Tagged with "Pro Football Hall of Fame"
The Greatest Wide Receiver Not In The Pro Football Hall of Fame
Category: FEATURED
Tags: AFL Charlie Hennigan Pro Football Hall of Fame NCAA Houston Oilers Oakland Raiders Tennessee Titans

(I'm having some awful writers block, and really tired from a long weekend at work...So I decided to go back in the archives, and share a post from our old friend ThirdStone...Enjoy  -The Beeze)

 

 

Charlie Hennigan
6'1" 187
Wide Receiver
Houston Oilers
1960-1966
7 seasons
410 Receptions
6,723 Receiving Yards
51 Touchdowns
5 Pro Bowls
AFL All-Time Team
First With 101 Receptions In A Season



Charles Taylor Hennigan joined the expansion Houston Oilers as an undrafted 25-year old in the fledgling American Football League in 1960. He had previously been a high school teacher at a high school, where he earned $4,000 annually. He kept a monthly pay stub of $270.72 in his helmet for inspiration on the gridiron.

He had initially went to college at LSU on a track scholarship, where the coaches of the school had designs for him to compete in the Olympic games. The Tigers were the SCC mile-relay champions in his freshman year, an event Hennigan specialized in.

Football became Hennigan's primary interest soon after his high school sweetheart passed away from cancer. LSU did not want him switching sports, so Hennigan transferred to Northwestern State University and played running back for three years.

After college, he was invited to try out for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He was cut after a week, so he had a stint in the United States Army before returning to Louisiana to teach biology and gym class while also coaching both football and track.

Hennigan used his time as a track coach to run and stay in shape, along with using isometrics. Red Cochran was a former NFL player who later became a scout. He happened to live nearby Hennigan, so Cochran got him to try out for the newly founded Oilers. Cochran's career would last 52 years in the NFL, ending up in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Having no real experience as a wide receiver, Hennigan asked Cleveland Browns legend Dub Jones for some help. Jones, whose son Bert would later become a Pro Bowl quarterback with the Baltimore Colts, was a former Pro Bowl receiver who happened to live close by Hennigan as well.

Jones, who still shares the NFL record for six touchdowns scored in one game, drilled Hennigan on how to fake the defender and not the area. NFL defenses employed man-to-man coverage in those days, as opposed to the zone coverage most teams use in the game today.

Hennigan went into a Oilers camp that had a few stars trying out for the team. The team cut future stars like Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown and Pro Bowl wide receiver Homer Jones. Jones, who still holds the NFL record for yards per catch in a career, is known best for inventing the football spike after a score.

A big reason Brown didn't make the Oilers is because he had difficulty covering Hennigan in practice. The two would butt heads many times over the years, often complimenting each other as the toughest opponent either had faced in their careers.

There was a few hundred men trying out for the Oilers and Hennigan began to hear rumors he was about to be cut as well. Yet he made the team and had Browns great Mac Speedie, a former teammate of Dub Jones, as his wide receivers coach.

He and Oilers teammate Charley "The Human Bowling Ball" Tolar are the first persons at Northwestern State to play professional football. The school would later produce such greats like Hall of Fame tight end Jackie Smith, Pro Bowl players like quarterback Bobby Hebert, cornerback Terrence McGee, wide receiver Mark Duper, running backs Tolar, John Stephens and Joe Delaney. They are amongst the 44 players from that school to play professional football.

The five Pro Bowls Hennigan accrued is tied with Smith as the most ever by a Northwestern State Demon. Also a track star, he has been named one of the 100 greatest football players in school history.

He soon won a starting job in camp and developed an amazing repertoire with Hall of Fame quarterback George Blanda. Hennigan scored the first touchdown in Oilers history, which happened in the first game in franchise history against the Oakland Raiders.

Separating his shoulder in the first half of that game, Hennigan then sat out for three games as he healed from the injury. He returned to be second on the team in receiving yards and touchdown catches as the Oilers eventually reached the first ever AFL title game.

Playing against the Los Angeles Chargers, Houston came back from an early deficit to capture the championship with a 24-16 victory. Hennigan's four receptions for 71 yards were both the second best totals on the team.

The 1961 season started out strange for the Oilers. After stumbling out to a 1-3-1, they replaced head coach Lou Rymkus with Wally Lemm. This awoke the Oilers roster, as they would then explode upon the AFL with 10 straight wins on their way to winning the second, and so far last, title in franchise history.

The offense was ranked first in the league in offense, total yards and passing yards. They also finished second in rushing yards, points and total yards allowed. It was also the finest season of Hennigan's career.

He had to share receptions with Pro Bowlers like Tolar, Billy Cannon, Willard Dewveall, Bob McLoud and Bill Groman. Groman led the AFL with 17 touchdowns off of 50 receptions for 1,175 yards that year, as well as leading the league in yards per catch.

Hennigan racked up 82 catches at an impressive 21.3 yards per reception average that was second best in the AFL. He led the league with a career best 1,746 receiving yards, breaking an 11-year old record previously set by Hall of Famer Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch.

He had started out the season charting out a way to break Hirsch's record. Hennigan once calculated the number of receptions and receiving yards he needed to break the record by writing on a bathroom mirror with soap as he shaved.

Not only did he set a career best mark by leading the AFL with 124.7 receiving yards gained per game, he also caught a career high 12 touchdowns. The 124.7 yards mark stood as a record until 1982, when Wes Chandler surpassed it in a strike-shortened season that lasted nine games that year. Hennigan appeared in 14 games 21 years earlier and his average still ranks second best in pro football history.

Yet he also piled up more records. He still owns the record for three games of which Hennigan had over 200 yards receiving. He also owns the record for seven straight games of at least 100 yards receiving, which is how he started out the 1961 season. Hennigan was also the first player ever to have 10 games in a season with over 100 receiving yards.

Hennigan had 11 total games that year of at least 100 yards receiving. It, as well as his streak of seven games, was tied in 1995 by Hall of Famer Michael Irvin. Irvin needed 16 games to tie the record.

His streak of seven games ended after getting 232 yards and two scores against the Buffalo Bills. After missing his eighth straight game by 22 yards the next week in a game Houston won 55-14 over the Denver Broncos, he did not catch a pass the following game.

While the Oilers beat the San Diego Chargers for the 1961 AFL Championship, they did a good job limiting Hennigan to 43 yards on five catches. The reason was because they concentrated on him after he had burned them for 214 yards and three scores just three weeks earlier.

Not only did his 1,746 total yards lead the AFL on 1961, Hennigan began a streak of five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. The record of 1,746 receiving yards stood as a record until 1995, when Isaac Bruce and record holder Jerry Rice surpassed it. Yet Hennigan's total still ranks and the third most ever.

The difference between Hennigan's record setting seasons to those who tied or surpassed him is the fact he passed Hirsch's record in 12 games, the same number of games Hirsch had played in 1951. Rice and Bruce needed 16 games, two more than Hennigan played in 1961, to surpass him.

Another difference is that only Irvin was on a championship team like Hennigan was during these record-setting years. Rice, a Hall of Famer, and Bruce would win titles in different seasons.

Hennigan, who was named First Team All-Pro in 1961 and 1962, then continued his excellence after his incredible year. He grabbed 115 balls for 1,918 yards and 18 touchdowns over the next two seasons. The 1962 Houston team reached the AFL title game for a third straight season, but lost in overtime.

Some say Hennigan's 1964 season was his best, while Hennigan prefers to think his 1961 season was. Though he was good friends with Denver Broncos legend Lionel Taylor, he set out to break Taylor's 1961 record of 100 receptions.

He broke the record by grabbing 101 passes that year. This mark stood 20 years until Hall of Famer Art Monk had 106 in 1984, a record would stand for. Hennigan also had 1,546 receiving yards, which also led the AFL and still ranks as the 21st most in pro football history.

The 110.4 yards gained per game receiving average he has in 1964 also still ranks as the eighth best ever in pro football history. Hennigan is the first pro player ever to have two seasons of over 1,500 yards receiving, and he is also the first to have four games of 200 or more receiving yards.

Concussions began to catch up to Hennigan by 1965, as well as the fact he was running around on an injured knee. He gutted it out over the next two years, catching 68 passes for 891 yards and seven touchdowns over that time.

One game against the Chargers saw San Diego cornerback Claude Gibson hit Hennigan with a rabbit punch, knocking the Oilers star out cold. Hennigan woke up in the locker room, but was dazed. He was put back out on the field, but didn't know where he was most of the time because of the concussion he suffered.

It turned out to be a mistake by Gibson, a great punt returner who led the AFL in punt return yardage and average twice. Player in those days took care of their own teammates.

Unbeknownst to Hennigan, two of his teammates set up Gibson during a preseason game a few years later. He was hit in the knees, which ended Gibson's career. Hennigan was told this story at a 50th anniversary reunion by his teammates.

Concussions went untreated back then, and medical technology was not good enough to do a good job repairing knees either. Houston traded Hennigan to the Raiders for a future draft pick, but he failed the physical and decided to retire.

Not only was Hennigan on the gridiron for the love of the game, but he was able to pursue his doctorate in education with an increase in salary compared to what he earned as a teacher.

He once asked Oilers owner Bud Adams for a raise after his monster 1961 season, but was refused. Instead, Adams cut him a check for $10,000 and sent Hennigan out of his offices.

When Hennigan retired after the 1966 season, he basically owned every receiving record there was for the Oilers and AFL. He still has the most touchdown receptions in franchise history, as well as the fourth most receiving yards and sixth most receptions in team history.

He owns the Oilers record of most catches and receiving yards in a game, when he went for 276 yards on 13 receptions in 1961. His 26 games of at least 100 yards receiving is also a franchise record.

His 71.8 receiving yards per game is not only the best in team history, it is still the 12th best ever in pro football history. Four of the players ahead of him on this list are still active, so Hennigan could move back up the list as the years go on.

The 16.8 yards per reception average is excellent for any era of football, especially one that dealt with the 10-yard chuck rule. Not only does it rank 39th best ever in yards per touch in pro football history, it is the second best in Oilers/ Titans history behind Oilers great Ken Burrough.

I do not know what disgusts me most. Hennigan's exclusion from the Pro Football Hall of Fame or the fact Adams has seemingly spit on his teams earlier history.

Blanda and Jim Norton are the only early Oilers in the franchises Hall of Fame. Ken Houston and Elvin Bethea, two more Hall of Fame players, are the only other AFL Oilers inducted into the teams Hall of Fame.

Hennigan should have been inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Oilers/ Titans Hall of Fame by now. Not only is he the greatest wide receiver in that franchises history, he is one of the very best in AFL history. Hennigan is a member of the AFL All-Time Team.

There are the obvious signs of the continued AFL disrespect by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as one of the reasons to why Hennigan has not yet been inducted. Even though the building in Canton does not say NFL Hall of Fame, it has become just that.

The NFL's anger of being forced to merge with the successful AFL still seems to burn brightly. The voters obviously cower and heed this anger by inducting modern inferior players instead.

Not only did Hennigan have to deal with the 10-yard chuck rule, which is a lot harder to have success in compared to the modern five-yard rule, he dealt with playing fields that were nowhere as near as pristine as they have been the past few decades.

Football used to be a game for men in Hennigan's era. Players had to actually earn their accolades then, as opposed to the rule changes that guarantee successes like now. Yet the numbers he put up easily match or exceed many players today that are deemed as stars.

Some detractors will point at he fact he lasted just seven seasons, but the Hall of Fame is filled with men who had careers of that length or less. Men who put up inferior production as well.

While Hirsch is in the Hall of Fame, he went to two less Pro Bowls and had one less First Team All-Pro honor than Hennigan. Though a great wide receiver, Hirsch had two excellent seasons and several decent ones.

Lynn Swann, another Hall of Famer, lasted nine years but many of his number pale in comparison to Hennigan. Swann was finalist 13 times before induction, while Hennigan hasn't even been named a semi-finalist once. Hennigan also has more receptions than Hall of Fame receiver Bob Hayes, let alone the fact he either owns or shares several other records with some of the best receivers to ever play the game.

Blanda, who was later a teammate of Brown's, often lamented the exclusion of Hennigan from the Hall of Fame up until his death. Hennigan set his receptions record after catching nine passes against Brown, who also agrees with Blanda that the Oilers legend deserves a bust in Canton.

Not only did Hennigan's 101 reception season stand as a record for 20 years, his 1,746 yards gained stood as a record for 34 seasons. He is the only player ever to have three games of 200-yards receiving in a season.

Voters should look at the travails Hennigan had to persevere through compared to the game now. Not only the rules to empower the modern offense that he did not have to help him nor the shoddy fields he played on often. How the hash marks placement greatly differed then and the goal posts used to be placed hazardously on the goal line in his day.

How the defenses of his day actually were allowed to play defense and even extend it further to the realm of crossing the lines of fair play. Even with medical care that didn't have as much expertise as now, Hennigan went out there and performed at a Hall of Fame level no matter how hurt he was.

There is no doubt that Hennigan belongs in Canton. The seniors committee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is afforded just two nominees each year, which is unfair to the tremendous backlog they have to sift through annually. Yet Hennigan should never have reached the seniors pool, because it is obvious he should have been inducted long ago.

While he is in that deep seniors pool now, Hennigan easily rises to the top of the best wide receivers not yet inducted. Yet too much times has passed in his omission, so the voters must get it together now and put him in so Hennigan can enjoy his long overdue induction.

