Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Feb 2012

Hall of Fame Class of 2012 Announced

Here is your Class of 2012: Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf.

I'm very excited about Dawson and Roaf. The Hall needs more offensive linemen. I voted for Roaf as a write-in candidate for the NFL's "100 Greatest Players of All Time" last year.

I'm stunned that Bill Parcells did not make it in. Stunned. We can stop with the "Tom Coughlin for Hall of Fame" talk right now because until Bill Parcells goes in there's no point in talking about any other coach as a HOF candidate except Bill Belichick.

And no Cris Carter, again. They're really going to have a hard time in the next few years figuring out which wide receivers to put in and judging wide receiver stats which exploded in the 90s.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 04 Feb 2012

230 comments, Last at 12 Feb 2012, 10:16pm by JIPanick


by JIPanick :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 7:20pm

I'm always glad to see more Olinemen get in, but the Parcells snub is absolutely absurd.

On the other hand, I can't really complain about the lack of WRs getting in. I think the two guys from the 90s who had to get in - Rice and Irvin - already are, and the guys from the 00s who have to get in - Moss and Owens - aren't eligible yet.

by Independent George :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 7:58pm

I have no problem not putting Parcells in if the rest of the class was worthy of it - and in this case, I think they are. All things considered, I favor players over coaches and others. It's not like he got snubbed for Art Monk or Floyd Little - the guys who got in, should have gotten in. And in the case of Dawson, he was snubbed far worse than Parcells was, for far longer.

by JIPanick :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:08pm

Ah, for some reason I thought there were six spots for modern guys rather than five. That means it isn't as bad as I first thought.

by Vincent Verhei :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 7:28pm

The one thing I will say about Carter is that though he had gobs of catches and touchdowns, he really didn't gain that many yards with those catches. He was top 10 in receptions 10 times, but top 10 in yards only five times, and never higher than seventh. He averaged 12.6 yards per catch. That's in the bottom 10 for all wide receivers with at least 500 catches. All-time great possession guy, all-time great red zone guy, just about zero as a big-play guy.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 7:44pm

So... do you need to be a big-play guy to make the HOF as a WR?

by t.d. :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 8:08pm

you mean to be elected? cuz yeah, to get elected, it helps. possession guys get the Art Monk treatment

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 8:40pm

Well it will be interesting to see how the voters treat Marvin Harrison then, being that the had a lower YPC than Monk (though higher than Carter. Tim Brown and Andre Reed were slightly higher than Monk in YPC).

by Independent George :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 9:28pm

Subjectively, when they were playing, I thought Chris Carter was significantly better than Art Monk or Andre Reed, and about even with Tim Brown and maybe a hair behind Marvin Harrison. I thought Sterling Sharpe was better than any of them, but unfortunately broke his neck at the prime of his career.

I was rather young when I watched most of them play, though, so I can't really give you a good explanation of why I felt that way, or really defend my impression. I'm just curious how others feel purely off subjective evaluations of watching them play.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:55pm

Well, really Monk shouldn't be compared to any of those others as his prime was in the 80s and their primes were in the 90s (except Harrison, of course) when passing dramatically increased. Carter was in a sense the evolution of Monk as the big, physical, move-the-chains possession receiver. Also, [gets on his soapbox] Monk was used in a base 3-WR set as a blocker in an offense without a true TE, which makes him more similar to guys like Shannon Sharpe, Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Dallas Clark than to any modern WR.

by andrew :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:03am

With Carter, it wasn't just the number of catches (two seasons with 122) or touchdowns... it was the spectacular catches, the one-handed grabs, the sideline toe tap while falling out of bounds things that I would have thought would have made him a slam dunk.

by Southern Philly :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:18am

He is a slam dunk. So is Tim Brown. I don't think Andre Reed is, but I'm not going to argue about it because I don't think it's that big of a deal and because it has nothing to do with the point I'm about to make.

They'd all be in the HOF but the voters have a really stupid unofficial rule: except for QB, they don't vote multiple guys at the same position in on the same ballot.* I may have missed a ballot, but only once in the last 20 years have two guys from the same non-QB position gone in together, in 2001.

*Veterans committee inductees excluded

by andrew :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:00pm

From what I've heard of the process... there is probably a bloc of voters determined to establish that Carter is the best of the 3 and won't vote for Brown or Reed until Carter is in first. And there is probably another bloc that is determined to establish that Brown is better, and likewise won't vote for the other 2... and maybe a third bloc doing the same for Reed.

Thus, like the 3 stooges, none will get in.

Perhaps Doleman got in as a kind of peace offering to the vikings writers to get Brown in next year, dunno. I read a story about how Jack Youngblood got kept out by writers determined to get Carl Eller in before him and somehow a deal was worked out to finally get Ron Yary in to end the opposition to Youngblood. And Eller got in a few years later.

by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:45pm

This wouldn't surprise me -- logjams like this can be tough to break. There was also a big logjam of pass rushing DLs/LBs a few years ago, but once Andre Tippett and Fred Dean were elected in 2008, others fell in line: Derrick Thomas and Bruce Smith in 2009, John Randle and Rickey Jackson in 2010, Richard Dent in 2011, and Chris Doleman this year. It's time for the voters to cut a few back-door deals and usher in one a year -- compromise can be a good thing.

by andrew :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:47pm

I can think of plenty of big plays by him. He just watered it down with a ton of 1 yard td catches and other short receptions. One that comes to mind was from a thursday night game vs chicago that he caught a 65 yard td pass in overtime to win the game...

by Marko :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:34pm

As a Bears fan, I also can think of lots of big plays by Carter, and the first one that comes to mind is the overtime TD that you mentioned in that Thursday night game. I distinctly remember watching that game with a friend/colleague who, like me, is a huge Bears fan. After the game, we unhappily went back to work across the street. I will never forget how he he angrily kicked the wall inside the elevator as we rode up to our office.

I think he belongs in the HOF, as do several others who didn't make the cut this year.

by Eddo :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:50pm

That exact play was my first thought, too. Why the F was Rox Cox(!) covering Carter on that play?

by tuluse :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 4:29pm

I once heard a semi-convincing argument that Chris Carter was the 2nd best receiver of all time because if you absolutely needed a first down who else would you rather throw to?

by D :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 3:59am

Probably Harrison. Ran better routes, maybe the best hands of any modern receiver.

(Actually, if we are talking all time, I would take Hutson, but is tough to compare players from different eras.)

by andrew :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 9:20am

Starting Quarterbacks Marvin Harrison has had:

Jim Harbaugh
Peyton Manning.

Starting Quarterbacks Cris Carter has had:

Randall Cunningham
Rich Gannon
Wade Wilson
Sean Salisbury
Jim McMahon
Warren Moon
Brad Johnson
Jeff George
Daunte Culpepper
Jay Fiedler.

And that's not counting guys who only started a couple games like Todd Bouman or Spergon Wynn (Peyton of course never missed a start until now).

by JIPanick :: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 10:16pm

Jerry Rice.
Michael Irvin.
Terrell Owens.
Randy Moss.
Marvin Harrison.
Torry Holt.
Isaac Bruce.
Paul Warfield.
Lance Alworth.
Fred Biletnikoff.

Now, if I had to choose one HOF-finalist-or-better WR and I positively needed a completion but wasn't much interested in a first down, THEN I might pick Carter. As evidence for my position, I present Carter's weak DVOA relative to the Rice/Irvin top tier of his heyday.

by D :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:59pm

So you agree with Buddy Ryan...

by Mash Wilson :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 7:52pm

They're probably just not sure Parcells is really finished coaching.

by Rabbit :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 8:48pm

That's a thought. Another is that he wasn't exactly loyal to any team once he left the Giants. Since that stint, he came but didn't stay long.

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 10:14pm

as C. carter woukd say c'mon man

Parcells done coaching. The voters know it

by Mash Wilson :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 7:59pm

Looking at Martin and Bettis... if you strip Martin of all his receiving value you have Bettis. It's pretty jarring how nearly identical their career rushing stats are:

Martin: 3518 carries, 14101 yards, 90 TD
Bettis: 3479 carries, 13662 yards, 91 TD

Not sure if DVOA bears out that Martin was a better runner too, wouldn't be surprised to find out Martin's success rate was higher. Kudos to the HOF committee for recognizing Martin was better, I guess.

by Shattenjager :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 8:15pm

Martin: 3518 carries, 14 101 yards, 90 TD, 29 fumbles (4.01 ypc)
Bettis: 3479 carries, 13 662 yards, 91 TD, 41 fumbles (3.93 ypc)

I don't know of anyplace where I can split those out so it's just rushing fumbles, but those are a big part of their rushing statistics.

by Independent George :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 9:36pm

Martin: 404 Rec, 3329 Yards, 10 TD (6.9 YPC)
Bettis: 200 Rec, 1449 Yards, 3 TD (7.2 YPC)

Neither would be mistaken for Marshall Faulk, Martin was a legitimate receiver at tailback.

The other thing is that Curtis Martin remains one of the single most consistent RBs I've ever seen. I wish someone would calculate a gini coefficient for RBs; I suspect that Martin is one of the all-time greats in terms of moving the chains and churning out drive-sustaining yards. The only player I've ever seen better at it was friggin' Emmitt Smith, cursed be his name.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:50am

If you strip Martin of his receiving value, you're talking away 3,300+ yards of production, which is nearly 2000 more receiving yards than Bettis had. Nowhere near Marshall Faulk, admittedly. Faulk was the league MVP in 2000 and Martin was never at that level.
Bettis got a lot more press because he won a ring with the Steelers. But it seems like the numbers favor Martin. I think Bettis should eventually get in.

by Mr Shush :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:30am

Neither of them really belong. Faulk is one of the greatest of all time at the position, and Tomlinson's an absolute all time great as well. That should be it for the Noughties - the age of the running back is dead, so for heaven's sake no more overempthasis.

by Jerry :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:20am

Martin and Bettis retired fourth and fifth all-time in rushing yardage, in an era where the run was/is being deemphasized. (Tomlinson has since passed Bettis.) That kind of production is a strong case for enshrinement in and of itself.

by Tom Gower :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:33am

I don't agree with this argument, but it seems that plenty of the selectors do.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:33am

Good post Jerry. C. Martin no doubter hall of fsmer in my book. Excellent all round back. Very high scrimmage yardage per game avetage--- top ten all time pretty sure. Gerat at protectig QBs on blitz pickup. Maybe best evrrr after M. Allen in that area of running back tasks. Also Martin hands of sasquatch. Very rarely ever fumble. Think has best fumble rate all time. Guyy was first team Football Writees and Sproting News all Pro 2001and AP 2nd team . In 2004 swept first tema all over. So had two first team all pro years meaning guy was #1 or #2 RB in two ssasons. Also had 8 other 1,000 uard rush seaosns.

