2021 NFL Honors and 2022 HOF Discussion Thread
NFL Super Bowl - Winners of the NFL's most prestigious awards and newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be announced tonight. We will update this story as award-winners are announced.
MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
Offensive Player of the Year: Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR
Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt, ER, PIT
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, CIN
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Micah Parsons, LB/ER DAL (unanimous choice)
Comeback Player of the Year: Joe Burrow, QB, CIN
Coach of the Year: Mike Vrabel, TEN
Assistant Coach of the Year: Dan Quinn, DC, DAL
Hall of Fame Inductees:
- LeRoy Butler, DB, GB
- Bryant Young, DT, SF
- Sam Mills, LB, NO/CAR
- Cliff Branch, WR, OAK/LARD
- Richard Seymour, DT, NE/OAK
- Art McNally, official
- Tony Boselli, OT, JAX
- Dick Vermeil, HC, PHI/STL/KC
Walter Payton Man of the Year: Andrew Whitworth, OT, LAR
Moment of the Year: Justin Tucker's 66-yard field goal to beat DET
FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Year: Tom Brady, QB, TB, and Jonathan Taylor, RB, IND
Fan of the Year: Henry Ison, ATL
Celly of the Year: Christian Wilkins, MIA, DT, for worm/spinarooni celebration against NYJ
115 comments, Last at 23 Feb 2022, 12:10pm
#12 by matu_72 // Feb 10, 2022 - 11:25pm
I'm not a fan of this selection. Like you said, Burrow played over half of last season and this year was only his second season. That's not a comeback, that's just a young player's second year progression.
#109 by Lebo // Feb 14, 2022 - 9:59am
Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I don't understand why the number of games played in the previous year is relevant. Does it really matter if someone tears their knee in the first game of the season or the last? Either way, they're still coming back from a torn knee. If anything, I could see an argument for coming back from a knee torn in week 18 being more impressive than a knee torn in week one given the shorter recovery period.
#113 by Raiderjoe // Feb 14, 2022 - 1:06pm
not sure what burrow came back from. mediocrity?
am totally against this dopey award ever goign to a 2nd year player. you cannot drum up scenario where it owujld mkake sense to me.
understand he had offseason stroke, unfortunate and all that, but T. Bruschi once comeback player of year award season after he played the whole season. i mean, c;mon! what aer we doing here?
#110 by Lebo // Feb 14, 2022 - 10:00am
Thinking about it, Cam Akers probably deserved at least a vote for even making it back onto the field in the same year he tore his Achilles'. That's got to be one of the most impressive comebacks of all time.
#46 by RickD // Feb 11, 2022 - 1:48pm
Felt like the media crowned Watt in the midseason and didn't give Donald enough consideration. Watt missed two games which I thought should have been enough to push Donald ahead.
Sportswriters get bored when one player is clearly the best for too long. They did it to Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, they've been doing it to Brady for years, and this year the phenomenon hit Donald.
#58 by theslothook // Feb 11, 2022 - 2:59pm
When was Kobe robbed of MVPs? He certainly wasn't going to win one while Shaq was the best player on his own team. And while it's fun to debate Lebron and Kobe, most astute fans knew there was no competition their either.
As for Brady, he has 3 MVPs. His totals, if they are depressed, come for the same reasons that Drew Brees has zero MVPs. They overlapped in an era with Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning.
Really the players who best fit your example are Michael Jordan and LeBron James
#60 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 11, 2022 - 3:02pm
Should be the opposite. Tied the sack record in less games? That's impressive. It's not like he missed the whole season. 10 more sacks, 1 more FF, 3 more FR, 14 more QB hits, 2 more TFL, 11 mores pressures, 3 more QBKD than Donald in 2 less games? That's impressive too.
And lets not put Kobe in MJs realm. Kobe wasn't even the best in his HOF class. And when did people "get bored" of Brady?
#91 by Theo // Feb 12, 2022 - 2:34pm
You really saw the Steelers play and not think TJ Watt was dpoy?
Dude was unstoppable even by double teams and running backs helping out.
And he was always ready to shut off passing lanes. And he dropped into coverage. And he had more QB hits and more TFLs... and 22.5 sacks.
#5 by theslothook // Feb 10, 2022 - 10:17pm
I am now annoyed. Both Ware and Allen didn't make it. Just wow.
I am happy for Bryant Young who I didn't watch but have heard a lot of plaudits for. But still...I am unclear what criteria those other two were lacking.
#18 by David // Feb 11, 2022 - 7:41am
Being sixth and seventh isn't necessarily lacking as much as just being an ordering thing. It's the problem with a hard cutoff - you can't tell if they missed by a fraction, or a mile
Best guess is that they somewhat blocked each other, and voters couldn't split Young & Seymour, so both DTs went in, while both ERs wait a year. I don't think there's anyone saying that Ware & Allen aren't missing on some criteria - just that maybe 8 or 9 players were worthy, but only five are allowed in
For this reason, I think I prefer the baseball process for voting - get a certain percentage, and you're in, regardless of who else is eligible. This might mean some years there is a really big class, and some years a really small one, but at least it's consistent.
Of course, in practice, this is drivel, given that players vote percentage tends to trend over time - which is insane, since they've all stopped playing, and they can't be doing anything to make them more or less worthy once they're retired!
#75 by Mike Tanier // Feb 11, 2022 - 4:47pm
The Steel Curtain Steelers created an impression that a great Dynasty-type team must have 8 Hall of Famers or whatever. The game, the balloting and impressions have changed since then. The Patriots will have plenty of Hall of Famers across 20 years, but there won't be urgency to put guys like Hightower, Wilfork or McCourty in just because they were core players for many years.
