Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

03 Feb 2007

Irvin In, Monk Out of Hall of Fame

The newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are: Gene Hickerson, Michael Irvin, Bruce Matthews, Charlie Sanders, Thurman Thomas and Roger Wehrli.

Art Monk was snubbed again, and I thought this was his best chance. I don't think he's going to make it.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 03 Feb 2007

148 comments, Last at 21 Feb 2007, 1:17am by jte1970


by Otis Taylor \'89 (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:09pm

OK, Roger Wehrli? Does anyone outside of St Louis think he belongs over Lester Hayes? And Charlie Sanders was a nice TE, but HOF? Please - what a joke!

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:15pm

Charlie Sanders is the WTF pick. Russ Grimm or Richard Dent would be a much better choice.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:22pm

Hall of Shame... period!

They elect a person who embodied everything people complain about athletes over someone who supposedly is the embodiment of everything we like about athletes. Too bad Monk wasn't a loud mouthed self promoter who ended up on ESPN.

Irvin getting in over Monk, plus no Grimm really makes it a sad day for all Redskin fans. You wonder if Darrell Green won't be a first ballot HoF next year.

I really think Irvin-Monk have equal credentials... maybe someone should remind these writers that the passing game rules were changed dramatically after 1994.

Two more points of media-hypocrisy.

1) I'm sick of hearing Monk get penalized for his teamates while Buffalo and Dallas end up with 5 of the 6 possible triplets in the Hall of Fame. If Gary Clark is so good, the HoF should man up and put him in the final 15. He's pretty comparable to Irvin.... and I'm not kidding at all.... seriously... Gary Clark ~ Michael Irvin. Knowing the head-up-butts writers, they would say, "Gary Clark had a great teamate in Art Monk."

2) I'm sick of hearing that Monk had no signature play. What's Thurman Thomas' signature play? He's remembered most for forgetting his helmet prior to the beginning of Super Bowl 26. Yes, he's definately hall worthy, just a lot of players don't have a signature play.

Can we stop talking about anti-Cowboy bias in the hall of fame? Monk isn't even the greatest Redskin snub, that's Chris Hanburger and one of the Hogs... happy with Grimm or Jacoby.

Was there really a dearth of great players in the 1980s?

by LeonardPart6 (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:27pm

Irvin may have had some issues, but any of his teammates or coaches will attest to his dedication and commitment to winning.

We can stop talking about the anti-Dallas bias when Howley and Jordan get put in by the veteran's committee.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:29pm

For those not familiar with football in the 80s. Art Monk was then what Marvin Harrison is now. Michael Irvin was then what Terrell Owens is now.

It's just sickening... how writers choose to celebrate everything negative they perceive in sports.

by LeonardPart6 (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:31pm

Irvin was nowhere near as disruptive as T.O. The comparison to Harrison is not accurate either.

by Ned Macey :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:33pm

I'm not weighing in on whether or not Monk has a good case, but he ranked in the top 10 in receiving yards 3 times. Harrison has done it 7 times already. If you want to help Monk's cause, the better comparison is Charlie Joiner.

by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:34pm

What the hell does Dent need to do to get into the hall? Kill all the other candidates?

by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:35pm

They got it right. Irvin yes, Monk no, Thurman in, Guy no. Dead on.

by LeonardPart6 (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:36pm

#8 - they could still be inducted posthumously.

by cd6 (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:46pm

I agree this was Monk's best shot, because Peter King pledged his support.

If PK, who had been one of the most vocal anti Monk voices out there, switches his vote and Monk STILL doesn't make it, well then it just isn't going to happen.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:51pm

I don't remember Sanders, Hickerson, or Wehrli, but I approve of the election of Matthews, Thomas, and, yes, Irvin, over the other people. Tags will make it, and I wouldn't have minded him seeing him make it over Irvin, but other than that I have no serious complaints.

And I agree, Art Monk will never make it. And that won't bother me.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:52pm

So who are all the great players who denied Monk passing yards and why aren't they in the Hall of Fame?

Maybe it's because it was darn hard to have a long career playing the WR position in the 80s...

So if Monk is going to be treated like that why not lift up someone like Henry Ellard, or Gary Clark, or Stanley Morgan, or Roy Green, or Mark Duper?

All I'm saying is... no one really complains about Monk getting onto the finalist list for the past 6 years. But if the Hall wants Yards, Pro Bowls, and other awards they should nominate players who do have stats to make it through.

Henry Ellard is the best player I can think of who fits that category. From now on the argument should be Monk vs. Ellard rather than Monk vs. C. Carter, Reed or Irvin.

Anyone who has seen tape and not looked at stats know that Monk and Harrison is a fair comparison... do you like to watch football or just scan stats? And Henry Ellard was at least as good as Harrison...

These writers have suffered from way too many concussions.

by 28 (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:57pm

Michael Irvin was then what Terrell Owens is now.

Yes because Terrell Owens is known for his great hands, willingness to go over the middle, run blocking and fiery leadership. Say what you want about Irvin but that Cowboys team does not win three Super Bowls with any other contemporary receiver (including Jerry Rice) lining up in his place.

Monk probably deserves to be in but demeaning Irvin isn't going to get him there.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:58pm

And for those of you who are on the Terrell Davis bandwagon you should get on the Mike Quick bandwagon. He was a monster with the Eagles and for sure a better WR than Michael Irvin... and he played 20 more games than TD.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 5:58pm

Including Jerry Rice? BS.

by 28 (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:04pm

Including Jerry Rice. I'm not saying Irvin was a better WR than Rice. I'm saying that Rice couldn't have filled Irvin's role on the field and in the locker room.

by LeonardPart6 (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:06pm

It is interesting that Tags did not get in on the first ballot. I agree with Zimmerman that it seems goofy that he competes with players to go in. Comparing a punter with a guard is challenging - comparing a commish with a running back moreso.

by Jin (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:07pm

28 has been snorting some of Irvin's stash.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:07pm

I'm really bitter today because I thought Irvin and Monk are pretty comparable. They both have the stats and watching them you knew they were great. Both teams had great offenses that relied on rushing and passing.... Irvin has got the YPC sure, but Monk caught passes from at least 5 different QBs. Not saying that puts him above Irvin. The "media" which includes writers always talk about not liking show-boaters... Irvin definately was a showboater. I didn't mean to demean his accomplishments... it's just they had a different style even on the field. Irvin was the one receiver D. Green couldn't cover... (sure youth and "size advantage" played a part).

I think it's a poor argument to say Monk doesn't have the stats without backing it up with what stats he needs to put up to make it.... especially on a website like this.... why is Hines Ward always rated so high as far as DPAR again? He never has the yards yet he's FOs favorite receiver.

I would be fine if Monk got in this year and Irvin next year, or if they both got in... but I don't understand the logic of today... putting Irvin ahead of Monk when they are pretty neck and neck.

by LeonardPart6 (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:08pm

19 - it may have come from Irvin's car, but that doesn't mean it is his.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:15pm

... and that's even saying that Monk shouldn't even be considered a peer of Irvin. Irvin came into the league 8 years after Monk was already there.

I'm just saying it seems like people who think Monk should not be in never watched the circa 1980s Redskins play.... whereas we all can still remember the 1990s Cowboys.

by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:17pm

I'm going to Be Like Mike today and celebrate by snorting a nine-inch rail of cocaine off a hooker's ass and double-teaming a stripper with Emmitt Smith.

by the K (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:24pm

At least the Thurminator got in. That was, as a Bills fan, naturally my worry.

by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:39pm

I find it comical that all the complaints about Irvin have almost nothing to do with actual football played on the field. Irvin was simply the better player at his prime than Monk was. It's really that simple. This is coming from a Giants fan who hates Michael Irvin.

by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:48pm

re 14:

Terrell Owens is a decent blocker, had good hands (except for this year), and don't you remember his catch against Green Bay?

Terrible teammate and person, great player.

by Richard (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:53pm

25: As a Giants fan, shouldn't you also hate Monk?

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 7:03pm

Did anyone else happen to see the live announcement on NFL Network? I just happened to have it on, and Charlies Sanders came to the podium to say a few words after the announcement. Before he was done speaking, Rich Eisen hustled him off the podium because they had tracked down Bruce Matthews and had him on the phone. I thought that was pretty tacky, myself...why not just let the poor guy finish whatever he was saying, and then put Bruce Matthews on?

Anyway, I'd be interested in the reactions of anyone else who happened to see it.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 7:07pm

Well, here's my last point.

I'd like to know what WRs paved the way for people like Sterling Sharpe, Cris Carter and Marvin Harrison.... notice I mention players with a low YPC like Monk. If you look at the stats of peers to Monk, you'll notice that he is the one that has the high number of receptions.... of course there is a trade off between catches and YPC.

Amongs Monk's peers, Largent is clearly identified with superier stats, but Monk averages ~ 15 more receptions than other WRs (Stanley Morgan, James Lofton, Tony Hill).

A quick search of PFR comes up with Ahmad Rashad, Charlie Taylor, Raymond Berry, Nat Moore, as WRs who prior to Monk had a sub-15.0 YPC and a significant number of catches. That's it.

In other words, of all the great WRs in the NFL, most of them averaged 16, 17, even 18 YPC. Now in the NFL that is unheard of... and the shift seemed to come about a little after someone like Monk came along.