Again Martiin not simpsom, failk, van buren, brown or b. Sanders but definitely belog in hall of fame. Martin better than sveeralother hall of fame RBs.

by Marko :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:55am

Raiderjoe, you forgot to mention Walter Payton as being great at blitz pickup. He was great at everything a running back is required to do. Martin wasn't nearly as good as Payton, but of course no one is suggesting he was in Payton's class.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 8:03am

Hmmm. Payton geat at blitz pickup too. Of course no stat for it so comes down to opinion. Allen, martin, Payton top 3 at itn. Think will stick with thay order

by Eddo :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:50pm

I'm going to use the expression "hands of Sasquatch" to describe non-fumbling running backs, now. Thanks Raiderjoe.

by Anonymously (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:32pm

"hands of sasquatch" describes raiderjoe's typing

by Subrata Sircar :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 8:03pm

They used all six spots and ushered in some well-deserving linemen; the Hall definitely needed more of those guys. Against that, some well-deserving candidates (like Parcells) didn't get in. That's a more-than-acceptable tradeoff to me, given that it seems very unlikely to me that Parcells will have to wait past the next class or two.

I view this not as a snub to Parcells but as a long-overdue acknowledgement of some of the best guys in the trenches to ever play.

by Independent George :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 9:56pm

I may be in the minority here, but I'm really glad Haley didn't get in. I think his Super Bowl rings are really his only distinguishing characteristic; I thought Doleman & Kennedy were significantly better than he was, and am glad they got in ahead of him.

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 10:27pm

Kennwdy much bwter than haley. Kennedy gerat pass rusher for playig tackle position. Kwnnwdy also terrrific vs run. Dolmena morw comparable to haley than kennedy but doleman better version of haley.

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 8:11am

Haley is one of the most disruptive linemen I've ever seen. It isn't just the rings, it's that he was a huge factor in winning them; if he never leaves San Francisco then I doubt the Cowboys win all three of their titles and the niners probably would have had another one or two.

Though he was a bit of an arse off the field, which is probably holding him back.

by Joseph :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 8:44pm

I think we have to remember this is football, not baseball. Only FIVE modern guys can get in, plus 0, 1, or 2 senior candidates. I think the HOF would be better served going to six modern guys & max 1 senior.
IMO, Parcells will get in soon enough, Bettis probably will, & Shields, Cris Carter, and some other guys too. For me, that's the problem. We can talk about snubs (Jason Whitlock was aghast that Roaf wasn't elected last year), but they did elect 5 guys. It's not like they had 4, and said "Nope, Parcells just isn't good enough, so only 4 guys this year."
[If somebody could do the research, it would be interesting to look back through the last few years and see how many finalists of class X EVENTUALLY made the HOF. I would bet that there are 8-10 guys from some years. In other words, some guys just had to wait their "turn" because there were too many HOF's for the 5 slots.]

by Mac (not verified) :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 8:55pm

The max they can bring in any year is 7. They need to start to bring in the max for the next several years to catch up on the backlog of players they have before them. When the HOF started in 63 there were fewer teams and fewer players that were on those rosters. Now in the modern era with 32 teams with max rosters of 53 your're talking about 1600 players a year. They need to adjust the rules on selection to make up for the backlog due to expansion and should exclude coaches and contributors from the count. Let them be their own group.
This is the only way to be fair to the players that deserve to be in the Hall.

by Drunkmonkey :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 10:51am

I'm not sure that's really the best way to go about things. It's generally agreed upon that the Hall of Fame is the highest achievement one can earn in just about every major sport in America. But in my opinion we need to keep it sacred, and not just elect players every year because we need to fill it up. I'm not saying there aren't many players who we can and need to elect into the Hall, but I don't want to fill it up just because we're scared they will be forgotten. Maybe another fair way would be to expand the number of players the senior committee can put into the Hall. I don't know what their jurisdiction is, like how long ago the players had to have played to be voted in by the seniors, but maybe we should allow them to vote in players from anywhere more than 25 years ago so that they could put in those players that might be left behind because of all the new players that might be eligible soon.

by Theo :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 9:42pm

Tom Coughlin? Did I miss something on why he is special?

by Independent George :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 9:54pm

Look at his record with the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, and compare it with their record since he was fired; then combine it with a winning record with the Giants, and 1-2 Super Bowl wins.

until Bill Parcells goes in there's no point in talking about any other coach as a HOF candidate except Bill Belichick.

I think Mike Holmgren as a coach, and Bill Polian & Ron Wolf as GMs, are in the same conversation as Parcells when it comes to non-players.

by Theo :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 10:16pm

Ok. I combined the Jags years with the Super Bowl runs. You mean that should do it??
Those Jags years are impressive, but let's not pretend that this was like the Texans expansion.
The Texans made it look so hard because they elected to play without an offensive line in front of their rookie QB.
Then he took a team to the Super Bowl. Twice.
Is that it?
I know some other coaches that did that.

by tuluse :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:51am

"Then he took a team to the Super Bowl. Twice.
Is that it?
I know some other coaches that did that."

How many of them are not in the HoF?

"Those Jags years are impressive, but let's not pretend that this was like the Texans expansion.
The Texans made it look so hard because they elected to play without an offensive line in front of their rookie QB."

That might have something to do with the head coaches.

by Jerry :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:33am

Coaches with multiple Super Bowls:

Shula 2-4 HOF
Landry 2-3 HOF
Gibbs 3-1 HOF
Grant 0-4 HOF
Levy 0-4 HOF
Noll 4-0 HOF
Reeves 0-4 HOF
Holmgren 1-2
Parcells 2-1
Walsh 3-0 HOF
Cowher 1-1
Flores 2-0
J. Johnson 2-0 HOF
Lombardi 2-0 (and 3 other NFL championships) HOF
Seifert 2-0
Stram 1-1 HOF
Vermeil 1-1

ACTIVE (does not include XLVI):

Belichick 3-1
Shanahan 2-0
Tomlin 1-1

And Coughlin will join the list Sunday.

by Southern Philly :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:03am

Dan Reeves and Jimmy Johnson are not in the Hall of Fame.

by Jerry :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 4:03pm

Aargh. Dan Reeves and Jimmy Johnson are in the Hall of Fame, but not the coaches, and I should have remembered that looking at the list. Thanks.

by Dean :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 11:48am

Not the same guy - in both cases.

by tuluse :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 4:31pm

Holmgren and Cowher haven't been eligible right?

by Jerry :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 4:50pm


by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:16am

Wouldn't Cowher have been ilegible this year if Parcells was? They both retired in 2006 if my memory is right.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 8:35am

I doubt the voters are ready to rule out the possibility of Cowher coming back.

by Geronimo (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:08pm

I know this is a small sample-size proposition, but I think the mark of a great coach is a guy who led a team to upsets in the playoffs, especially on the road. That is hard to do -- take a take perceived as worse, or even much worse, than the opponent, in a high-pressure moment like a playoff game, and pull of a win. By this standard, Coughlin is very impressive:
* Huge upset of Denver on the road in the 1996 playoffs -- that Denver team was really, really good, and the Jaguars were in YEAR TWO of existing.
* Beating Packers on the road in 2007 (and the road playoff wins before it)
* Beating an undefeated team in the Super Bowl afterwords
* Beating the 15-1 Packers and a very good 49ers team (road game on the other coast)

To me, that is impressive as hell. Add a Super Bowl win this year, and if I were on the committee, I would vote for Coughlin for the Hall. I'd put him in before I'd put in Holmgren, Cowher, or Dungy.

by Southern Philly :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:12pm

Devils advocate: a HOF coach wouldn't be an underdog on the road enough to have a bunch of those games on his resume, his teams would be at home and favored. To start a career, that's one thing (Jacksonville) but you can also ask "if Coughlin's such a great coach, why wasn't he more successful in NY save for 2007 and 2011?"

by Geronimo (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:30pm

That's a very good point, and I've thought it, too, in the context of Coughlin. But maybe it also speaks to an overall approach that looks at the season strategically with the idea of getting his team in fighting shape by year's end. (I don't really think this is the case, or is even possible, as I'm sure Coughlin's approach, like any coach's, would be to work like hell to win every single game.) But maybe there's something to the way he manages his team over the course of a season to get them to be at their best in December and January.

But I take your point, yeah. It's kind of like the myth of the "4th-quarter QB," often a stat cited to indicate a passer's greatness. But of course if the passer is so great, why is he behind so often in the 4th in the first place?

Still and all, the fact that, subjectively, to me, Coughlin's teams rarely look flat or uprepared in the playoffs is evidence of some very good coaching.

by Southern Philly :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:08pm

That's an approach Belichick uses, he's always telling his players that the goal is to get in a position to make a run starting on Thanksgiving. And if Coughlin had a track record of strong late finishes, then I could buy that. Especially if he was coaching a team like the Bengals or Cardinals where the owner handicaps you. But that's not the case with Coughlin. Look at his record in December/January for the regular season in NY (I'll give 2004 a pass since they threw in the towel and wanted to give Eli starts):

2005: 4-1
2006: 2-3
2007: 3-2
2008: 1-3
2009: 2-3
2010: 3-2
2011: 3-2

That's not impressive. Let's compare to the guy he's coaching against tonight, since he's definitely a HOFer:

2005: 4-1
2006: 4-1
2007: 5-0
2008: 4-0
2009: 3-2
2010: 4-0
2011: 5-0

Plus 2007 and 2011 are the only years he hasn't been one and done in the playoffs in NY. His record in Jacksonville is very good, but his record in NY is inconsistent. He's a good coach no doubt, but the HOF argument for him will be thin.

by Alexander :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 10:15pm

Cris Carter snubs are getting ridiculous. He was basically the only Viking's player until Moss got there.

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 10:30pm

Vikes only player? Is poster drunk?
Doleman made Hall today from the same basic er a of vikigns football

by Anon (not verified) :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 10:34pm

Weren't Randy McDaniel and Randle playing in those teams too?

by Aloysius Mephis... :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:34am

Yep. Warren Moon too.

by dmstorm22 :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:57am

Gary Zimmerman also. He and Carter played on the Vikes together from 1990-1992.

by Anon (not verified) :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 10:32pm

I think Martin getting in is absurd. Shouldn't we reserve the Hall of Fame for the most outstanding players of each position in their time? Can we really say that Martin was among the Top 5 running backs while he was active? To me he looks more like a workhorse back in a unidimensional, underachieving team. Much like what Jones-Drew is now. Not game-changing running backs, not paradigm-shifting running backs, not dominating running backs, just running backs that got to have more touches.

And it's not like they put Sanders/Dickerson/Smith numbers either. Martin had just 4 season with over 10 rushing TDs. Only six seasons with more than 4 YPC. Compare that to what Priest Holmes was doing at the time. Or Tomlinson. Or Alexander. This, to me, looks more like an award to consistency. "Be consistent, mediocre, but consistently mediocre and you'll get in".

Meanwhile, Brazille, the LT before LT, is still out. Carter, one of the deadliest WRs in the red zone of all time is out.

What is the Hall of Fame rewarding? Shouldn't it be "excellence"?

And I'm saying this as a Patriots fan and knowing that there are several players in the Hall that have nothing to do there (Swann, Hornung).

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 10:55pm

Pates fan hatig on playeer who left team to play for rival Jets? Mayeb not right person if want unbias comment.