It is easy to see Charlie Hennigan is the greatest wide receiver not yet put into the hallowed halls within Canton. He belonged long ago, but now is the time to right the wrongs made by past voters. Contact all of the voters and tell them that Hennigan deserves his rightful place inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame.























2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalists Brace For Immortality
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Cris Carter Jack Butler Dick Stanfel Willie Roaf Will Shields Aeneas Williams Curtis Martin Dermontti Dawson
In just a few weeks, Pro Football Hall of Fame voters will meet in Indianapolis, Indiana and decide who will be inducted into Canton this year. There were many reasonable and dubious characters for the voters to sift through, yet there were several of the dubious choices that made it as finalists instead of glaring omissions.
 
Wide receivers Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed, running backs Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin and guard Will Shields made the cut, as did the two senior nominees of defensive back Jack Butler and guard Dick Stanfel. Defensive back Aeneas Williams and defensive ends Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley and defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy and center Dermontti Dawson and offensive tackle Willie Roaf and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. also got into the final stage of the process
 
A finalist must receive 80 percent of the vote to be selected. Somewhere between four and seven enshrinees are typically announced annually, which will happen the day before the Super Bowl on February 5th, then inducted in August in the Hall's 50th class.
 
Parcells and Shields were the only two candidates to make the list of finalists in their first year of eligibility. What will happen next is anyone's guess, because it is next to impossible to read the mind of the voters after seeing this list of finalists.
 
First let's get the obvious choices out of the way. These are players who belong in so much that they shouldn't have to wait, even if there are a ton of worthy candidates who fit that denoscription and have been buried for decades in the senior voters pool.







Jack Butler
Cornerback
Pittsburgh Steelers
9 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
52 Interceptions
10 Fumble Recoveries
9 Touchdowns




I profiled Butler on Crazy Canton Cuts back in 2008.

He is the last person to play in the NFL from Saint Bonaventure University because the school dropped their football program after 1951. Butler joined the Bonnies football team at the request of Bonnie athletic director, Father Dan Rooney, the brother of Steelers owner Art Rooney. Butler then joined Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent rookie.

He retired early because of an injury, but his 52 interceptions in nine seasons were second most in NFL history at the time. He still ranks second in the Steelers history in total interceptions.

When he retired from playing, Butler became an NFL scout. He was the director of BLESTO for over 40 years until he retired at 80 years old in 2007. Butler has helped start the career of innumerable scouts, player personnel directors, and general managers in the NFL.

Butler was one of the hardest hitting cornerbacks to have ever played the game. Yet, he also had shut down ability, which is shown with his 52 thefts. Personally, I think his contributions off the field make him worthy two different ways.

But, sticking to just his play on the gridiron, there is no question that is is truly a disgrace that Jack Butler has not yet been inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame already. He goes into Canton if I voted, no question.









Dermontti Dawson
Center
Pittsburgh Steelers
13 Seasons
7 Pro Bowls
6 First Team All-Pro Teams




Dawson first started out as a guard before switching the center and became one of the very best in the business. He has been a semi-finalist three times and and finalist twice. It is time he gets inducted.









Curtis Martin
Running Back
New York Jets
11 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro
14,101 Rushing Yards
484 Receptions
100 Touchdowns




One of the more underrated running backs of his era, Martin rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the first 10 seasons of his career. Reliable and durable, he led the NFL in carries and rushing yards in his tenth season.

Martin was much more than a guy who carried the ball. He was an effective receiver and fumbled just 29 times in his career. He is easily the most worthy running back in the 2012 class and surely gets my vote.









Willie Roaf
Offensive Tackle
New Orleans Saints
13 Seasons
11 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams




Roaf deserves induction this year. Plain and simple. I think there are a ton of blockers who belong, but the offensive line is usually overlooked.

Even though he missed 17 games because of injuries, Roaf started in every one of the 189 games he played in his career. A cerebral player with immense strength and incredible dexterity, the nimble tackle was rarely beat whether run blocking or protecting the blind side of the quarterback.








Will Shields
Guard
Kansas City Chiefs
14 Seasons
12 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams




Shields better go in immediately. He missed one start, but played in all 224 games in his career. He was always one guards in the AFC annually. He deserves induction now, but I have been saying this about Chiefs legends Jim Tyrer, Johnny Robinson and Ed Budde for years and years as well.


 
 






Aeneas Williams
Cornerback
Arizona Cardinals
14 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
55 Interceptions
23 Fumble Recoveries
12 Touchdowns Scored




Williams is one of many cornerbacks who belong in Canton, joining greats like Lemar Parrish, Pat Fischer, Louis Wright and more, but he may beat them in the race for induction. Like them, he was a premier defender.

One fact easily seen is that Williams made opponents pay when they tried to move the ball in his direction. I believe he is worthy of immediate induction, but I been saying that about Parrish and others for years.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
That is six guys right there ready to get inducted. If there is a seventh person to go into Canton in 2012, there is a tough choice to be made. The Hall of Fame has inducted eight or more men three times, yet not have done so since 1967. The voters have frequently gone with just four inductees inducted, an inexcusable amount, and have even inducted just three in 1973 and 1976.
 
Who will make that seventh selection is a mystery, but two candidates are members of the media and that may give them an extra nudge since they rub elbows with the voters both in social circles and the workplace. It would be better if the induction classes extended to eight again, after allowing the senior voters to nominate four players annually, because there is such a backlog of worthy players being slapped in the face with disrespect as they watch lesser players inducted instead.
 
If I were a voter who had just walked in and had to vote from this current group of finalists, I would be torn between two players. While both are certainly worthy, one played over twice as long in his career. While the rules that player participated in helped immensely, where the other played in an era would you could feed your family better by not playing football.
 
My pick would be :
 

Cris Carter
Wide Receiver
Minnesota Vikings
16 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams
1,101 Receptions
130 Touchdowns




Carter got to enjoy rules friendly to the offense in an obscene fashion. He had a gift, however, of making catches in the end zone.

That gift had him once released by the Philadelphia Eagles, where head coach Buddy Ryan the reason was that all Carter did for the Eagles was "catch touchdown passes". The truth was that Carter was abusing drugs and the wide receiver credits his being cut as the wake up call that saved his life.

The Minnesota Vikings claimed him off the waiver wire right away, where he eventually started and would hold that spot the remainder of his Vikings career. One of Carter's strengths was his conditioning and durability. Though he missed four games because if injury in one season, he played every other game possible for Minnesota.

He led the NFL in receptions once and in touchdown catches three times. Seven different quarterbacks were the primary starter in his 12 seasons with the team. Despite all the lunacy and confusion, Carter was a beacon of steady leadership and consistent production.

Carter accumulated double figures in touchdown receptions in five of his Pro Bowl years. What also made his production even more special is the fact he had to share receptions with future Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss, Pro Bowl wide receivers Jake Reed and Anthony Carter, and Pro Bowl tight end Steve Jordan.

Carter has been a finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame four times so far. He ranks third in NFL history in career receptions, fourth in career touchdowns catches and eighth in career receiving yards and total touchdowns.

Then there are the old school fans who point to the obvious fact Carter never dealt with the ten-yard chuck rule, which makes it much harder to excel as a receiver, as opposed to the offensive-friendly rules he participated in. Rules that greatly inflate statistics and can help make a player look better than players who did not benefit from the rule changes. This fact has made modern statistics dwarf the numbers from the ten-yard chuck era.

Men like Mac Speedie, Lionel Taylor, Charlie Hennigan, Harold Carmichael, Drew Pearson, Gino Cappelletti, Sonny Randle, Cliff Branch, Harold Jackson, Pete Retzlaff, and LaVern Dilweg are just a few great receivers on par with Carter and are also awaiting their inductions. Men who dealt with a much rougher game, let alone the ten-yard chuck.

Carter has a feel-good story attached to his career, one that has now extended to where he provides analysis on television. With his career on the ropes because of drugs, he rebounded and became a leader and won the Bart Starr Man of the Year Award, the Bryan "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award and the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Besides the 17 NFL records he either owns or shares, he is a member of the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team. He is one of the 50 Greatest Minnesota Vikings as well as being a member of their 40th Anniversary Team.

The Vikings have retired his jersey and have had a huge amount of great receivers to play for them. Cris Carter may be the best ever for this franchise and certainly deserves to move on to being more than a finalist this year.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Again, I want EIGHT in the 2012 class. It doesn't have to be just seven going in, and this unwritten rule basically screws players because some paperclip pusher may think seven looks prettier on paper.
 
If the voters got it right and put in eight, I'd put in a guy who has waited forever and may never get this close again.
 
 

Dick Stanfel
Guard
Detroit Lions
7 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
5 First Team All-Pro Teams




Stanfel lasted only seven years, but he was amazing in his time. His rookie year was the only season he did not earn an accolade. After four seasons with the Lions, he joined the Washington Redskins and suddenly retired at just 31 years old.

He played in an era where the pay scale was so minimal, players usually made more money working other jobs. Stanfel left the game so he could feed his family at a higher-paying job. There were just three starting offensive lineman in the NFL older than Stanfel when he left the game.

Yet many historians agree there were few guards better to play the game. Despite his limited years, Stanfel is a member of the 1950s All-Decade Team. I'd put him in Canton, so hopefully he gets inducted.
 
 
 
 
 
That leaves a group of finalists who will have to wait another year hoping that get this close again. There are a few worthy, then are a few I personally would not vote in simply because there are a ton of better candidates seemingly forgotten by the voters and they remain buried in the senior voters pool of candidates.
 
Here are the most worthy candidates we should one day see inducted into Canton :
 




Jerome Bettis
Running Back
Pittsburgh Steelers
13 Seasons
6 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams
13,662 Yards Rushing
94 Total Touchdowns




Bettis was involved in one of the biggest steals ever, when the Steelers got him from the Saint Louis Rams in a trade. He ran for over 1,000 yards in eight of his first nine seasons, showing remarkable durability because his game was running between the tackles.

Not much of a receiver, he could be depended on once handed the ball. He fumbled 41 times, but he usually rewarded his teams with a pounding style that wore out opponents while chewing up the clock.

There is no question that Bettis is worthy of induction into Canton.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chris Doleman
Defensive End
Minnesota Vikings
15 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
150.5 Quarterback Sacks
8 Interceptions
2 Touchdowns
2 Safeties

 

Defensive end is a position stacked with worthy candidates who are not amongst the current semi-finalists. Men like Claude Humphrey, Jim Marshall, Coy Bacon, L.C. Greenwood and many others head a list of men at this position worthy of induction.

Doleman's numbers do not lie. He was a play-making machine. But he was more than a pass rush specialist at defensive end, which is shown by the fact he exceeded 100 tackles twice in his career. Doleman did get more than 10 sacks eight season and led the league once.

There is no doubt Doleman is worthy of induction, and it would be a shame if he had to wait as long as other past greats like Humphrey or Bacon. Yet I can't say he deserves to go into ahead of them too.

 
 
 


 
 
 
 
The remaining finalists is yet another demonstration many voters are clueless glad-handers who need to be replaced by the men who actually played the game and certainly know best on who and who doesn't belong within the hallowed walls of Canton.
 
 
 
Eddie Debartolo Jr.
Owner
San Francisco 49ers
23 Seasons




This guy is a finalist instead of a ton of worthy players? What a waste of space! I hope he never reaches these heights again. As just owners go, I could name a huge handful more worthy than a guy who left the game in disgrace.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Charles Haley
Linebacker
San Francisco 49ers
13 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams
100.5 Quarterback Sacks




The only reason Haley has been a semi-finalist three times and finalist once before is because he played on five teams that won Super Bowls. Strictly a pass rush specialist, he never had more than 69 tackles in a season.

Honestly, Charles Haley does not belong in Canton. He never led the league in any category, though he did have the good fortune to play on good teams and was able to line up at defensive end as well. There are way too many candidates more richly deserving of induction over him.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Andre Reed
Wide Receiver
Buffalo Bills
16 Seasons
7 Pro Bowls
951 Receptions
88 Touchdowns Scored

 

Reed was a precise route runner who was more good than great. He never led the league in any category and exceeded 1,000 yards receiving just four times despite playing in a era that caters to offensive production.

What gets him this far is the fact he played on four teams that reached the Super Bowl. He had a Hall of Fame quarterback and running back helping him as well a set of rules that made him look better than he was. I classify Reed as a very good player, but I'd put a ton of wide receivers into Canton ahead of him.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
The rest of the finalists were basically a group of guys where one could look back in NFL history and see a long line of better players still awaiting induction. Many becoming unknown and forgotten as time steadily moves forward, and one suspects a few of these finalists will soon join them in that classification.
 
 



Tim Brown
Wide Receiver
Oakland Raiders
17 Seasons
9 Pro Bowls
1,094 Receptions
105 Touchdowns




Brown certainly is a product of the rule changes that allows receivers to roam untouched after five yards, but he was more than just a pass catcher. Brown also made an impressive mark on special teams

My issue with his being inducted is the fact he was never selected First Team All-Pro and led the league in receiving just once. Brown did lead the NFL in punt and kickoff return yards once.

But is that worthy of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? I say no and chalk him up as a good and reliable player who lasted a long time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kevin Greene
Linebacker
Los Angeles Rams
15 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams
160 Quarterback Sacks
5 Interceptions
26 Fumbles Recovered
3 Safeties




A hired gun as a pass rush specialist, Greene played for five different teams in his career. While getting to a quarterback was his main focus, he did get 87 tackles one year. He had 10 or more sacks in 10 different seasons.