To say it again, for guys like Hines Ward, Marvin Harrison, Derrick Mason, Keenan McCardell, Tim Brown, Rod Smith, Mushin Muhammad... their numbers in this era was unheard of up until the 1990s.

Now maybe that says more about the way passing offenses have changed in the NFL as well, but from my research Monk is the third player with a sub-15.0 YPC average to have over 600 catches in the NFL. The first two are Raymond Berry and Charlie Taylor.

Monk is the first to hit 700, 800, and 900 receptions. That goes well beyond a compiler.... Monk is a pioneer. Now yes, I am talking about what many will perceive as a possession WR, but by NFL historical standards, the league is full of possession WRs now.

by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 7:25pm

re 8: there seems to be a lack of interest in pass-rushers recently (Greene, Doleman, Haley etc. also struggling for attention). I even read one writer refer to great pass-rushers as "a dime a dozen" this week. Amazing!

by Karl Cuba (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 7:52pm

How do neither Dent or Thomas get in? Both two of the dominant pass rushers of their time. I really hate the way the HOF voters are dedicted to the out-dated view of the NFL where only great run defenders deserve to get in. They seem to have missed out on the reality that the game has changed and a quality pass rusher can dominate a game.

BTW. I might not have been following the NFl for more than about 20 years but who on earth is Wehrli? Can anyone pronounce his name? If he's so damn good then why wasn't he in earlier? I really think this seniors crap stinks, there's plenty oftime for a great player to make the hall without shoehorning every half decent player from 30 years ago at the expense of guys that should make the hall on merit.

I don't know why I'm surprised, Peter King is on the panel and he's a muppet that knows screw all about the NFL today, so how can he be relied upon to know about the past.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 8:18pm

Rogr Wehrli was a great, great, player caught in the hell of Bidwellville before free agency. He had crappy teammates for the most part, which is why he didn't make it earlier. I can think of at least half dozen oldtimers who should have made it in before Charlie Sanders, however. Also, L.C. Greenwood was a better player that Richard Dent, or any of the other pass rushers who didn't make it this year.

Frankly, what this year demonstrates beyond all doubt is that the HOF isn't admitting enough players, and with each passing year they get further behind the eightball. Hell, Russ Grimm didn't even survive the final cut, and the guy who may have been the best player on what may be the best offensive line of all time, Keuchenberg of the early '70s Dolphins, missed out once again.

The HOF should be admitting 10 guys a year until they get caught up. I may stop paying attention if this isn't addressed soon.

by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 8:37pm

re 23: Harris, don't forget the raspberry jam!

by Thok (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 8:39pm

I think Irvin getting in is actually a good thing for Monk; it means that the voters decided to let in a WR who wasn't at the Jerry Rice level and that Monk has less direct competition next year. I suspect Monk will enter the hall in the next five years or so, especially since I can't see him ever missing the final 17. He may end up doing the Harry Carson thing, however.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 8:48pm

It seems like the Hall of Fame has too many spots to just admit the spectacular players, but not enough that it can admit all of the players a tier below that. As a result, some of those guys get in, some of them don't, and it's really pretty arbitrary.

Consider, for example, the DEs who haven't yet become eligible. Bruce Smith and Michael Strahan are obvious locks.

But then, look at the guys a tier below, like Julius Peppers, Richard Seymour, and Jason Taylor. It's probable that one of them eventually makes it, and the other two don't, and it's completely arbitrary. I don't think there's really any obvious difference in quality between the three of them. Sure, Seymour is my personal favorite, but I can't make a definitive case that he's any more worthy of the Hall of Fame than the other two.

* Note: You can make the point that Seymour is a 3-4 DE, Peppers is a 4-3 DE, and Jason Taylor is a DE/OLB tweener, so they aren't comparable, but I don't think that's really very relevant. In HoF discussions you have to compare Ray Guy to Paul Tagliabue, so there's nothing wrong with comparing Taylor to Seymour.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 8:54pm

I don't know. Cris Carter comes up and he's sure to get in, and then Jerry Rice will come up, and then who knows... and Art Monk will end up falling down the reception charts.

I think one positive is that Carter has less YPC, and Harrison has similar YPC... but by the time they get in I don't think the Hall will mention low YPC is why they kept Monk out.

by Vince (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 9:07pm

I'd just like to remind everyone that Art Monk led his own TEAM in receiving yards exactly four times.

by Gordon (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 9:21pm

Re: 28 (The comment, not the poster)

I saw most of it. I loved when Sanders basically said "Wehrli got in for being a skinny white guy playing a position usually played by black guys, and doing a halfway decent job of it."

I also thought it was kinda ridiculous when one of the guys doing commentary (I forget who it was) said, "When I was voting, I voted yes to everyone in the final six just for being there, and I think to do otherwise is mean-spirited." Well, shit, why not just put everyone in the Hall then? I thought the whole point of voting was to decide who belonged in the Hall, not to let in anyone whose name came up.

The HoF is crap anyway, though. I'd rather have watched a rerun of the Senior Bowl than that nonsense. It's all so arbitrary from where I sit, and I don't care about it much at all.

(With that said, when Brian Dawkins doesn't get in someday, I'm going to be pissed.)

I really think the HoF is nonsense, overall.

by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 9:32pm

one of the guys doing commentary (I forget who it was) said, “When I was voting, I voted yes to everyone in the final six just for being there, and I think to do otherwise is mean-spirited.�

It was Adam Schefter who said that, and I lost a lot of respect for him. What a ridiculous statement.

by PaulH (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 9:44pm

Great pass rushers are a dime a dozen? My ass, go tell that to half of the NFL's general managers, if not more.

Then again, that's probably why that goober, whoever he is, has a career in journalism.

Both Derrick Thomas and Richard Dent deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. I hope they both make it next year.

As for Irvin, congratulations. He was a great player, and he deserved it based on his career. I'm not going to hold his off-field problems against him, but that's just me.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 9:46pm

Re: Vince
Than put Gary Clark in the Hall of Fame.

I'm not kidding when I say that Clark's NFL numbers are similar to Irvin's, and when you add in his USFL year.... they look even better.

It's disingenuous to say that Monk wasn't even the best WR on the Redskins without allowing "the best WR" a crack at the Hall himself, as mentioned in posts #2 and #13.

If Monk wasn't the best, than allow the best one to take his induction spot.

So basically here is Clark's stats from 1 year in the USFL... then his NFL stats, then his career stats.

56 Rec, 760 yards, 2 TDs
699 Rec, 10856 yards, 65 TDs

755 Rec, 11616 yards, 67 TDs

Irvin's career totals
750 Rec, 11904 yards, 65 TDs

So if Monk is going to keep getting shafted like this, allow Clark to make it in.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 9:48pm

I do think it was good they put in Bruce Matthews and Thurman Thomas... I don't know what's wrong with Derrick Thomas.

I can't really comment too much on Richard Dent though.

by SJM (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 9:49pm

Re: 37

It's hard to lead your team in yards when you are a possession receiver and the other guys are deep threats. But how many times did Monk lead his team in first downs? I bet it was a lot more than 4. It will not be so easy to make the case for Carter over Monk if people consider the eras they played in. And Harrison's advantage over Monk might have something to do with both his era and his quarterback. But I agree with the people who say there are too many good candidates and they should let more in.

Re: Adam Schefter

I've never liked him, although I give him props for the Oakland thing a month or so ago.

by thad (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 10:16pm

God is punishing you for all that bitching about the ref's!
I kid, I kid...
I can't believe he is not in.
For those of you who did not see him play he just never dropped passes.
ok he dropped a few, but it was like 2 every 3 years or something just totally crazy.
I am guessing that the voters value "great years" over long term consistency.(sp)

by Bruce (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 10:43pm

Re: 41
Matt, I grew up with the Redskins and have been a fan for over 35 years. I always thought Clark was the better of the two receivers. Gibbs always says that Monk's numbers would have been much better if he had been given different routes and been on a true passing team. Probably, but I don't know that we can put a guy in for what he could have done. We could get carried away with that line of reasoning. I think guys, like in baseball, should get in the HoF for greatness over sustained stretches or "very good-ness" over a long career. Certainly Monk qualifies for the later and he was a pioneer, as you stated, in his time. We all thought he and D. Green were locks for the Hall while they played. Let's hope this is true.

On Clark, I agree he has never gotten enough HoF run. He was a huge factor in those last 2 SuperBowl runs and he was feared in the toughest division in football. He could beat you deep or over the middle, and was incredibly tough for his size. As you note, the stats bear out his inclusion as well.

On Irvin, I could never respect him. Though he is Hall worthy for what he meant to that team and his stats. I wonder though if he would make it in this era, as offensive PI was rarely called when he played. He did it seemly on half of his receptions.

On D. Green, he's not a sure fire 1st ballot lock, but he sould be close. He was a flat out phenom and amazing for his size. His credentials are there.

On the Skins and the Hall, has there been a team with this many Super Bowls (three) with fewer HoFamers in that era? John Riggins was only on one of those teams. How great was Gibbs in that era? (Only makes our heart pang even more now) If Green and either/or Grimm/Jacoby make it, that will be only 3 players. The Hall should have a hard time picking between 66 & 68. I don't know how I would choose.

by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 11:16pm

Throughout MOnk's career, there were other redskin receivers more feared by the opposition - Charlie Brown, Gary Clark, Ricky Sanders...