Martin not top tier HoF rb but definifly belong. Not in E..Smith, Faulk, Simpson class. More in Leroy Kelly, McElhenny (gerat for spell especially when leadung legaue in rushing 1954 midway through season then got injured and out for rest of season)), T. Thomas, F. harris second tier if break down HoF rbs into two tiers..

Martin better all around back than s. Alexander and not even debatable so.won't debate it.

C. Carter should eb in. Agree there. Guy gwrat possessiion receiver.

by Anon (not verified) :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:39pm

I'm not on the Curtis Martin-hate waggon. I understand what he did. Kind of what Hutchinson did with the Seahawks. They have little time to make as much money as possible before age and injuries of times past start to catch on with them. No hard feelings.

by Southern Philly :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:46pm

Martin definitely benefited from being in New York. If he had the same career but with, say, the Bengals or the Chargers, I'm not sure he gets in. The guy was damn good, but I don't think he's a HOFer either.


They really need to release who voted for who. All HOFs do. I'd like to know which idiot isn't voting for Tim Brown and Cris Carter because he can't separate the two rather than, you know, vote for both of them.

by Theo :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:57pm

We don't put any linemen, receivers or even defensive players in the HOF for being 'good' for a long time either.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:05am


J. Slater ans D. Green in HoF.

by Anicra (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:23am

Sure, Martin was not a top 5 back while he was active. However, he took the slow but steady approach. 10-1000yard season avg 84 yards a game. Though he may not had 2k rushing season or multiple record setting season, Martin was steady and reliable. Which in the end, he was above average skilled player, not elite, that you count on for 1281 yards each year. Yet, Martin ended up, in the final totals, statistical as an elite, not above average RB. Goes to show you, that being consistent is a path to become elite in the end. Hence in this case, consistency means the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

by JonFrum :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:34pm

It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Above Average. I you believe Martin was not a top 5 back during his career, he absolutely does not belong among the best of all time. You make the perfect argument AGAINST Martin.

by Lance :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:20pm

It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Above Average

I'm still undecided in the Curtis Martin debate, but I can say that truly the worst (but, sadly, among the most common) argument used in a Hall of Fame debate is the "It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Above Average" one (more frequently phrased as "not the Hall of Very Good"). "Fame" does not occupy the top spot on the linear scale that includes descriptors like "above average" or "very good". We could argue about what does occupy that spot-- Really good? Excellent? Awesome?-- but whatever it is, it's not a synonym for "Fame" or "Famous".

by Phil Osopher :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 12:51pm

Led the league in rushing before, so you cant say he wasn't top 5 ever during his whole career.

He was a really good player that had 10 straight 1,000 yard seasons. Only second player ever to do it (Barry Sanders). Rookie of the year. He was extremely underrated while playing. I don't really get the hate, if you watched football during that era, he was a beast player.

Bill Parcells will get into the Hall in the next couple of years. Chris Carter ought to get in at some point. Tim Brown as well. They just want to make them wait.

I really hate that the local beat writers and other media members gets the honor to vote for the players. Most of them never watched all the games of the other teams during their beat for the home team. Tony Grossi (currently disgraced former Browns beat writer) said before he was demoted (and lost his HOF vote) that he didn't watch the other games in the NFL as "They were too depressing to watch."

He had a HOF vote and only watched Browns games. That is horrible. He isn't the only one either.

I have the Direct Ticket and four big screens and try and watch every game as much as possible and I can tell you that my friends who only watch the Browns and highlights have no idea who on other teams are actually really good and who is overrated.

Ex: Educated Sports fan who now only watchs local team ue to kids and wife duties, "Browns shouldn't sign Mario Williams for 4-3 DE, he isn't that great, above average. They should get Elvis Dumerville, he is a beast."

I will let you make your conclusions.

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
-Albert Einstein

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers"

by RickD :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:08am

Martin beats Holmes by any measure. Longer career, better peak year, 6000 more total yards. Holmes basically had a three year career as an elite player.

Tomlinson will be in the Hall eventually. He doesn't yet have Martin's career total in rushing yards, but his peak was better.

Nobody in the past ten years has had Dickerson/Smith/Sanders numbers.

No, Martin didn't score as many TDs as some RBs. I've long thought TD was an overrated stat for RBs. Emmitt Smith got a ton of TDs because the Cowboys would use all of their weapons to move down the field, and then every single time* they would use Smith to score the TD. So he got twice as many TDs/season as anybody else. That didn't mean he was twice as good.

Curtis Martin is 4th on the all-time rushing list. He's in. His peak years weren't as high as some RBs, but he had amazing durability for a running back.

I'm still annoyed with the Pats for letting him go basically because they thought it would be easy to replace him. Aside from one year of Corey Dillon, they haven't gotten that kind of production from any running back since.

*Yes, I'm exaggerating for effect.

by Vincent Verhei :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:45am

I'm still annoyed with the Pats for letting him go basically because they thought it would be easy to replace him. Aside from one year of Corey Dillon, they haven't gotten that kind of production from any running back since.

It's not like they've missed him. What would they have done with Martin? Played in six Super Bowls instead of five?

To put another way, they didn't replace Martin with another runner. They replaced him with guys like Wilfork and Mayo and Hernandez and Chung and Mankins and Light. And they're better for it.

by Rabbit :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:03pm

I guess 'need' would depend on how Martin would have been utilized by Belichick, and if as a four down back (probably), how valuable having your 3rd down back (Faulk) also be your 1st and 2nd down back (Smith, Dillon, Maroney, BJG) would be.

Personally, I think a lot. As great as Faulk and Dillion were in their assignments, defenses still knew what was coming when they entered the game. A guy like Martin would have disguised the offense's play-call better.

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 8:12am

Well said.

by Rabbit :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 10:54am

"This, to me, looks more like an award to consistency. "Be consistent, mediocre, but consistently mediocre and you'll get in""

That's not a fair assessment of Martin. As much as I agree that he was rarely a top three, or even five, back in the league, his career was hardly what should be described as mediocre. One league award (offensive rookie) and one 1st team allpro are what they are, but 10/11 years with 1000+ and 4 years of 1500~ yards is nothing to sneeze at. He was consistently a very good back, which is to say, he was much better than mediocre.

That said, I don't think he should have been enshrined either, but I do prefer his qualifications to say, Campbell's.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:18am

You afe mistaken. Martun first team all pro 2001 and 2004. Associated Press not only award selectors. Ass Press aqards considered more prestigious. Thag just becauss they advertse better. Football writers of america and the sportig News are no less "official" and their all-pro tesms actually better. Anyway maetin fiest team FWA amd TSN 2001 and second team Ass Press. Overall that make him fiest teamer and csn even see that in NFL's offical record book 2002.

by JonFrum :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:36pm

If you need to cherry pick awards, you've lost your argument.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:57pm

was not argunent. explauned later in string. not huge fan of awardsn simply tryig to correct misinformation. Nothing more than that.
Martin not in PFHoF due to 1 or 2 all pro aqards .

by Aloysius Mephis... :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 10:46pm

Weird on Parcells not getting in. Really weird.

Could it be that Parcells' reputation has been a bit of a casualty of Belichick's success? I think Parcells' coaching record without Belichick as a coordinator/assistant head coach is actually a bit under .500.

To be clear, I don't put any stock in that at all. Parcells' coaching record speaks for itself, and should make him a HoFer. I'm just looking for explanations.

Another, simpler explanation is that people don't like him, which I can certainly believe.

by MJK :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:12pm

I'm pretty shocked Parcells didn't get in. If he's not a first ballot HoFer, then I guess practically no coach is. All he did is build a formidable team and win a SB, and then go travelling and take whatever crap team he went to and get them deep into the playoffs within a year. You may not like him, but he's easily in the top 5 of coaches I've seen in my lifetime (the only guys I would put ahead of him automatically would be Walsh, Belichick, and maybe Levy...maybe a couple of others if I debated on it, but certainly not many).

I'm really happy Martin did get in. Classy guy, exceptional back. If he's played on a team that had consistent offensive performers around him, we'd be talking about him as an all time great.

To the Patriots fan above who was poo-pooing Martin...I wonder how long you were a Patriots fan? Prior to Curtis Martin, the Patriots had a long string of painful backs who wouldn't know a hole if they fell in it, and coundn't make a cut with a butcher knife. I was ENVIOUS of teams that had backs that averaged 3 ypc. And then Martin appeared, with the same linemen, and all of a sudden the Pats had a running game! I don't hold it against him that he left and followed Parcells to New York...that's more on Pete Carroll and company. I'm still angry at Carroll over Martin (and many other things). He mis-used Martin, almost managed to hose his career, pissed him off, and then let him get away in free agency. And the Pats would wait until Belichick brought Corey Dillon over from Cincy before they had a decent running back again.

by Anon (not verified) :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:43pm

Yes, the Patriots had a bad string of RBs and the first really promising one was Martin (actually Edwards was the first, but he almost got his leg amputed after his rookie season). And yes, he was an upgrade over the rest.

But that doesn't change the fact that he was just above-average, or at best, very good at some points in his career. Not a top RB. Not someone one would watch film of 10 years from now and say "Wow! This guy must have OWNED during his time". That's the point I raised: what is Hall-of-Fame material? Shouldn't it be the trully extrordinary players, the ones we will remember from years on, as LEAGUE fans, not X-team fans?

by RickD :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:18am

Martin came before Edwards. Edwards was drafted to replace Martin in 1998, had an excellent rrookie season.

Curtis Martin was always a top RB. He gained over 1000 yards ten years in a row!! No, he wasn't at the Sanders/Dickerson level in terms of power or flash. But he was productive at a high level for a very long time.

by Mr Shush :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:50am

Pretty good for a long time is not (or should not be) Hall of Fame material.

I don't really care right now, because I'm so happy Dawson and Kennedy got it, but Martin's peak just isn't high enough to convince me.

by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:50pm

Even if Parcells had been elected this year, he wouldn't have been "first ballot." He was a finalist in 2001 and 2002 but not voted in.

by Fielding Melish (not verified) :: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:47pm

I really don't care much about HOF, but I will say that I never, not one day, thought that Curtis Martin was a Hall of Fame running back when I watched him for all those years. I don't begrudge him getting in, and, frankly, after I type this, won't give it a second thought, but I was really surprised to see him get in so quickly.
Parcells, you would think, should've been a fairly easy choice, but I can't help but wonder that the fact he's behaved liked a prick for decades to the press (unless he needs a job, then he's happy as a clam to put on the blazer) didn't affect his chances some. He'll certainly get in, but he may have to wait a few years. Doesn't he just have one Super Bowl win, anyway? Improving a team and then jumping ship doesn't always look great to some, either.
I just wish that Cris Carter would get in so I didn't have to hear about it anymore. At this point I have to assume it is all an elaborate rib at his expense.
I agree it's good that more offensive linemen are getting in, as there are few positions more overlooked by voters/fans than those guys.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:04am

parcdlls 2-1 as head xoach in Super Bowls

by Anon (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:07am

No, he has two Super Bowl wins. 1986 (vs. Broncos, the Phil Simms "perfect" game) and 1990 (vs. the Bills, the Scott Norwood "Wide Right" game).