#86 by theslothook // Feb 12, 2022 - 9:14am
Was referring to the second dynasty and the qualifier that they had to be part of the whole thing.
That leaves Brady, Gronk, and a bunch of borderline guys. Of those guys, I think Wilfork will get in, but is a borderline borderline candidate if he spent his career on the Texans. And maybe Hightower depending on how his career unfolds.
I also don't count players like Revis, Seau, or Moss, who were obvious Hall of famers even if they never set foot in NE.
#94 by Scott P. // Feb 12, 2022 - 4:01pm
That's a bit arbitrary, though. Team A has 2 Hall of Famers who play for them 15 years. Team B signs 15 hall of famers for short stints of 2-3 years each. But Team B is the one short of Hall of Fame players?
#99 by theslothook // Feb 12, 2022 - 10:44pm
My point wasn't to be pedantic.
It really stemmed for RickD suggesting that being the best defensive player on three SB teams becomes a talking point for the hall of fame.
I have changed my tune on Seymore as counter arguments have come in, but I still maintain, a dynastic team does not imply it's entitled to X hall of famers or there even were X number of Hall of famers present.
#6 by Bryan Knowles // Feb 10, 2022 - 10:18pm
I am surprised Sam Mills got in over Patrick Willis and Zach Thomas, as we're putting in linebackers. Heck, I'm surprised they put in Bryant Young over Willis if we're putting in a 49er. And I'm very surprised none of the receivers made it through; they're smashing into each other in the backlog and keeping each other out, I would imagine.
But not a bad class at all, and I'm very glad Richard Seymour got in after hanging on the ballot for a while.
#8 by theslothook // Feb 10, 2022 - 10:21pm
But over DeMarcus Ware or Jared Allen? All three guys were traded and one of those three did not replicate the way the other two did. Okay so maybe Seymour plays a position that is a bit harder to judge, but it's still quite informative.
I just don't understand what the reasoning was against Allen and now Ware could be.
#9 by Bryan Knowles // Feb 10, 2022 - 10:30pm
I'm with you on Ware, or at least that he's AS worthy as Seymour. My five coming into this was [Willis/Thomas], [Wayne/Holt/Johnson], Seymour, Ware and Butler. I do get finally putting Boselli in as well; short career but great while he was actually playing. I'd have put Ware in before Young and possibly Mills, though I think I may be underrating Mills USFL career -- three All-USFL nods, two championships. It is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, after all, not the NFL Hall of Fame.
I think Allen was a clear rung below the Wares of the world, though your mileage may vary.
#13 by theslothook // Feb 10, 2022 - 11:26pm
Can you expand on why Ware over Allen clearly?
As an aside, I'll be honest. No one did careful film study charting during Seymores prime. Or for that matter anyone else in the periods prior who never touched the ball. We are sort of left at the mercy of All pro tallies based on voters who have questionable motives to say the least. One can easily imagine a winners bias. So that means guys like Shaun Ellis or Kyle Williams who toiled away on bad teams are going to get the short end of the stick.
But let's go with Seymore. It's sort of taken as gospel that Seymour is a Hall of famer, but I believe this is partly a function of the fact that the Patriots won a lot and that there's a sense of moral indignation that they don't have more Hall of famers. But I believe the Patriots run is built mostly on Brady, Dante Scar, and Belichick coaching than a particular collection of Hall of famers. Seymour, if he is a hall of famer, certainly didn't put that on display in Oakland so it makes me question his validity over Ware in that respect. Allen was so great that he could go anywhere and do well and he did
#16 by mehllageman56 // Feb 11, 2022 - 12:27am
Seymour wasn't a better player than Shaun Ellis. 57.5 sacks to 73.5. Seymour has the three All-Pros from 2003 to 2005 though. But remember he had Wilfork and Warren on the line with him. I'd rather Wilfork made it, but that's not going to happen. Joe Klecko had two All Pros, four Pro Bowls and also had 78 sacks, and he's not getting in. Seymour needs to mail some flowers to Brady ASAP.
#33 by Will Allen // Feb 11, 2022 - 11:28am
Somehow, the guy who was a clear rung below Ware blocked more than twice as many passes Ware. This must mean that blocking passes is a random event, or that a blocked pass has minimal value. Or something.
This is no argument against Ware, by the way, who is clearly deserving.
#23 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 11, 2022 - 9:05am
Seymour I feel rides in on a ringz argument. Of the dynasty Pats, really only Brady and a lesser extent Welker's skill traveled with them -- and Welker was an import anyway. Gronk gets an asterisk both ways, as he traveled with his QB, but was also acknowledged as a shell of his former self. But most of the Patriots didn't take their skills with them when they left, which strongly suggests they were elevated by the system in which they played.
He had two good seasons with Oakland, but even in his rewarded seasons, Tommy Kelly was putting up better numbers at the same position, but he didn't have three rings and four SB appearances. But someone from the front seven was getting in, and it ended up being Seymour.
#48 by RickD // Feb 11, 2022 - 1:52pm
How are you measuring D-line production? Seymour kept making Pro Bowls in Oakland for a pretty bad team.
Seymour was a much better all-around D-lineman than Allen and Ware were. He did more than get a sack/game, which is what the best sack specialists average. Seymour could play any position on the line, and was even brought in as a fullback on offense in goal-line plunges.