(don't know) but I'm guessing that much of the time, one of these guys drew the other team's best cornerback...

Last time this came up I did a year-by-year breakdown on who the best Redskins receiver was for each year of his career, and Monk came out on top around 3 times if I remember right.

Carter is a lock. The 100 touchdowns is part of it, but he was without a doubt the team's primary receiving threat from when he got there (taking over from Anthony Carter) till Randy Moss emerged, and even then he was arguably more valuable than Moss -- and the way he made Moss better works in his favor too. But on top of all that, its those jaw-dropping one-handed sideline tiptoe catches he made, that sticks in the mind and will punch his ticket.

by andrew (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 11:19pm

onto the others...

The ESPN radio guys (including Kiper) were moaning about how Ray Guy didn't make it in. They went on about how he was the greatest punter evar... then one of the ones (who was in the room) said someone claimed a Niners punter, Davis I think, was better. You just know that was Zimmerman...

One argument I often hear about the greats and why they are worthy is how they performed at the highest level (like Irvin). Well, you all recall what Ray Guy did the first time he got to punt in a superbowl?

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 11:25pm

Darrell Green not getting in on his first try would be like Thurman Thomas not getting in on his first try, only worse.

I'd put in Gary Clark over Art Monk. Also in the teammates category, Kent Hull was a better center than Andre Reed was a wide receiver. Between Monk and Reed, I'd have to really think about it and break down stats relative to each other; because of that, I don't think either will get in. Of that foursome, Hull is first off my list.

Derrick Thomas was a pass-rusher, and didn't pay enough attention to defending the run. He made his team better, but so did Albert Lewis and I'm not seeing much love for him. I'd put Dent in before Thomas, though I defer to others on Dent v. Fred Dean or L.C. Greenwood.

Tags will get his day, sooner or later.

by hector (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 11:38pm

13. Anyone who has seen tape and not looked at stats know that Monk and Harrison is a fair comparison… do you like to watch football or just scan stats?

How about the fact that Harrison has all those pretty double-digit TD seasons (8, 6, 7, 12, 14, 15, 11, 10, 15, 12, 12), while Monk never had more than eight (3, 6, 1, 5, 7, 2, 4, 6, 5, 8, 5, 8, 3, 2, 3, 0). That means nothing to you?

Maybe Monk should be enshrined, but comparing him to Harrison is apples and oranges. Full disclosure, I have no great love or hate for the players and teams here. But Art Monk, you're no Marvin Harrison.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Sat, 02/03/2007 - 11:49pm

Re 38 - Agreed about Dawkins. If anyone tries to argue that he doesn't belong in the HoF, that person has never seen him play.

by SJ9 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 12:01am

First of all, Ricky Sanders was never ahead of Art Monk at anytime in their careers except when Monk was hurt. Clark and Monk should both be in the HOF, but make no mistake Monk was the man. To say Monk didn't make the big plays is a mistake. If the Skins really needed a first down it was always Monk they went to. Not Clark, not Sanders and not Brown. Unfortunately the stats don't bear out things like clutch catches and drive sustaining first downs.

by SJM (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 12:23am

Unfortunately the stats don’t bear out things like clutch catches and drive sustaining first downs.

If only there was a website with advanced statistics that could take things like that into account...

by LeonardPart6 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 12:55am

38 & 50 - as a Cowboys fan I would support Dawkins without question, the only thing working against him is safety seems to be very underrepresented.

47 - Did Guy do something eventful? I have lots of time for Z, and I suspect he paid pretty close attention to detail when Guy played.

by Jason Mulgrew (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 1:37am

re: 2

You are a lightweight.

by Fire Millen (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 1:54am

As a Lions fan I can't stand by for the comments questioning Charlie Sanders, who I remember as a great football player and as one of the greatest Lions of all time (thereby damning with faint praise). The thing to remeber is that in his era TE's were blockers who sometimes caught passes. Comparing his stats to the 4 TE's already in the HOF who played at around the same time you see very similar per game numbers. Sanders was a 7 time Pro Bowler in a 10 year career. Very Poorly formatted here are the stats.
Games, Catch, Yards, TDs, Pro Bowls, YPG, TD/Gm,
Sanders: 128, 336, 4817, 31, 7, 38, 0.24.
Ditka: 158, 427, 5812, 43, 5, 37, 0.27.
Caspar: 147, 378, 5216, 52, 5, 35, 0.35.
Mackey: 139, 331, 5236, 38, 5, 38, 0.27.
Smith: 210, 480, 7918, 40, 5, 38, 0.19.

by Mentos Fillapeedios (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 2:00am

re: 53. Yes, he had a punt blocked.

re: 51. That's the truth right there.

re: 49. They both played collegiately at Syracuse. They both are amazingly quiet. Harrison scored more touchdowns, otherwise they were quite similar.

by KevinWho (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 2:13am

This is a long and argumentative thread, which sorta proves that Will Allen and (the much-maligned) TMQ are right: they just aren't letting enough guys in every year. 5 or 6 is too few.

Some kind of mandatory "slotting" would be good too, e.g., at least 1 OL per year. I'd like to see a rule where at least two of the three basic defensive areas---linemen, LBs, backs---are represented every year.

Brian Dawkins has had big plays in several games on national TV in the past couple of years, which ought to help his HoF cause. But if he played for one of the NY teams, he'd be a lock, the biggest thing since Lawrence Taylor. And we'd all be sick of him by now, because each week a different pregame show would feature him in one of those dopey montage/interview taped pieces, every ten minutes he'd be arguing uncomfortably with Jared, etc.

by dave whorton (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 2:15am

can someone explain how lynn swann can get in and monk can't. oh yea the 4 or 5 highlight catches he made. what a crock. bruce matthews over kuechenberg and grimm please.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 2:17am

54: I'm sorry to hear that, Mul-Dawg. I'm surprised you didn't phrase your insult in typical Borat-voice format, though.

by pcs (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 2:20am

I just assumed Irvin would be going in the broadcasters wing.

by dje (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 2:39am

Another difference between Harrison and Monk is that Monk was a 3-time pro bowler and Harrison just was selected to the pro bowl for the 8th consecutive time.

If I were to compare Monk to a current player, it would be Isaac Bruce. Both had standout seasons: Monk in '84 and Bruce in '95 (although he was overshadowed by Rice, Moore, Carter, and even Irvin). Both, after their first few years, shared the spotlight with younger and probably better receivers. Both we great route runners. Both played for some great teams. Neither were self promoters. Both are borderline Hall of Fame. If they make it, great, but it is pretty hard to complain if they don't with all the qualified candidates under consideration each year.

by Mentos Fillapeedios (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 2:52am

re: 61
In my opinion, Monk was better than Bruce.

re: 58
I agree with you, man. Swann being a member of the PFHOF is perfectly okay, but him being there and Monk not being there, is quite odd.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 3:07am

I don't think the WR TD stat is a good one to bring up. James Lofton never had more than 8 TDs in a season also. Ozzie Newsome had a 9 catch TD season as his peak and is in the Hall.

I'm not comparing Harrison to Monk directly, but if you look at WR stats across the board I'm sure you'll see catches and TDs are up... for individuals in fact it's the truth.

I would agree that the PF Hall of Fame is all about having HoF seasons rather than an exceptionally solid career.

I guess Monk could get it next year if they don't want to make Cris Carter a 1st ballot HoF. Its more fun to debate WRs of a similar era... is Carter better than Irvin?

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 3:28am

Based on everything said here... and in the past. I'd have to think most non-Redskin fans believe its Gary Clark who should be in the Hall rather than Art Monk.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 3:31am

Glad to see Irvin elected. Still many people don't give him the credit he deserves, mainly because he played at the same time as Jerry Rice (and Sterling Sharpe), or because they think he's an idiot.

Irvin averaged 74.9 yards per game. The only receivers of consequence ahead of him are Rice (75.6) and Lance Alworth (75.5, AFL benefited). He's in front of Sharpe (72.6), and well ahead of the next NFLers: Jimmy Smith (68.6), HOFer Steve Largent (65.4), and Gary Clark (65).

He also compares favorably to the WRs who evidently got in based more on their post-season performances. Since the merger, no WR worthy of HOF discussion who has played enough post-season games to matter can match Irvin's 82.1 yards per game average. Lynn Swann averaged 56.7 yards, and John Stallworth, 62. (FWIW, Rice averaged 80.2.)

As for Art Monk: Growing up in the 80s, I always thought of Monk as a star player, a future hall of famer (esp. before Rice started, and then continued, to set the world on fire). I wouldn't have a problem with Monk going in, even though he doesn't have the conventional stats. (Ned hit it on the head, comparing him to Joiner in that sense.) Number-wise Gary Clark is probably the nearest of the retired, post-1978 players to Irvin (Irvin finished top-10 in yards six times and top-5 four times; Clark, five times and four times respectively), but he didn't quite seem to achieve that HOF level.

Finally, I still can't believe that Bob Hayes isn't in and won't be getting in any time soon. His narcotics bust was a long time ago, and we now know that plenty of star players have been involved with drugs. Here's a guy who may or may not have actually changed the game, but certainly changed the face of it. I know he wasn't the first track guy to sign with an NFL team, but I believe he was the first to have such success.