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:08am

you're forgetting Pats vs Pack. 1995 season

by Mash Wilson :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:48pm

1996 season, actually. 1995 season was the O'Donnell Bowl, the one and only Super Bowl that ever made a tiny sliver of me wonder whether a player might actually have willfully thrown a game.

by Anony (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:47pm

That was a loss, not a win. And it was in 1997 (1996 season).

by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:51pm

More or less my thoughts. I have no idea how someone can think Martin is worthy of special mention compared to all the other candidates from that era. 5 guys get in a year, I ma not sure Martin would have been in my top 25 players any year of his career.

I am always saddened by how much extra hype QBs and RBs get for the HoF. It is so bad that IMHO it just doesn't mean anything.

It is always interesting to listen to people talk about it, but that is about it. Whether a guy gets in or not means nothing to me because the process is so clearly broken.

by Marko :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:39pm

"More or less my thoughts. I have no idea how someone can think Martin is worthy of special mention compared to all the other candidates from that era. 5 guys get in a year, I ma not sure Martin would have been in my top 25 players any year of his career."

I completely agree. Admittedly, I didn't watch him play very often, but whenever I did watch his games, I never thought I was watching an all-time great. He seemed to me to be nothing more than a good, solid player. While it may be hard for fans to determine greatness for players at many positions, it is easy to spot greatness for running backs. When I think of great running backs I have seen play over the years, I immediately think of Walter Payton, Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson. I don't think of Curtis Martin at all.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:38pm

When I first started watching football circa 1984, Hall of Famer John Riggins was one of the big name running backs having just won Washington the Super Bowl with his 166yds and 4th quarter 4th&1 TD.

Look at his seasonal stats and he had only five 1,000 yard seasons. His career is decidedly unspectacular ... http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=180&tab=Stats However in the context of his day I seem to recall that he was the 7th RB to accumulate 10,000yds rushing - a number that Earl Campbell didn't manage.

Martin finishing so high up the rushing yardage list is a testament to longevity at a position that takes a lot of hits that can see a player fall away. Compare his numbers to some of the "great" running backs from this past decade - Shaun Alexander 9,400 ... Jamal Lewis 10,400 ... Priest Holmes 8,400 ... Corey Dillon 11,200 ...

At 14,101 yds and ten consecutive 1,000yd seasons I think Curtis Martin does deserve a place in the HoF.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:44pm

2 comments: First, I'm a Redskins fan and I will tell you the only reason Riggins is in the HOF is because of his playoff performances. His regular season stats are simply not HOF worthy. Second, while I generally don't approve of putting plodders who have longevity but not dominance in the HOF at any position, I make an exception for Martin because longevity at the RB position is so rare. Look at the guys you mention- Alexander, Holmes, Lewis, Dillon, none of them lasted as long as him.

by MC2 :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:38am

Overall, I like this year's selections. I think Martin is the most debatable, especially with Carter (and others) still waiting, but it really doesn't surprise me. Many of the voters are stuck in this '70s/'80s mentality that the key to winning championships is to have a workhorse RB. These guys see the big numbers put up by recent WRs as being the product of offensive gimmickry, or as some kind of fad.

As for Parcells, I was surprised he didn't get in, but it really doesn't bother me. In general, I would prefer to see more deserving players get in at the expense of coaches.

by Mr Shush :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:53am

There has never been a non-quarterback player as valuable as Parcells. He is one of the 20 most valuable NFL personnel of all time, without controversy. He should be in.

by Tom Gower :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:32am

George Young and Ron Wolf couldn't even make it to the room. Parcells may have been the chef, but Young bought his ingredients in New York, and Wolf's more deserving than Young.

by MC2 :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:01am

There has never been a non-quarterback player as valuable as Parcells.

I couldn't disagree more. I would say there have been dozens of players (maybe hundreds) who have been more valuable than any coach. One obvious example is Lawrence Taylor, without whom Parcells never really came close to winning a Super Bowl. (The year with the Patriots, he came through a very weak AFC and then got drilled by a far superior team).

Does anyone really believe that the Giants of the late '80s and early '90s would have been better off with Parcells and a replacement level OLB than with Taylor and a replacement level HC?

by tuluse :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:59am

Would LT have been LT without Parcells?

There are question to which we'll never have answers.

And why would the Giants have a replacement level OLB? You don't think Parcells could find a linebacker better than replacement level?

by MC2 :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:55am

And why would the Giants have a replacement level OLB? You don't think Parcells could find a linebacker better than replacement level?

That's certainly possible. But it's equally possible that the Giants could have found another head coach better than replacement level. My point is that the gap between LT and the next best available linebacker was probably far greater than the gap between Parcells and the next best available head coach.

by Junior :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 11:22pm

"Would LT have been LT without Parcells?"

I'd say "yes" barring him having a Mangini/McDaniels/Lane Kiffin/Haley type coach that would constantly dick with him and bench him for weeks on end to prove some stupid point that means nothing.

by dmb :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:02pm

You might be right that LT was more valuable than Parcells to those Giants teams, but stating that Parcells didn't "come close" to winning a Super Bowl without LT in a pretty gross exaggeration. If advancing to the Super Bowl isn't "close" to winning it in the context of a career, then what is? Do you have to lose a lead in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl in order to come "close" to winning it without actually doing so? Advancing to a conference championship game and a Super Bowl with two separate teams is pretty strong evidence that he was more than capable of winning at a very high level without LT.

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 10:26pm

Vince Lombardi.

by zlionsfan :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 12:13pm

I don't think it makes much sense to try to compare the relative values of coaches and players (although it's precisely what HoF voters are asked to do) ... it seems to me that by this statement, you value some things differently than I would.

For example, I would suggest, say, Jim Brown and Barry Sanders as examples of non-QBs more valuable than Parcells. You've been here long enough that you're obviously familiar with them, so you apparently feel otherwise. From there, all we can do is talk about "I feel this" and "I believe that."

Football is a long, long way from being able to assign value to individual players in a meaningful way, despite things like p-f-r's Approximate Value (which is built largely on results of individual plays that are sorted out among players), and I know of no metrics that try to compare the two.

To your last point, I wonder if it would make more sense to consider non-players separately from players by reserving an additional spot for them ... or if there simply aren't enough non-players valuable enough to make this an issue. Parcells will get in eventually. Other similar people will get in eventually. For now, there may be a couple more years where at least one deserving candidate doesn't get in because there's no room. (Hey, it could be baseball, where the Veterans' Committee is electing "my best friend from this 1955 road trip" and "this one guy who sold me a really good car" while deserving candidates have to sit through 2-4 elections to get in.)

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:06am

I'm shocked Carter wasn't elected. And I'm a Packers fan. Carter always got exactly what was needed for a first down. I don't think they keep first down stats, but for years they mentioned during games almost all his catches were for either first downs or TDs. He wasn't the guy who caught the ball and then ran for yards. But he ran great routes, caught more TDs than anyone not named Jerry Rice, and didn't have a HoF QB for most of his career. Not sure who I would have picked to leave out. They are all good entries. But Carter was death by a thousand paper cuts. He didn't have 80 yard TDs. He would beat you just the same.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:26am

I don't understand what the issue is with Carter. Looking at his stats, it seems like it too him quite a few years to reach a top level. He only had 5 receptions as a rookie and then hada 5 years of sub-1000 yards receiving (only one of which was close to 1000 yards). But then he had at least 1000 yards receiving for eight years in a row.
I'd be interested to hear an explanation from somebody why he continues to be snubbed.

by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:54pm

Carter's in a logjam with Andre Reed and Tim Brown. And the primary knock on Carter (though it's not a HoF deal-breaker, and I think he'll be elected eventually) is his low yards-per-catch, which puts him in a possession receiver category with guys like Fred Biletnikoff, Charlie Joiner, and Art Monk, none of whom were elected quickly. Carter's waiting actually isn't that unusual, as the HoF voters don't seem to like WRs (or safeties) much.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:24am

C. Carrter keep gettinf snubbed due to low avergae per cstch #. Is same reason why a monk waited and heavy artillery harrison will not get in immediately

by andrew :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:54pm

I don't find Carter and Monk that similar. Carter was unquestionably the best receiver on the team for a good chunck of his career in Minnesota. Before him they had Anthony Carter, brief overlap and it quickly became apparent CC was better. And that lasted even until they drafted Randy Moss.

With Monk, I almost always felt on any given season that he wasn't the primary receiving threat, between Gary Clark or Charlie Brown or Sanders etc... yeah he lasted past all of them but I think on most years someone else had better receiving stats..

And heck, even with Randy Moss becoming better than carter (which I hold happening partway through the 98 season but even that year Carter had better reception and yardage totals iirc... I think it adds to CC's credentials that he was Randy's mentor when he arrived, and was able to help explode out of the gate...

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:46am

If bored someone could lookbit up but think this firsy Hall of Game class where all the enshrinees combined to win zero NFL championshups. So this class really shows the electorsbwerebnot swayed by the rings syuff this year. Other times lots of timesbsee peoole in mwdia or forum say or write stuff like "guy won 2 rings so should gey in". Problem witj thsy thonking is football tema sport but hall if fame is individual honor.

by argus :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:15am

Maybe the reason Martin got in is because the selectors were looking at it as the Hall of Game instead of the Hall of "Fame".

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:32am



by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:28am

Darn. Sorry for error. Migjt not be bad idea tjough. No fame guys (t. Sestak, b. Dillon, v. Lewellen, L..Dilweg) could make Hall of Game and oveerrated famous guys like Hornung and A. Wojciechowicz (fampus for being a Fordham block of Granite with V. Lombardi) could stay im Hall of Fame.

Also, if like rap music "Hall of Game" by E-40 and 2Pac pretty good song. Not gerat. "Sprinkle me" and "Dusted 'n Disgusted" E-40's two best spngs probaly. "Hall of Game" like Danny White of E-40 songs. Other two noted like roger Syaubach and T. aikman of E-40 songs

by dmstorm22 :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 4:10am

I guess to most people the biggest snub was Parcells.

Can someone tell me if the HOF changed the waiting period for coaches recently, because Shula, Landry, Lombardi and Noll waited just 2 years. Is it because of their incredible stature that they were waived in early?

Anyway, other than those guys and Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs and Week Ewbank, no coach appears to have made it on the first ballot in the Super Bowl era.

Other than Ewbank, I would think that all of those other first ballot coaches have a stronger resume than Parcells. Even Ewbank won three NFL titles. Honestly, I think to be a first ballot HOF you have to be on the short list of the greatest of all time if you are a coach, and I don't consider Parcells to be that.

by Jerry :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:41am

I think it changed officially at one point. I'm pretty sure that Parcells didn't get in during his first retirement because he was expected to return to coaching, and they went to the five-year rule to remove that controversy (Joe Gibbs aside). Cowher's been out for five years now, but I don't expect him to be considered seriously until it's clear that he's not coming back.

by Mash Wilson :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:45pm

Cowher's not going to be seriously considered anyway. His career is not notably long and he accomplished nothing spectacular. If you don't think winning one Super Bowl is a total game changer, Andy Reid has had pretty near the same career. Cowher's a charismatic and likeable guy, but I think the further we get from actually watching him coach and the more we rely on the numbers, the less impressive his resume looks. He's going to need to get back into the game and have some more notable success to get serious HOF consideration.

by Hurt Bones :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:09pm

Cowher has better numbers when he left than Parcells did at his first retirement. A .623 career winning percentage over 15 seasons is no mean accomplishment. Cowher's record of 149-90-1 is better than Parcells' after 15 seasons (138-100-1). He could comeback and coach four 8-8 seasons and still have a better winning percentage than Parcells.

