Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists announced

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Three first-time eligible players and a coach were among the 15 finalists selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The group of first-timers includes linebacker Derrick Brooks, wide receiver Marvin  Harrison and tackle Walter Jones, along with coach Tony Dungy.

The rest of the finalists include nine of last year’s 10 finalists who did not make the cut: Wide receivers Andre Reed and Tim Brown, running back Jerome Bettis, guard Will Shields, defensive ends Michael Strahan and Charles Haley, linebacker Kevin Greene and cornerback Aeneas Williams, along with owners Ed DeBartolo Jr.

Art Modell, the controversial owner who took the Browns to Baltimore,  did not make the final cut to 25 this year after being a finalist last year.

Voting for no more than five of the modern-era finalists from the group of 15 will take place the day before the Super Bowl.

Kicker Morten Andersen and safety John Lynch are the other finalists.


190 responses to “Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists announced

  1. I’m sure Warren Yap will take this time to talk about how he thinks Simeon Rice should be on the list and not Strahan.

  2. Sapp last year,
    Brooks and Dungy this year.

    That was one of the all star great defenses, with two first ballot hall of famers on the field, and one as a coach. And at least two more players from that time will get busts in the future. (Lynch, Barber)

  3. Tony Dungy got in as a finalist over Mike Holmgren?

    I like Tony Dungy, don’t get me wrong, but his record doesn’t compare to Holmgren. While Dungy deseres the HOF, I’m not convinced he’s a first ballot.

    Also laughable that Marvin Harrison may get in before Tim Brown. Harrison caught his passes (majority of them) from a HOF QB. Besides Rich Gannon, who did Brown catch his passes from??

  4. If they want to put the convicted felon, salary cap cheater and serial waitress fondler in, so be it. The HOF lost it’s luster long before they sucked up to little Eddie D.

    Where is Ray Guy?

  5. Brooks, Harrison, Jones, Reed, Brown, DeBartolo. Others were good and/or deserving, but these six stand alone in this group. Perhaps Haley, Williams and Strahan next year but the competition in 2015 will be brutal.

  6. Of the list given the only ones that really jump out at me as undeniable HOFers are Charles Haley and Derrick Brooks. All are deserving of consideration and it wouldn’t bother me if any number of them got in.

  7. well this is an easy year to pick the entrants into the hall.
    Absolutely 0
    not One of these guys should be in

  8. If I had the votes, it would be

    Tim Brown
    Andre Reed
    Michael Strahan
    Will Shields
    And Charles Haley

    The first year candidates will all make it in eventually, but they probably should not be first ballot hall of famers… IMHO

    Let the wideouts get some love this year!!

  9. Tony Dungy’s a classy guy of integrity and a good coach….but is he REALLY Hall of Fame material?

  10. The HOF has lost some credibility by voting in anyone who is on TV.


    Undeserving but will get in:
    Dungy (NBC)
    Lynch (FOX)
    Strahan (CBS/FOX)

  11. Kevin Greene should get in. So should Harrison. Not sure about the rest, though. Strahan doesn’t seem like a hall of famer to me despite his great career….neither does Brooks.

  12. Super Bowl in the Meadowlands + Fox doing the game = Strahan.

    These voters should be ashamed there’s still no punter in the HOF.

  13. I really hope John Lynch gets in. I remember seeing an interview where he talked about using mathematics to calculate his tackles or something like that. Basically using angles to lay the wood. I also haven’t seen a good highlight tape of him laying said wood in a long time. Too long some would say. Too long indeed.

  14. How could art Modell not be in yet? I know most Browns fans wouldn’t like it, but he was around for a long time.

  15. Terrell Davis is the greatest running back in playoff history (look it up) won the MVP, won Super Bowl MVP, gained 2,007 yards in 98 and was the best at his position for 3 full seasons, best player in the NFL for 2, yes his career was short but what he did in that time span was more than most players do in a career, yet somehow if he had hung on for 4 more average seasons somehow he’d be deemed hall worthy, ridiculous!

    Meanwhile Jerome Bettis was a good back but never a top 5 back in the NFL, yet he stuck around for those average years (pretty much all of his years were average) yet somehow he’s a better candidate?

  16. 5 of those players are better than the others???? lol I dont want THAT job!

    Throw darts, and admit you threw them… thats the only valid excuse to choose one of those legends over the rest.

  17. Aeneas Williams was the best underrated corner for years. A great cornerback on the field of play but a better man off the field. I really hope he gets the votes needed. He was a lot of fun to watch…

  18. Brooks, absolutely. Walks in easily and unanimously. Wouldn’t be surprised if Walter Jones joins him as unanimous. Harrison? He’s got to fight for vote with Reed and Tim Brown, so who knows? WRs are such a logjam at this point.

    Brooks, Walter Jones, Strahan, and Shields, plus . . . Harrison? Lots of really good choices for the #5 spot, but nobody overwhelming compared to their peers.

  19. According to a lot of people in the media and his former players, Dungy is without a doubt a hall of fame person. According to what he’s accomplished as a coach, I’m not sure he’s a first ballot hall of famer.