In any event, Hayes is one of now only two NFL WRs to have finished top-10 in yards at least six times and not get into the HOF. The other is Drew Hill who finished top-5 twice to Hayes' three top-5s. But Hill, playing entirely in the post-78 era, only averaged 46.6 yards per game, while Hayes, playing pre-1978, averaged 56.2. By comparison, Swann's regular season average was 47.5; Biletnikoff's 47.2; Joiner's 50.8; Stallworth's 52.9; Charley Taylor's 55.2; and, why not, Art Monk's 56.8.

And Hayes's 8.6 TDs per 16 games, though behind Alworth's 10, is right up there with other HOF WRs of his era, Tommy McDonald, 8.8, and Paul Warfield, 8.7. Some day the Bullet will be in.

by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 3:32am

Re: #33

Nah, raspberry jam is reserved for the wife. With hookers and cocaine I prefer blueberry syrup.

by Bronco Jeff (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 5:20am

All I have to say is, why isn't Zimmerman in the Hall? He's on two all-decade teams on the O-Line for Pete's sake. He anchored a line that won Superbowl XXXII. What more do they want?

Charlie Sanders? Seriously?

by Ilanin (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 8:44am

I think Monk deserves to get in as the first of the posession receivers; but before he does Ken Anderson should be in as the first West Coast Offense QB. Unfortunately actually changing the game in this manner doesn't really seem to be enough to get in, which is a pity.

by Bad Rick (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 9:16am

Re: 58
The HoF cannot drop its standards to the level where every receiver at least as good as Lynn Swann is let in. Swann will likely always be the weakest WR in the Hall. Why is he in? Because he was the most famous WR on the most famous team that was winning a slew of Super Bowls during the period when the NFL was firmly establishing itself as the #1 sport in America.

Unrelated...I agree with the other voices saying that the NFL Hall of Fame needs to start taking more players. This is particularly true when high-profile positions like QB and WR are being over-represented compared to defensive players.

by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 10:11am

re 66: Harris, you're an interesting guy. (and I hope your wife never reads FO!)

by jebmak (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 10:40am


I agree, you can't compare QBs with Namath either. He wasn't that great, but it is the Hall of FAME, which he has in spades.

by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 11:49am

Re: #70 She loves football, but this site is far too wonky for her. Plus, I don't let her sit in the computer chair very often because her ass is always sticky.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 1:09pm

Here's a short, incomplete, list of guys who obviously should have been in the HOF many, many years ago, and the fact that they are still not in really harms the credibility of the entire process.

Chuck Howley
Chris Hanburger
L.C. Greenwood
Mick Tinglehoff
Bob Hayes
Russ Grimm
Joe Jacoby
Bob Keuchenberg
Dave Wilcox
Claude Humphrey
Cliff Harris
Lester Hayes

....like I said, this is incomplete. Also, I didn't mean to denigrate Charlie Sanders above, but I think any of these guys are more deserving than Sanders. Finally, again, to anybody denigrating the selection of Wehrli, he was a great player, and if Deion Sanders actually said what was reported above, that is disgusting. What a punk.

by The Punters Assoc. (non-UK) (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 1:43pm

Great discussion!

I've got THREE SuperBowl rings. I was nominated to SEVEN ProBowls (6 in a row). I've logged over 44,000 yards. My name is one of the most recognized of its era and people tuned in to see my work. I was a weekly highlight. I was so skilled at my job, they ultimately created a stat used today to measure others.

I was so respected for my efforts, the college game honors a player each year with a trophy that bears my name. My name is almost synonymous with my skill position and I am routinely used as the standard-bearer for defining its importance by historians and players alike. As my stats slowly fade with the growth of today's game, I am proud that my name and legacy live on with or without the HOF.

My name is Ray Guy - the ONLY punter known to stat guys and the casual fan alike and the DEFINING player of the one position still not recognized by the HOF.

Now I never allegedly killed anyone, got arrested for drugs or hookers, gambled, or the like - I made my name by playing the game.

Maybe next year.

by Fat Tony (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 2:05pm

People tuned in to watch the punter? That's like saying people tune in to watch the refs. Or to listen to Matt Vasgersian and J.C. Pearson.

by Frick (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 3:13pm

Did anyone see the interview with Irvin where he talks about a play-off game and he wasn't getting catches. There was a particular play they ran 3-4 times and each time they ran it Aikman would throw to Alvin Harper (according to his reads). In the huddle Irvin hears the play and goes to Harper's spot and tells Harper to take his spot. The D decides to blitz and the correct read is to Harper.

Aikman wasn't aware of the switch until he got ready to throw the ball. Since timing is such a huge deal, couldn't this have thrown off the timing? Irvin said he wanted to be the one to make the big catch, he was after all the "play-maker"

by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 4:19pm

re 76: yes, saw that. Although, as I recall, Aikman did pick up the switch before the ball was snapped. Irvin was sure he'd get the ball, but this time the ball went to Harper for a 70+ yard reception (it was the championship game)

re 38,39: I don't think that's so unreasonable. I'm convinced there's MORE than 6 qualified candidates in each year, so I'd probably vote yes on the final six too if I was a voter. To respond to this with "why not just put everyone in the Hall then?" is over the top. Schefter's comments really weren't even close to suggesting this was his philosophy.

by Mentos Fillapeedios (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 4:38pm

re: 73

Wilcox is in the Hall of Fame.

by SJM (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 4:52pm

Re: 77

Just because there are a lot of deserving candidates does not mean that the final 6 are automatically worthy. If some stubborn jackass like Doctor Z. doesn't believe a guy was that good, why should he be forced to vote for him just because most of the other voters did?

That said, they need to expand the number of possible additions per year because there are a lot of deserving guys who will never get in otherwise.

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 5:00pm

If some stubborn jackass like Doctor Z. doesn’t believe a guy was that good, why should he be forced to vote for him just because most of the other voters did?

but stubborn jackass Paul Zimmerman repeatedly votes "no" for someone NOT because he doesn't think that the guy was no good, but because he believes that one of his pet players was better

sorry--that's not a valid reason

he has stated repeatedly that he wouldn't vote for Hickerson unless Kuechenberg was elected first--thank God it didn't matter this year

they BOTH deserve to be in--why punish Hickerson because the other voters won't go for Kooch?

by TBW (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 5:52pm

I miss Catholic Match girl. Not that she every really did anything for me, but if this is the alternative.....

by TBW (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 6:00pm

I think it is the anti-Eagles bias that is hurting Monk.

But how can you induct a guy who only caught 6 passes after they changed the rules in 1994. If he was really good, he would have gone crazy then.

by DC (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 6:08pm

re: 26

Owens has never had great hands. In San Francisco he dropped about one a game and missed another 1-2 more that were catchable. The 49ers rated his hands as a "C+" coming out of college while they gave his work ethic an "A". The drops didn't just magically appear this year in Dallas. They've plagued him his entire career.

by DC (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 6:09pm

Owens had three drops in that game against Green Bay before making The Catch II.

by LeonardPart6 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 6:36pm

DC - they didn't magically appear, but they sure blossomed this season. May have been more of a timing issue than a quantity issue.

by andrew (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 6:39pm

Well the system we have elects those who can best get through the system, either by being slam-dunk or by not being opposed by a various people. Which still amazes me that Tags didn't, but you never know.

Jack Youngblood was someone who should easily have been in long before he was elected, but a group of voters lead by one who insisted that Carl Eller had to get in first repeatedly blocked him, I think they worked out some compromise that got Ron Yary in and then Youngblood got in.

The voters now are sometimes but not always the voters back then, asking them why Swann is in might not mean something to those who might not vote for Swann today.

As far as punters go, the greatest punter in NFL history is already in the hall. Ray guy never averaged close to what Baugh did.

I think they need to seperate the seniors from the number of current players selected, the two seniors per year is part of what is creating the backlog.

by james (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 6:51pm

HOF selection process is the problem. It should be like so.

1. 3 guys have to be enshrined every year. Anyone who doesn't make it after 15 years has their candidacy turned over to the veteran's commitee.

2. The veteran's committee votes in 3 guys a year.

3. Non players can only be elected one a year. Their voting process is completely different from anything having to do with voting for the players.

This way the hall stays selective. You still get 6 guys in a year about. And everyone gets their just due if they deserve to get in.

In my opinioin this is a great way to keep it from further becoming the hall of very good.

by Fisher (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 7:35pm


Ray Guy has little chance - the meatheads that vote, the agendas they wield, the restrictive number of candidates, makes for little consistency but great arguement.


You make my above point to 74 all the more valid for Ray Guy


Fantastic point - everyone thinks of Slingin' Sammy Baugh as a great punter.

Maybe we can vote Tim Brown in as a punt returner.

by Jason Mulgrew aka The Mul Dawg (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 7:53pm

The Mul Dawg is back!

re: 59 You are not niiiiiicccceee.
Next time try a little research. Then you won't have to ask WTF.

by hector (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 7:57pm

OT: As 55 probably knows, there's a giant "Fire Millen Fire Millen Fire Millen" billboard on HWY 75 into Detroit. It looks like a common fan took it out (or maybe it's a radio guy, don't know). Classic stuff.

by Paul (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 7:57pm

When a guy retires as the ALLTIME leader in receptions and can't get in, sumpin's wrong. Skins get 3 titles and only Riggo is hallworthy? I beg to differ.

by Pat F. (not verified) :: Sun, 02/04/2007 - 7:58pm

I've been thinking about this for a few days, and I have an idea. What if, instead of a blanket cap of 6 players, there was a cap on each position? It'd raise the overall cap, true, but it'd also help linemen and defensive players gain more representation.