#61 by theslothook // Feb 11, 2022 - 3:04pm
Ware and Allen started producing results during the time that pressures are being charted. They were both off the charts and consistent, so it's not like they lucked into a bunch of sacks. Alan even made multiple of Dr Z's all pro teams, something Richard Seymour did exactly once when I looked through them recently.
I'm not sure you and I did enough film study on all three of these players to proclaim one did his job better than the other definitively.
However, one reason I feel better about ware and Allen is because the Patriots defensively have always been more about scheme and players doing their jobs than any individual talents. Sure there are certain players who are outliers in this respect, but I don't think Seymour was one of them.
#17 by David // Feb 11, 2022 - 7:34am
As a fellow 49ers fan, I would point out that although I also think Willis is better than Mills and Thomas, I disagree that it's an easy decision. Some points to mull over:
- Willis had a comparatively short career - that matters if you're thinking about total career value. Willis played 112 games compared to ~180 for both Mills and Thomas, plus Mills had 3 years in the USFL
- MLB became less important over time, so Mills and Thomas were (comparatively) more important to their teams than Willis was
- Voting for Willis ahead of Thomas and Mills is basically saying that you'll never vote for Mills & Thomas - I doubt voters are ready to make that statement (even to themselves) which makes it easier to talk yourself into Mills or Thomas
I can therefore understand how a voter can talk themselves into Mills ahead of Willis (particularly in a "I'll vote for Mills this time, and Willis next time" kind of a way)
I disagree with it, but I understand it
#50 by RickD // Feb 11, 2022 - 1:54pm
I'd agree that clearly peak Willis was better than peak Mills. But it was time for Mills.
I hope that they'll eventually look past Patrick Willis's relatively short career and consider that he retired when he had a concussion history and other players in his mold had been getting severe CTE.
#54 by bravehoptoad // Feb 11, 2022 - 2:06pm
The main reason he retired was because of his feet. It was a really odd retirement speech, basically an ode to his feet:
And I know that for me, if I had anything left in these feet, you all have seen me. You all have seen me have surgery, break my hand on a Sunday, have surgery on a Monday and play on a Thursday with a cast on. Not one time, but I've done it numerous times and you all have seen it, but it's something about these feet. When you don't have your feet, and for me it's what made me who I am, that's why I really believe in the Bible verse, Psalm 18:32-33 it says, ‘It's the Lord who makes my way perfect. Even when we're standing on heights he makes my feet like the feet of a deer.' I really believe when people say, ‘Man how does he run like that, did you see him chase that guy down, did you see him do this?' I don't know what it is about these feet, but they've got you all saying, ‘Wow, who was that guy? Wow, where did he come from?' And that's the kind of stuff that I understand and that I no longer have that in these feet to go out there and to give you guys that kind of wow.
He goes on...gets to his toes, even.
#20 by Pat // Feb 11, 2022 - 8:20am
Mills seriously shocks the heck out of me, although I'll fully admit to dismissing the USFL period. Young, too.
It's not that I don't think Mills is deserving, I just didn't think he had a chance in hell of making it. No big impact stat totals, very few accolades, and teammates with more of both. Absolutely the kind of candidate that gets ignored, as confirmed by the fact that he was ignored for so long.
Makes Zach Thomas a friggin no brainer in the future, though. (Even more than he was!)
Mills getting in clogs up the ballot more, though, since otherwise he would've dropped off. Maybe we'll get lucky and Hester will be one of the super rare people who drops down from finalist level.
#7 by theslothook // Feb 10, 2022 - 10:19pm
They need to make a position grouping award of the year because no one who doesn't touch the ball it's going to be recognized on offense. And rarely will people who don't put up counting stats on defense get recognized.
#10 by justanothersteve // Feb 10, 2022 - 11:09pm
Very happy both Butler and Young are now in. I'm fine with the rest of the class, though I wouldn't have voted for Mills or Boselli who I think are Hall of Very Good. But Butler and Young along with Seymour and Branch more than make up for it.
#11 by colonialbob // Feb 10, 2022 - 11:15pm
*puts on homer hat*
Burrow over Dak? For real? Looks less bad with him in the Super Bowl, I guess, but man. Parsons was blindingly obvious but cool that he was unanimous, Quinn I'm happy for but also kinda ambivalent about.
Disappointed Ware didn't get into the Hall, but I won't be too mad for another couple of years.
*takes off homer hat*
#19 by Joey-Harringto… // Feb 11, 2022 - 7:52am
Not a Dallas fan either, but I agree Dak should have been the choice. As has been mentioned above, Burrow played over half the season. And not to minimize Burrow's injury, but Prescott's injury looked absolutely devastating....to the point where in real time some were wondering if he would be ready for the start of the following season, and questioning whether he would remain at the same level of play.
#30 by colonialbob // Feb 11, 2022 - 10:31am
That's what I don't understand about it... maybe I'm just too plugged into FO vs "traditional" media, but I don't remember hearing all that much Burrow love until at least the win over the Titans. I wonder if the regular season win over the Chiefs gave him the "highlight reel moment" that pushed him over, especially since the Cowboys seemed to have their worst games in the national spotlight. Which is a dumb way to vote, but hey.
#41 by matu_72 // Feb 11, 2022 - 12:49pm
There were definitely some people jumping on the Burrow bandwagon with that late season hot streak the Bengals went on to win the division. To the point where some people were asking whether Burrow should be getting some MVP consideration. The playoff run wasn't the start of the Burrow hype, it just enhanced it.