Greene was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year once and led the league in sacks twice. He is a lot like Charles Haley in that he did just one thing really well, but the fiery player was versatile enough to create turnovers defending the pass on occasion.

He is worthy of being a finalist, but there are a ton of other outside linebackers I'd put into Canton ahead of him.





Cortez Kennedy
Defensive Tackle
Seattle Seahawks
11 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
58 Sacks
3 Interceptions




Kennedy is a bit of a conundrum for me, as far as being worthy of Canton. He was a playmaker who sacked the quarterback pretty often for a defensive tackle. He did enjoy three excellent seasons where he piled up 242 tackles over that time.

Yet he recovered a measly six fumbles in his career and he had four mediocre season. I can't say he is worthy, just because there are many defensive tackles, like Curly Culp, I consider superior. Yet it wouldn't be that frustrating if he went in either.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Seeing how great general managers like George Young and Ron Wolf did not make the cut, while Ed DeBartolo did, brings to mind there should be another adjustment to the voting process for induction. Young and Wolf certainly belong, just like NFL Films creator Ed Sabol did a few years ago, but it shouldn't come at the expense of the players.
 
The voters should separate coaches, general managers and contributors, giving them there own platform. Still have them require 80 percent of the vote, but add their induction to the ceremony instead of subtracting a player from the process.
 
Assistant coaches need to be included too. Great coaches like Bud Carson, Joe Bugel, Jim Hanifan and others had careers worthy of Canton, but the assistant coach basically is shunned by voters as inconsequential to their determination on who belongs.
 
This would bring enlarged classes some years, but there is nothing wrong with eight people inducted. There should be no limit on how many people can be voted in each year. The reason for this statement is because there of a former head coach and general manager amongst the finalists.
 
While he won two titles in a fish bowl like New York City, he got both too much attention because the area is literally saturated with members of the media and even houses the league's headquarters. Many people have
buckled under the pressure, yet this man survived and even went on to coach another team that gets too much media attention.
 
Now a member of the same media that use to follow him around like lost puppies who hung off every utterance he put forth, there is a very good chance yet another deserving player will have a slot stolen from them in the 2012 class.
 
 
 
Bill Parcells
Coach/ General Manager
31 Seasons
172 wins
2 Super Bowl Wins




Parcells is here because he coached the New York Giants, a team flooded with media attention. While a good coach who has 42 more victories than defeats, he also had some limited successes with the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots.

Known as the "Big Tuna", he was named NFL Coach of the Year three different seasons and is a member of the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team. He then went on to become a general manager and had mixed results.

Does Parcells belong in ahead of such legendary coaches like Buddy Parker, Chuck Knox, Tom Flores, Dick Vermeil and others? He doesn't belong in ahead of Don Coryell, but the New York City factor might push him in. I think he fairly worthy, but I think that of a few others as well.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Then there is the man who should have been a finalist and inductee. He died last year without witnessing his deserved respect, but got to see the league cash in on his creation annually. The NFL offense of today still relies on his genius, despite the voters obtuse knowledge of football preventing him the rightful immortality earned years ago while still echoing to this very moment.
 
 





Don Coryell
Saint Louis Cardinals
San Diego Chargers
14 Seasons
111 Wins
First Coach With 100 Wins In Pro And College Football
Only Coach To Lead NFL In Passing 6 Straight Years
5 Division Titles




The biggest no-brainer of the semi-finalists. It is disgusting he hasn't been inducted already, and even more revolting he passed away last year and will never get to enjoy his deserved respect from a game that still leans heavily on his genius to this very day. Crazy Canton Cuts profiled Coryell in 2009.

Coryell played college football at the before getting into coaching. He succeeded George Allen, who later became a Pro Football Hall Of Fame coach.

He also showed his innate ability to develop players, especially on offense. He had 54 players go to the NFL from his college teams, including five players drafted in the first round. Nine of his players were First Team All-Americans. In 1967, he had eight players drafted, and five went in the first two rounds.

The Coryell coaching tree from his collegiate era is very impressive as well.

Joe Gibbs was a player on Coryell's team at first and won the team's Most Inspirational Player Award once. Gibbs later became a graduate assistant, then assistant coach at San Diego State.

He also was an assistant under Coryell with both the Cardinals and Chargers before becoming head coach of the Washington Redskins. Gibbs is a member of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

Another Pro Football Hall Of Fame coach who coached under Coryell at San Diego State was John Madden. Madden would join the Oakland Raiders and then become the youngest head coach of the league the next season at 32 years old.

Legendary men like Jim Hanifan, Ernie Zampese, and Rod Dowhower also coached under Coryell at San Diego State. Coryell's 104 victories and .840 winning percentage are the best in Aztec history, and he is a member of the College Football Hall Of Fame.

He then moved to the NFL to lead the Saint Louis Cardinals. His 42 wins are the most by any coach in the Cardinals franchise's history, and his five years as head coach with the team is the second longest tenure ever.

The San Diego Chargers would later hire Coryell. This was when "Air Coryell" was born as a common term, even though Coryell's years in Saint Louis also featured high-powered offenses running under much of the same schemes also used in San Diego.

When Coryell retired from the NFL with 111 wins in 195 games overall, he is the first head coach with 100 victories in both professional and collegiate football.

To try and sum up this man's career or impact on football is nearly impossible. Virtually every offense today, on all levels of the game, is a variation of his system. In his 14 seasons as a coach, his offenses led the NFL in net yards gained per passing attempt five times. They finished in the top-five of the NFL six more times.

His teams led the NFL in passing yards seven times and none of his teams finished lower than seventh. They led the NFL in passing touchdowns three times and finished in the top ten nine other times.

Many Hall Of Fame players and Pro Bowlers were coached by Coryell in the NFL. The list of players inducted into Canton includes Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner, Dan Dierdorf, Jackie Smith, Fred Dean and Roger Wehrli.

Coryell changed the way football was played. It is still being played the way Coryell invented to this very day. The now all-to-common sight on multiple receiver sets was first started by Coryell, as are many versions of offenses being run these days.

They are all spawns of his genius.

Winslow stated it best when he said, "For Don Coryell to not be in the Hall of Fame is a lack of knowledge of the voters. That's the nicest way that I can put that. A lack of understanding of the legacy of the game."

An ignorance that has wrongly kept Don Coryell from taking his rightful place in Canton.

 

Pro Football Hall of Fame 2012 Semi-Finalists Hope For The Merriest Christmas Ever
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Cris Carter Jack Butler Dick Stanfel Willie Roaf Will Shields Aeneas Williams Curtis Martin Dermontti Dawson
 
The Pro Football Hall of Fame voters announced 28 semi-finalists for induction into the 2012 class. As always, it is a dubious list missing a ton of superior players, coaches and contributors languishing in a black hole called the "Seniors Pool". Just two players from that pool have a chance each year, which shows the huge flaw of this voting process.

The voters have an extremely hard group of players to sift through this year. There are as many as 13 or more players I feel belong in Canton.
 
While the next vote to slim the list will not come for a few months, yours truly thought his ineffectual vote should be heard despite not counting. Here is the list :
 
 
 
Steve Atwater 
Safety
Denver Broncos
11 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams
24 Interceptions
 
 
 
I don't think he is even the best safety in Broncos history, an honor I bestow on Goose Gonsoulin then Dennis Smith and Billy Thompson, so Atwater will never get my vote.

 
 
 
 
 
Jerome Bettis
Running Back
Pittsburgh Steelers
13 Seasons
6 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams
13,662 Yards Rushing
94 Total Touchdowns
 
 
 
Bettis was involved in one of the biggest steals ever, when the Steelers got him from the Saint Louis Rams in a trade. He ran for over 1,000 yards in eight of his first nine seasons, showing remarkable durability because his game was running between the tackles.
 
Not much of a receiver, he could be depended on once handed the ball. He fumbled 41 times, but he usually rewarded his teams with a pounding style that wore out opponents while chewing up the clock.
 
There is no question that Bettis is worthy of Canton, so I would vote him onto the finalist's list without hesitation.



 
 
 
 
Jack Butler
Safety
Pittsburgh Steelers
9 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
52 Interceptions
10 Fumble Recoveries
9 Touchdowns

I profiled Butler back in 2008.

 
He is the last person to play in the NFL from Saint Bonaventure University because the school dropped their football program after 1951. Butler joined the Bonnies football team at the request of Bonnie athletic director, Father Dan Rooney, the brother of Steelers owner Art Rooney. Butler then joined Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent rookie.

He retired early because of an injury, but his 52 interceptions in nine seasons were second most in NFL history at the time. He still ranks second in the Steelers history in total interceptions. When he retired from playing, Butler became an NFL scout. He was the director of BLESTO for over 40 years until he retired at 80 years old in 2007. Butler has helped start the career of innumerable scouts, player personnel directors, and general managers in the NFL.

Butler was one of the hardest hitting cornerbacks to have ever played the game. Yet, he also had shut down ability, which is shown with his 52 thefts. Personally, I think his contributions off the field make him worthy two different ways.
 
But, sticking to just his play on the gridiron, there is no question that is is truly a disgrace that Jack Butler has not yet been inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame already. He goes into Canton if I voted. NO question.


 
 
 
 
 
Tim Brown
Wide Receiver
Oakland Raiders
17 Seasons
9 Pro Bowls
1,094 Receptions
105 Touchdowns
 
 
Brown certainly is a product of the rule changes that allows receivers to roam untouched after five yards, but he was more than just a pass catcher. Brown also made an impressive mark on special teams
 
My issue with his induction is the fact he never made First Team All-Pro and led the league in receiving just once. Brown did lead the NFL in punt and kickoff return yards once as well. But is that worthy of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
 
I say no, chalk him up as a good and reliable player who lasted a long time because the rules allowed it.




 
 
 
 
Cris Carter
Wide Receiver
Minnesota Vikings
16 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams
1,101 Receptions
130 Touchdowns

 
Carter, like Brown, go to enjoy rules friendly to the offense in an obscene fashion. He had a gift, however, of making catches in the end zone. That gift had him once released by the Philadelphia Eagles, where head coach Buddy Ryan the reason was that all Carter did for the Eagles was "catch touchdown passes". The truth was that Carter was abusing drugs and the wide receiver credits his being cut as the wake up call that saved his life.

The Minnesota Vikings claimed him off the waiver wire right away, where he eventually started and would hold that spot the remainder of his Vikings career. One of Carter's strengths was his conditioning and durability. Though he missed four games because if injury in one season, he played every other game possible for Minnesota.

He led the NFL in receptions in 1994, and his career best 17 touchdown receptions in 1995 led the league as well. The Vikings had a revolving door at quarterback during Carter's time there. Seven different men were the primary starter in his 12 seasons with the team. Despite all the lunacy and confusion, Carter was a beacon of steady leadership and consistent production.

Other than the 17 scores in 1995, he led the NFL with 13 touchdown catches two times. He was in double figures in touchdown receptions in five of his Pro Bowl years. What also made his production even more special is the fact he had to share receptions with future Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss, Pro Bowl wide receivers Jake Reed and Anthony Carter, and Pro Bowl tight end Steve Jordan.

Carter has been a finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame three times so far. He ranks third in NFL history with 1,101 career receptions, fourth in career receiving touchdowns with 130, and eighth in career receiving yards, and total career touchdowns.

Then there are the old school fans who point to the obvious fact none of these three receivers ever dealt with the ten-yard chuck rule, which makes it much harder to excel as a receiver, as opposed to the offensive-friendly rules the trio participated in. Rules that greatly inflated statistics, perhaps making a player look better than an older player because the modern numbers dwarf the statistics from the ten-yard chuck era.

Men like Mac Speedie, Lionel Taylor, Charlie Hennigan, Harold Carmichael, Drew Pearson, Gino Cappelletti, Sonny Randle, Cliff Branch, Harold Jackson, Pete Retzlaff, and LaVern Dilweg are just a few great receivers on par with Carter, Brown, and Andre Reed also awaiting their inductions. Men who dealt with a much rougher game, let alone the ten-yard chuck.

Carter has a feel-good story attached to his career, one that has now extended to where he provides analysis on television. With career on the ropes because of drugs, he rebounded and became a leader. Most recall him serving as a mentor to Moss.

He won the Bart Starr Man of the Year Award in 1994, the Bryan "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Awards in 1998, and the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 1999.

Besides the 17 NFL records he either owns or shares, he is a member of the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team. He is one of the 50 Greatest Minnesota Vikings as well as being a member of their 40th Anniversary Team.

The Vikings have retired his jersey and have had a huge amount of great receivers to play for them. Cris Carter may be the best ever for this franchise, and he certainly deserves to move on to being a finalist once again.


 
 
 
 
Don Coryell
Saint Louis Cardinals
San Diego Chargers
14 Seasons
111 Wins
First Coach With 100 Wins In Pro And College Football
Only Coach To Lead NFL In Passing 6 Straight Years
5 Division Titles
 
 
The biggest no-brainer of the semi-finalists. It is disgusting he hasn't been inducted already, and even more revolting he passed away last year and will never get to enjoy his deserved respect from a game that still leans heavily on his genius to this very day. I profiled Coryell first in 2009.
 
