Monday, December 11, 2017
Sports

Who gets Hall call?

Jerome Bettis Running back (1993-2005)

Rams, Steelers

The "Bus'' is the NFL's fifth all-time leading rusher with 13,662 yards. He was never a highlight-film type of back but more of a "grinder.''

Final call: Bettis waits his turn as Curtis Martin gets the nod.

Tim Brown Wide receiver (1988-2004)

Raiders, Bucs

When Brown retired in 2004, he ranked among the top three in NFL history in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. (He's now fifth, fourth and tied for sixth, respectively.) The major obstacle is shaking loose the logjam at receiver.

Final call: It's close, but I think he comes up short to Cris Carter.

Jack Butler Cornerback (1951-59)

Steelers

A senior committee nominee, Butler had 52 interceptions (second in history when he retired), was a four-time All-Pro and a member of the 1950s all-decade team as well as the NFL's 50th anniversary team.

Final call: Yes, Butler gets in.

Cris Carter Wide receiver (1987-2002)

Eagles, Vikings, Dolphins

This is his fourth time as a finalist, way too many for a guy who caught 1,101 passes (fourth all time) for 13,899 yards (eighth) and 130 touchdowns (fourth).

Final call: His wait is over.

Dermontti Dawson Center (1988-2000)

Steelers

Dawson was a seven-time Pro Bowl pick and generally considered the best center of his generation.

Final call: He falls victim to being in a Steelers organization that already has a slew of players in the Hall. He deserves to be in but gets passed over.

Edward DeBartolo, Jr. Owner (1979-2000)

49ers

During his ownership, the 49ers won five Super Bowls and, arguably, were the best organization in all of sports. It seems unfair to have non­players competing for precious Hall of Fame spots with players.

Final call: Someday, DeBartolo gets in, but not today.

Chris Doleman Defensive end/linebacker (1985-99)

Vikings, Falcons, 49ers

Doleman's 150½ sacks are fourth all time, and he was an eight-time Pro Bowl pick. What's really impressive is he made the Pro Bowl with all three teams he played for.

Final call: I think he ends up losing votes to other sack specialists Kevin Greene and Charles Haley.

Kevin Greene Linebacker/defensive end (1985-1999)

Rams, Steelers, Panthers, 49ers

He's third all time in sacks with 160 and was a five-time Pro Bowl pick.

Final call: He has Hall numbers, but if any pass rusher gets in this year, it might be Charles Haley.

Charles Haley Defensive end/linebacker (1986-99)

49ers, Cowboys

A member of five Super Bowl-winning teams, his 100½ sacks are only tied for 25th in NFL history. But his career was hampered by injuries.

Final call: Has the edge over fellow pass rushers Kevin Greene and Chris Doleman, but his chances are on the bubble.

Cortez Kennedy Defensive tackle (1990-2000)

Seahawks

Kennedy was the 1992 defensive player of the year, and his Seahawks went 2-14 that season. That's remarkable. An eight-time Pro Bowl pick.

Final call: This is Kennedy's third year as a finalist, and the third time is a charm. The former University of Miami standout gets in.

Curtis Martin Running back (1995-2005)

Patriots, Jets

Perhaps the most underrated player ever. Had more rushing yards than Franco Harris, O.J. Simpson, Eric Dickerson and Tony Dorsett. His 14,101 yards are fourth all time.

Final call: He had to wait last season as Marshall Faulk was inducted, but this should be his year.

Andre Reed Wide receiver (1985-2000)

Bills, Redskins

Reed was an elite wide receiver, but wide receiver is a tough spot to crack when it comes to the Hall. He had better numbers than Hall of Famers Michael Irvin and Lynn Swann, but he didn't catch 1,000 passes (951 for 10th all time) or 100 touchdowns (87 for 12th).

Final call: Reed might be the NFL's version of Jack Morris — good but not good enough to get into the Hall.

Willie Roaf Tackle (1993-2005)

Saints, Chiefs

A nine-time Pro Bowl pick who was so good for so long, he was a member of the all-decade teams in the 1990s and 2000s. But like all linemen, unless you watched him play on a regular basis, it's hard to quantify just how good he was.

Final call: This is Roaf's second year on the ballot, and the guess is he has to wait.

Will Shields Guard (1993-2006)

Chiefs

He was named to 12 Pro Bowls in 14 seasons and played 224 consecutive games. Those 12 Pro Bowls are the most for an interior lineman not currently in the Hall of Fame.

Final call: Shields is absolutely a Hall of Famer but not this season.

Dick Stanfel Guard (1952-58)

Redskins

A seniors committee nominee, Stanfel was a five-time All-NFL player in just seven seasons and a member of the 1950s all-decade team.

Final call: The buzz is Stanfel gets elected to the Hall.

Aeneas Williams Cornerback/safety (1991-2004)

Cardinals, Rams

Williams spent most of his career playing for really bad teams. Nevertheless, he was selected to eight Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro at cornerback three times.

Final call: Perhaps in the future Williams will get more consideration but not today.

tom jones' two cents

Today, the 44 voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will discuss 15 modern-era nominees and two senior committee nominees for the Class of 2012. Four to seven candidates (and no more than five modern-day nominees) will be elected and announced this evening (5:30, NFL Network). Here are the finalists.

Bill Parcells | Coach (1983-2006)

Giants, Patriots, Jets, Cowboys

He went 172-130-1, won two Super Bowls with the Giants and reached another with the Patriots. He won everywhere he went.

Final call: I, personally, don't believe he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. But look for him to get the nod this weekend considering two of his pupils, the Giants' Tom Coughlin and the Patriots' Bill Belichick, are in this season's Super Bowl.

     
                       
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