#107 by Noahrk // Feb 13, 2022 - 1:30pm
That's because Burrow had below average DVOA until he blew up the Ravens on Week 16. I remember well because I looked it up at that time. Anyway, I'mNew makes the definitive argument, Burrow shouldn't even be under consideration for the award.
#51 by RickD // Feb 11, 2022 - 1:56pm
What was Burrow coming back to?
He had a great second-year jump, but he hadn't established himself before the injury. Dak had a major injury and returned to his previous, very-high level.
Just brainless voting.
#68 by NYChem // Feb 11, 2022 - 3:44pm
Yeah, he showed a flash or two, along similar lines of trevor lawrence this year IMO, but the overall result prior to injury was largely mediocre (albeit, rookie adjusted better than mediocre of course). So if he had 'come back', it would have been a come back to mediocrity.
Agreed, great second year jump. An award for most improved sophomore (or full second year) would probably be something worth having in the league, not that I want to increase the number of awards too much. Joe Burrow? Hands down most improved sophomore (sponsored by Noxema?), and worthy of recognition. All the ink about the second year leap - an award would lead to arguments about who had the best second year leap. Could be a new triweekly Tanier segment...
#25 by big10freak // Feb 11, 2022 - 9:31am
Very glad for LB. I understand there are folks who think GB has too many players in the HOF. But Butler was the best overall defensive player on a very successful team for an extended period. Won't bother with the individual honors as folks here know those as well as anyone.
Great player, better person
#82 by DisplacedPackerFan // Feb 11, 2022 - 8:16pm
I quibble a bit, even if I end up agreeing, mostly because I do want to highlight some of the stats. But partly because I think the argument is closer than a quick glance might indicate because Butler was better than people remember. So I want to talk about it more because I loved watching him play. I loved seeing him come out of seemingly nowhere on the TV angles to make a stop or watch him punch a ball out or grab a beautiful INT.
Reggie was awesome so so fun to watch and was still a force of nature in Green Bay but his best years were in Philly. White could still take over a game and could still just humiliate a lineman. His club move was a thing of violent beauty. Counting against him though is that Butler's peak coincided with Reggies time in GB. Butler 1990-2001, well half of 01 before the injury, White was 1993-1998. So Butler was 25-30 and White was 32-37 years old. Peak Butler vs aging White isn't quite as clear cut. As for best defender on the team keep in mind Butler only played half his career with White. During the overlap some of those seasons were close to who was best each year and Butler can lay claim to a few outside that overlap. Overall White was clearly a better player no doubt but he had 8 years down before he and Butler played together. So things narrow up a bit.
Of course Shurmur was great at utilizing what both of them could do and they actually fed off each other. Not something you think about a lot with a safety and an edge but the schemes really did work that way. Man I miss those defenses.... Shurmur designed a lot of things around Butler because Butler could do so much. It didn't go as far as Buddy Ryan naming a defense after the jersey number of the safety come linebacker, Doug Plank, 46, but he did design much of what the defense did around Butler. He tried to disguise what he was doing, was he run support, was he a pass rusher, was he the slot corner, was he roaming center field? His usage and the defense being partly designed around him is another thing to consider in who was the best player on those teams.
I'll still give it to White for their overlap, but it wasn't as clear cut as some might think and it might just be a 4 years to 2 split. Butler was a stud and it was Butler the Broncos schemed around in the Super Bowl, not White. Sadly their plan worked, though given Shurmur's talent I don't think it would have worked a second time. Mostly unrelated but I will state one more time White should have been Super Bowl MVP against the Pats, not Desmond Howard, though that is just a tangential sore spot of mine.
Award wise (flawed metric but not valueless). In their time together Butler got 4 AP1 and 4 PB. White got 2 AP1, 4 AP2, and 6 PB with a DPoY (Butler was 6th for DPoY in the same year, 98). Again kinda reflects Butlers peak vs Whites still amazing slight decline.
96 and 97, the Super Bowl years, are ones that I will give to Butler over White. Those are peak Butler vs nearly end of career White which speaks very highly of White still. Sadly we don't have passes defensed (both would have some to their credit) or pressure numbers but old school counting stats can show the impact for a league leading defense in 96 and top 5 in 97 (96 lead in traditional, 4156 yards and 13.1 ppg, as well as DVOA, -19.6%).
96 Butler 5 INT, 1 FF, 6.5 Sacks, 87 tackles, (for fun 18 AV)
96 White 1 INT, 3 FF, 8.5 Sacks, 39 tackles, (18 AV)
97 Butler 5 INT, 1 FF, 3.0 Sacks, 103 tackles, (14 AV)
97 White 0 INT, 0 FF, 11.0 Sacks, 46 tackles, (15 AV)
All 4 of those stat lines are great and both players deserved the praise they got but those Butler numbers are pretty nuts for a safety and Whites are more very good edge rusher. 94 is another year that was close but Butler missed 3 games so his impact was lessened. Even in the years I'm giving the moniker to White, like 93, you still have 6 INT, 2 FF, 1 Sack, 90 tackles for Butler vs 3 FF, 13 Sacks, 79 tackles for White. It's not like it was a huge difference Butler actually gets more AV 16 to 15 for those 93 numbers. AV has it's pros and cons, it's not useless but this is the 2nd example where I think the higher rate player wasn't as impactful that season out of the 3 I listed.
I partly added the 93 stats since that was without Shurmur at D Coordinator, that was Ray Rhodes last of his 2 year tenure. Though Rhodes moving him from CB (he was a CB in his first 2 seasons with Bullough as coordinator) was a good move and Rhodes was a solid coordinator. Butler played under 4 head coaches and 5 defensive coordinators and at worst he was very good, at his best he was All Pro. Sure his numbers were the best under Shurmur but he was the only coordinator who was good enough to be able to create schemes around him and fully utilize what he could do without exposing something else.