  20. Walter Jones was named All-Pro left tackle 7 times from 2001 to 2008.

    Walter Jones allowed a sack on .004% of the passing downs that he played.

    Walter Jones gave up on average one sack every 20 games over 13 seasons.

    Walter Jones is one of the best players in NFL history regardless of position.

  21. One of the worst decisions my Rams ever did was to let Kevin Greene go. What he did with the Steelers, Panthers and unfortunately, for one year with 49ers , in the 90’s was spectacular. Yes he was an incredible pass rusher, but his energy and passion for the game of football set him apart. He definitely needs to a bust in Canton.

  22. Great list. I have absolutely no problem if they all make the hall at some point. Unlike the MLB ballot…Armando Benetiz, Hideo Nomo, Eric Gagne, Jacque Jones?!?

    Would like to see Jerry Kramer make it eventually. Dude was a beast of a pulling guard at the time and an icon now.

  23. im chuffed to bits to see Morten Andersen is a finalist, he is the best kicker the game ever saw.. He should be a HoF’er, but then again so should the best punter, Ray Guy have been centuries ago, and he is still out in the cold, so Morten probably have to wait a long time, if not for ever to get in :´(

  24. Brown, Bettis, Green, Strahan and Williams.

    DeBartolo? Didn’t the NFL force him to give up control of the team? What’s he doing on there?

  25. Glad to hear that Art Modell didn’t make the cut. Rumor has it the voters “relocated” their votes to more worthy candidates.

  26. The “only five are worthy per year” rule is silly.

    The HOF voting for baseball has numerous flaws as well (mostly giving lifetime voting rights to journalists who may not even cover the sport anymore), but at least they get it right by allowing anyone who receives 75% of the vote to get in.

  27. Walter Jones was such a dominant LT… he deserves it. One of the best ever – another Ogden.

  28. Of the 1st timers, Jones is a lock, one of the best ever. Harrison has the numbers probably will make it. Brooks mostly likely not yet and Dungy I’m not sure his credentials merit enshrinement, everyone loves the guy but HoF worthy probably not…besides the the Tampa 2 is overrated.

  29. Brooks and Jones should be 1st-ballot HOF’ers. No on Harrison. Dungy will eventually get in, but like Madden, he’ll have to wait for several years before the voters are convinced he’s really retired.

    Reed and Brown are in the same boat as Harrison — there’s just a ton of newly-eligible receivers who will take votes from each other. Shields should get in this year; Bettis and Lynch will eventually get in, and despite his personal eccentricities, Haley will ultimately be elected, too … but I’d bet against everyone else listed above.

  30. Good Luck Walter Jones. He deserves induction into the Hall of Fame.

    Tough choices as at least 8 on that list I would want to get into the HOF, this year.

  31. Jerome Bettis over Terrell Davis is garbage. Terrell put TWO rings on Elways fingers and won an MVP. Bettis made a living of leaching TDS from willie Parker and getting TONS of carries while averaging BELOW 4 yards a carry.

  32. 5 enshrines every year is too many. Let’s get the truly greats only….noncore of the second and third best guys in the league at the time. with this criteria, the logjam at receiver is flushed away with the enshrinement of the best ever…Mr. Jerry Rice.

  33. Bettis’ last 5 years rushing yards, 1072, 666, 811, 941, 368, I think we can agree that’s pretty mediocre, he did score touchdowns so essentially he was a short yardage back. Over his 13 year career he went over 1200 yards 4 times, that’s not very good.

    His career average, 1,051 yards per year, 7 touchdowns per year and 3.9 yards per carry, again pretty mediocre. And that was in an era that was geared a lot more towards running the ball.

    If Bettis goes into the hall of fame it’s directly because he played a long time, played most of his career in Pittsburgh and had the storybook ending to his career not because he was a great player, because he was never that.

  34. You gotta go with:
    1. Tim Brown-9 straight 1000 yard seasons, ONLY player with 75 + rec. for 10 years, record for most straight starts by a WR at 147 ect
    2. Charles Haley-I believe 4 Super Bowls, over 100 scaks
    3.Kevin Greene-I believe 140+ sacks
    4. Michael Strahan- 130+ sacks
    5. Derrick Brooks- solid overall at everything he did and one of the best in his era.

  35. Bettis, jones, shields, strahan, prob Harrison or brooks. DeBartolo was forced to give up ownership of the niners, so no to him..reed was a product of a system. Wld hve sucked on any other team. Bettis deserves to be in. 6th all time leading rusher. Solid citizen, great teammate.

  36. Also, As for these people saying Walter Jones. Yes he was good but he wasn’t “one of the best ever”. Id vote Will Sheilds before Jones.

    As for people saying Dungy should be a lock is kinda crazy. These are the same people saying Gruden won the SB with Dungys team. Why isn’t Dungy get called out for winning with Jim Moras team? Its the same thing!