Coryell played college football at the before getting into coaching. He succeeded George Allen, who later became a Pro Football Hall Of Fame coach.

He also showed his innate ability to develop players, especially on offense. He had 54 players go to the NFL from his college teams, including five players drafted in the first round. Nine of his players were First Team All-Americans. In 1967, he had eight players drafted, and five went in the first two rounds.

The Coryell coaching tree from his collegiate era is very impressive as well.

Joe Gibbs was a player on Coryell's team at first and won the team's Most Inspirational Player Award once. Gibbs later became a graduate assistant, then assistant coach at San Diego State.

He also was an assistant under Coryell with both the Cardinals and Chargers before becoming head coach of the Washington Redskins. Gibbs is a member of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

Another Pro Football Hall Of Fame coach who coached under Coryell at San Diego State was John Madden. Madden would join the Oakland Raiders and then become the youngest head coach of the league the next season at 32 years old.

Legendary men like Jim Hanifan, Ernie Zampese, and Rod Dowhower also coached under Coryell at San Diego State. Coryell's 104 victories and .840 winning percentage are the best in Aztec history, and he is a member of the College Football Hall Of Fame.
 
He then moved to the NFL to lead the Saint Louis Cardinals. His 42 wins are the most by any coach in the Cardinals franchise's history, and his five years as head coach with the team is the second most ever.

The San Diego Chargers would later hire Coryell. This was when "Air Coryell" was born as a common term, even though Coryell's years in Saint Louis also featured high-powered offenses running under much of the same schemes used in San Diego.

When Coryell  retired from the NFL with 111 wins in 195 games overall, he is the first head coach with 100 victories in both professional and collegiate football.
 
He then moved to the NFL to lead the Saint Louis Cardinals. His 42 wins are the most by any coach in the Cardinals franchise's history, and his five years as head coach with the team is the second most ever.

The San Diego Chargers would later hire Coryell. This was when "Air Coryell" was born as a common term, even though Coryell's years in Saint Louis also featured high-powered offenses running under much of the same schemes used in San Diego.
 
To try and sum up this man's career or impact on football is nearly impossible. Virtually every offense today on all levels is a variation of his system. In his 14 seasons as a coach, his offenses led the NFL in net yards gained per passing attempt five times. They finished in the top five of the NFL six more times.

His teams led the NFL in passing yards seven times, and none of his teams finished lower than seventh. They led the NFL in passing touchdowns three times, and finished in the top ten nine other times.

When Coryell  retired from the NFL with 111 wins in 195 games, becoming the only coach to have 100 wins in both the professional and collegiate levels.

Many Hall Of Fame players and Pro Bowlers were coached by Coryell in the NFL. The list of players inducted into Canton includes Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner, Dan Dierdorf, Jackie Smith, Fred Dean and Roger Wehrli.

Coryell changed the way football was played. It is still being played the way Coryell invented to this very day. The now all-to-common sight on multiple receiver sets was first started by Coryell, as are many versions of offenses being run these days.

They are all spawns of his genius.

Winslow stated it best when he said, "For Don Coryell to not be in the Hall of Fame is a lack of knowledge of the voters. That's the nicest way that I can put that. A lack of understanding of the legacy of the game."

An ignorance that has wrongly kept Don Coryell from taking his rightful place.




 
 
 
 
Roger Craig
Running Back
San Francisco 49ers
11 Seasons
4 Pro Bowls
1 First Team All-Pro Team
8,189 Rushing Yards
566 Receptions
83 Touchdowns
 
 
 
A lot will point to Floyd Little as reason why Craig belongs in Canton. Like Floyd, Craig had a couple of great seasons and a couple of good ones. Unlike Little, he did not play on lousy teams nor save a city from losing their franchise.
 
Many will point to his three Super Bowl rings, which could get him in but my opinion is that a championship is a team accomplishment. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is an individual accomplishment.
 
A versatile back, Craig also had the luxury of being surrounded by a ton of talent that included two Hall of Fame quarterbacks and a Hall of Fame wide receiver. He certainly was a reason the 49ers won three titles, but he was part of an offensive onslaught opponents could not stop.
 
I consider him a guy on the cusp, but equal to many other deserving running backs like Larry Brown, Spec Sanders and more. It wouldn't bother me to see him a finalist, but I do not consider him more worthy of induction than many other players.




 
 
 
 
Terrell Davis
Running Back
Denver Broncos
Seven Seasons
3 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
7,607 Rushing Yards
65 Touchdowns
 
 
 
Davis had four consecutive years of over 1,000 yards rushing before a knee injury basically ended his career. Two seasons were monstrous, where Davis led the league in rushing scores. He led the NFL with 2,008 rushing yards once as well.
 
Gale Sayers is an argument for Davis, in a way. Sayers had a career also cut short by an injury, but he still got into Canton. Unlike Davis, Sayers was a terror as a punt and kickoff return specialist as well.
 
Davis was like a comet that burned brightly and flamed out fast. It shouldn't be enough to get him into Canton.





 
 
 
Dermontti Dawson
Center
Pittsburgh Steelers
13 Seasons
7 Pro Bowls
6 First Team All-Pro Teams
 
 
 
Dawson first started out as a guard before switching the center and becoming one of the very best in the business. He has been a semi-finalist three times and and finalist twice. It is time he gets inducted.



 
 
 
 
 
Eddie Debartolo Jr.
Owner
San Francisco 49ers
23 Seasons
 
 

Ummm....No. Really? This guy is a semi-finalist with a ton of worthy players not? I hope he never reaches these heights again.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Chris Doleman
Defensive End
Minnesota Vikings
15 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
150.5 Quarterback Sacks
8 Interceptions
2 Touchdowns
2 Safeties
 
 
Defensive end is a position stacked with worthy candidates who are not amongst the current semi-finalists. Men like Claude Humphrey, Jim Marshall, Coy Bacon, L.C. Greenwood and many others head a list of men at this position worthy of induction.
 
Doleman's numbers do not lie. He was a play-making machine. But he was more than a pass rush specialist at defensive end, which is shown by the fact he exceeded 100 tackles twice in his career. Doleman did get more than 10 sacks eight season and led the league once.
 
There is no doubt Doleman is worthy of induction, and it would be a shame if he had to wait as long as other past greats like Humphrey or Bacon. Yet I can't say he deserves to go into ahead of them too.





 
 
 
 
Charles Haley
Linebacker
San Francisco 49ers
13 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams
100.5 Quarterback Sacks
 
 
The only reason Haley has been a semi-finalist three times and finalist once before is because he played on five teams that won Super Bowls. Strictly a pass rush specialist, he never had more than 69 tackles in a season.
 
Honestly, Charles Haley does not belong in Canton. He never led the league in any category, though he did have to good fortune to play on good teams and was able to line up at defensive end as well. There are way too many candidates more richly deserving of induction over him.




 
 
 
 
Curtis Martin
Running Back
New York Jets
11 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro
14,101 Rushing Yards
484 Receptions
100 Touchdowns
 
 
One of the more underrated running backs of his era, Martin rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the first 10 seasons of his career. Ever durable, he led the NFL in carries and rushing yards in his tenth season.
 
Martin was much more than a guy who took handoffs. He was an effective receiver and fumbled just 29 times in his career. He is easily the most worthy running back amongst the semi-finalists and surely gets my vote.





 
 
 
Kevin Greene
Linebacker
Los Angeles Rams
15 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams
160 Quarterback Sacks
5 Interceptions
26 Fumbles Recovered
3 Safeties
 
 
A hired gun as a pass rush specialist, Greene played for five different teams in his career. While getting to a quarterback was his main focus, he did get 87 tackles one year. He had 10 or more sacks in 10 different seasons.
 
Greene was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year once and led the league in sacks twice. He is a lot like Haley in that he did just one thing really well, but the fiery player was versatile enough to create turnovers defending the pass on occasion.
 
He is worthy of being a finalist, but there are a ton of other outside linebackers I'd put into Canton ahead of him.



 
 
 
 

Cortez Kennedy
Defensive Tackle
Seattle Seahawks
11 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
58 Sacks
3 Interceptions
 
 
Kennedy is a bit of a conundrum for me, as far as being worthy of Canton. He was a playmaker who sacked the quarterback pretty often for a defensive tackle. He did enjoy three excellent seasons where he piled up 242 tackles over that time.
 
Yet he recovered a measly six fumbles in his career and he had four mediocre season. I can't say he is worthy, just because there are many defensive tackles I consider superior. Yet it wouldn't frustrating if he went in either.


 
 
 
 
 
Clay Matthews
Linebacker
Cleveland Browns
19 Seasons
4 Pro Bowls
69.5 Sacks
16 Interceptions
14 Fumbles Recovered
2 Touchdowns
 
 
The Matthews family may be the most famous in the NFL. Bruce is already in Canton, something Clay Jr. hopes to do as well.
 
His longevity is a big reason he got this far, and he was still a very effective player at the end of the career. Matthews Jr. was an excellent player, I just can name a great deal many more outside linebackers I'd put in first.
 
 
 
 
 
Karl Mecklenburg
Linebacker
Denver Broncos
12 Seasons
6 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
79 Quarterback Sacks
2 Touchdowns Scored
1 Safety
 


After starting out as a pass rushing specialist, Mecklenburg moved to inside linebacker and became a star. He once 13 sacks despite just nine starts.

An effective tackling machine, he had eight years of 97 tackles or more. He was a leader by example, and is one of the greatest Broncos defenders ever.

Yet I consider Randy Gradishar, who is still awaiting induction into Canton, the greatest Broncos linebacker ever. Mecklenburg was a very good player, but I would not vote him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.





 
 
Bill Parcells
Coach/ General Manager
31 Seasons
172 wins
2 Super Bowl Wins
 
 
Parcells is here because he coached the New York Giants, a team flooded with media attention. While a good coach who has 42 more victories than defeats, he also had some limited successes with the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

Known as the "Big Tuna", he was named NFL Coach of the Year three different seasons and is a member of the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team. He then went on to become a general manager and had mixed results.

Does Parcells belong in ahead of such legendary coaches like Buddy Parker, Chuck Knox, Tom Flores, Dick Vermeil and others. He doesn't belong in ahead of Don Coryell, but the New York City factor might push him in. I think he worthy, but I think that of a few others as well.




 
 
Andre Reed
Wide Receiver
Buffalo Bills
16 Seasons
7 Pro Bowls
951 Receptions
88 Touchdowns Scored
 


Reed was a precise route runner who was more good than great. He never led the league in any category and exceeded 1,000 yards receiving just four times despite playing in a era that caters to offensive production.

What gets him this far is the fact he played on four teams that reached the Super Bowl. He had a Hall of Fame quarterback and running back helping him as well. I classify Reed as a very good player, but I'd put a ton of wide receivers into Canton ahead of him.




 
 
Willie Roaf
Offensive Tackle
New Orleans Saints
13 Seasons
11 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams


 
Roaf deserves induction this year. Plain and simple. I think there are a ton of blockers who belong, but the position is usually overlooked.

Even though he missed 17 games because of injuries, Roaf started in every one of the 189 games he played. A cerebral player with immense strength and incredible dexterity, the nimble tackle was rarely beat whether run blocking or protecting the blind side of the quarterback.





 
 
Donnie Shell
Safety
Pittsburgh Steelers
14 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
51 Interceptions
19 Fumbles Recovered
4 Touchdowns
 


Shell is the fourth Steeler on this list. A key member of the famous "Steel Curtain" defense, hre is a lot like L.C. Greenwood in that he has been overlooked because that defensive unit already has three members in Canton. Yet there should be three more, even if the voters appear to have a quota per team

The 70 turnovers and four scores in his career may show that Shell was incredible, but he was mainly known for his bone-jarring tackles. There were few safeties more feared in his era.

While I feel Johnny Robinson may be the most deserving strong safety not yet in Canton, I'd put Shell in as well.
 
 
 
 


 
 
Will Shields
Guard
Kansas City Chiefs
14 Seasons
12 Pro Bowls
2 First Team All-Pro Teams

 
Shields better go in immediately. He missed one start, but played in all 224 games in his career. He was always one guards in the AFC annually. He deserves induction now, but I have been saying this about Chiefs legends Jim Tyrer, Johnny Robinson and Ed Budde for years and years as well.



 
 
Dick Stanfel
Guard
Detroit Lions
7 Seasons
5 Pro Bowls
5 First Team All-Pro Teams
 


Stanfel lasted only seven years, but he was amazing in his time. His rookie year was the only season he did not earn an accolade. After four seasons with the Lions, he joined the Washington Redskins and suddenly retired at just 31 years old.

He played in an era where the pay scale was so minimal, players usually made more money working other jobs. Stanfel left the game so he could feed his family at a higher-paying job. There were just three starting offensive lineman in the NFL older than Stanfel when he left the game.

Yet many historians agree there were few guards better. Despite his limited years, Stanfel is a member of the 1950s All-Decade Team. I'd put him in Canton, so hopefully he gets to the list of finalists.




 
 
Paul Tagliabue
Commissioner 
17 Seasons
 
 
No way in hell does this basketballer belong. I hold him responsible for the ruination of the NFL with his being geared to carrying the offenses while building a false pedestal for the quarterback. His toad, Roger Goodell, continues to carry that message today.