Anyway it was a long winded way of saying that while he may not have been as good as White even when they played together it was a close a thing and not being as good as Reggie White at football can be said about nearly every human who as ever lived, including the majority of the Hall of Fame, as you stated. Butler was so good at his best that I think he was better in those few years samples than White was when he was only at 85-95% of his best which says something too.
Butler should have been in the HoF years ago, ahead of some of the other safeties who made it, but at least now he is in so the waiting doesn't really matter anymore.
#84 by big10freak // Feb 12, 2022 - 8:34am
Good work. I hold to my stance that having watched every snap they played together supplemented by decades of football observation that Butler was the better all around player while they were on the same team.
#95 by DisplacedPackerFan // Feb 12, 2022 - 6:01pm
I'll buy that argument. I wasn't always able to see every game in those days and with the TV angles (and not even 16:9 but 4:3 ratio) I saw a lot more White than Butler so it was harder to judge. From what I remember if given the All-22 to watch I could probably be brought around. Right now I have to rely on my limited memory and traditional stats which paints Reggie as a little bit better than LeRoy.
Obviously I don't have access to charting data and all that. I believe that Butler would have had very good coverage stats too and would have rated highly in defeats for example. Of course White would have had some good pressure numbers and defeats himself. But I can see current advanced stats helping paint a picture to help show just how good Butler was. Maybe I should put more weight on the fact the defensive coordinator designed much of what the defense did around him and was very successful with those defenses. That really does say a lot about how good he was.
So yeah if anyone says you are nuts or wrong for you stance, send em my way if you like, because while it might be hard to prove given the stats we have, I think I've already done a good job of showing that it is at least a close thing and they, like me, may have to admit that their memories are tainted by what they could see on TV and how much hype the media gave White (deservedly he was a stud) to keep him in our minds and how they should have hyped the man who invented the Lambeau Leap more!
#96 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 12, 2022 - 7:11pm
White was a prototypical DL, we expecting him to drop into coverage like Butler?
Probably more correct to say Butler was more valuable. Hence why Shanahan game played around him. Because even then it was passing league and coverage>pass rush. You can always help OL by chipping/running plays in the opposite direction/etc.
Although White is probably in his own tier of pass rushing (yes even sans Lawrence Taylor, et al). Is still the one one to win DPOTY on multiple teams so unlikely a system player if anyone tries to come at it from that angle.
#70 by NYChem // Feb 11, 2022 - 3:48pm
Hope this isn't his career peak. Those nagging injuries this year have me noivous. Absent the once in a multi-generation talent like Aaron Donald, he probably wins last year and has a two year streak going. But I see his big brother, hit his peak early with multiple DPOYs, and still a dominant force when healthy, but nothing like he was when he was actually usually healthy...
#27 by theslothook // Feb 11, 2022 - 9:40am
I am mildly surprised Rodgers won the MVP. No judgement implied, but missing a game due to Covid, lying about getting vaccinated and then turning around and blaming everyone else for starting a witch-hunt would and did draw ire from potential voters. You couple that with a very muddled class of candidates and I thought Brady was the favorite though I was hoping Kupp would get it.
#31 by Mike Tanier // Feb 11, 2022 - 10:32am
NFL voters for awards and the Hall (two different but overlapping voter sets) do a much better job of compartmentalizing on-field accomplishments and off-field issues than, say, MLB voters, who think they are a College of Cardinals.
#28 by Mike Tanier // Feb 11, 2022 - 10:28am
Hey, Mike Tanier here! My brief Hall of Fame thoughts:
As expected, this was a clearinghouse year for longtime finalists Boselli, Butler and Seymour. Mills was a modest surprise: this was his final year on the traditional ballot before getting shunted over to the Seniors category, and the pro-Mills contingent of the selection committee apparently put its foot down, something which does not often happen. (See Clay Matthews and Joe Jacoby, among others). Mills' induction likely blocked fellow linebacker Zach Thomas' path to entry; Thomas was the biggest "snub" this year but is now positioned to get waved through in 2023.
Young's swift induction is also a moderate surprise. Young's support among former players and coaches was overwhelming, and the committee likely decided that there was no point in making him wait. Young's induction does create potential logjams at other positions. Wide receivers Torry Holt, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne all remain on the ballot, with Steve Smith and others backing up in the semifinalist queue, while Jared Allen and DeMarcus Ware are about to be joined by many other edge rushers.
One more thought before we open up the board: with Branch joining Drew Pearson and Harold Carmichael among 1970s wide receivers in the Hall of Fame, Lynn Swann and John Stallworth no longer look like egregious "COUNT THE RINGZ" selections. My pet project for the Seniors Committee is now Louis Wright, the Broncos cornerback of the late 1970s and 80s who, I believe, is more deserving than his teammate and popular cause celebre Randy Gradishar.
#32 by theslothook // Feb 11, 2022 - 11:01am
Next year's class is going to be interesting. As Tanier wrote above, Freeney and Harrison now join Ware and Allen. In addition, Revis and Joe Thomas enter the conversation as well.
To me, Revis and Thomas are no brainers and probably more deserving of the hall than even Ware if I am forced to pick. But this post is about Revis.
He was such an outlier relative to his position. The undisputed cb king who was everyone's go to answer for who do you trust against the games best receiver.