Andy Reid will have pretty nearly the same career if he coaches two more years 12-4 and 13-3 and wins a super bowl.

Look I hate the Steelers, and I couldn't stand watching Cowher spit everywhere on the sideline, but that doesn't mean I don't think he was a great football coach.

by Steve1 (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:32pm

Cowher will be serious considered once the voters (most of them, anyway) are convinced that he's done coaching. Winning as consistently as he did with the amount of turnover the Steelers had will get him serious consideration. What would his chances be if he didn't have a ring? Probably pretty iffy, but that's how it goes. If Reid gets a ring (or at least takes the Eagles to another SB), he has an excellent shot, too. If Marty Schottenheimer had a ring (or at least a SB appearance or two) on his resume, he'd be a likely HoFer.

One more thing on Cowher, I actually think he'd be better off staying retired from coaching. Returning just opens the door to the possibility of having a George Seifert, Tom Flores or (so far) Mike Shannahan (or, to a lesser extent, Jimmy Johnson)-type second act, which would obviously hurt his HoF chances.

by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:07pm

Actually, I think there's a coaching logjam in the making coming up. Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren, Tony Dungy, and Dick Vermiel all have similar lifetime W-L stats and postseason success (and will all be seen as being behind Bill Belichick), and it wouldn't surprise me if many of them wait a long time if they're ever elected. Dungy's having the best lifetime winning percentage of this bunch, his being the first coach of color to win a Super Bowl, and his being named to the All-00s Decade Team probably sets him apart from this pack, though, behind Belichick in 2nd place.

by dmstorm22 :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 4:34pm

I don't think Vermeil stacks up to the other four on that list. I will be surprised if Vermeil gets in ever. I think all those other four will eventually get in.

by bachslunch :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:10pm

W-L-T, win %, Super Bowls won for all:

Cowher: 149-90-1, .623, 1 SB won
Dungy: 139-69, .668, 1 SB won
Holmgren: 161-111-0, .592, 1 SB won
Shanahan: 157-119-0, .569, 2 SB won
Vermeil: 120-109-0, .524, 1 SB won

And just for a reference point:

Belichick: 175-97-0, .643, 3 SB won
Coughlin: 142-114-0, .555, 2 SB won

No question Belichick is the class of this group. Coughlin is pretty much comparable to the rest right now, especially similar to Shanahan, and both he and Belichick in theory have more "in the tank" than Shanahan, the only one of the top five folks still active.

Vermeil is just a shade under the rest, but he's not as far off as one might think. Like I said -- logjam in the making. And if Coughlin were to retire tomorrow, he'd be part of that group. Fortunately for him, he's got more time ahead of him.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:26pm

Belichick, while clearly extremely talented, is known to have been directly responsible for one of the worst cheating scandals in NFL history. Even if all of his wins were legitimate it's still an order of magnitude worse than anything Pete Rose did. I doubt he gets in, but maybe I'm just being optimistic.

by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 7:32pm

You are being ridiculously optimistic. Belichick is getting in 1st ballot. Even if his cheating had substantial effects in leading the Pats to three Super Bowl titles, he did not do anything close to betting on the sport he was coaching like Rose. There is a reason why Rose was banned (and some argue that he should still get into the HOF - but I guess that's because his transgression occurred after his playing career). Belichick was fined a lot, but he's going to have about a 2-minute deliberation in that HOF voting room.

by Dean :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 9:50am

I think you're both being rediculously optimistic in your own way.

To suggest that Belichick cheating will somehow be ignored by the selection committee is every bit as naive as the idea that it will cause an automatic blackballing.

It'll be considered. He may overcome it. He may not.

As far as the first ballot, that means nothing. He's not going to get a different color jacket if it takes more than one year.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 2:01pm

Curse you, voice of reason!

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 9:27am

I think the knock on Dungy's candidacy would be Peyton Manning and Bill Polian. For me, they're the only no-brainer Hall of Famers from the Noughties Colts, and Dungy's in a second tier of guys I would consider maybes with Freeney (probably the most deserving of the rest) and Harrison, just ahead of the really marginal candidates like Wayne, Saturday and James.

by tuluse :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 3:55pm

Dungy had a pretty good record in Tampa too.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 1:18pm

Where he also didn't draft Sapp, Brooks or Lynch . . .

by tuluse :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 5:21pm

If you're going to ding coaches for having good players, not a single coach should be in the hall of fame.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:04pm

But most coaches - or at least most Hall of Fame coaches - have a lot more to do with the acquisition of those players. All those guys were already on the roster when Dungy arrived. Belichick built the Patriots essentially from scratch, and oversaw a massive rebuild on the fly without ever having a non-winning season. Holmgren brought Hasselbeck and Alexander and Hutchinson to Seattle (though he did inherit Jones). Shanahan may have inherited his Superbowl teams, but he was certainly responsible for the personnel on the very good Jake Plummer sides, and set up an offensive juggernaut that should have lasted for years if McDaniels hadn't blown it up.

Also, there are very good players, and then there is Peyton Manning. I'm not sure how favourably we should look on only reaching one Superbowl in seven years of Manning's prime, as a coaching accomplishment.

by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:42pm

Yes, but going 10-6, 12-4, 12-4, 14-2, 12-4, 13-3 and 12-4 in his 7 years in Indianapolis is an accomplishment. Regular season success matters as well.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 10:34am

It is and it does. The question is, whose accomplishment? I'm inclined to give the lion's share of the credit* to Manning and Polian.

*Matt Millen renounced all claim on it in return for a high profile wide receiver bust.

by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 4:32pm

I think Harrison is a lock. It might take a while (just like it is for Carter). I think Dungy will get in because of his innovation with Kiffin in Tampa, and winning in two historically poor locations (Tampa, Indy - yeah, Peyton helped, a lot). He has a winning percentage above .66 (which is really rare), and I really hope this comes across right, but the fact that he was the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl, as well as a coach who is respected the way he is, makes me think he will definitely get it.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 1:03pm

I don't disagree with any of that, in terms of whether they will get in. I'm just not convinced they should. Nor that they shouldn't, by the way - I like them both better than Martin, for example.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 1:49pm

It's the Hall of *Fame*, not the Hall of *Best*.

Dungy may not have been all-everything, but he's the second most important coach of his era.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:16pm

A fair point, and undoubtedly one of the reasons why he will in fact get in.

Again, I'm talking about who I would like to see in, not who will get in. Personally, I don't give a crap (for Hall of Fame purposes) about anything other than how good they were at their football jobs. Cure cancer? Serial child murderer? Makes no odds to me. And truthfully, being both young(ish) and English, the race factor probably just doesn't have the same emotional resonance for me. I'm aware of the history, of course, but it really isn't my history, and doesn't have much bearing on my experience.

by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:00pm

Yes, they did change the eligiblity for coaches a couple years ago. They used to be eligible immediately upon retirement, but now coaches have to wait five years before becoming eligible, same as players. And with his "will he/won't he retire" career, Parcells is arguably the primary reason for the change.

by andrew :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:03pm

Parcells never got same negative reaction as Favre did for this... but then again Parcells would sit out for awhile then come back, which I gueess is different (though worse for HOF situations).

Still, Joe Gibbs came back after being elected, so...

by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:56pm

No, I think the worst snub by far was Dick Stanfel. The voters clearly don't have a clue how to evaluate players in the Senior category with fairness or consistency.

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 4:23am

I'm not saying this is the only way to rank RBs, but among retired* running backs, here are the top 12 all-time in rushing yds/game.

1. Jim Brown 104.3
2. Barry Sanders 99.8
3. Terrell Davis 97.5
4. Eric Dickerson 90.8
5. Walter Payton 88.0
6. Clinton Portis 87.8
7. Billy Sims 85.1
8. Curtis Martin 83.9
9. O.J. Simpson 83.2
10. Edgerrin James 82.7
11. Earl Campbell 81.8
12. Emmitt Smith 81.2

Again, I'm not saying he's better than O.J. or Emmitt, but that's not a guy who just hung around for a long time compiling stats. Bettis is 25th at 71.2, BTW.

(*First of all, it's not fair to include active players on a stat like this. And second, there's some kind of glitch on the pro-football-reference leaderboard for them. When I looked at this a few months ago, Adrian Peterson & Chris Johnson were the only active players ahead of Martin.)

by Mikey Benny :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 9:49am

You're wrong on this one.

I'm the first to say Martin was a better and more complete back than Bettis, but this ain't why.

Bettis stayed with the Steelers for about 3 years (25% of his career) as a backup and goal-line back. This dragged down his ypg, and ypc average under 4.0 (IMO the biggest reason Betti isn't in, and may have a hard time getting in). In Bettis's final season, I believe he saw significant action in just one game, and in that game ran for over 100 yards against Urlacher's Bears.

Your stat basically rewards players who got injured during (or soon after) their prime or retired once they were no longer a starter. It's interesting debate fodder I suppose, but it is in no way a legitimate way to rank RBs.

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:40pm

I only mention the Bettis comparison because people like to lump the 2 of them together. But while Bettis' 2 best years by ypg were better than Martin's, it evens out after that. Looking at their 5 best seasons, Martin averaged 95.07, Bettis 93.75. And it just gets worse after that.

As for Portis, no, of course I don't consider him a HOF back. But there's a big difference between 6 1,000 yard seasons and 10 of them.

Martin's 4th all-time in rushing yards, and unlike Art Monk's receptions record, there are not a ton of guys who will come along and pass him because the game is different.

The bottom line on Martin is that anybody who was as effective as he was for as long as he was is in the Hall of Fame.

by Anony (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:09am

That's a good example to my point. Do you think Portis is Hall of Fame material? Until last season, he had a long series of 1000-yard seasons. He is in that top-12. Did you ever think, after his rookie and sophomore season, that the guy was elite enough to be in the Hall?

by andrew :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:05pm

We need to model some kind of years of experience curve to running back season yardage, so we can have a kind of "age-adjusted yards" to pro-rate the performance of running backs who linger into their dotage...

by Will Allen :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 10:48am

Apparently, the nitwits who vote for this joke of an institution think the qbs they vote in caught their own passes. And the list of guys who coached two champions for one franchise, coached another franchise to the championship game after taking the reigns of a trainwreck, coached another 1-15 trainwreck to the conference championship game, then took a team that had Quincy Carter and Troy Hambrick as offensive playmakers, and a bunch of old guys on defense, to the playoffs in a decent division (possibly the greatest coaching performance since the merger), and then was the architect for another 1-15 team's oneseason turnaround, is pretty long.