So for example, in a given year you could have a maximum 2 QBs, 2 RBs, 3 WRs/TEs, 6 OL, 6 DL, 4 LBs, 4 DBs, 1 Special Teams, 3 non-Players, or something like that. Eh, perhaps you'd need some total cap to keep writers from filling each alotment.

Or perhaps a softer cap along the same lines, like 3 QB+WR+RB, 5 OL+DL, 3 LB+DB, 3 non-players/misc., as a cap every year. 14 seems like a reasonable cap, and it'd help ensure that guys like Grimm aren't crowded out because there are a lot of deserving receivers, for example.

Just putting that out there.

by Staubach12 (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 12:33am

Re: 27: That's the point. Hall of famers are hated by their opposing fans. As a Cowboys fan, I hate lots of players in my division, but I never thought much about Monk.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 2:20am

I actually wanted to see more of Seattle this year purely because of their punter. Punting is cool.

by kibbles (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 8:36am

Re #67: All I have to say is, why isn’t Zimmerman in the Hall? He’s on two all-decade teams on the O-Line for Pete’s sake. He anchored a line that won Superbowl XXXII. What more do they want?

You know what makes it really crazy? Guess who votes for those all-decade teams. You guessed it- the HoF selection committee. In other words, that room full of gentlemen that in 1990 said that, despite the fact that he had only played 4 years, Zimmerman was the 4th best tackle of the 80s. Ten years later, they got together and said he was the 2nd best tackle of the 90s. Then for the next six years, they refused to vote him into the Hall. What did he have to do to earn a pass, rank FIRST both decades?

It's an interesting departure, too. Every single 1970's All-Decade OL is in the Hall of Fame (all 10 of them), but only 5 of the 1980's OLs have made it, and even if Zimmerman makes the HoF, odds are we'll only have 4 of the 1990's All-Decade OLs in the HoF (unless anyone thinks there's going to be a massive groundswell of support for Boselli, Webb, Wisniewski, McDaniel, Dawson, or Stepnoski...). And listening to the list of OL snubs (Kuechenberg et al), it seems that most people think that the OL snubs were generally 70s-era OLs.

Are OLs just less HoF-worthy recently, or are we despite our best efforts becoming less and less aware of the contributions of the blockers?

by andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 9:41am

Well, I'd vote for Robo-Punter... and if it matters, I actually was a punter in high school, so the position is one I care about.

In the entire section of the NFL record book on punting, Ray Guy holds the best mark in zero records. His name shows up only once, ranked tied for third with most seasons leading the league in punting (behind Baugh and Jerrell Wilson).

Best punting season? Baugh. Then Lary, then Baugh. Best punting career average?

Shane Lechler. That's right, Ray Guy doesn't have the career punting mark for his own team. Then Baugh and Davis.

Best at putting the punt inside the 20 in a season? Shane Richardson with 39. He doesn't even show up in the rookie section.

Punting is one of those things where I think it is fair to compare across time. You can't say the defenses of today use different coverages to limit punting distance. You could argue the ball has changed, but you have people well before (Baugh, Davis, Lary) averaging better than Guy, and people well after (Lechler). I guess you could argue that the 1970s had a dead ball and we should adjust, but I've never heard that nor seen status that would suggest this.

Guy was probably the best punter of the 70s. He was high profile as the Raiders spent a first round pick on him and it fixed a gaping hole on their team. If I had to put a pure punter in the hall, it would be Davis. Baugh and Lary are in based on other accomplishments, though their punting I'm sure didn't hurt their resumes.

Shane Lechler hardly gets any attention, despite his incredible numbers. In this decade we've seen one of the most amazing punting performances ever, but no one talks about him. In six seasons he has already had five years better than Ray Guy's best punting season. He doesn't have Guy's longevity (yet), but he already ranks among the greatest punters ever. Not to mention the greatest Raider punter...

Does anyone watching raiders these days go, "now there's a hall of famer" when he punts? well why not? And if no, then why the love for Guy?

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:49am

It's silly to compare the cumulative career numbers of Irvin and Monk. Monk played in 65 more games than Monk. When you look season by season, it's clear to me Irvin was superior to Monk in just about every way.

by Dean (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:55am

I think most things have already been said.

Riggo as the only Redskin? I hate the skins, but I'd agree that they're underrepresented. The answer, though, is not adding Monk, but rather adding Grimm, and possibly Jacoby.

As for Richard Dent, the knock on him was always consistancy. He'd always make the sportscenter play, but he took plays off along the way, too. When he wanted to play, he was untouchable. If he'd wanted to play more often, he'd already be in the hall.

Derrick Thomas? Never met a running back he couldn't ignore on the way to the QB. It's probably bad kharma to speak ill of the deceased, but the guy is being penalized - and justifyably so, IMO - for being one dimensional.

The real shame here isn't that Monk got left off, it's that Keuchenberg, Grimm, and Zimmermann ALL got left off (not to mention Mick Tingelhoff).

by Andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:55am

Re: Irvin

It seems like it should count against Irvin that in general, he and Novacek were the only real receiving threats on the Cowboys. Given a system with a certain set of game plans in mind, a QB is going to throw for a certain amount of yards every year almost regardless of who is put out on the field. We've seen plenty of this recently from Brady and McNabb, consistently puting up good and similar numbers every year in their offensive systems with widely varying crops of wideouts, tight ends and running backs of varying effectiveness catching passes. Aikman pretty consistently threw for ~3000 yards and ~15 TD's on ~300 receptions. The Cowboys simply chose to throw over half those passes to Irvin and Novacek, and those two combined for about 2/3 of the yardage. Its not like the system wasn't going to produce the same totals with someone besides Irvin becoming the focus of the passing game - see 1996 and 1999.

If Irvin is really hall worthy, it should be for reasons besides his inflated statistics - i.e. his impact on the game, the team, and his performance in the post-season.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:55am

41: Clark and Irvin also had similar number of games (167 to 159), so they are pretty comparable. Of course, beyond statistics, we can say that Clark had a great possession receiver in Monk to open things up for him, while Irvin really didn't have that kind of help around him (Novacek was a good TE, Harper was a good deep threat).

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:56am

99: Though did the Cowboys really "choose" to throw most of their passes to those guys, or were they just always the best (and most open) options?

by Fisher (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 12:59pm

Andrew -

As a Raider fan, I am well aware of LEGler. I am also well aware that despite his abilities, he continuews to be passed over for the ProBowl. I am aware that he doesn't spend enough time putting the ball inside the ten. He's a fantastic punter - is he the best in the game at the moment - apparently not.

If you are simply going to use stats as your determiner, then you'll need a complete revamping of the HOF and maybe a name-change to the Hall of Statistics. As far as fame coupled with ability and the "bling" that apparently carries so much value (7 ProBowls/3 Rings) I think Ray guy is deserving and legit.

by MRH (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 1:48pm

Here's the numbers of all-decade players who are in the HOF (apologies if I'm off by one or two in my counts):
1950s: 34 of 42 (81%)
1960s: 25 of 38 (66%)
1970s: 36 of 45 (80%)
1980s: 25 of 45 (56%)

The 60s seem under-represented. But of course some of the best players weren't in the NFL - they were in the AFL. If I look at the NFL all-decade team plus the AFL all-time 1st team, it's 34 of 61 (56%). So the percentage seems low but the totals of the 50s, 60s, and 70s work out about the same (34-36 players). The 80s haven't caught up yet - and you have to figure that eventually the great Redskins of that era will get their due.

The percentage of 1st team AFL all-time guys in the HOF might be a little misleading. Some players made the team, I think, because they were in the AFL a long time even though there better players who were in a shorter time. Since the team was selected in 1970, the "late-in-the decade" players couldn't be given credit for what was yet to come - but we can see that now.

Take the KC Chiefs front seven: Buck Buchanan (2nd team) and Willie Lanier (not selected) are in the HOF while Jerry Mays (1st team). Bobby Bell (1st team) is in - and he also made the all-70s team while Buchanan and Lanier did not.

I haven't done a complete breakdown by year/era yet to see if any time period is over/under-represented but there seems to be a leveling off that the 80s haven't reached yet.

by MRH (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 1:51pm

Re 103.
Take the KC Chiefs front seven: Buck Buchanan (2nd team) and Willie Lanier (not selected) are in the HOF while Jerry Mays (1st team) is not.

Sorry for the error.

by OMO (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 2:09pm

Re: 62

Call me crazy...but isn't that the ultimate point of an offensive skilled player?

To score TDs?