 
 
 
 
Steve Tasker
Special Teams
14 Seasons
7 Pro Bowls
 
 
Tasker was an overachiever who became a terror on special teams as a gunner. But no way does anyone belong in Canton via the special teams ahead of Ray Guy.



 
 
 
Aeneas Williams
Cornerback
Arizona Cardinals
14 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
3 First Team All-Pro Teams
55 Interceptions
23 Fumble Recoveries
12 Touchdowns Scored
 

 
Williams is one of many cornerbacks who belong in Canton, joining greats like Lemar Parrish, Pat Fischer, Louis Wright and more, but he may beat them in the race for induction. Like them, he was a premier defender.

One fact easily seen is that Williams made opponents pay when they tried to move the ball in his direction. I believe he is worthy of immediate induction, but I been sating that about Parrish and others for years.



 
 
Ron Wolf
General Manager
24 Seasons
 

 
 
Wolf had a career that even traveled into the Canadian Football League. He orchestrated a deal with the NFL so Joe Kapp could leave the CFL and quarterback his Minnesota Vikings team. Not only did he build them into a powerhouse where the defense was named the "Purple People Eaters", he helped the Raiders build into dominant franchise as well.
 
He joined the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and suffered through a 0-25 record until the team got to the NFC Championship Game. Wolf then went to the Green Bay Packers and acquired the services of Brett Favre in a trade that would later result in a Super Bowl win for the team.
 
Wolf belongs in Canton, but I believe coaches, owners, contributors and executives should be in a separate category so they do not steal a slot from players.
 
 
 
 
 
George Young
Executive
33 Years
 
 
An employee of the Baltimore Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and NFL, Young was named Executive of the Year five different times. His teams won three Super Bowls and one NFL Championship.
 

Young belongs in Canton, but I believe coaches, owners, contributors and executives should be in a separate category so they do not steal a slot from players.

 

 

 

 

Yoooooooo! Dis iz 7thStoneFromTheSun wunce again! My couzin 3rd has been depressed all yeer cuz his Redskins suck, but I iz OK despite goin 7-8 las week. I iz now 132-84 overall. Letz get two it.
 
 
Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
 
OK, Teblow and his 48 percent completion rate has all da media entralled cuz he likes religion. But I tink da Bills are due. Dat Denver defense, da reel reesun dey was winning, has been playing poorly lately.
 
Bills 27   Broncos 16
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
 
I iz tempted to go wif Miami cuz da Pats defense sucks ass and I'm sure the regs will start resting more four da playoffs. Yet Tm Brady won't want to lose to ensure a strong playoff seed.
 
Patriots 28    Dolphins 24
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
 
Da Ravens got embarrassed in prime time las weak so yous knows dey need to save face against a team whose quarterback problems add nothing to dere anemic offense.
 
Ravens 23   Browns 17
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
 
THIS rivalry has years and years of bad blood between them. It is also funny both teams, who have been mediocre all seesun, are still wifin reech of da AFC West title. I tink da Chiefs iz better wif Kylie Orton at quarterback, but I'm rolling wif da Silver and Black.
 
Raiders 24   Chiefs 21
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins
 
A epic battle between too last place teems. Click da channel.
 
Redskins 27   Vikings 21
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati Bengals
 
Both teems are hanging onto playoff dreems by a thread. I LIKE Cincy's defense, so here I roll.
 
Bengals 20   Cardinals 14
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Saint Louis Rams @ Pittsburgh Steelers
 
Da ancient Charlie Batch starts at quarterback for da Steelers, so expect about 30-40 rushing attempts. But dat Pittsburgh defense will win it first.
 
Steelers 23   Rams 10
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
 
I like this matchup, even do both teems iz goin nowhere dis yeer. Cam Newton will exit dis game owning jus about every rookie record a quarterback can have.
 
Panthers 24    Buccaneers 20
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New York Giants @ New York Jets
 
A battle of New York where neither teem has a home field advantage, yet both do. Both teams need to win here or their seesun is done.
 
Da Giants, who can win da NFC East with just two more wins, have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. While dere running game is dead last in da league, quarterback Eli Manning has had maybe the best yeer of his career.
 
Da Jets, who are battling wif da Bengals for da las playoff spot, have had a BIZARRE season. Dey is seventh in yards allowed, but 21st amongst all NFL teams in points allowed. Dey are only 26th in yards gained offensively, but iz seventh in points scored.
 
Both dese teems is wildly incunsitent, so yous never knows which iz goin too show up. I like Manning, an average quarterback at best, a helluva lot more than Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. But I prefer da Jets defense over dat beat up Jints unit dat is help together by tape.
 
Dis is a game made four da media, cuz we know New York City controls most of it with da NFL headquarters emminating from dere. Both teems suck at da end of da day, but we will still be subjected two dem.
 
I am banking on da Jets defense to beat dat aging G-Men offensive line, thus forcing Manning into turnovers. Da Jets will den control the field advantage and clock, which is da formula dey use two win.
 
Jets 26   Giants 20
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
 
Da Titans faint playoff hopes stay alive one more weak.
 
Titans 28  Jaguars 10
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
San Diego Chargers @ Detroit Lions
Game of the Week
 
I LOVE dis game, cuz both teems playoff hopes most likely die here wif a loss. While da Bolts are hoping for da AFC West title, da Lions are battling for a wild card slot.
 
I do not like how dat Lions defense has a habit of givin up a ton of points fat before getting stout, then watching an offense start out slow before exploding with a comeback victory late in the contest. Da young Detroit teem has made dis bad habit too much a part of dere 2011 identity.
 
Da Chargers are hamstrung by incompetent head coach Norv Turner, so dey is erratic. Despite a ton of talent, dey iz stumbling along at .500.
 
Both teams can score big. Detroit is fourth in da NFL in scoring, while da Bolts are fifth. San Diego's defense is 20th in points alloud, while Detroit is ranked 23rd. As you can sea, both teems is equally matched.
 
What I tink dis cums down too is experience. San Diego has plenty of it, while dem Lions have virtually none. Da pressures of playing wif your seesun on da line iz immense, so the sage Bolts will overcome a crappy head coach and pull it off.
 
Chargers 38   Lions 35
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
 
Da Niners got nothin two play four, so it iz time to play da backups and stay healthy for da playoffs. Seattle is trying to at least go 8-8 dis yeer, Call me kookie, but I riding Seattle hear.
 
Seahawks 24   49ers 20
 
 
 
 
 
 
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
 
Da NFC East has ALWAYS been nuts yo. Da Igglez have a shot at goin .500 still, but da Boys will clinch da divishun if dey win. If da Giants lose earlier in da day, Dallas should be fired up. BUT I tink Philadelphia saves head coach Andy Reid's job hear.
 
Eagles 31   Cowboys 23
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
 
Da Bears sure look stupid not hiring Donovan McNabb cuz he sure as shit iz better den Josh McCown at quarterback. Green Bay wins dis despite playing a lot of reserves in a game dey don't care about.
 
Packers 27   Bears 15
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
 
Da Falcons will go in fired up if Detroit loses earlier in da day, cuz an Atlanta win helps dere playoff hopes greatly. Drew Brees is having a record-setting seasun for da Saints, so dis quarterback will be fired up against his divishun rivals. I just tink da Falcons answer dat playoff riddle next weak, cuz dey beet Detroit by a touchdown too months ago.
 
Saints 34   Falcons 24
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Power Rankings
 
 
1. Packers
2. 49ers
3. Saints
4. Patriots
5. Ravens
6. Steelers
7. Texans
8. Falcons
9. Lions
10. Bengals
11. Jets
12. Cowboys
13. Broncos
14. Chargers
15. Giants
16. Raiders
17. Cardinals
18. Bears
19. Seahawks
20. Titans
21. Eagles
22. Chiefs
23. Panthers
24. Dolphins
25. Bills
26. Redskins
27. Buccaneers
28. Browns
29. Jaguars
30. Colts
31. Vikings
32. Rams
 
 
 
 
 
OK, I would like to wish ALL yous goombas da MERRIEST of Christmases! I know I iz gunna stuff dis hotties stockings with treats, so to all a good night. As dey say in Ol' Mexico= A.M.F.
 
Chicago Bears Despicable Usage Of Matt Forte Draws Ire Beyond The Locker Room
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Matt Forte Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions Pittsburgh Steelers Buffalo Bills NCAA AFC NFC Pro Football Hall of Fame



The Chicago Bears had one of their best second round draft picks ever in 2008, which is quite a statement for a franchise with the illustrious history the Bears have. The team has selected Pro Bowl players like Rich Petitbon and Rick Casares in that round, as well as Pro Football Hall of Fame middle linebackers Bill George and Mike Singletary. Future Hall of Fame candidate Devin Hester was also a second round selection by Chicago.

Matt Forte` was selected that year. Chicago took the halfback, despite the fact he had suffered a knee injury in his junior season at Tulane University. He exploded onto the scene as a senior, rushing for over 2,100 yards and scoring 23 times.

He was put to work right away, leading the team in rushing and receiving with career best marks of 1,231 rushing yards and 63 receptions. He also led the team with a career high mark of 12 touchdowns and 1,715 total yards.

He had broken Hall of Famer Gale Sayers team record for all purpose yards by a rookie, and the 123 yards he ran for in his first game is also a team record. Despite leading all NFL rookies in total yards and receptions, he somehow received just one for NFL Rookie of the Year.

Forte` did suffer a sophomore slump of sorts in 2009, scoring a career low four times. Despite handling the ball 64 less times, he fumbled six times as opposed to the one fumble he had as a rookie. Forte` still led the team in yards rushing and from scrimmage, as well as being just three catches away from leading the team in receiving.

He rebounded last year to run for 1,069 yards and score nine times. Though he handled the ball 27 times less than the year before, Forte` still tied for the team lead in receptions and led the team with 1,616 yards from scrimmage. It helped the Bears reach the NFC Championship Game before their season ended.

Forte` had gained 160 total yards in that game, leading all players. He led all players with 10 receptions as well. In the three years he had spent with the team, Forte` has shown remarkable durability by not missing a contest yet in his career.

His importance to the Bears franchise has been on display once again in 2011. He currently leads the league with 1,071 yards from scrimmage, and he is also averaging a career best 5.4 catches per game and 11 yards per reception. Forte' is also averaging a career best 5.4 yards per carry on 124 attempts, which has enabled him to average a career high 96 yards rushing per game after seven contests.

Yet the running back is frustrated with the way the team is treating him. Forte` makes just $600,000 annually, a far cry from what the highest paid running backs make in the league. Adrian Peterson, of the Minnesota Vikings, is currently making over $13.7 million annually.

The Bears typically like to hash out contract issues during the off-season, but a backlash on how they have dragged their heels on the Forte` situation grows daily as the running back continues to stand out. Forte` has seen his teammates tell the media he deserves a raise in pay, and Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, considered the leader of the team, recently said Forte` in the leagues most valuable player right now.

Fans have also started a campaign, hoping to get the attention of Bears general manager Jerry Angelo. Angelo reportedly offered Forte` a contract with about $14 million guaranteed before the 2011 season started, but it is a far cry from the $36 million Peterson has guaranteed. Chris Johnson, of the Tennessee Titans, has $30 million in guarantees, and the Carolina Panthers DeAngelo Williams has over $21 million in guarantees.

Not only is Forte` having a better season than any of those backs so far, he is arguably more important to the success of his team than Johnson or Williams are to theirs. Johnson has been struggling horribly so far in 2011, and Williams hardly touches the football on the Panthers pass-happy offense.

Forte` recently was found lamenting his situation to the Chicago media. He realizes the Bears can place a franchise tag on him in 2012, which would bump his salary up to possibly $8 million that year. The running believes that is no solution to the problem, and would not remain silent in his mission if the Bears decided to go that route. All he seeks is fairness, because the average career of an NFL running back is so fleeting.

‘‘The running back position is the most physically demanding on the field,’’ Forte told reporters. ‘‘Everyone acknowledges that. So to continue to give me the touches I’ve had since my rookie year but not award me a long-term contract sends the message that you’re OK grinding me into a pulp.’’

Another reason the Bears should resolve this issue quickly is because they are so reliant upon him. Their quarterback, Jay Cutler, is wildly inconsistent and extremely prone to tossing a bundle of interceptions. The Bears blocking and receiving corps are far from special as well, so the team often rides Forte's back down the field to get scoring opportunities.

Very few backs have shown they can stand up to this type of pressure over a long stretch of time. Many great running backs have succumbed to injuries after taking a tremendous beating over a few seasons. The Bears have seen this in their own ranks after watching men like Sayers, Casares, and Neal Anderson.

Few backs have lasted long carrying an entire team on their backs. Hall of Famers Walter Payton and O.J. Simpson come to mind immediately, but even Canton is full of backs whose careers were cut short due to a mountain of touches in a short span. Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson and Steve Van Buren are other examples.

The NFC North is called the "Black and Blue Division" because most contests have been decided in the trenches. Great running backs in that division have come and gone after battling those wars. The list of great running backs, whose careers were shortened, is long.

Men like Chuck Foreman, Billy Sims, John Brockington, and many more have torn up the NFL before their bodies broke down due to the wear and tear at the position. Forte` seems to understand this, as well as the fact his NFL career can end on any given play.

The Bears are run by the daughter of Hall of Famer, and founding member of the NFL, George Halas. Halas, nicknamed "Papa Bear", was known for his stinginess during his lifetime. Hall of Famer George Blanda once said Halas would make Blanda buy his own kicking shoes and even took back his signing bonus after Chicago had drafted him.