In the NFL, coverage is partly about the broader scheme. You play your coverages in concert with other players that either amplify your game or minimize your weaknesses. Revis was the scheme. Rex Ryan was not shy about this, loudly proclaiming to anyone and everyone exactly what Revis' assignment would be that week.
And consider this. If the game has gotten easier to throw and accumulate stats, than the converse is true...defending it has become much more difficult than in the past. Furthermore, since the advent of charting, cb is one of the most volatile positions year after year. Consistency at that position is indeed extremely rare. That's how Josh Norman and Nmadi could be the toast of the league at one point and cannon fodder the next.
Add it all up and to me, it suggests Revis belongs in the discussion among the absolute best defenders of all time. He won't get that kind of love, but I think he deserves it.
#36 by Mike Tanier // Feb 11, 2022 - 11:51am
Joe Thomas is a 99% lock for the first ballot. Revs around 75%. Zach Thomas has about a 90% chance of getting in so they can tee up Willis for 2024.
Then the committee will have to deal with the fact that Ware has more support among Old Timers, particularly one very influential one, but Allen is also popular but ahead of Ware in the queue.
So at this point, it comes down to positions where the committee has figured out how to line guys up vs. positions (edge, WR) where a few similar finalists are now gumming up the works.
#42 by Pat // Feb 11, 2022 - 12:53pm
It'd be nice if Thomas and Revis were the only two first-time finalists, but the funny thing for me is that the semifinalists from last year outside of those who made it, to me, are really weak. Wilfork, maybe? Woodson? I know you've pushed for Fred Taylor before but to me that's just such a massive, massive stretch. Steve Smith?
I still can't believe Kevin Williams isn't at the semifinalist stage, so maybe he just leaps to finalist, who knows. Freeney? Harrison? Really?
Thomas, Revis, Freeney... then Williams (hopefully) and maybe Smith/Woodson?
There's actually quite a lull in first-time finalist candidates in the next few years. In '24 you only pick up Gates and Peppers, and I don't think there's even a remote argument for anyone else. '25 has Kuechly and Suggs, and I'm sure someone'll argue for Earl Thomas and Marshawn Lynch, but they're definitely not locks.
Then, of course, we just hand the damn ballot to the first timers in '26 and '27.
#43 by theslothook // Feb 11, 2022 - 1:00pm
Is the backlog at wide receiver and edge purely coincidental( ie - they just happened to generate a lot of hall of famers over this period) or, more likely, they put up visible production in an era that continues to revolve almost exclusively on the passing game?
I like Reggie Wayne. I like Steve Smith too. Who are their left tackle or d tackle counterparts? Can we even come up with credible names? I guarantee this, whoever we do is unlikely to make the hall of fame or even become a semi finalist.
It feels like there are obvious blind spots all over the place.
#45 by Pat // Feb 11, 2022 - 1:41pm
Wayne/Smith's careers ran from '01 to 14/16 respectively: over the same period you've also got Calvin Johnson and Fitz, roughly. Tackle-wise you've got Joe Thomas and Jason Peters who are automatic, so your "unlikely to make the Hall" bit isn't right. (For the 2000s, you've already got 3 guys enshrined there).
The positions you want to focus on are G/C/DT, not left tackle.
#49 by theslothook // Feb 11, 2022 - 1:53pm
My point is, for other positions, the standard appears to be obvious Hall of famer and everyone else is borderline or not even worthy of consideration. You mentioned Fred Taylor. It would be impossible to name a Fred Taylor equivalent at left tackle or at least I cannot. Essentially a questionable left tackle candidate that is somehow under consideration anyways.
#57 by Pat // Feb 11, 2022 - 2:47pm
I don't understand why Matt Light's not even been a nominee. I know you can say "hey, they didn't miss a beat after he left" but they replaced him with a friggin' first-rounder, not some random scrub.
Certainly a better candidate than Jake Long.
#62 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 11, 2022 - 3:10pm
Light is a Gross clone. I picked Gross because I was looking for a guy who lasted about 10 years in Jackson's era with decent but not spectacular numbers for a relatively anonymous team and was occasionally considered for a PB/AP.
But Light would be pretty similar.
Fred Jackson was a poor man's Curtis Martin. Jake Long is a poor man's Tony Boselli.
#64 by Pat // Feb 11, 2022 - 3:23pm
But Light would be pretty similar.
Yeah, I'm just pointing out that Light didn't even make the nominee list and Gross did. Only real difference is that Light played for a high-profile team, but, I mean... that should be a positive.
#72 by Pat // Feb 11, 2022 - 4:21pm
Light, Mankins and Koppen played the most by far, though, and, well, Koppen's a center. Mankins is already a nominee. I wouldn't complain if Koppen was a nominee, but that's just because I think centers are massively underappreciated.
I think Scarnecchia absorbs a lot of that credit.
That's... a bit weird reasoning. Scar was a great coach but he didn't actually play in the games. You've gotta give the credit to the guys who actually play. I mean, if Scarnecchia's an epic coach, then you'd kinda trust that the guys that got kept around were worth keeping.
Keep in mind I'm not saying Light should be in the Hall (I don't think he should) just WTF are you doing talking about Jake Long.
#73 by Aaron Brooks G… // Feb 11, 2022 - 4:40pm
Long was really good early, when he was healthy. (4 PBs, 2 APs) 2011 was basically his last great season and 2013 the last full one. He's basically Boselli if Boselli had gone four years before breaking down, instead of six.
Why Scarnecchia? Because it seemed like he could turn anyone into a decent blocker. He even got Randy Moss to block!