Five random overserved football fans in a sports bar could do a better job than what these numbskulls do.

by Rabbit :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:36am

Didn't Parcells have a rep for only moving on to loaded teams? Teams that had spent prior years both losing a lot and loading up in the draft? If so, how much credit does he deserve for turning those franchises around?

Three year record of teams Parcells accepted positions with. And as a bonus for him, pick awaiting him his first year.

NEP 9-39 #1 pick
NYJ 10-38 #8 pick
DAL 15-33 #5 pick
MIA 16-32 #1 pick

I do recall it being spoken of a lot, vis-a-vis where he'd eventually coach next.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:24pm

Parcells rep isn't for moving onto loaded teams. And if it were we might as well throw out Marv Levy for taking over the hapless Bills, or Chuck Noll the late 60s Steelers. You can find plenty of coaches who took over rubbish teams and then couldn't turn them around. See Arizona/Detroit/Oakland in the last decade.

What Parcells did do by going to rubbish teams is that the owners had reached rock bottom and were willing to let him do almost whatever he wanted. He could walk in and rip up everything that has gone before. When your team was 2-14 you can walk in and tell people everything's changing. Be Jim Caldwell taking over the 2008 Colts and you'd be crazy to try and impose too much change.

by Sean McCormick :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:29pm

That's simply not the case, as evidenced by the percentage of the roster he overhauled during his time there. Within three years of being in New England, New York and Dallas, the vast majority of the rosters had been turned over.

In addition to the three Super Bowl appearances, Parcells took a Jets team that had compiled one of the worst two-year records in NFL history and had them at 12-4 and playing in the AFC Championship within two years. He took on one terrible team after another and completely turned them around, and he's done it with different quarterbacks everywhere he's been, which is one reason why I would take Parcells over Belicheck. He belongs with Walsh and Gibbs as one of the three dominant coaches of his era, and he absolutely should be in the hall.

by CoachDave :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:11pm

I couldn't agree more. The HOF voting and voters need a complete overhaul. Darts, a blindfold and monkey could do a better job.

The ONLY reason Martin gets in is because he was a good media guy who played his entire career in the NE "media corner" of the country. 1-time All Pros do not deserve to be in the HOF at any position at any time. He is a stat compiler...nothing more, nothing less. Put him in the Art "I don't deserve to be here either" Monk wing of Canton.

And Doleman? What a headscratcher...you've got a list of guys who should be in there as long as my arm and you pick him? Dear God....

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:20pm


C. Martin was two time All-NFL ((2001, 2004). You can even chekc the nfl's official record books of 2002& 2005 for this info. This "1 time all-pro" idea is wrong.

Now, next point. What do you think hall of fame should be? 30 players, 50, 100? If do thay goinf to have crappy museum in Canton. Havig 273 or so (forger exact number) enshrinees thriugh 92 seasons pretty good number in my opinion. Not too manu. Not too few.

So a guy like F. Little or W. Millner or A. Wojciechowicz get in
Big deal. All guys inducyed yesterday very good or greta. That is what Hall of fame always been. Greats like simpson, van buren, j. Rice, Upshaw, willie brown, tunnell no-brainers. Others like Leroy kelly, warren moon, Richter, lavelli, henry, jordan, f. Dean, darrell green all very good but not reslly great. Those type of players belog too. It is up to individial fans like yourself to separate those two groupa of players in own mind.

So stop complaining about HOF, have a beer or two and enjoy.basketball and super owl today

by Southern Philly :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:32pm

A second, non-AP All Pro list isn't going to magically make him a HOFer for those of us who don't view him as that great.

by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:42pm

I think Raiderjoe is saying more than this -- that your idea of what constitutes a HoF-er is too stringent. And while he's not Jim Brown, one could argue that Curtis Martin fits reasonably within the standards the HoF seems to have established for RBs.

by Southern Philly :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:46pm

That I agree with, and using "he was only an All Pro X amount of times" is a narrow view. But he keeps repeating it as if it matters. No one is going to change their mind on Curtis Martin simply because Pro Football Weekly said he was a 1st team All Pro in 2001.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:09pm

Not repeatig it cause it matters. Repeating it only becauause other postwrs repeatig incorrect information that Martin only one time all pro.

Assocuated Press like Budweiser. They do best/mosst advertsiing. The PFW all pro team not as widely advertised and thus many NFL fans think it less important than ASsociated Prwss team.

In year we diacussing here (2001) NFL (no more higher authority than league itself)) said Associayed press and PFW allpros team get equal say in making of All-NFL team

Marhsall Faulk unanimous fiest team
Curtis Martin first twam PFW
Priest holmes first team AP

All 3 on official all-nfl team

Now let's see about 2004
Curtus maetin unanimous firts team
Shaun alexander first team PFw
L. Tomlinson first team AP
All 3 on official all-nfl team

Maybe someday league only goigng to recognize associated press team but that for another day. In martin's career league gave as much weight to PFW & Asociated press twam and if want to be fair to players FO posters need to recognize PFw all-pro teams of appropriate time period.

Not actuallu huge fsn of all pro teams general. But are useful sometimes. Just look at internet every year afervall pro teams announced. All sorts of complaints on many team forums.and this one. That is why tough to look at old all pro teams as gospel handed down from Vince Lombardi and george halas themselvss

by Southern Philly :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:55pm

Fair enough, and I agree.

by Will Allen :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:24pm

Again, I'll never argue against any player's induction, given the size of the backlog of deserving players. I like Martin for the HOF, and I think most coaches of the era do as well, because coaches, more than most, understand the value of a guy who is not only very productive, but never fumbles. I always thought Eric Dickerson was a bit overrated, although a certain HOFer, due to his fumbling.

Doleman was a great player. I was just giving a Vikings' fan perspective on what was frustrating about him. I think Claude Humphrey, however, to name one defensive end, was better.

This institution could induct 10 players a year for the next 5 years, and still have a backlog of guys wo are deserving.

by t.d. :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 9:13pm

Fred Taylor was a much better, contemporary player than Martin, and he'll have to buy a ticket to get into Canton

by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:55pm

t.d, you said "Fred Taylor was a much better, contemporary player than Martin..."

I would be interested to see a case presented for this, one with stats that are period-adjusted as necessary.

by Hurt Bones :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 4:33pm

IMO both Corey Dillon and Fred Taylor were better backs, but that's just the way I saw them. I was worried about them because they were game changers. Martin just sort of plodded along. Taylor, Dillon and Martin all have similar career DYAR. So pick you poison.

Career DYAR (receiving and rushing)
Curtis Martin 1616
Fred Taylor 1607
Corey Dillon 1601
Jerome Bettis 1329

DYAR (receiving and rushing) per season
Corey Dillon 160.1
Curtis Martin 146.9
Fred Taylor 146.1
Jerome Bettis 102.2

Career rushing DYAR
Corey Dillon 1315
Fred Taylor 1289
Jerome Bettis 1210
Curtis Martin 1167

Rushing DYAR per season
Corey Dillon 160.1
Fred Taylor 117.2
Curtis Martin 106.1
Jerome Bettis 93.1

None of the above fall in the Adrian Murrell category (-309 career DYAR).

by Will Allen :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 10:53am

I'll never again argue against any player's induction, given how many deserving guys are on the outside, but this Vikings fan was never a huge fan of Doleman. He always struck me as a guy who was thrilled to get his two or three sacks in a Vikings loss, or to be selected to the Pro Bowl in a year where the Vikings were eliminated in their first playoff game.

by Karl Cuba :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 1:47pm

All of that may be true Will but he had a lightning first step and maybe the best swim move I've seen. If Doleman wasn't around the 49ers win the Superbowl in 87.

by Will Allen :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:27pm

Oh, he was great player, no doubt about it. Perhaps that is way he frustrated me to the degree he did.

by andrew :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:17pm

Dr. Z for sports illustrated had an article in which he debated Doleman's HOF credentials. He considered him a key part of history, saying what he did in that 1987 game was the start of the rift between the Walsh and Joe Montana (when they pulled Montana for Young)... despite that Joe went on to win superbowls the next two years ahead of Young, trouncing the Vikings each time.

Lessee if I can find the article.... here is a copy of it, the text anyway. It is interesting seeing some of the names being debated there still ones being debated now, e.g., Haley was in the discussion then, too.

by Independent George :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:08pm

That's an interesting perspective; since this was the pre-internet era, there was no way for someone on the other side of the country to know anything of this. Jets fans tended (somewhat unfairly) to view John Abraham the same way during his time in NY.

As an opposing fan, I just remembered Doleman as the guy we were most worried about. He was "their LT" - the guy who could wreck our game even if we outplayed them in every other phase.

by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 3:48pm

It's true that Chris Doleman from all reports wasn't much against the run. But given that John Randle, Fred Dean, and Richard Dent, for three, are already in the HoF, that ship sailed a long time ago.

by Marko :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 7:05pm

Since I didn't watch Randle or Dean that closely, I can't comment on them. But the oft-repeated argument that Richard Dent wasn't much against the run is preposterous. He absolutely was a force against the run.

by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 3:09pm

I've never seen a single positive assessment of Dent's alleged run-stopping prowess from any source that wasn't very much Bears-friendly. I've also seen what looks like revisionist history from Chiefs-friendly sources praising Derrick Thomas's supposed run-stopping ability, posted not long before he finally was elected. I'm suspicious of both because of their bias. However, I find this article by Steve Greenberg of Sporting News from 2007 interesting, to say the least:


Note very well that Greenberg presents himself as a big Chicago Bears fan, and while this article says many positive things about Dent, it also tellingly says:

"The only knock I can put on Dent is he was -- and this is hard for a guy who has "1985 Bears" tattooed on his forehead to admit -- kind of lazy. By my recollection, he took lots of running plays off. He didn't exactly chase ballcarriers across the field; his approach was more to wave his giant right hand and say, "Good luck to you. Otis Wilson probably is about to kill you, but good luck to you."

Why would he say this, especially if he's a Dent supporter and Bears fan?

by tuluse :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 3:21pm

Occasionally being lazy doesn't mean you're bad against the run. It just means you occasionally take plays off. This is kind of a subtle difference, and if you think a player who didn't go all out every single down shouldn't be in the hall, than you would probably be against Dent. On the other hand if you think a player who dominated games on a regular basis for a long period of time should be in, than you think Dent should be in.

I'd also like to point there is a big difference between not playing the run well in 1985 and 1995.

And as one final though, I've only seen a few of Dent's games, mostly playoff games, and I did not notice him playing poorly against the run. This isn't like Freeney were even a casual fan can watch him rush up field and see the running back scoot up field behind him.

by bachslunch :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 4:58pm

The quote is actually "he took lots of running plays off. He didn't exactly chase ballcarriers across the field." Not "occasionally," but "lots." It's not clear exactly why Dent took lots of running plays off, perhaps, but the net result is going to be the same.

Being someone who values postseason honors, my primary gripe against Dent being in the HoF is his weak numbers in that department. "1st team all pro (via AP)/pro bowls/all decade teams" numbers for him are 2(1AP)/4/none, tied with Fred Dean at 2(4AP)/4/none for worst by a d-lineman for whom such stats apply. Unfortunately, there are several other d-linemen with that kind of profile not in the HoF, and a good few with better numbers, such as Gene Brito at 4(3AP)/5/none, Claude Humphrey at 5(2AP)/6/none, and L.C. Greenwood at 2(2AP)/6/70s. Why are Dent (and Dean, for that matter) in and these players are not?