There is no proof Virginia Halas McCaskey runs the team the same way, but it certainly can be assumed she learned how to run the franchise from her dad. While her own children are also involved in the running of the team, the 88-year old McCaskey has recently been engaged in discussions about selling the team.

Angelo reports to team president Ted Phillips. Phillips, named to his position in 1999, has been with the team 27 years after previously working as an accountant. It may be the good old bottom line of dollars and cents that has kept the team from bumping up Forte's salary. But if McCaskey is set to sell the team, Phillips may want to enable the increase before new ownership takes over.

The counterpoint that Forte` has handled the ball less each season is no longer a discussion. The running back is averaging 23.1 touches per game, slightly less than the career best 23.7 touches per game he averaged as a rookie.

Forte` has averaged 20.8 touches per game, which is better than the 18.8 touches Williams has averaged in his career. The Panthers running back is averaging barely 10 touches per game this season despite having signed a huge contract during the off-season.

Johnson has averaged 22.1 touches per game, but it has been curtailed to 19 this year as his struggles continue following a hold out to get his new contract. Peterson averages 21.8 touches per game in his career, but the four-time Pro Bowler came into 2011 with 12 more fumbles than Forte`. Peterson's career high of 24 touches per game was back in 2008.

The onus is on the Bears management right now, and it would make sense for them to make their best player happy immediately. They may choose to continue the stingy ways of the deceased Papa Bear, but that would just show the game has passed them by much like it did Halas while he was alive.

Chicago currently has a 4-3 record in the 2011 season, which is only good enough for third place in their division. The Green Bay Packers are undefeated, and the Detroit Lions are 6-2. The Bears are about to face a Philadelphia Eagles team that is starting to play well.

If the Bears want to win ans stay within reach of the Packers and Lions, they must win this game Monday night. The best plan of attack is the same plan the Bears have used all season, which is give the ball to Forte` frequently. The weakness of the Eagles defense is stopping the run, so again Chicago will have to ride Forte's back for any hope of victory.

But these hopes are being placed on a unhappy man tired of being used at such a reduced rate, his salary is on par with reserves who hardly get on the field at all. The perfect strategy would be to pay Forte` now before Monday, so his happiness has a chance to shine on the gridiron.

This example was seen last week with the Buffalo Bills, who had just extended the contract of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick a few days earlier. Fitzpatrick, who has not achieved nearly as much as Forte`, then went on the field and carved up the Washington Redskins to a 23-0 victory.

If McCaskey, Phillips, and Angelo continue to ignore the obvious fact they are basically using Forte` as a piece of cheap meat, dreams of even repeating the successes of 2010 will be more unlikely with each snap of the football the rest of the way in 2011.


 

Yoooooooooo! Dis iz 7thStoneFromTheSun wunce again. Man, I iz struggling and I don't care. Capeesh? I like da big upset, just wish I called dem. I went 10-3 las weak, so I iz now 72-44 overall.

 

Letz get two it.

 

 

Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys

 

Dallas ain't all dat good, but Seattle iz one teem dey can beet.

 

Cowboys 27    Seahawks 20

 

 

Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs

 

Quietly, da Chiefs iz one da hottest teems in football rite now.

 

Chiefs 30    Dolphins 14

 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints

 

Dis game is HUGE yo! Da winner goes too furst place in da NFC South. I know da Saints stumbled to da Rams las weak, and da Bucs running backs are hurting. If Tampa Bay can gouge dat week Saints run defense, Drew Brees mite hafta be extra special to give his teem a win.

 

Saints 31  Buccaneers 24

 

 

Atlanta Falcons @ Indianapolis Colts

 

Umm, you got doubts? I dont.

 

Falcons 34    Colts 20

 

 

San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins

 

Washington's injured offense is no match for dat mean Niners defense.

 

49ers 24    Redskins 13

 

 

Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans

 

Andre Johnson returns two Houston, sorry Brownies.

 

Texans 27    Browns 14

 

 

New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills

 

Buffalo is in first place in da AFC East, and da Jets iz a game back. Big game hear yo! I just tink da Bills are da better teem, got da better quarterback, rushing attack, and Orchard Park will be goin nutso Sunday.

 

Bills 26  Jets 24

 

 

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders

 

Da best rushing attack wins, cuz I dont sea much production from either quarterback.

 

Raiders 28  Broncos 20

 

 

Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans

 

Both defenses iz pretty good hear, but I'm liking da Bengals rushing attack better.

 

Bengals 24   Titans 21

 

 

Green Bay Packers @ San Diego Chargers

 

Norv Turner's back iz too da wall hear. Da Pack are ripe four a loss, but I tink da reason why da Bolts should have fired Turner befour dis yeer will rear its ugly head.

 

Packers 31   Chargers 30

 

 

Saint Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals

 

Da Big Red iz reeling rite now, while da Rams got a lil' mo' after winning dere furst game a weak ago.

 

Rams 27     Cardinals 24

 

 

New York Giants @ New England Patriots

 

Da Jints mite throw for 400 yards hear, cuz da Pats secundairy sucks. But Tom Brady aint happy over losin las weak, and he knows a loss could hurt his teem pretty good.

 

Patriots 37    Giants 34

 

 

 

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Game of the Week

 

Look, da Steelers owe da Ravens bad in what iz da best rivalry da NFL has to offer twoday. Baltimore crushed Pittsburgh 35-7 in weak one of dis seasun.

 

Da Steelers sit on top of da AFC North after four strait wins. Da Ravens are one game behind dem, but dey have been struggling lately. If Baltimore loses hear, dey could tumble in third place.

 

Da Steel City will be going crazy, as the taste four revenge curdles in dere blood. With Baltimore's recent struggles, especially on offense, I see da Steelers pulling this out.

 

Steelers 23    Ravens 21

 

 

 

Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles

 

Da Igglez has shot out of da gates after the bye weak, so they are looking to build momentum. Da Bears knead Matt Forte to play like Walter Payton hear ifdey want a chance two win.

 

Eagles 27   Bears 17

 

 

Power Rankings

 

1. Green Bay Packers

2. San Francisco 49ers

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

4. Buffalo Bills

5. Detroit Lions

6. Atlanta Falcons

7. New England Patriots

8. Baltimore Ravens

9. New York Giants

10. Philadelphia Eagles

11. Houston Texans

12. New Orleans Saints

13. New York Jets

14. Kansas City Chiefs

15. Chicago Bears

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

17. Cincinnati Bengals

18. San Diego Chargers

19. Oakland Raiders

20. Tennessee Titans

21. Dallas Cowboys

22. Seattle Seahawks

23. Carolina Panthers

24. Jacksonville Jaguars

25. Washington Redskins

26. Saint Louis Rams

27. Minnesota Vikings

28. Arizona Cardinals

29. Cleveland Browns

30. Denver Broncos

31. Miami Dolphins

32. Indianapolis Colts

 

I love da hunnies, capeesh? I knead a set spot dat iz full of dem, so I can get a smorgazborg of pie two eat. Aint nun in bikinis here in da city I iz in cuz its two cold too ware one, so maybe I knead to relocate. I'll lets yous mugs know, capeesh?As dey say in Ol' Messico = A.M.F.

 

 

 

NFL Mistakes : 11 Players Who Teams Regret Giving Up On
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Washington Redskins New York Jets Philadelphia Eagles Pro Football Hall of Fame Detroit Lions Pittsburgh Steelers Buffalo Bills AFL WFL



Dick LeBeau

LeBeau was a fifth round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 1959 draft, the was the 58th player picked overall. LeBeau did not make the Browns team, and was cut in training camp. He would then be picked up by the Detroit Lions.

He played six games in his rookie year, mostly on special teams, did recover the first fumble of his career that season. In 1960, LeBeau earned the starting job at cornerback opposite newly acquired Hall of Famer Dick "Night Train" Lane. The Lions defense also had Hall of Fame middle linebacker Joe Schmidt, Hall of Fame safety Yale Lary. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Alex Karras and Pro Bowl safety Terry Barr.

LeBeau picked off four passes his initial season. The next three seasons, LeBeau and Lane formed the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. LeBeau picked off four balls in 1962. He scored the first two touchdowns of his career that year, by interception and fumble recovery.

In 1963, LeBeau picked off five passes and returned them for 158 yards. He also returned one interception 70 yards for a touchdown. LeBeau would then make his first of 3 consecutive Pro Bowl appearances in 1964. That season also marked Lary's last in the NFL, and Lane played only seven games. LeBeau still managed five interceptions that year.

The 1965 season was the last year for both Lane and Schmidt. LeBeau picked off seven passes and returned one for the last touchdown of his career. LeBeau's last Pro Bowl season was in 1966, when he intercepted four passes.

LeBeau picked off four passes in 1967 by bookending Hall of Fame cornerback Lem Barney. He did this while under new head coach, and former teammate, Joe Schmidt. LeBeau and Barney would then team up for the next three years as one of the best cornerback tandems in the league.

The 1970 season saw LeBeau have a career high nine interceptions. At 34-years old in 1971, LeBeau would intercept six passes. The 1972 season would be the last year as a Detroit Lion for LeBeau and Schmidt. LeBeau was moved to free safety that year, and would not intercept a pass for the first time since his rookie season.

LeBeau only retired from the NFL as a player after 1972. He went into coaching in 1973 for the Philadelphia Eagles as a Secondary Coach. He stayed with the team until 1975. He then held the same duties with the Green Bay Packers from 1976 to 1979.

In 1980, he moved to the Cincinnati Bengals. He served as their secondary coach and a defensive coordinator with the Bengals until 1991. LeBeau then served as the Defensive Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1992 to 1996.

This is when LeBeau would gain notoriety for inventing the now commonly used "Zone Blitz" defense. The Steelers defense featured such greats as Hall of Fame cornerback Rod Woodson, Pro Bowl linebackers Greg Lloyd, Hardy Nickerson, Levon Kirkland, Chad Brown, Kevin Greene, Jason Gildon and strong safety Carnell Lake. They would go to the Super Bowl after the 1995 season.

In 1997, LeBeau returned to the Bengals as a defensive coordinator. He would then be named head coach of the Bengals in 2000, holding that job until 2002. LeBeau then worked for the Buffalo Bills in 2003.

He returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004, and is still the defensive coordinator of the Steelers today. In 2005, the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. LeBeau is one of the most respected coaches in NFL history and is called "Coach Dad" by his players.

Dick LeBeau's playing career alone may have had him inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He is the first player from the 1959 NFL Draft to make it into Canton. He is a member of the Detroit Lions Legends and his 62 interceptions are the most in the history of the Lions.





Dave Butz


Butz was the fifth overall selection of the 1971 draft, chosen by the Saint Louis Cardinals. His career got off to positive beginnings, as he started 10 of the 12 games he played as a rookie.

Then Butz suffered a devastating knee injury of the first game of the 1972 season. The Cardinals believed his playing days were over, so they released him. The Washington Redskins quickly signed the huge defensive tackle.

After being brought along slowly by Hall of Fame head coach George Allen, where Butz started in 16 of the 40 games he appeared in over three seasons, he was elevated to a starters job in 1978. He would remain there the next 11 seasons.

Being 6'7" 291, he was an immovable object in the middle of the defense. While stuffing running backs was his specialty, Butz also batted down a ton of passing attempts. If that wasn't enough of a distraction for opposing quarterbacks, he was also a good pass rusher despite drawing multiple blockers most plays.

The 1983 season is considered his finest year. Butz was named to his only Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro nod after being named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Kansas City Committee 101, an award chosen by 101 NFL sportswriters and sportscasters. He had a career best 11.5 quarterback sacks that season.

He was the Redskins model of consistency. After becoming a starter, he missed three games in 11 years. Butz missed five total in his 14 years with the Redskins. Besides having 59.5 career sacks, which is most ever by a Washington defensive tackle, his 203 games played is the fourth most in franchise history.

Dave Butz is a member of the NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team. Not only did he constantly make the Cardinals regret giving up on him, Butz made Redskins fans joyful by helping their team win two Super Bowls. He is one of the 70 Greatest Redskins ever.






Lou Creekmur


Creekmur lasted until the 26th round of the 1948 draft when the Philadelphia Eagles used the 243rd pick on him. He did not make the team, so he was out of football until 1950.

The Detroit Lions offered him a tryout that year, which turned out to be a great move. He earned a starting job at left guard that season and went to the first of eight consecutive Pro Bowls. The 1951 season saw him honored as First Team All-Pro, something he would garner in six of the next seven years.

Creekmur moved to left tackle in 1952, where he would stay the rest of his career. While noted as a fierce run blocker, he was equally exceptional pass blocking. He kept Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne upright.

Layne also happened to be a player Detroit got from another team off that 1948 draft. He was selected by the Chicago Bears with the third overall pick that year, who would trade him one year later to the New York Bulldogs. He was traded to the Lions the following season.

Layne was known for taking his linemen out each week for expensive dinners to thank them for keeping him healthy. Creekmur would later note that Layne was his favorite quarterback to protect.

Detroit would go to four title games and win three of them behind Creekmur. He retired after the 1958 season, but was coaxed back in 1959 to play eight straight games despite not having any time to practice and get in shape. He retired permanently after that season.