#80 by Pat // Feb 11, 2022 - 5:21pm
2011 was a reputation year for Long, he absolutely wasn't that good. That was the start of the injury collapse.
Also need to be careful with the Pro Bowl count, his first was injury replacement. PFR's Pro Bowl database isn't great as replacements didn't start becoming super-common until they moved it before the Super Bowl.
He's basically Boselli if Boselli had gone four years before breaking down, instead of six.
More like 2 years instead of 6. Maybe 2.5. Long was very good for a rookie his first year, but he wasn't insane or anything. And that's the point - you can't cut down Boselli's career and really even be in contention. You've gotta be top end for at least a typical contract length. Boselli's career was super short already.
#87 by Pat // Feb 12, 2022 - 10:33am
To be clear I don't think Mankins is some huge Hall snub, especially with the bar for guards set so high. He's just the only longtime Patriot lineman actually in the nominees, which is a little surprising.
It's one thing to tout Brady's pocket presence/motion, but there's got to *be* a pocket for him, period.
#100 by mehllageman56 // Feb 13, 2022 - 1:15am
Personally, I always thought Light was overrated. He couldn't seem to block John Abraham when Abraham was healthy, and I remember a game where Aaron Schobel went nuts against the Patriots. I might add, the Patriots won that game because Brady is a tough sob, and the Pats beat the Jets most of the time too.
Mankins was a great player, I would have no qualms about him making the hall. I feel he was a better player than Seymour even though he had less first team All-Pros.
I also agree that more centers should be in the Hall. I'll give you a Koppen and raise you a Mangold.
#104 by Pat // Feb 13, 2022 - 12:53pm
Again I'm not actually making a Hall argument for Light, although "overrated" is a bit much since... he wasn't really "rated." The Patriots paid him pretty low, like almost 50% of top tackle salary. I definitely wouldn't put Light much under Gross or Brown or Long, although with Long, okay you've got the peak/length argument.
Mankins should be getting more consideration, definitely.
#56 by Pat // Feb 11, 2022 - 2:34pm
My point is, for other positions,
Yes, obviously, the non-stat related positions. Although I'm not really sure I'd agree regarding "there are no borderlines" considering I've seen plenty of frickin' obvious Hall of Fame players have to wait years (Alan Faneca).
It would be impossible to name a Fred Taylor equivalent at left tackle
Willie Anderson. Pretty darn solid equivalent - one of the best players on a garbage team who never got recognized until Palmer came along to draw attention to him. He's been a nominee for a while, finalist this year, hasn't made it in yet. There are a lot of utter crap candidates at the nominee level, though. I don't know why Matt Light wasn't a nominee, for one.
I totally agree with your point, though, that stat positions tend to clog up the semi and finalist ballots with bunches of marginal candidates, and plenty of those candidates slip in.
The actual players who get in aren't that bad, for the most part. Bit low on G/C/DT/ILB. They seem to be making a serious push for ILB, which is cool (now start actually talking about centers, damnit). Although that'll seriously be tested in upcoming years, if all those WRs get in.
#101 by mehllageman56 // Feb 13, 2022 - 1:19am
We'll see. I expect him to be kept out a year just because he played for the Jets. The NY media blows subjects up, but they used to be biased for the Giants, and knock the Jets down. As I stated in a different thread, Joe Klecko lost the DPOY in 1981 to Lawrence Taylor, who had 11 sacks less than him that year. Now it seems they drag down both teams, so we'll see how everything works out.
#85 by big10freak // Feb 12, 2022 - 8:44am
I know as a rationale person that KW is certainly a viable candidate. But as a Packer fan and seeing the line regularly handle Williams most games I somewhat shrug at his candidacy. GB would have games where a Doleman or an Allen could be a problem. But not Williams. Or at least not very often.
But it’s not the “Hall of guys who played well against GB”. Williams merits strong consideration
#89 by Pat // Feb 12, 2022 - 10:37am
Treating lines as though they're individual battles isn't quite as bad as pretending WRs run individual routes, but it's still bad. It's not disrespectful to give Williams some of Allen's credit because Allen was really, really dominant. Basically all the really top-end DL performances came from multiple top-end players.
#103 by Will Allen // Feb 13, 2022 - 12:24pm
The same people who made him 1st team All Pro 5 times said this year he shouldn't make the semifinalist round. Again, he has 40% more blocked passes than the next defensive tackle.
There's no rhyme or reason to this, other than the possible rationale of "Hey, we almost howleyed Bryant Young, so let's make sure he gets the induction he should have received years ago"
#90 by Pat // Feb 12, 2022 - 10:53am
Gotta do it quickly. He's probably not doing it in 25 with Rivers, Brees, Witten, Fitz probably zipping right there, and 26 seeing Brady, Roethlisberger, and maybe Peterson, Gronk, and Peters. Maybe Kelce if he retires. And Gore. Who knows, maybe JJ Watt, too. Or Julio Jones. Antonio Brown. Jeez. Obviously they won't all retire, but if even a quarter of the 8 do, that's a full ballot.
26 legitimately might not have enough slots for people the committee thinks are first-time Hall members, let alone finalists!
#93 by Independent George // Feb 12, 2022 - 3:15pm
Unless you're a sack specialist like Sapp or Randle, DT is a really hard position to get noticed by the press (though competent coaching staffs and front offices typically do). Case in point: Young spent his career with the 49ers, who didn't even bother trying to retain then-DPOY Dana Stubblefield (who went to the Washington Snyders, and we all know how that story always ends). I'm really glad for both Young and Seymour.