The run play issue is just more frosting on the cake for me.

by tuluse :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 5:01pm

"Why are Dent (and Dean, for that matter) in and these players are not?"

My answer: because they don't let enough players in.

by Junior :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 11:31pm

I do not have a single stat to back this up, but as a fan that watched every single game he played in:

Derrick Thomas was not worth diddly-poo against the run.

I'm not saying he shouldn't be in the Hall because of it.

by markus (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 12:36pm

I'm stunned that Bill Parcells did not make it in. Stunned. We can stop with the "Tom Coughlin for Hall of Fame" talk right now because until Bill Parcells goes in there's no point in talking about any other coach as a HOF candidate except Bill Belichick.

Breathe into a paper bag for a while, Aaron. It's not nearly as stunning as you seem to think. Parcells is going to get in. And sooner rather than later. Even if Coughlin and Belichick both retired from coaching after tonight it'd still be 5 years before they'd be eligible for the Hall.

by dmstorm22 :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 4:36pm

Bill Parcells will get in eventually. Maybe even next year. He just didn't get in on the first ballot. Not a huge bit of disrespect considering the other guys who got in really quickly are like Gibbs, Shula, Landry, Walsh, Parcells not getting in 1st ballot isn't that surprising (I realize he was up for election before, but I don't think he was really considered since people thought he was getting back into coaching).

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 11:53am

Yeah, I found it odd that Aaron could simultaneously applaud the linemen getting in and apparently like the selections in general but also be up in arms about Parcells having to wait. Who did he think was undeserving? And the Coughlin/Belichick reference was kind of weird and probably only in there because the SB was coming up. He can't seriously believe Parcells won't be in the Hall when those guys become eligible, can he?

And who was the "we" that was saying Coughlin was a Hall of Famer? Is he saying the Outsiders think that? The media in general? I'd never heard that anywhere. Don't get me wrong, he's a great coach, but he's got the same number of SB's now as Mike Shanahan and trails him in both wins and winning percentage. To have had Coughlin on the HoF short list prior to this SB makes no sense at all.

by Thok :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:09pm

People seem to be badly misdiagnosing the problems with this year's Hall of Fame class.

The problem isn't which five modern players they inducted. The problem is that they could only induct five players.

I'm fairly certain that if the process was changed so that the last 10 players were voted on, all of them would of made the Hall of Fame this year.

Until the NFL Hall of Fame doesn't have a ridiculous backlog, it's pointless to claim that somebody was snubbed: it certain that between 5-10 people will be snubbed because they don't let enough people in.

(You might think differently if you believe in a much smaller Hall of Fame than I do.)

by Will Allen :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 5:36pm

Yeah, I should have been more clear; the problem is that they do not induct enough people. Anybody who tells you that they know for sure Fred Dean is deserving, but Claude Humphrey is not, or Chris Doleman is, but Charles Haley is not, etc., etc., doesn't know anything about the game. Frankly, most of the guys who vote on induction don't see as much football as the rabid NFL fan. They literally don't know what they are talking about.

I'd love to see A)the annual number of guys inducted increased, and B) have retired pro personnel scouts, the guys who lived in the film room, added to the voting process. It'll never happen, of course.

by Dean :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 11:53am

I'm with you on B, just not A. But we've already had that conversation.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 12:00pm

Will, you're an incredibly bright guy and I frequently agree with your posts, but you're dead wrong on this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with guys--even guys of the magnitude of Bill Parcells--having to wait a few years. There is also nothing at all wrong with some very, very good players ending up on the outside looking in. The minute you start lowering the bar--and without question allowing more guys in every year would lead to that--you cheapen the honor.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:07pm

But the bar was lower thirty years ago. It's been raised since then. I think it would be a good thing for the HoF if the bar were at the same level across eras.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 4:01pm

Exactly. The bar has actually been raised, and in a fashion that frequently results in the difference between HOFer, and HOF finalist, or even semifinalist, being nothing to do with the quality of performance.

by Dean :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 9:37am

Here's the thing, though. The arguement will never go away.

If you lower the bar, all you do is change the argument to a different group of marginal players. There will ALWAYS be players who are borderline no matter where you set the line.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:18pm

In fact, if we assume that football skill is normally distributed, we would expect the margins to get finer the lower we set the bar. If you were only going to let in one wide receiver, there would be no marginal cases.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:34pm

As long as the argument remains valid, then it's worth responding to it. In my opinion, the bar should remain the same across eras. That's a value judgment of course, but it's mine and I think fairly reasonable. For that to hold, the ratio of inductees to eligible candidates should remain constant. As the league grows in size, so too should the number of inductees. Of course there will always be borderline players unless you set the bar at all or none, but that's irrelevant.

by bachslunch :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 2:39pm

With one significant exception, this is a very good class.

All the modern-era players are very deserving. It would really have been smart to get a WR voted in, but I can't see any Fred Dean/Richard Dent level mistakes here. In fact, this follows a common pattern for recent HoF regular candidate votes -- add in the first-time no-brainers (there were none this year), elect many of the remaining players who made the cut-down to 10 but not to 5 last time (Dermontti Dawson, William Roaf, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin), and bet a surprise happens (I had thought Kevin Greene might qualify, but it turned out to be a similar player in Chris Doleman).

Very glad to see Jack Butler get voted in also -- again, most deserving.

The big exception I can see here is Dick Stanfel not being elected. I think there's no question he was deserving, and as far as I'm concerned he now joins Claude Humphrey as one of the major recent "shame on you" mistakes being made regarding Seniors. This time (and to a reasonable extent last year), the Senior Committee did its job -- it was the general voting panel that dropped the ball. I'm becoming more convinced that the current writer's panel simply isn't up to the Seniors task and should be replaced by a panel of knowledgeable historians who examine, nominate, and vote players in directly.

by Jerry :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 4:46pm

I have no idea if Dick Stanfel belongs in the Hall of Fame or not. What I do know is that, when he was eligible, the committee didn't choose to induct him. It's possible that the voters who saw him play and covered his era made a mistake, but I take their opinion of his qualifications more seriously than I do today's voters who have to rely on historical research.

When the Hall opened in 1963, most of the voters had probably started covering the league after WWII, and there was use for a committee with expertise in pre-war football. Now, though, when everybody's gone through the process, the Seniors Committee is just a back door to give some players one more chance. If deserving candidates aren't being selected because there aren't enough slots each year, raise that limit. But once candidates have gone through consideration with their contemporaries, respect that rather than come up with a convoluted way to let voters who know less about them make a determination.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:20am

I like your plan of increasing the limit and no longer having senior elections. But for that to work I think you need to maintain the senior selection process for some amount of time to cover the players from prior to the increased limit.

by bachslunch :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 3:51pm

Stanfel's career ended in 1958, and there was a huge backlog of players to elect early on. Unfortunately, in the rush, some deserving folks like Stanfel got lost in the shuffle (one can still say the same about players like Jimmy Patton, Bobby Dillon, Duane Putnam, Dick Barwegan, and others). And given the finalists appearing on some of the early years those lists were released, evaluation clearly wasn't very sophisticated -- note that players equivalent to Beattie Feathers, Gene Lipscomb, and Rosey Grier wouldn't get the time of day on subsequent finalist lists. But these three did appear on early finalist lists, and to the detriment of more deserving players. I would argue folks like Stanfel did not get a fair shake back then, and in some cases got screwed over later.

Here's the thinking I've got on Stanfel, who on top of it all had an unusual problem when he was first named a Senior:

Stanfel had had only one chance until this year as a Senior and none as a regular candidate. He was likely turned down previously from what I've read for an unusual reason -- because of the way the HoF player adviser that year, Bob St. Clair, handled his nomination. St. Clair is apparently an eccentric fellow to begin with, was a college teammate of Stanfel's and likely did not disclose that relationship to the committee, and was apparently very aggressive with the committee members about Stanfel's HoF worth. Chances are this rubbed enough HoF voters the wrong way at the time. There's some allusion to the issue in this article by HoF committee member Paul Zimmerman:


I definitely think Stanfel should be in the HoF, for a number of reasons. There is only one guard from the 50s in the HoF (Stan Jones), which is far too thin representation at the position from that time. And Stanfel's postseason honors profile is among the best for guards from that time: 1st team all pro 5 times, pro bowler 5 times, and member of the 50s all-decade team. Only Duane Putnam and Dick Barwegan approach this.

Stanfel's career is indeed a little short at 7 seasons, but he didn't even start his NFL career until age 25, and like many players from this time and earlier decided to quit comparatively young and take a better paying job. Short careers of this type were common in the NFL then, and several such players are in the HoF, many deservedly so. And according to this link, Stanfel had good reasons for his short career:


Stanfel spent a couple years in military service between high school and college -- and then after graduating, he tore up a knee and sat out a year healing it up after having two surgeries. He retired early to take an assistant coaching job that probably paid more money and certainly would have had the prospect of a continuing career for a 31 year old o-lineman. The author of the article cited, Bob Carroll, was an astute football scholar and according to this 1994 article thought Stanfel likely ranked among the top half dozen guards of all time back then.

Furthermore, there's nothing saying players shouldn't get more than one try as a Senior nominee. In fact, three current HoF-ers, Bob Hayes, Henry Jordan, and Lou Creekmur, were two-time Senior nominees and got in on their second try. No reason that can't or shouldn't happen.

by Jerry :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 7:47pm


I'm not replying directly so that you can fix what are, unfortunately, broken links.

Thanks for the info on Stanfel. Nothing against him or any of the other seniors candidates, past or future, but I feel less confident about the current selectors' ability to properly evaluate players they never saw than I do about the players' contemporary selectors. A couple of deserving guys may fall through the cracks if the Hall does away with the Seniors process, but it's more likely that (slightly) undeserving candidates get in that way.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 10:13am

By all means, we should do even more to ignore the early years of the NFL. Best to just pretend it was created whole-cloth by Lombardi at Super Bowl I.

by Jerry :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:01pm

The Hall of Fame doesn't ignore the pre-Super Bowl years, and nobody's suggesting that anyone (of any era) be removed from the Hall. All I'm saying is that everyone from the early years has been through at least one process, and the people who would consider them now won't be able to evaluate them the way their contemporaries could.

by bachslunch :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 10:24am

Here are the two links. Dr. Z's:


Bob Carroll's article on Stanfel:


Hopefully these will work. I'll try again if not. Thanks for letting me know.

by JonFrum :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:41pm

I have no problem with the Parcells snub. Without the Giants years, he doesn't get a sniff, right? One losing Super Bowl team in a career doesn't impress anyone. The Jets team he took over had very good personnel and a terrible head coach. The 'improvement' he made with the Jets could have been done by a Muppet. Cowboys? Nothing. And the Dolphins? Not only was he a failure, but he left a year early and took the money.