Not only is Creekmur inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his six First Team All-Pro nods are the most ever by a Lions offensive lineman. It is also tied with Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and Dutch Clark as the most ever by an offensive player in that franchises long history.

Lou Creekmur is the best blocker in Lions history and his toughness is legendary. Creekmur broke his nose 13 times playing football, but he never missed a game and always was great. Not bad for a guy who nobody wanted on their team for the first few years he was out of college.









George Blanda


Blanda was a 12th round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1949 draft. His final two seasons pf college football was played under legendary coach Bear Bryant. Blanda is a member of the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame.

Blanda then went on to play pro football under NFL founder and Hall of Famer George Halas. The two did not get along.

Blanda was given $600 to sign with the Bears, but Halas took the money back after Blanda made the team.
He kicked, punted, and quarterbacked his rookie year. Blanda started the next season with the Baltimore Colts, but found himself back on the Bears for the final 11 games of that season.

While mainly used as a kicker for three years, he spent the 1951 season also playing linebacker. Blanda intercepted the only pass of his career that season.

Blanda earned the starting job at quarterback in 1953, and led the NFL in attempts and completions. He started seven games the next year, and led the NFL in yards gained-per-games played.

He would accomplish that feat two more times in the AFL. Blanda was then mainly used as a kicker until 1958. He decided to retire because of his difficulties with Halas.

He said that Halas no longer seemed interested in the NFL and the game had passed him by. Blanda was quoted to have said, "Halas was too cheap to even buy me a kicking shoe."

After sitting out of the 1959 season, Blanda decided to play for the expansion Houston Oilers in the fledgling American Football League. The Oilers would go on to win the first AFL Championship with Blanda at the helm.

The Oilers repeated as AFL Champions the next year, as Blanda was named to his first All Pro team while leading the AFL in passing yards, touchdowns, and several other categories. He also set a record for fewest receiving yards in a career, when he caught a pass for negative 16 yards.

He would be named an All-Pro the next two seasons as well. He led the AFL in attempts and completions from 1963 to 1965. Blanda also led the AFL in interceptions thrown from 1962 to 1965.

At 40-years old, Blanda joined the Oakland Raiders in 1967. He was named to his last All Pro team, this time as a kicker, helping the Raiders get to Super Bowl II.

He led the league in extra points attempted and made in four of his first eight seasons with Oakland. He led the NFL in scoring in 1967 with 116 points, and had a career high 117 points the following year.

His biggest year in Oakland was in 1970, when he would be named the Bert Bell Award winner for Player of the Year. Blanda had actually been released for a short time in preseason, but was quickly brought back.

That season, Blanda had to come off the bench four times to replace Darryl Lamonica, the starter, due to injury. Blanda led the Raiders to three comeback wins and a tie.

He then had the come in for an injured Lamonica during the AFC Championship game. He booted a 48-yard field goal, and went 17-32 for 271 yards and two touchdowns, but the Raiders fell to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Colts.

In 1973, at 46-years old, Blanda scored 100 points. He then retired after the 1975 season at 48-years old.
Many fans may know that the Hall of Famer Blanda retired with an then-NFL record 2002 points, but he also holds several other records.

He shares the record for seven touchdown passes in a game, owns the record for most seasons played, and most seasons scoring a point (26). He's also the first player in history to score over 2,000 points, the oldest person to ever play in the NFL and in a title game. Blanda has thrown the most interceptions in a season.

He still has attempted and made the most extra points ever. While playing the fourth most games ever, he still has the fifth most points scored ever. His 26 seasons played and most years of scoring a point are also records.

Brett Favre broke his record of 277 interception in 2007, and Drew Bledsoe broke his record of 68 passing attempts in a game during the 1994 season.

George Blanda is truly one of the legends of the game of football, as a kicker and quarterback. Many Raiders will always remember him coming off the bench and leading Oakland to thrilling victories.







Timmy Brown


Brown was a 27th round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 1959 draft. He only was on the roster for one game in his rookie year, and did not accumulate any stats.

He then joined the Philadelphia Eagles the next year. He played very sparingly, but did have a 79-yard kick return on 11 attempts.

The 1961 season would be the year Brown got his chance. He led the NFL with 29 kickoff returns and 811 yards. He scored on a 105-yard return, which still stands as an Eagles franchise record and is the seventh longest in NFL history. He also scored the only punt return touchdown of his career on just eight returns.

Brown led the NFL in all-purpose yards in 1962 and 1963. In 1962, Brown caught 50 balls and averaged an impressive 16.3 yards per catch.

He led the NFL in kickoff returns and kickoff return yards in 1963, with 33 attempts for a career high 945 yards. He was also named to the Pro Bowl from 1962 to 1965.

He led the league with a yards per rushing average of 5.4 yards per carry, as he ran for a career high 861 yards in 1965. Brown became the first ever to score on two kickoff returns in one game during the 1966 season, which is still a NFL record that he shares with nine others.

Brown got injured in the seventh game in 1967 and missed the rest of the year. He joined the Baltimore Colts the next year, and helped the Colts win the NFL Championship before they went on to lose in Super Bowl III. He retired after that season and has enjoyed a fine acting career. Brown was in both the movie and TV version of M*A*S*H.

Timmy Brown rushed for 3,862 yards and 31 touchdowns, while catching 235 passes for 3,399 yards and 26 additional scores. His 14.5 yards per catch is very impressive for a running back, and he also averaged 26 yards on 184 kickoff returns. Brown's five career kickoff return touchdowns is tied for the eighth most in NFL history.










Don Maynard


Maynard was drafted in the ninth round of the 1957 draft by the New York Giants. Though he did not make the team that year, he did play the next year for the Giants. He was used as a return specialist mostly, taking 24 punts and 11 kickoffs for 401 yards. Maynard also caught five passes and ran the ball a career best 12 times as a reserve halfback.

He was released after that season, so Maynard joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League in 1959. The fledgling American Football League was born the next year, so Maynard left the CFL to join the New York Titans.

He was teamed up with felow wide receiver Art Powe. Powe, who is a member of the AFL's All-Time Team, was another receiver rejected by the NFL the year before. Powe had been an 11th-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, but was also just used as a return specialist.

The duo lit up the AFL for the three years they teamed up. Powe had 204 catches over that time, leading the league in receiving yards and touchdown catches once, before going to play with the Oakland Raiders.

Maynard was equally as dangerous, grabbing 171 balls for 1,935 yards and 22 scores over that time. The Titans weren't a very good team, so the franchise was often on the verge of bankruptcy trying to compete against the Giants in the same city.

Renamed the Jets in 1963, the franchises fortunes began to change for the better after drafting future Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath. He and Maynard soon developed an excellent repertoire and Namath often looked the way of his favorite receiver when the team needed yards most.

Making his first Pro Bowl in 1965, Maynard led the AFL with a career best 14 touchdown receptions. Namath became the first quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards in 1967, and Maynard's career best 1,434 yards and 102.4 yards receiving yards per game, both of which led the league, was a big reason why. He also averaged 20.2 yards on 71 receptions while scoring 10 times.

This set the stage for the Jets magical 1968 season. Maynard led the AFL with a career best 22.8 yards per catch average, while also leading the league with a 99.8 yards receiving per game average. He piled up 1,297 yards and caught 10 touchdown passes.

In the 1968 AFL Championship, Maynard burned the Oakland Raiders secondary for 118 yards on six receptions. Not only did he score the first touchdown of the contest, he also scored the last. That latter touchdown won the game for the Jets 27-23.

The Jets then faced the NFL's Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Tired of hearing the media constantly tell him the Colts would dominate, Namath made his famous guarantee that his team would win. Baltimore was so intent on stopping Maynard, Namath used him as a decoy and targeted George Sauer instead.

While Maynard did not touch the football, the strategy worked. New York won 16-7, an important moment in AFL history that ultimately forced a merger between the leagues. It is still the only championship season in Jets history.

The 1969 season was not only Maynard's last Pro Bowl year, it was his only First Team All-Pro nod. He averaged 20 yards on 47 receptions. His production began to decline over the next three years, so he joined the Saint Louis Cardinals in 1973.

After one catch in two games, he joined the Houston Texans of the World Football League in 1974. The Texans were later renamed the Shreveport Steamers because the WFL was struggling financially. He retired after that season.

Not only is Maynard inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he is a member of the AFL's All-Time Team. Maynard is one of 20 players to play the entire 10 seasons the AFL existed, and he is one of seven to have played his entire AFL career for one franchise. He is also one of just a few players to play for the NFL, CFL, AFL and WFL.

Maynard was once just one of only five players to record more than 50 receptions and more than 1,000 receiving yards in five different seasons for many years. He left the game with the most receptions and receiving yards in pro football history at the time. He is the first receiver ever to exceed 10,000 receiving yards.

He still is the Jets all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns caught. His 18.7 career yards per catch average is even more amazing because Maynard dealt with the 10-yard chuck rule and caught balls from over a dozen different quarterbacks.

Known for his sure hands, Maynard also was had great improvisational skills when running routes. He is easily the greatest receiver in Jets history, let alone one of the best in pro football history.







Warren Lahr


In the final round of the 1947 draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Lahr. Just six players were chosen after him. He did not make the team, but he was the last of 16 players from Case Western Reserve University to play in the NFL.

The Cleveland Browns had him try out in 1949 and he made the team. His rookie season found Lahr used in assorted ways, where he caught his only career pass and scored his only offensive touchdown off of nine rushing attempts.

Safety was the position he would make his mark quickly. He had four interceptions his rookie year as the Browns won the All-American Football Conference title for the fourth and final time. The AAFC merged with the NFL the next season.

Cleveland dominated the NFL in 1950 and Lahr was certainly a big reason why. He snagged a career best eight interceptions, two of which he returned for two scores. He led the league in scores off of interceptions that year.

When Cleveland beat the New York Giants in a 8-3 defensive struggle, Lahr picked off a pass that helped preserve the win. It helped substantiate the Browns as a legitimate powerhouse as well as showed the three AAFC teams belonged in the NFL.

He came up big in the Browns first title win. The Los Angeles Rams had two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin, but Cleveland picked off five of their passes that day. Lahr led the way with two, as the Browns prevailed 30-28.

Lahr led the NFL again with two touchdowns off of interceptions in 1951. Cleveland mowed through the league with one loss behind the top defense. They scored five times off of 58 turnovers that season.

The Browns faced Los Angeles again in the title game, where Lahr had an interception and two fumble recoveries. The Rams won the game 24-17 on a 73-yard bomb from Van Brocklin to Hall of Fame wide receiver Tom Fears late in the fourth quarter.

Despite 22 interceptions in his first four seasons, Lahr did not get to the Pro Bowl until 1953 after gaining a career best 119 yards off of five interceptions, He scored the final touchdown of his career in 1954, as the Browns won another championship.

Cleveland repeated as champions in 1955 as Lahr had another five swipes. In his first seven seasons, he had piled up an impressive 34 picks and never had fewer than four in a season. He stayed with the team until 1959 before retiring.

His 44 career interceptions are still the second most in Browns history, and his five touchdowns off of interceptions is still the most in franchise history. He is a member of the Browns Legends and should soon find himself inducted into the newly created Browns Ring of Honor.









Earl Morrall


Morrall was a first round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1956 draft. He was the second player chosen overall that year.

He was mostly used as a punter in his rookie year. He did start four games when the starter, Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle, was injured. Morrall was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers after that year, and was named to his first Pro Bowl in 1957.

After starting the first two games of the 1958 season for Pittsburgh, Morrall was traded to the Detroit Lions for Hall of Famer Bobby Layne. There, he backed up Tobin Rote, Jim Ninowski, and Milt Plum until 1964. During the 1963 season, Plum was injured early in the year and Morrall ended up starting 11 games.

Morrall tossed 24 touchdowns on 2,621 yards. Both totals would be the second highest of his career. He was hurt early in the 1964 season, and missed the rest of the year. He was then dealt to the New York Giants during the offseason.

He started the entire 1965 season, and threw the longest pass of that season for 89 yards. Morrall started seven games the next year and threw a pass that is still franchise long of 98 yards to Homer Jones, the man who invented the spiking of the football after a score.

He was replaced by Gary Woods as the Giants went 1-12-1. Morrall soon became a reserve behind Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton. He then was dealt to the Baltimore Colts in 1968, where his career would be reborn.

Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas was injured in the last preseason game and was out for the year, so Morrall became the starter. He led the Colts to a 13-1 record after throwing for a career high 26 touchdown passes with a career best 2,909 yards.

He led the NFL in touchdown passes, touchdown percentage and yards gained-per-pass attempt. He was selected to his last Pro Bowl and was named the 1968 NFL MVP. The Colts would go on to lose in Super Bowl III. With Unitas healthy again, Morrall started three games over the next two seasons.

In 1970, the Colts would win Super Bowl V when Morrall was called upon again after Unitas was injured early in the game. Morrall helped the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys 16-13.

Morrall started the first nine games of the 1971 year, leading the Colts to a 7-2 record. He was then injured and replaced by Unitas as the Colts would go on to lose to the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship game.

The Colts then cut Morrall, but he was claimed by Miami. Dolphins head coach Hall of Famer Don Shula had coached him on the Colts' 1968 Super Bowl team, so he knew what kind of player he was getting.

The move paid off early into the 1972 season, when Hall of Famer Bob Griese was injured during the fifth game.
Morrall started the next 12 games and helped lead the eventual Super Bowl Champion Dolphins to the only perfect season in modern NFL history. He took them to the AFC Championship game, but was replaced by Griese.

