chocie 2001 and 2004

five eyars with all-pro stuff- 1995, 1999, 1996, 2001, 2004

115
by Mr Shush :: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:49am

Ah, ok, you're including non-1st team and non-AP awards, and using consensus in the sense of all the awarding bodies, not all the AP voters. Fair enough (although Martin was still only consensus 1st team once, in 2004: in 2001 he was 2nd team according to the AP).

Overall, my view's pretty much unchanged: I don't much mind which way round you have Bettis and Martin, and I don't hate the idea of either of them ultimately going to Canton, but there are a lot of other eligible players who really ought to get in first, with Dawson, Kennedy and Roaf at the top of the list.

118
by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 7:02pm

C. Martuin was consensus 1st team in 2001. There were 3 teamms that year- SN, PFWa, Ap. He was 1st team on tow of them and 2nd team on oen of them.

PFWA- 1ts team RBs- M. Faulk, C,. Martin
AP- 1st team RBs- M. Faulk, P. Holmes
SN- M. Faulk, C,. Martin

so that makes the oevrlal top 2 RBs that year- Martin a nd Faulk

119
by Mr Shush :: Fri, 02/11/2011 - 12:27am

Now I guess we're using different senses of the word "consensus" (majority of opinion versus general agreement). Through no fault of yours, this is getting silly.

The only thing further I would say: it's ridiculous that All Pro teams continue to select two running backs. Do they pick two quarterbacks? Two centers? Two tight ends? Silly.

120
by Dean :: Fri, 02/11/2011 - 10:23am

A traditional starting lineup (i.e. what's commonly referred to as "base personnel" of an NFL team has 1 QB, 1 TE, 1 C and 2 RBs. Picking 2 starting RBs is no different than picking 2 Gs, Ts, or WRs.

121
by Mr Shush :: Fri, 02/11/2011 - 12:57pm

The AP names 12 starters on offense. I know of no NFL team that runs a 1 QB, 2 RB, 1 FB, 1 TE, 2 WR base offense. If one did, I imagine it would draw quite a lot of flags.

The other two awarding bodies don't distinguish between fullbacks and running backs, which is stupid. It's a very long time since most teams have regularly lined up with more than one player whose main job is to run the ball on the field at one time. There may be a continuum between running back and fullback, in the same way that there is between tight end and wide receiver, but the voters seem capable of viewing those as separate positions. Vonta Leach and Ovie Mughelli should not be competing for spots with Jamal Charles and Arian Foster.

Martin's 2004 selection was certainly defensible, though I would probably have gone for Tiki Barber. In 2001, if I had my way, his spot would have gone to someone like Richie Anderson, or maybe Tony Richardson. In a similar vein, the PFWA/TSN this year should have gone for (been set up to go for) Vonta Leach, not his more fantasy-stellar (and undeniably excellent) team-mate.

112
by CoachDave :: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 12:33am

The bottom line is that the HOF voting process is completely and utterly broken.

Dent over Roaf? Completely a joke.

Swann? Stallworth? Monk? But no Cris Carter? How is this even possible?

The fact that Peter King is being consistently written about as the most influential guy in the voting room says all I need to know about the HOF voting.

113
by tuluse :: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 12:42am

I kind of agree with your premise, but your support is weak. The HOF is backed up really far because they don't let enough players in, so yeah a deserving playing who retired in 97 is going to get in before one who retired in 05.

123
by Dice :: Sun, 02/13/2011 - 5:31pm

Yeah, being a Monk supporter means I can't in good conscience advocate that Carter or Harrison doesn't belong in the HOF.