Maybe if we have to come up with so many caveats and "exceptions" to established on-the-field performance evaluation of Monk...probably another valuable reason he shouldn't be in Canton.

by vijay (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 2:37pm

99: You are right, Irvin and Novacek were the guys Aikman threw the majority of his passes to. That's because of a guy named Emmitt who took the ball quite a bit too! Let me get a few things out of the way first. I hate the Redskins and am a Cowboys fan. I also think that Monk should have been in the HOF a few years ago. Irvin brought so much to that team in terms of attitude and work ethic (yes I said work ethic, noted as one of the hardest working Cowboys you'll ever see), but he is a HOFer without either of those. He is a HOFer because of his numbers.
See what 97 wrote. Go back and look at the numbers and put them down on a per game basis. Monk is nowhere near Irvin. And when we get to the playoffs, no one compares to Irvin, EVEN Jerry Rice, in terms of stats. I'm not saying Irvin is better than Rice, Rice is the best ever without any question. But on a per game basis, Irvin, even with Emmitt Smith on his team, had more catches, yards and TDs per game than any WR of relevance. To say Irvin shouldn't be in is to say that you didn't like his flamboyance. That's your prerogative and that's OK. But he's a HOFer no matter how you slice the data.

And if you ever watched them play in the mid-90s, you'll know just how good he was.

by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 3:16pm

re 79: "If some stubborn jackass like Doctor Z. doesn’t believe a guy was that good, why should he be forced to vote for him just because most of the other voters did?"

I didn't say anybody should be forced to vote for anybody, but at that point (the final 6) any voter with an ounce of humility would consider the possibility that they are wrong about the candidate (Dr Z, of course, doesn't have an ounce of humility).

I'm just saying I don't fault a voter for adopting the policy of automatically voting for all final six candidates. Quite a lot has to happen before a player ends up in the final 6.

by Lord Toad (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 3:44pm


I would put Donnie Shell on that list. I see him as the most deserving player not in.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 5:39pm

Monk gets penalized for having other pass-catchers on his team, but Irvin gets rewarded because he has a scrub next to him? The logic behind this reasoning doesn't make sense.

I think on some level receptions are undervalued. Look through at DVOA for what years we have, and we see that players can be good by sacrificing yards for receptions. Keenan McCardell comes to mind.

It's clear to me few here ever watched Monk play or even G. Clark. If you did you'd realize one of them should make the Hall. Maybe we all were guilty of just focussing on our own teams because there was no Sunday Ticket and no NFL Primetime... but it's a shame...

I bet the 80s will always be under-represented in the Hall...

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 5:52pm

109: that logic makes some sense, even if you don't agree with it.

Also, I think receptions are overrated and yards are a better measure. In this case, Irvin averaged 15.9 per catch, Monk 13.5. Irvin seemed to do a lot more with the receptions he had.

That said, a number I would like to see become more mainstream in these discussions is first down conversions. If somebody can show me that Monk picked up X number of first downs with receptions in his career, and that number is much higher than a lot of other HOF players, I'd be more convinced he did a lot to help his team.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 6:19pm

> "Finally, again, to anybody denigrating the selection of Wehrli, he was a great player, and if Deion Sanders actually said what was reported above, that is disgusting. What a punk."

Will, it was *Charlie* Sanders who made the comment about Wehrli being pretty damned good for a white guy at a black man's position. Sanders was both joking and complimenting Wehrli at the same time, and it really didn't come off as badly as it might look in print.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 6:48pm

Another HoF Voter speaks out.

John McClain from the Houston Chronicle.

Memo to irate Art Monk fans:
Has it occurred to you that 30 of the 40 voters could have voted for Monk, and yet you continue to fire off nasty e-mails to everyone? Has it occurred to you that all those nasty e-mails insulting the intelligence of the committee just might make some of the pro-Monk crowd switch their votes? I'm not saying it will, but have you thought that you might actually be doing Monk damage? Didn't think so.

Now, here's something I'd like for Monk fans to explain to me: During his 16-year career, the players and coaches voted him to the Pro Bowl three times. Why? During his 16-year career, he led his team in receiving fewer than five times. Why? During the prime of Monk's career, why did Gary Clark have more catches, touchdowns and a better average per catch than Monk?

Anyway, those are three questions some on the committee would like to have answered. I'll await your answers, and if they actually make sense, I'll be happy to take them to the committee next year.

By the way, I believe that now that Michael Irvin has been elected that Monk will be close behind. But that's just my opinion. I also believe Darrell Green deserves to be elected, and he's eligible for the first time next year.

So, doesn't that kind've mean maybe Gary Clark should be put under some type of HoF consideration?

Elsehwere in this article McClain mentions that he always votes for the senior nominees and always votes for the 6 finalists.

Another tidbit for Dent/Thomas fans.

I had worried that Irvin and Monk would cancel each other out, which didn't happen this year. It did happen to the four dominant pass rushers who made the group of 11: Dent, Dean, Derrick Thomas and Tippett. I had voted for Dent.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 7:07pm

> "So, doesn’t that kind’ve mean maybe Gary Clark should be put under some type of HoF consideration?"

Realistically Gary Clark is just not going to be considered for the Hall of Fame. He was an excellent WR whose career was a bit too short at his level of production to merit induction. Clark tops out at 19th all-time in receiving yards, with almost all of the guys in front of him contemporary receivers, most of whom likewise are not in the Hall.

Art Monk at least has the longer career and therefore higher career rankings (6th in receptions, 11th in yardage) but he's still borderline imo. I can understand why his fans are upset, but as this voter John McClain suggests, I personally reserve my outrage (and it isn't much) for some more deserving non-skill players, some of whom you've even named from the Redskins (Grimm and Hanburger in particular). It is interesting though that Monk apparently has the greatest fan backing of all eligible players not currently in the Hall, which does say something about him as a person and his popularity.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 7:23pm

> "but stubborn jackass Paul Zimmerman repeatedly votes “no� for someone NOT because he doesn’t think that the guy was no good, but because he believes that one of his pet players was better"

Who are Dr Z's "pets" these days anyway? For years he would write that the best player ever not in the Hall of Fame was longtime 49ers CB Jimmy Johnson, but Johnson was inducted about 10 years ago. I think he was also enamored of Rich "Tombstone" Jackson, who is *not* in, but who had a fairly short career.

by Carlos (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 7:44pm

Monk should be in. Yr over Yr comparisons to Irvin are meaningless, since the game changed pretty dramatically in the mid-90s. Maybe you have to be an old guy to remember it, but while monk was working his way to 100 receptions, onlookers were astonished. Now rookie reggie bush gets 88 (or whatever) catches. The game is just so, so different.

FO stats on Monk would be interesting, b/c my memories of him are all about being the go-to guy on third down for the guaranteed first. He never dropped the ball, and he never cut the route too short.

Other 'skins from that era who ought to be in are Jacoby, possibly Grimm and certainly D Green.

And, and as for the dude who suggests that angry emails from random readers might cause him to change his vote from "Yes" on a player to "No"... well, that's why we call you hacks, douche bag.

by Eddo (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 8:09pm

115: And, and as for the dude who suggests that angry emails from random readers might cause him to change his vote from “Yes� on a player to “No�… well, that’s why we call you hacks, douche bag.
I think you may be inadvertently proving his point. You get worked-up enough to call him names over one comment, imagine how incensed you'd get if you had received hundreds of emails questioning your qualifications and insulting you.

by Peter King (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 8:10pm

Let me remind you that the Hall of Fame bylaws require us to only consider on-field performance.

Us voters would never be influenced by angry e-mails from fans, drug busts, or friendships with players who were media friendly or media-members now.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 8:26pm

If year-to-year comparisons are meaningless (a point I wouldn't concede--passing opened up a lot in the 80s), let's look at comparisons to Monk's and Irvin's contemporaries.

Monk was in the top ten in receptions 4 times, in yards 3 times, in receiving TDs 1 time, and in yards from scrimmage 0 times.

Irvin was in the top ten in receptions 4 times, in yards 6 times, in receiving TDs 5 times, and in yards from scrimmage 4 times.

I'm convinced Monk deserves to be in the HOF, but I'm not convinced he deserves it more than Irvin.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 8:26pm

OK, so you want to do receptions instead of yards. Monk only had 4 seasons among the league's top 10 in that category. I used to be stronlgy in favor of Monk's election to the hall. But the more and more I look at it, the less and less it seems to make sense.

Most skill position players have some way to interpret the conventional stats to merit their election to the HOF; Monk (like Charlie Joiner) simply does not.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 8:59pm

I don't see where Monk suffered much at all based on the times in which he played. Maybe a bit compared to today's game, but not dramatically-- this isn't pre-1978 or anything. Joe Theismann threw for over 3500 yards twice during Monk's time with the Redskins (and almost 3400 a third time), Mark Rypien twice (almost 3300 a third time), and even Jay freakin' Schroeder threw for over 4000 yards one season. Maybe not every team was, but those Skins teams were airing it out...

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 9:11pm

I've been doing some reading over at the PFR blog and he had an interesting post regarding QB-WR relationships. Date of the article is written August 30, 2006.

It seems like it's some type of adjustment for QBs throwing to WRs. Oddly enough, Rice and Carter have stronger adjustment for QBs than Irvin does. From other articles over there I'm also convinced that Irvin is more than worthy.

It would really be nice to have DVOA/DPAR going into the 70s. I know there was some talk of doing some work at NFL archives or something.

Of note, Herman Moore played with horrible QBs. We're talking about playing with someone at the level of Kordell Stewart and Mike Tomzcak their whole careers.

Redskin QBs for Monk/Clark ranked around the Jeff Blake / Neil O'Donnell type yardage.