Morrall was named the AFC Player of the Year in 1972, and he also won the first Comeback Player of the Year Award that year. He started one game the next year, as the Dolphins repeated as Super Bowl Champions. Morrall retired after the 1976 season at the age of 42-years old.

Though Earl Morrall started only 102 of the 255 games he played over 21 years, he won 60 and tied three. He also was an important part of four Super Bowl teams and has to be considered one of the best firemen in NFL history.







Otis Taylor


Taylor was drafted in the 15th round of the 1965 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was also selected in the fifth round of the American Football League's draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

What happened next is part of both AFL and Chiefs lore. Taylor was brought into the Eagle camp to try out, but legendary Chiefs scout Lloyd Wells had other ideas. Wells had successfully stolen Hall of Fame talents like Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas and Willie Lanier from the NFL.

Taylor was being watched closely by Eagles personnel to prevent him from talking to Wells, but were unsuccessful. In a moment called the "Babysitting Incident", Wells coerced Taylor to sneak out the Eagles facility and sign a contract with the Chiefs.

It turned out to be a great move for Kansas City because Taylor became the big-play receiver the needed. He made his first Pro Bowl in 1966 after having the best year of his career.

Taylor led the league with a 22.4 yards per catch average on 58 receptions for a career best 1,297 yards. He scored eight times, including one on a league leading 89-yards catch.

He led the AFL with a career best 11 touchdown catches the next year, as well as grabbing a career high 59 balls, then spent the next three seasons battling injuries. Yet he was there when Kansas City needed him most, which was seen in the 1969 season.

The Chiefs won the last AFL title that year, which propelled them into Super Bowl V. Taylor led all Chiefs receivers with six catches for 81 yards. He sealed Kansas City's 23-7 victory in the fourth quarter with a catch that covered 46 yards en route to a touchdown.

The 1971 season saw Taylor return to the Pro Bowl and earn his second First Team All-Pro nod after grabbing 57 passes for a league-leading 1,110 yards. He made his final Pro Bowl the next year after getting another 57 receptions.

After a decline in production over the next two seasons, he suited up for one game in 1975 before retiring. He was more than a productive receiver with a propensity of making a big play, Taylor was also a fierce competitor who is one of the best blocking wide receivers to ever play the game.

This fierceness was seen in a game against the Oakland Raiders in 1970. Chiefs Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson was speared by mammoth Raiders defensive end Ben Davidson as he laid on the ground. Taylor attacked Davidson, which provoked a bench-clearing brawl.

Not only is he a member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame, Taylor is still all over the teams record books. He ranks second all-time in receiving yards and touchdown catches. His 410 career receptions still ranks third best in Kansas City history.

Wells was a huge reason the Chiefs got their only Super Bowl win. His famous encounter with Taylor helped give the team the best wide receiver that team ever had wear their uniform. Taylor also made the NFL regret not keeping a closer eye on their prospects.








Pete Retzlaff


Retzlaff was drafted in the 22nd round of the 1953 draft by the Detroit Lions, where he was the 265th player chosen overall. The Lions cut Retzlaff in training camp, so he went back to college and worked as an employee of the school for a year. He then enlisted in the United States Army for almost two years before coming back to again try out with the Lions.

Detroit sold his contract to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1956, where he would spend the first two seasons of his career as a reserve fullback. Though he did not have a rushing attempt over that time, the Eagles coaching staff noticed his excellent receiving skills.

Moved to wide receiver in 1958, Retzlaff exploded onto the NFL scene. He went to his first Pro Bowl after leading the team with 56 receptions. After a solid 1959 season, Retzlaff became part of Philadelphia lore.

The 1960 season is the last year the Eagles have won an NFL title. There were eight Pro Bowlers on that squad, which included Retzlaff, and four future Hall of Famers in Norm Van Brocklin, Sonny Jurgensen, Tommy McDonald, and Chuck Bednarik.

While all three Eagles receivers went to the Pro Bowl that year, Retzlaff led the team in receptions and receiving yards. He would catch 80 passes over the next two years, but he got hurt in 1962 and missed six games.

The Eagles asked Retzlaff to move to tight end in 1963, where he excelled immediately. Making the Pro Bowl until the 1965 season, he led the team in receptions and receiving yards each season.

The 1965 is considered by many his finest year in the NFL. Retzlaff set career best marks of 66 receptions for 1,190 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not only was he given his only First Team All-Pro nod, Retzlaff was the recipient of the Bert Bell Award for NFL player of the year.

He was 35-years old in 1966, an advanced age for an NFL tight end. Despite having another productive season, Retzlaff decided to retire at the end of the season after 11 years.

Dubbed "The Baron" and "Pistol Pete" by his teammates, Retzlaff bled the Eagles colors. He loved his peers so much, he was the second ever National Football League Players Association president.

He was also the second general manager in Eagles history. Not only has the franchise retired his jersey number, Retzlaff is a member of the Eagles Honor Roll.

Retzlaff still ranks second in Eagles history with career receptions and receiving yards. He also ranks fifth in touchdown catches. His five Pro Bowls is tied with McDonald and Mike Quick as the second most ever by a Philadelphia receiver.

Philadelphia got real lucky Retzlaff came along when he he did. Pete Pihos, the legendary Hall of Fame end of the Eagles, had just retired in 1955. Buck Shaw and his coaching staff also deserve credit for switching his position.

His experience as a fullback made him an exceptional blocker and a threat once he caught a pass. Retzlaff averaged over 16 yards per catch in his career, never averaging less than 15.4 yards in the last eight years of his career.

While the spectacular and diminutive McDonald got most of the press, which was also shared with Pro Bowl tight end Bobby Walston, Retzlaff was consistent. He led the Eagles receptions six times throughout his career.

Not only could he split the seam of a defense by being a deep threat, Retzlaff went and got the tough pass over the crowded middle of the field. He missed just 12 games in his career, showing the toughness and durability he exemplified.







Brett Favre


The main reason Favre lasted until the second round of the 1991 draft is because teams were concerned about reports of a hip condition he had. The Atlanta Falcons used the 33rd overall selection on him.

He got into two games as a rookie, throwing two interceptions off of four attempts. Green Bay then hired Ron Wolf as their general manager, who then began trying to acquire Favre.

Wolf had been working for the New York Jets before that and had planned on drafting Favre until the Falcons snagged him one pick before the Jets could. New York took Browning Nagle instead, and the quarterback stayed in the NFL until 1996.

Giving up Green Bay's first round pick of 1992, a running back named Tony Smith, the Packers obtained Favre's services. Smith, who was out of the league after 1994, happened to be Favre's teammate at Southern Mississippi University.

What happened next is often compared to Wally Pipp. Pipp was the first baseman of the New York Yankees who sat out a game and never got his job back because Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig would man the position for the next 17 seasons.

Green Bay had a Pro Bowl quarterback named Don Majkowski, but he got hurt in the third game of the season. Favre took over and stood out immediately, making the Pro Bowl. It was the third straight year Majkowski got hurt, so he was released after the season and was out of the league at the end of the 1996 season.

Favre began a career where he went to the Pro Bowl in nine of his 16 seasons with the Packers. He not only had the respect of his peers, the media loved him. He would be named NFL MVP three times.

The 1996 season was his most successful. Favre led the NFL with a career best 39 touchdown passes while tossing just 13 interceptions. Green Bay would go on to win Super Bowl XXXI, where the gunslinger tossed a pair of scores in the 35-21 victory.

He led the NFL a third straight year in touchdown passes in 1997, something he would do one more time in his career. The Packers reached the Super Bowl again, but would lose 31-24 despite Favre's three touchdown passes. This would be the last time in his career that he took a team that far.

After setting a ton of NFL and Packers records, Favre decided to retire after the 2007 season, his last Pro Bowl season with Green Bay. He then decided he wanted to play again, but the Packers opted to go with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback.

He was traded to the Jets and got off to a good start, tossing a career best six touchdowns in the fourth game of the season. He would make the Pro Bowl that season, then decide to retire again.

The itch to play quickly returned, so Favre decided to suit up for the Minnesota Vikings in 2009. He went to his 11th and final Pro Bowl after having maybe the best season of his career. The 40-year old tossed a career low seven interceptions against 33 touchdowns. His 4,202 yards thrown that year was the third highest total of his career.

After taking the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game that year, he decided to play in 2010. Unfortunately for him and Minnesota, he played like a 41-year old quarterback. He got hurt, which ended his streak of 297 consecutive starts, and missed three games that season. He retired for good soon after.

Favre owns several records, like most consecutive games started, most touchdown passes thrown, most passes attempted and completed. and most wins by a quarterback. He is the only player named NFL MVP by the Associated Press three straight years and he is a member of the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team.

There is the other side of his gunslinger attitude that most likely prohibited him from winning more than one title. Favre owns the NFL records for most interceptions thrown, most fumbles lost, most turnovers ever by a player, and most times sacked.

Yet he did take his teams to five conference championship games and two Super Bowls in his career. Pretty good for a guy given up on early in his career because people thought the avascular necrosis in his hip would prevent him from attaining the greatness he later achieved.

 

 

 

Yoooooooooo!  Dis iz 7th again! Yo! I GOTS too make dis quik cuz sum of yous fuggazioz mite remember I owed a lot o cash on sum missed markers las yeer and has peoples lookin four me. Capeesh?
 
I got hammered las weak. I went 7-9, so I iz now 28-20.
 
 
Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys
 
Yo! I TOLD yous da Lions iz four reel! Yo, let us hope Ndamukong Suh brakes sum more of Tony Romo's ribs.
 
Lions 34   Cowboys 13
 
 
 
 
New Orleans Saints @ Jacksonville Jaguars
 
Drew Brees iz on fire, in case yous didnt notice.
 
Saints 37   Jaguars 24
 
 
 
 
Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns
 
Chris Johnson better come back two da Titans.
 
Titans 17    Browns 16
 
 
 
 
 
Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals
 
Buffalo 4-0? Who hear called dat?
 
Bills 31   Bengals 21
 
 
 
 
 
Washington Redskins @ Saint Louis Rams
 
Da Rams knead dis. Da Skins run defense iz havin issues. I hate Rex Grossman, but 3rd mite hate me if I pik against his teem.
 
Redskins 30   Rams 28
 
 
 
 
San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles
 
Da Igglez is slammed wif injurees and loss of confidence. Dey get sum back hear.
 
Eagles 27   49ers 16
 
 
 
 
Minnesota Vikings @ Kansas City Chiefs
 
Both teems suck. Capeesh?
 
Vikings 28   Chiefs 17
 
 
 
 
 
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Texans
 
Dis game skares any bookie. Pittsburgh looks back and da Texans defense played like it was 2010 las weak.
 
Steelers 37    Texans 31 
 
 
 
 
 
Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears
 
Cam Newton will trow near 50 balls cuz Carolina forgot the run game. Chicago's defense will be reddy.
 
Bears 24   Cardinals 21
 
 
 
 
 
 
Atlanta Falcons @ Seattle Seahawks
 
Falcons will rebound. Capesh?
 
Falcons 34   Seahawks 17
 
 
 
 
 
 
New York Giants @ Arizona Cardinals
 
So, if Kevin Kolb wants to get his fans behind him...he better tear up dat torn up Giants secondary.
 
Cardinals 31   Giants 30
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Denver Broncos @ Green Bay Packers
 
Yo! Iz yous serius?
 
Packers 38   Broncos 20
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New England Patriots @ Oakland Raiders
Game of the Week
 
Yooo! Da Pats kant stop da run. Capeesh? Da Raiders kan run!
 
Da Raideras kant stop da pass and da Pats gort Tom Brady. Capeesh?
 
Dis will be close.
 
Patriots 27    Raiders 24
 
 
 
 
 
 
Miami Dolphins @ San Diego Chargers
 
OK, da Bolts looked like dey should las weak. Ride em.
 
Chargers 21   Dolphins 20
 
 
 
 
 
 
New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens
 
Yo! Dis iz usually game of da weak material. I expect low scoring, but dat Jets offense ain't very good.
 
Ravens 20   Jets 13
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Indianapolis Colts @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 
I dont kare uf Painer or Whistler's Mother is playin, da Colts stink wifout Peyton Mannng.
 
Buccaneers 27   Colts 10
 
 
 
 
Power Rankings 
 
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Detroit Lions
3. Buffalo Bills
4. Baltimore Ravens
5. Houston Texans 
6. Pittsburgh Steelers 
7. Tennessee Titans
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
9. Oakland Raiders
10. New England Patriots
11. San Diego Chargers
12. New Orleans Saints 
13. New York Jets
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. New York Giants
16. Dallas Cowboys
17. Philadelphia Eagles
18. Chicago Bears
19. Washington Redskins
20. San Francisco 49ers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Cleveland Browns 
23. Carolina Panthers
24. Miami Dolphins
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
26. Arizona Cardinals
27. Cincinnati Bengals
28. Minnesota Vikings
29. Saint Louis Rams
30. Denver Broncos
31. Indianapolis Colts
32. Kansas City Chiefs
 
 
OK, I GOTZ two roll. I heard frum dis littul bird dat dey knows where I am at. I iz goin too lay low at dis gurlz house. Lay her low two. Capeesh?
 
As They say in Ol' Messico = A.M.F.
 
  
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