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NFL Reveals HOF Semifinalists for 2020

The NFL revealed the 25 semifinalists for next year's Hall of Fame class. This list will get whittled down to 15 in January, then the five who make it in will be announced before the Super Bowl. There are a number of first-time semifinalists, from newer players on the ballot such as Reggie Wayne, Patrick Willis, and Troy Polamalu to older players including Bryant Young and Carl Banks. I thought it was interesting there are no quarterbacks this year; we must be in a quarterback lull. Who do you think should get in from this list?

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35 comments, Last at 03 Dec 2019, 11:26am

1 I think Troy definitely…

I think Troy definitely deserves to be in. Reggie I like a lot, but I think Bruce was probably better. Willis I wouldn't have a problem with. Didn't see enough of Bryant Young or any of Carl Banks.

2 I think polamolu, Atwater,…

I think polamolu, Atwater, Hutchinson, Bruce would make the a great start of a class. Zach Thomas would be my 5th, though fanaca or James seem great choices.

6 To be fair, the posts were…

To be fair, the posts were quite old and not particularly inflammatory I would say,and he also recognized as, insensitive. 

It was pretty apparent that it was the work of an angry fanboy group to ruin his career as well, not legitimately aggrieved persons.

He took it pretty hard too, he is a young guy. Still active on Twitter though waiting for his next opportunity.

Not judging FO for their decisions btw this is a business, and especially given their well-earned relationships and positioning, those types of posts are simply not viable in today's world IMO.

Don't want to start a PolFlameWar just think Scott deserves a bit more context.


13 Riiiiiiiight.  They were 5-6…

Riiiiiiiight.  They were 5-6 years old (not “quite old”) and there were a bunch of them, and “not particularly inflammatory” is a joke.

Anyhow, there was some discussion of this in the SB53 Preview article comments.

14 well...

Scott was notorious on Twitter for bickering with people.  It caught up with him.  Media outlets generally don't want writers that sour their relationships with their readers.  


18 Media outlets generally don…

In reply to by RickD

Media outlets generally don't want writers that sour their relationships with their readers.  

He should fit right in at ESPN, then. They seem to only employ abrasive assholes.

10 Without digging too deeply, …

Without digging too deeply, I'd go initially with Barber, Faneca, Hutchinson, Polamalu, maybe Bryant or Atwater.

Definite no: Lynch, Willis.

15 a backlog year

explains how guys like Fred Taylor and Carl Banks get into the semifinalist group after being eligible for years.

Hutchinson: yes
Willis: actually the best in the NFL at his position for several years, which puts him ahead of many people already in Hall
Zach Thomas: too small. (sorry, that's obligatory). Wouldn't have a problem. Maybe should get in before Willis?
Faneca: never really have a good feel for lineman play
Seymour: my homer pick
Polamalu: wish he'd kept his play level up longer. Probably should get in at some point. His hair should get in on the first ballot.
Darren Woodson: don't we have a cap on Woodsons?

If Jerry Jones is in already, Bob Kraft should certainly get in. Though now is clearly not the time for that.

I don't feel like we have slam dunk candidates this year like we did last year.

19 Woodson sits comfortably…

In reply to by RickD

Woodson sits comfortably behind the Lynch/Sharper/Polamalu set (AV has those three tied).

I would probably rank them Polamalu-Sharper-Lynch.

34 I know weighted AV's not an…

I know weighted AV's not an end-all, be-all, but both Lynch (at 87 AV) and Polamalu (at 94 AV) sits well with the AV of other HOF DBs whose careers extended into the late 2000s or early 2010s: Law (85), Dawkins (100), Reed (106). Woodson's a fair amount behind (at 75 AV), similar to Atwater (78 AV).

Ronde Barber is actually ahead of all of them (at 110 AV) and really clearly should be a Hall of Famer, in my opinion. The Bucs defense of the early 2000s was epic mainly because they had top-line talent at all 3 levels, with Sapp, Brooks, and Barber.

22 "Bob Kraft should certainly…

In reply to by RickD

"Bob Kraft should certainly get in" No owner should get in. Some of the founders do belong in the Hall but any owner since the AFL merger hasn't done shit except spend money and get lucky. And/or get arrested for getting hand jobs.

33 I think the NFL realized…

I think the NFL realized that there was a real possibility of nobody getting in.


I guess the upside of getting old is actually having seen most of these guys play. 

Definitely belong: Bryant Young, Troy Polamalu

I would also vote for: Clay Matthews, Sam Mills, Patrick Willis, Tony Boselli, Richard Seymour

I could be talked into voting for: Carl Banks, Ronde Barber, Isaac Bruce, LeRoy Butler, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson, Zach Thomas

Probably wouldn't vote for the rest, but with the exception of Simeon Rice and Ricky Watters, I think the rest are all worthy of consideration.