#65 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 11, 2022 - 3:24pm
for not having enough sacks (come on yall, we know that's not the end all be all) and not doing enough outside of NE (even though he was a 2x Pro Bowler, and even made 2nd team All Pro by both the AP and PFF, in his just 4 years outside of MA) isn't the reason that should be debated. It's, how did he jump someone like Zach Thomas?
Was an obvious backlog clearing year with Mills and the other 3 finalists, which is fine (especially for Butler who should've already been in..). But somehow Seymour who played 4 years after Thomas some how jumped because he...had less All Pros, wAV (formerly CarAV), and HOFm (relative to position too, Thomas was the 7th highest ILB and Seymour the 11th DE)? Doesn't make much sense. He could've waited because Thomas has been waiting longer. And a 1 LB per class rule is silly so that SHOULDN'T explain it.
#69 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 11, 2022 - 3:47pm
Packers will have eleven 2021 COTY votes on their staff next year. Shrewd move (Rich did seem to do well with Grudens mess, so I quite like having him on, even if his ST coordinating may be a tad overrated, not that a GB fan can be picky at this point)
#92 by Independent George // Feb 12, 2022 - 3:07pm
I think the fundamental problem with the Pro Football HOF is that we're limited to five (non-veterans committee) inductees in a normal year. This might be a fine limitation for basketball, but there are 22 starting position players on an NFL team compared to 5 in the NBA, and 8 + starting pitcher in baseball. I have yet to see a year where I was 100% against somebody getting in; the argument is always about how long it takes, or whether [X] should go in ahead of [Y]. The most questionable candidates typically comes down to a debate over peak vs longevity.
Sam Mills gets in on his last year of eligibility, but they had to push Zach Thomas back to do so. LeRoy Butler finally gets in, and it only took this long because of the previous backlog. Tanier mentioned in one of the podcasts that every team has its linebacker, but I view that as an argument in favor of more inductees, not less. It's not that all of those linebackers are unworthy; it's that we have a huge backlog due in part to the glut of QBs and RBs.
#97 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 12, 2022 - 8:27pm
With one 5x Pro Bowler, 3x AP 1st team All Pro, 0x champ + 1 year of only being recognized by the UPI w/a 2nd team All Conf, spending 5 of his 7 years in the 90 making it in, what's holding Sterling Sharpe from being in too?
#98 by DisplacedPackerFan // Feb 12, 2022 - 9:42pm
I think he's a hall of famer. But I think the arguments against him were length of career, and that his NFL records for receptions didn't stand long so some saw his outstanding production as just part of the change in the game and others didn't think he produced long enough. I personally disagree with both arguments but I think those are the reasons he didn't make it.
Terrell Davis later made the short career a moot point as poster child of short career high peak they both had 7 year careers (don't care if the last 3 for TD were injury riddled messes) and it's arguable that Sharpe was productive for the entire 7 years and TD wasn't for the injury riddled years. Factor in that he was catching passes from Don Majkowski, Anthony Dilweg, and Mike Tomczak for 4 of those 7 years and still putting up league leading numbers and his production looks even more impressive. Don't care if it's RB vs WR, precedent is precedent. So if you think TD is a HOF'r you would be hard pressed to say Sharpe isn't. Also it's not like his career was much shorter than Calvin Johnsons and he was just as dominant during his peak as Megatron. Something that his brother Shannon, who also was quoted as saying Sterling was a better player than himself, has been vocal about recently as well.
While 112 catch seasons and 1400 yard seasons are more common now, they are still rare. His production was not just because the game was changing. He was a stud. The WR triple crown that he won in 1992 is amazing regardless of era. I mean we've had 16 seasons (thanks for adding another Kupp it's always cool to see) where that happened and 5 of those were Don Hutson who put up numbers in the 30s and 40s that didn't become common until the 80s so was just playing a different game.
Sharpe (88-94) was also getting all these rewards and setting records while Jerry Rice was in his prime. He entered the league 3 years after Rice (85-04). So yeah one AP slot was basically always locked by the GOAT and Sharpe was getting the other 3 out of 7 times. Sure he wasn't as good at football as Jerry Rice, but like with Reggie White that's true of nearly every human being including those in the HoF.
Take away this play and one of the biggest "What If?" questions in the NFL plays out differently. I mean that didn't look as gruesome as others but vertebrae and nerves in the neck are delicate things. Take away the catastrophic injury and even if his production dipped (doubtful considering how much better he was with Favre throwing him passes) and he gets just 2 or 3 more seasons and no one argues against him. This was also pre-MVP Favre before Holmgren had finally gotten through to him about why mechanics and the playbook were important. Sharpe's average season with Favre was 105-1285-14. So yeah 2 or 3 more years anywhere close to that with what he had already done.... 80% of that is still 80 catches and 1000 yard seasons and double digit TDs.
Hopefully the seniors committee will fix this omission.
#102 by ImNewAroundThe… // Feb 13, 2022 - 8:40am
Because his peak included an MVP, some ringz and one of its MVP, and a couple OPOTY.
Calvin Johnson went in on different sus precedent getting first ballot but TO not.
But with Boselli in (which is probably fine), his resume is eerily similar to Sharpes. And Sharpe actually got at least a 2nd team mention in 5/7. Boselli only 4/7.
The argument they're leaning on is relative strength of the position. I guess theres less OTs better than Boselli than there are WRs better than Sharpe, hence the higher HOFm and all 90s team. But does that outweigh waiting longer? Waiting so long that Bosellis entire career started after his and got in before?