Since this method uses yardage there is a heavy over-adjustment... which would negatively effect people who played with Marino, Bledsoe, Moon, or Testeverde... but one could argue those QBs played so long because they were good.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 9:38pm

Matt (IIRC?), Thanks for giving the date of the PFR aticle. Will have to check that out when I get home from work.

It's too bad the NFL doesn't package season DVD sets. I guess that would be a heck of a lot of DVD for each season. But it would be cool to go back and follow a team or player through some seasons. It would probably cost some coin, but maybe I would be able to talk my local library into buying copies.

by Jason Mulgrew aka The Mul Dawg (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:19pm

re: 117 Hey Peter King,

Will you vote for Brian Dawkins? I bet you will, but I'd like to be sure.

by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Mon, 02/05/2007 - 11:30pm

The Art Monk debate basically boils down to your personal HoF philosophy. Some people (including me) think that long, consistently productive careers are HoF worthy, even if the guy only made three Pro Bowls and wasn't necessarily a "star". Others feel this type of player belongs in the "Hall of Very Good" not the HoF (eg. Zimmerman, who always says you don't get in the HoF for catching 800 eight-yard outs, although I've never read him explain why, since, you know, catching a ton of 8 yard outs is kinda useful to a team).

Anyway, my point is that discussing Monk's stats etc. ultimately isn't going to sway too many people to the other side. Monk was not a superstar, and he was not the greatest ever at his position. You either think "consistently productive over a long period of time" deserves HoF enshrinement or you don't.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 12:04am

Well, it's been 3 days and I'm somewhat rational again.

I can see how Monk is borderline and my personal bias puts him over the top. I believe was the leader of the Posse and a presence in the locker room, and that is somehow an on-field thing, and he greatly contributed to the Redskins being a great team.

One could argue that Monk opened up the field for Clark and Sanders to hit teams for deep routes... as Monk was normally in the slot and couldn't be ignored. One could argue he caught a ton of first down passes and helped the Redskins offense dictate the pace of the game. It seems to me that Joe Gibbs really likes to get a lead and then grind the clock out, relying on a good defense. This worked in the 80s into the 90s... lately not so much.

In these moments of rationality I'm confident that if there was DPAR for Monk's career he would rate very high like Hines Ward does. In honesty I have to admit that I try to cherry pick the conventional stats and 940 to make it seem like YPC doesn't matter as much as it does... I can't do that. I do think Monk was ahead of his time, as far as most WRs in the 90s-00s have a low YPC. At some point during the season a bundle of catches will be enough to overcome low YPC. Just look at Harrison's 140+ catch season. I think that should correlate to a career as well.

I can see how Hall of Famers are made with great seasons, not great careers. I think it must've been pretty hard for Monk to accomplish what he did, have a long career and catch a ton of passes. Not quite sure when is record was broken, but probably 2-3 years after he retired.

I'd really like to know how Clark-Monk stand up as WR duos.... Moss-Carter look very formidable, and I remember Flipper Anderson-Ellard always putting up big numbers with the Rams... and now there is Bruce-Holt, and to a lesser extent Wayne-Harrison.

After looking at Harrison's career prior to Manning's arrival I'm convinced that QB play has a greater impact on WR performance than we give credit too.

If you want a selective Hall of Fame just filter out all the guys who have to wait more than 3 years.... consider them the Hall of Excellent.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 12:16am

Ultimately, I still think Monk should go in. You can't discount the fact that receptions, while not a sophisticated stat or a good one to use when making quality judgements, is one of the NFL's most popular stats, highlighted in newspapers and on football cards, thereby reaching the common fan. And Monk did set at least 3 high-profile records (single-season, consecutive games with, and career). He certainly achieved a level of "fame" while playing. Add that to his good post-season numbers, the fact that he played for multiple chamionship teams, and that his numbers hold up against those of HOFers Joiner, Stallworth, Swann, and even Biletnikoff, and it should be enough to push him over the borderline and into the Hall.

by MarkV (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 7:27am

I will now start dreaming of the year when the hall elects an entire class of Defence, Special teams, OL, and FB's.

Actually this is true. I hate how the top 5 quarterbacks of each era get in but only the top two defenders.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 10:42am

MFurtek #109:

Monk gets penalized for having other pass-catchers on his team, but Irvin gets rewarded because he has a scrub next to him? The logic behind this reasoning doesn’t make sense.

Exactly my point. Why should Irvin be rewarded for playing next to nobodies? Just because he and Novacek were the only competent receivers in Dallas during their long run (Harper was only good a couple of years), doesn't make them HOF locks in my mind.

vijay #106:

And when we get to the playoffs, no one compares to Irvin, EVEN Jerry Rice, in terms of stats.

Duh, because Irvin didn't play in the playoffs when he was a rookie, sophmore, and junior scrub. His playoff stats would look much worse had he had a few 3 catches for 38 yards games in his first 3 years. That is an artificial cherry-picking type of stat.

on a per game basis, Irvin, even with Emmitt Smith on his team, had more catches, yards and TDs per game than any WR of relevance.

Again, because he was the only wideout worth throwing to on the team. When you have two competent guys, they automatically have somewhat less individual production than they would if playing alongisde a scrub because they each get fewer looks, but they have more production in total because the team is better. And the idea that this is "despite Emmitt" is ludicrous. What were they going to do if Irvin wasn't quite as good? Run Emmitt 28 times a game, instead of 23 times?

Irvin's numbers are similar to TO's (except he had many fewer TD's because TO is a better redzone weapon). In a couple of year's they will be similar to Randy Moss's (except with a lot fewer TD's), they are similar to Isaac Bruce's, except Bruce played longer and he played opposite Tory Holt and Marshall Faulk, they are similar to Jimmy Smith and he played opposite McCardell, they are worse than Harrison's. His overall numbers are not particular more spectacular than Andre Reed, James Lofton, Gary Clark, Irving Fryar, and others.

Irvin doesn't belong in the HOF because he was so statistically superior to everyone else, because he isn't. Instead, it was because he was an integral part of a team that went to 4 straight NFC Championships and won 3 Super Bowls - both in his receiving and in his run blocking and in his leadership.

by MRH (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 2:04pm

Link at my name to the case for Derrick Thomas. I'm a Chiefs fan - and a Joe Posnanski fan - so I'm biased. But it's worth a read.

by joe (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 2:31pm

"Irvin doesn’t belong in the HOF because he was so statistically superior to everyone else, because he isn’t. Instead, it was because he was an integral part of a team that went to 4 straight NFC Championships and won 3 Super Bowls - both in his receiving and in his run blocking and in his leadership."

Good point. The very same logic applies to Art Monk. I think Monk was gypped by sportswriters with a 30-second commercial spot-type memory.

Monk and Marvin Harrison are a good comparison, for their playing style and demeanor.

As a Skin's fan, I remember hating Michael Irvin more than any Cowboy ever, well, until Jerry brought TO to town.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 3:42pm

Andrew, Did most of the best WRs of the 90s even have a second option as good as Novecek on their team? Alvin Harper was a legit deep threat from 1991-1994, four of Irvin's five best years. And you're forgetting about Emmitt Smith who averaged 49 catches a year from 1991-1998. I don't think your argument holds any water; and in your original articulation of it, it all seemed very tautological.

As for calling Irvin a scrub in his first three years. Irvin led the league in yards per catch as a rookie. Injuries hampered his second and third seasons, as a new offense and a lot of new personnel were brought in, but he still averaged over 20 yards per catch in the third year.

When you break it down by season or by game, Irvin is statistically superior to every other receiver who played mostly in the 80s or 90s, except, of course, Jerry Rice. Unlike Rice he didn't get to play with a fine-oiled offensive machine his first few years, and unlike Rice his career was cut short by injury. That's the only reason his career numbers resemble the other WRs you mention.

You argue that "he had many fewer TD’s (than TO) because TO is a better redzone weapon." But the Cowboys were notorious for handing the ball to Smith in the red zone. And yet, Irvin still managed to average 6.5 TDs per 16 games - more than Andre Reed, Tim Brown, Jimmy Smith, Irving Fryar, Henry Ellard, Gary Clark, or James Lofton.