35 Barber should really be more…

Barber should really be more of a slam-dunk: I get the feeling that most people discount his mid-2000s performance because Sapp and Brooks were also on the team, but it was just impossible to pass on the 2002 Bucs, and while Barber didn't have a ton of picks that year, obviously teams are going to shy away from the guy who got 10 picks the year before.

I have no problem with 3 players from the Bucs defense making it into the Hall. That team was good enough to deserve it. 


wopudl bet money these get in someday- R. Barber, Faneca, Polamalu

maybe these get in- Atwater, Bruce, Holt, Hutchinson, James, Watters, Willis, Young

others- I either dont' like them for HOf and/or don't think voters like them enough

Watters gets ripped a lto for some comment he made when with Eags but was verty good all-around RB . ran good, blocked good, caught good, heklped S.F. 49ers win super bwol

24 Here’s my annual post where…

Here’s my annual post where I say that I’d be happy With all 25 going in. I think Tasker is clearly 25th but I’m generally in favor of clearing the backlog.

26 Bryant Young was a…

Bryant Young was a legitimately great DT for those declining Niners teams of the late 90s. I hope he and Seymour both get in, if for no other reason than to set a precedent that a defensive lineman is worth far more than just his sack numbers.

28 agree

I don't fathom fans who look at Seymour's sack totals and dismiss his importance.  Was he inferior to Dwight Freeney?  Freeney averaged 0.576 sacks per game, while Seymour averaged 0.351 sacks per game.  So Seymour would get about 5.5 sacks per season to Freeney's 9.2 sacks/ season.  But Freeney was a "little guy" at 268 lb, while Seymour was huge, at 317 lbs.  And he was also fast.  Freeney's role on the Colts demanded less of him than Seymour's on the Pats.  

The sack statistic is the most overrate stat in football analysis.  The best sack specialist gets barely more than 1 sack per game in a good season.  Facing an offense that might average, say, 70 plays per game, that's just not the biggest contribution.  

29 Freeney's role on the Colts…

In reply to by RickD

Freeney's role on the Colts was to be their only defense against the pass in the 8 games each season that Bob Sanders would miss. If he didn't get at least a pressure, that pass-D wasn't stopping anyone.

30 I agree, the sack by itself…

In reply to by RickD

I agree, the sack by itself is a remarkably overrated statistic, but I think there's a view that sacks correlate with pressure. Historically, its been something like 3 pressures for every sack. So, the thinking goes, a player with 16 sacks is probably generated 48 pressures and that's a big deal. And historically, that's mostly true, though its not a perfect correlation and has some notable outliers in there as well. 


I also wish you hadn't picked on poor dwight freeney. Honestly, comparing the two is hard because they had vastly different roles dictated by the coaches involved. Freeney and Mathis to a lesser degree, were designed to get after the qb as quickly as possible. Contain, gap responsibilities, all of that was eschewed in the name of wreaking havoc as fast as possible. And within the context of the Colts, that made a ton of sense as Manning gave the Colts leads plenty of leads.  


Freeney was also a damn beast at getting to the qb and practically invented the spin move. He's the only one I can remember who ate Ogden's lunch over and over with that thing. He was an athletic marvel and I think should be in the hall of fame. 

Seymore was a much more all around player on a defense that demanded a lot of versatility. I would say he's a hall of famer, but honestly, the Pats didn't even miss him all that much. I barely found much difference between him and Ty Warren. The Patriots have made a career out of plug and play defensive linemen and linebackers. The secondary, and that to at safety and top corner, are the only spots Belichick cannot conjure up competent play out of. 

I might even extend it further - The patriots historically can paper over almost everything on their roster with competent play except for - LT, S, and CB. Of course, give them superstars at those other positions and they will happily not squander them. 





31 I think that in today's pass…

I think that in today's pass-dominant game, sacks and pressures can be as important as interceptions. The point I'd make is that sacks are a contextual statistic that should not to be taken in isolation, and that a player like Young or Seymour could dominate the line even if it didn't show up on the stat sheet. 

Regarding Freeney, I remember Matt Light would basically concede the outside, then as soon as Freeney started his spin, he'd punch out and step back instead of trying to match him laterally. In that exact same moment, Brady would step up & to the side, putting Light directly between them again. Instead of trying (and probably failing) to match Freeney inch for inch, they just worked together and let Freeney spin his way out of position. The amazing thing is that it happened on play after play, and it kept working; I don't remember ever seeing the Colts attempt an adjustment (like bull rushing), or any other team attempt the same tactic. Jason Taylor used to give Brady all kinds of trouble despite being NBA-shaped.