Once he left the Patriots, Parcells was running on reputation. So does he get in for the Giants and for one year getting to the SB and getting barely competitive? Maybe, but don't tell me his was a stellar career.

by Independent George :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 7:04pm

I think you're underestimating just how dysfunctional the Jets & the Cowboys franchises were when he took over.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:30am

I think you're underestimating how dysfunctional the Cowboys remained during and after Parcells' tenure. Not saying that's his fault (*cough* Jerry Jones), but he didn't exactly turn them around either. FWIW, I think they should have stuck with Gailey.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 4:14am

They were 5-11 three consecutive years before Parcells arrived. He immediately coached them to the playoffs, with a terrible, terrible, roster. The Cowboys then fell back one year, to 6-10, then two consecutive 9-7 seasons, with one playoff appearance. The roster, when he left, was hugely better than when he arrived. Unless you find 15 wins in three seasons something more than hideous, yes, Parcells turned them around.

by Independent George :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 3:56pm

The Cowboys were dysfunctional to the extent that finishing 9-7 and losing a playoff game on a botched snap was considered a severe disappointment. When he took over, finishing 8-8 would have been a monumental improvement.

by tuluse :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 3:15am

Yes, if you remove literally half of Parcell's coaching career it's not as great as the entire thing.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 4:23am

Yeah, winning two championships coaching in a division against Joe Gibbs in his prime isn't stellar. Or getting two in a period in which, during the first half of that period, Landry was still fielding competitive teams. In a period in which, in the latter half, the Eagles had tremendous defenses. An average coach's resume looks like that. Really.

And it is quite common for a coach to take over 1-15 franchises, and get them to the conference championship fairly quickly. Or to take over a team that has won 15 games in three years, and get them to the playoffs in two out of the next four.

by JonFrum :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 6:50pm

My general take on the HOF: first, I would ignore career stats until needing a tie-breaker. No one ever became a better player in my eyes by playing one more year. A guy can have three flat-out bad years at the end of his career and still pad his stats. Those years should not have anything whatsoever to do with his HOF qualifications.

If I was voting, I would go back over each player's career, and ask these questions: How many times was he the best at his position? How many times was he second best? How many times was he third best. If the answer is never to all three, he's off the list. If he never gets above three, it would be extremely hard for me to vote for him. One year in the top two, and then the rest out of the top three would probably not have a chance.

If you're not right there at the best of your era, how in the world can you be among the best from over half a century? A receiver who played during the Jerry Rice era would catch a break, but other than that, a career 4-5 during his career. Lasting a few more years and padding your career stats doesn't make you a better player than the guy who was better than you for 8-10 years.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 7:04pm

Not a bad way to look at it, JonFrum.

Will say as Raiders fan, m. Allen not dissimilar to martin. Very close those 2. This is why maybe am defending martin so vehemently. M. allen only top 3 back twice in career (1982, 1985). Martin in top 3 two seasons too. Never really hear anybody say allen dowsnt belong. Yes had stellar SB 18, but Martin really good postseason career too. Couple clunkers but mostly team based. Broncos run defense gerat more so than martin crap in 98 title game. Same thing SB 31. GB very good ghat day

by CoachDave :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 4:05pm

I 100% agree with Jon's take as well...which is why First Team All Pro is such a meaningful point of getting in the HOF, IMO.

It says (depending on your position) that you are in the top 2-5 (for RB) at your position in the entire league.

Stat compliers like Martin and Monk who get a rare sniff at All Pro shouldn't be in there considering they weren't considered consistently to be one of the best at their position at that time.

And to answer your earlier questions RJ...I'm of the "less is more" school of thought for ANY sports HOF. I think every time you put in a guy like Art Monk, Lynn Swann, etc. you start opening the floodgates for other players like that who probably shouldn't be there either, but the precedent is there for other voters to use.

My $0.02

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 7:11pm

in perfext world, hall of fame would be small but jsut cannot do it becauuase actual hall of fame would be kind of boring. Look at guys this ywar

None woukd be in a small hall

Alll are like second or third tier Hall of Ffmers if break down Hall of gamers into three tiers

So there would be a class of zero people in 2012. That would be awful for actual museum im Canton

Small Halls are for our minds.

Real Hall needs to include 2nd and 3rd tier guuys like Martin and Foleman and art Mink and les Richter and Tom Mack and Dave wilcox and many others

by CoachDave :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 9:03pm

Ridiculous response.

If you make an All Decade First Team...you should be in the HOF. For entire decade you were the the best at your position...that's clearly "first tier" except for special circumstances.

Roaf, Carter, Dawson & Kennedy all qualify with that hard-to-debate rationale.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 9:36pm

what about guys who play patts of 2 decades like 1976-84, 1994-2003, etc.?
Is poasible to not makw either decade team.

Would like to see entire CoachDave Hall of Fame. By your criteria John anderson, dave butz, lpuis wright, mark stepnoski,joey browner and many orhers not in real hall of fame would be in CoacjDave hall of fame due to being on all-decade teams.

Have all decade teams at disposal but NFL doesn,t show first and sexond teams at all. So if separate first and second teams have no way to tell

by CoachDave :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 3:14pm

I can tell you this RJ...in the Coach Dave Football Outsiders Poster Hall of Fame, you have your own Wing my friend. :)

Wikipedia has first and 2nd teams by decade...check it out.

There are a few 1st teamers I don't think go in there...but many, many 2nd teamers.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 3:42pm

Will lookat it when xan.

Dwfintitely D. Dawson belong. Have to consider all Cs. Likely in 5-1 0 range alltime. Where do u rank him and how.many centers would you say truly bwlong im hall of fame? 92 seasons of NFl. Would say myself 7-12 seem good number but not totally sure

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 2:15pm

How do you parse the two-way guys like Hein and Bednarik?

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 2:22pm

Hein C on 50th annuversary tean. Bedbarik geart linebacker, good venter based on research done

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 7:25pm

Do you judge them as centers alone, though, or as center-linebackers? How much do you weight the linebacking portion? Or do you judge the two-way players separately?

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 9:28pm

On all-time.teans would have Hein at cente r and Bednarik at linebacker.

Best thing to do is separate pre-1950 plauers from post-1950 ones
Game changed after free substitution.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 12:27am

Dermontti Dawson is on the short list for the greatest center of all time. Your hall would have to be quite small indeed to so blithely exclude him. And no, I never saw the also great Jim Otto play.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 11:11am

Hein, otto, stephenson, webster better . Mayne ohers. Dawso.n no beter thsn 5th amd was mot.obviosu fiest ballot.no brainer.guy

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 02/06/2012 - 2:30am

I makes you a better player if you provided a value to your team above what they would have gotten without your presence. To take some extremes, which would you rather vote in, a player who only had four seasons but was the best at his position for all four or a player who was never the best in his position but was the second best for twenty seasons? Obvious fake examples, but hopefully it illustrates that neither peak performance or career totals tells enough of the story alone.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 10:39am

Well, I'd certainly take both, but I might not take a guy who was the 4th or 5th best for 20 seasons.

I think I regard two-three seasons of genuinely elite performance as necessary but not sufficient, with everything else then being factored as a bundle, with no one individual necessary element.

by Lance :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:59am

"Well, I'd certainly take both, but I might not take a guy who was the 4th or 5th best for 20 seasons."

Really? I know these are hypotheticals the the extreme, but if you can get a guy who is 4th or 5th best in the league for 20 seasons, I think you take that with but few exceptions. Running Backs are-- mistakenly, in my opinion-- being phased out of the NFL, but I still think that if you can reliably know that you're going to have a guy who can produce among the best in the league (5th best among 32 teams = top 16%), that solves a lot of headaches and a lot of draft angst. Yes, there's no upside, but the upside is limited. The downside, on the other hand, is vast.

I guess the real downside is that you're locked into a guy for 20 years, and if after ten years the league decides to push some crazy new rules to favor a certain aspect of the game over the aspect that your reliable 20-year guy is good at, you've made a mistake. But if the league remained the same, rule-wise for 20 years, and I've got a guy who's going to be a top 5 DE or top 5 RB or top 5 QB, etc., etc., etc., every year for those 20, I think I like that.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:23pm

I didn't mean I wouldn't draft that player if I was a GM. Of course I would. But if I was a selector I wouldn't put him in the Hall of Fame. At least a couple of years of truly dominant play are a sine qua non for me in a candidate.

by bachslunch :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 3:27pm

The only problem with this thinking is that if you have a series of players at a position where there's consistent change in 1st team all pro and pro bowls below one or two dominant guys, you have to figure out who's best of the rest in some cases. I don't think you can just have, for example, just Lawrence Taylor (in) and Junior Seau (projected) be the only OLBs in the HoF from the 80s-90s. The representation is just too thin at the position otherwise, which is why players like Andre Tippett, Derrick Thomas, and Rickey Jackson belong in, and Charles Haley and Kevin Greene seem pretty deserving though not in yet. Despite the fact that the all pro/pro bowl numbers of Tippett et al are not high, they're actually the best of a large group after the extreme Taylor/Seau top crust.

by Puddin' Patterson (not verified) :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 9:22pm

it's time to expand the classes by at least 2...

by Mash Wilson :: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 9:55pm

Just expanding the classes is just going to get us more running backs. There probably should be a position limit.

by Lance :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:09pm

I'm not sure that that's the case. If you cleared up the huge logjam that exists right now you'd probably reach the point where no one would have to choose between someone like Andre Reed AND your favorite OG (or DT, or S, or whatever other position is 'underrepresented'). Because there's a good chance both could get voted it.

That said, it IS the Hall of Fame, and not, well, the Hall of the All NFL Team or something. And the reality is that in the NFL, positions that lend themselves to fame are offensive skill position players, and defensive players with sacks and interceptions. Conversely, offensive linemen and defensive players who don't compile sacks or interceptions tend to dwell in anonymity.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 11:44am

This is the list of the HOF voting committee. Quite a few of these people really don't seem to know much when you read their columns and I say that having only read articles from about half of them. It explains why there are so many damn quarterbacks and running backs, as well as why stat compilers are more likely to get the nod.


by Mr Shush :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 1:21pm

McClain does not know a lot about football, but he has at least been covering it in Houston for a long time, which I guess is something.

by bachslunch :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 3:16pm

"McClain does not know a lot about football..."

And on a possibly related note, McClain (Houston's voting representative here) is on record as saying that Robert Brazile, who played for the Oilers, is not a HoF worthy player. That surprises me, given that Brazile's postseason honors profile of 5(2AP)/7/70s is excellent, among the best for a non-HoF outside linebacker -- a position which, by the way, gets pretty short shrift from the HoF voters until the 80s-90s.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:33pm

I'm too young to have seen Brazile play, but he sure as Hell looks like a deserving candidate to me.

by Phil Osopher :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 1:38pm

Its an abomination.

Tony Grossi jsut got fired/stripped of HOF vote and MaryKay Cabbot got it for Cleveland. Neither knows anything about the general NFL and especially for teams they don't cover. Since no HOF caliber player is coming through the Browns organization for years and years, I don't see how they would know anything about any other teams or players.

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
-Albert Einstein

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers"

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 1:26pm

Joe Thomas will presumably be the next they have to seriously discuss, no?