Re: "Andre Reed, James Lofton, Gary Clark, Irving Fryar." Looking at career numbers only aids compilers. Fryar was only top-5 in rec yards one time, and he only averaged 50.1 yards per game to Irvin's 74.9. Ellard had two fewer seasons in yards top 10 and averaged only 60.4 per game. Lofton has two more top 10s and one more top 5, but he also played a lot longer and is, after all, a HOFer. Clark is probably the closest statistical comparison, but he's still 10 yards per game behind Irvin, and his career faded away in Phoenix and Miami, rather than ending abruptly the way Irvin's did.

by Kyle, Louisville (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 4:08pm

Ken Riley, Ken Riley! (CB, Bengals)

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 4:09pm

Sorry for double post. I wrote "Irvin is statistically superior to every other receiver who played mostly in the 80s or 90s, except, of course, Jerry Rice." And Steve Largent.

by Jason Mulgrew aka The Mul Dawg (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 7:14pm


My old man said Riley was good, but not good enough for the Hall of Fame.

by bachslunch (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 8:46pm

Re Art Monk: keep in mind that he has only been eligible since 2001, and he'll be eligible until the year 2020. There seem to be some deserving inductees (including John Mackey, Carl Eller, and Roger Wehrli) who for whatever reason were made to wait until their last year or so of eligibility. Monk may be one of those for whom that happens. Whether that's fair or not, who knows? But he's not necessarily going to be shut out of the HoF. He's got quite a while yet to go.

by bachslunch (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 10:27pm

Re: Lester Hayes vs. Roger Wehrli. Hayes: on all '80's team, 2 all-pro selections, 5 pro bowls, 29 career picks. Wehrli: on all '70's team, 5 all-pro selections, 7 pro bowls, 40 career picks. Hayes also benefited a lot from stickum use. Given the choice, I'd induct Wehrli before Hayes.

by bachslunch (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 10:34pm

Re: #136 above. Hayes had 39, not 29 picks. Bad typo, my mistake.

by bachslunch (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 11:01pm

Re the following comment:

Here’s a short, incomplete, list of guys who obviously should have been in the HOF many, many years ago [snip]

Chuck Howley,
Chris Hanburger,
L.C. Greenwood,
Mick Tinglehoff,
Bob Hayes,
Russ Grimm,
Joe Jacoby,
Bob Keuchenberg,
Dave Wilcox,
Claude Humphrey,
Cliff Harris,
Lester Hayes.

Pretty good list, though Wilcox is already in the HoF and I'm a little less enthusiastic over Kuechenberg and Jacoby. For current eligibles, in addition to Monk, A. Reed, D. Thomas, Zimmerman, and Guy, I'd also add:

Robert Brazile,
Randy Gradishar,
Ken Anderson,
Nick Lowrey,
Cliff Branch,
Drew Pearson,
Harold Carmichael,
Irving Fryar,
Henry Ellard,
Steve Wisniewski,
Dermontti Dawson,
Randall McDaniel,
Lemar Parrish,
Cortez Kennedy,
Chris Doleman,

and seniors such as:

Tommy Davis,
Abe Woodson,
Johnny Robinson,
Jack Butler,
Jim Patton,
Bobby Dillon,
Maxie Baughan,
Tommy Nobis,
Ed Sprinkle,
Gene Brito,
Al Wistert,
Jerry Kramer,
Jim Tyrer,
Dick Stanfel,
Duke Slater,
Verne Lewellyn,
Lavie Dilweg,
Bill Howton,
Billy Wilson,
Pete Retzlaff.

by bachslunch (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 11:04pm

Re this observation:

It is interesting that Tags did not get in on the first ballot.

Given that Pete Rozelle was a finalist eight times before getting elected, I have no problem with Tags waiting a while before he gets in.

by bachslunch (not verified) :: Tue, 02/06/2007 - 11:15pm

Re: this observation against Richard Dent being in the HoF:

...the knock on him was always consistancy. He’d always make the sportscenter play, but he took plays off along the way, too. When he wanted to play, he was untouchable. If he’d wanted to play more often, he’d already be in the hall.

Add in that during Dent's 15 year career, he was a first team all-pro exactly once and a pro bowler only 4 times.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 2:06pm

Yeah, #138, I'd forgotten that Wilcox got in a few years ago. As a Vikings fan, I have to argue pretty vehemently against Chris Doleman. He was the prototypical speed rusher who padded his sacks total by abandoning his run defense responsibilities. The notion that Doleman is more deserving than Keuchenberg seems seriously flawed to me. I also less enthusiastic about some of the wide receivers.

by andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 5:44pm

141 - yeah, but Doleman was singlehandedly responsible (according to Zimmerman) for starting the end of Montana's tenure in San Fran, and bringing Young in.

Supposedly when Montana got benched for Young in this game it created a rift that was never healed until Montana departed to KC.

by bachslunch (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:16pm

Re: The notion that Doleman is more deserving than Keuchenberg seems seriously flawed to me.

The concern one can voice with Kuechenberg is that there are already 5 guards relatively contemporary with him in the HoF. With their all-pro/pro bowl numbers cited, best as I can reconstruct:

John Hannah (10-9)
Joe DeLamielleure (6-6)
Larry Little (5-5)
Gene Upshaw (3-7)
Tom Mack (2-11)

Kooch rings in at 2-6. The question is, how big a HoF do you want? From these numbers, he'd seem to be the best guard from this time not in. And guys like Dr. Z think Kooch was better than any of them but didn't get the recognition; wish this could be better quantified, but for interior linemen, all-pro/pro bowl numbers are the only ones that can be cited. Maybe this is enough to justify him getting in. Not heavily against Kooch per se, but can see the argument against him.

For Doleman, his better more-or-less contemporaries by these numbers at DE would only be Reggie White (9-13) and Bruce Smith (8-11). Two DT's, Cortez Kennedy (3-7) and John Randle (6-7) have the best numbers at those positions, while Charles Haley comes up at 2-5, playing both LB and DE. Doleman is 2-8. I didn't find any other DL of his time reaching this level of accomplishment. If these numbers are useful, Doleman looks pretty good in such company, if not at the elite level of White and Smith.

Of course, you mentioned that from your observations Doleman was weak vs. the run, strong vs. the pass, which may well be true. And Dr. Z says the same about Randle, which might also be accurate. (Don't know Kennedy's reputation here.) Clearly, there can be more to all this than all-pro/pro bowl numbers. But in theory, they reflect what their contemporaries thought of them, so they can't be ignored, either.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:31pm

Do you know what is silly about using Pro Bowl numbers?

There is no quantifiable way of judging how close players were to each other. It would be better if the NFL released something like Pro Bowl "points".

Let's say Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are voted to the Pro Bowl, and Carson Palmer is an alternate. For each position the writers have something like 320 points to dole it in their selections (by ranking players 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

In this case, if Brady ends up getting 100 points, Manning ends up getting 90 points, and Palmer gets 89 points, there wasn't really much of a consensus for Manning over Palmer... but Manning gets the whole credit for making the Pro Bowl... and Palmer gets nothing.

I know people have said using the Pro Bowl is poor... but it is convenient to look at, and that's why we do it. Just wanted to explain why people would say using it is poor.

Another reason would be something like a real dominant player always grabbing 50% of the Pro Bowl slots...

by bachslunch (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 10:30pm

Re: I'm also less enthusiastic about some of the wide receivers.

Henry Ellard (1983-1998) and Irving Fryar (1984-2000) could be seen as reasonably contemporary to Art Monk (1980-1995). Here's what their numbers look like:

name games catches yds tds
Monk 224 940 12721 68
Ellard 228 814 13777 65
Fryar 255 851 12785 84

Monk and Ellard both have 1 all-pro selection and 3 pro bowls. Fryar has no all-pro selections and 5 pro bowls. Fryar also should get added credit for kick-punt return prowess. Monk is on the all-'80s team, while the other two are not on any. If one backs Monk for the HoF (which I do), it gets tough to ignore Fryar and Ellard when you look at the numbers.

Regarding the threesome of Cliff Branch (1972-1985), Harold Carmichael (1971-1984), and Drew Pearson (1973-1983), who are very close contemporaries to John Stallworth (1974-1987) and Lynn Swann (1974-1982), who are both in the HoF:

name games catches yds tds
Branch 183 501 8685 67
Carm'l 182 590 8985 79
Stal'h 165 537 8723 63
Pear'n 156 489 7822 48
Swann 115 336 5462 51

Carmichael, Pearson, and Swann are on the all '70s team, Branch and Stallworth are not. For all-pro/pro bowl numbers, it's Branch (4-4), Carmichael (1-4), Pearson (3-3), Swann (2-3), and Stallworth (1-3). How different are they from each other? I wonder.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking the non HoFers don't look too shabby compared to the two HoFers. Steve Largent and James Lofton cross over with this group, but are a little later, while Fred Biletnikoff and Paul Warfield cross over with the early parts of their careers.

So how big are we going to have our HoF? I'm just thinking that Carmichael, Branch, Pearson, Ellard, and Fryar aren't unreasonable to offer up for a solid look-see. Others might not agree.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 1:41am

Bachslunch, the 70s, at least until 1978 was a very run heavy decade, so I see no reason why their shouldn't be an overweighting of guards from that era. However, I am more sympathetic towards Branch and Pearson getting in than I am of Ellard and Fryar.

As for Doleman, anybody who actually saw him play knows that he abandoned his run defense responsibilities. Same with John Randle. I'd actually be a lot more receptive to Cortez Kennedy.

by bachslunch (not verified) :: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 1:07am

Will, thanks for the feedback. I think receivers are under-represented in the HoF, which is why there's a larger number on my list than one might expect. Other folks might not agree.

by jte1970 (not verified) :: Wed, 02/21/2007 - 1:17am

Art Monk will make it one day but it might be the way that Charlie Sanders got in.But before Monk should make it in, I believe there is another WR that people overlook. Harold Carmichael of the Eagles . The man was a durable reciever and was a 4 time Pro Bowler . Not to mention a member of the 70's all decade team . He helped lead the Birds to there only Super Bowl( before 2004) in 80 which they lost. I think if they won that SB, that could have put him in by now. His teams like Charlie Sanders were mostly bad but Carmichael got to the big dance. He was in the top 5 to 10 in all WR catagories until Jerry Rice and Co. came along. Anyway ,he should be considered at least by the vet. comittee. If he would not be voted for next year , I would say Monk or Ken Anderson.