    Maybe Eddie DeBartalo

  37. It’s a travesty that Jerry Kramer has not been voted in. He was a member of the NFL’s 50th anniversary team in 1969. He’s also the only member of that team that hasn’t been voted into the Hall of Fame. He also threw the key block in the most famous play of arguably the greatest game in NFL history. Come on voters…put him in.

  38. Ok Walter Jones people, nobody disagrees with you… Fans are just trying to figure out the other 4. I think most agree Dungy is just stupid.

  39. And Tony Grossi strikes yet again. He needs a new hobby other than making sure Art doesn’t make the HOF. Then again it’s not like he can spend his time writing about a successful football franchise in Cleveland… Honestly I do feel that IF the Brownies ever make it back to the playoffs that the stigma that Art carries will fade out. Unfortunately though Grossi will do anything to keep Art out. Sad really.

  40. Reed, Brown, Shields, Strahan and Haley all belong in this year.

    Dungy and Bettis are not Hall of Famers. This is the Hall of Fame not the Hall of aTeam’s Favorite Player or Coach for a decade!

  41. Tony Dungy a first ballot HallofFamer – YES
    Is there a Rooney for this also 😦
    Remember that he took the Bucs to the first round of playoffs 4 times in a row and took Mr.Manning to the SuperBowl.
    Yes – Mr.Dungy is a First Ballot Hall of Famer

  42. How can any voter honestly say that Bettis was a better football player than Terrell Davis? And Tony Dungy? Are you kidding me? That is what they are voting on, right? Who the best 15 players & contributors of the group are. Performing every Sunday during the same era, someone please tell me how years of being a middle of the pack RB trumps what Davis did as the absolute dominant RB – shoulders above that pack. The voters should be ashamed.

  43. Tony Dungy? Really? Tom Flores was the first minority head coach in NFL history, won TWO Super Bowls, and didn’t need Peyton Manning to win either one. I would say there’s room for a coach in this year’s class, just not the one that’s been nominated.

  44. While I think at some point most of these 15 should enter the Hall, and I’ll keep the few that I don’t believe should enter to myself. I think it’s about darn time that Tim Brown makes it. I think it’s hard to argue that he is not in the top 3-5 range this year, if not higher. It’s overdue, vote him in! Few WR’s have meant so much to a team, that are NOT in the HOF, and have the stat’s to back it up. It’s a travisty if he’s denied again, against this class, IMHO.

  45. Derrick Brooks was one of my favorite players as a kid despite the fact that I was a Vikings fan and he played against our old division rivals the Buccaneers in the NFC Central. In my view he was the best ever to play outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme and he should have been the Superbowl MVP when the Bucs played the Raiders.

  46. Walter Jones made life very, very easy for Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander, and Mike Holmgren for a long time. If Ogden is a HoFer, then Jones is one for sure.

  47. Modell was “around for a long time”????
    THAT’S a great reason for being in the HOF!
    “All he did for the NFL”??? What did he do exactly? He was tangential at best to the negotiations of the TV contracts, which is what he gets all the ignorant run for. Hardly the prime mover.

    Modell was a huge failure as an owner. Couldn’t make money from the BROWNS for crissake. The most Cubs like fan base in the NFL. And don’t give me that line about being run out of Clevo cuz he couldn’t get a stadium deal. He had every chance to be part of the Gateway project, but wanted the new F. ‘O S. To be built on land he had a speculation in, rather than the city center with the other 2 teams. Was a business failure in B’More too. Nothing happened there compitition wise until Bisciotti’s $ infusion and eventual ownership.

    Sheesh- enough with the revisionist history already!

  48. Derrick Brooks and Walter Jones are locks. All timers.
    Harrison- His numbers are staggering. Best WR Peyton has ever had. Alleged shooting a big negative.
    Michael Strahan- thought he should have gotten in last year.
    Charles Haley- long overdue… 5 rings!

  49. If Modell makes it, I hope the NFL restricts the placement of his award to one of the men’s rooms. It would be appropriate considering the way he treated so many fans and finally forced them to have a football enema.

  50. Walter Jones and Derrick Brooks are the 2 best in the list. After that it’s so close it’s too hard to call.

    I mean i love Will Shields was he really better then Harrison or Strahan? Giants fans would say no but then was Strahan really beter then Greene or Brown?

    Damn this is a hard one to figure out.

  51. how charles haley isnt in with such a focus on rings is a mystery to me #narrativelol

    anyway, dane here so hoping for morten andersen !!

  52. Another 3 WR logjam? We just got rid of Cris Carter & now we have Harrison… Hopefully, they remember him shooting someone and say no to the 1st ballot. Get Reed in there NOW!

  53. Tim Brown! Look up the numbers! He was a great WR and he returned punts. His two best QB’s were Hostetler(sp) and Gannon! the rest were scrubs!

  54. I’m surprised there isn’t more of a groundswell for Joe Klecko to be in the HOF. The dude flat out dominated when he played in the 80s. He was the original Warren Sapp.

  55. Hahahahaha!

    Sorry folks, Brooks is automatic.

    One of the best weak side LBs of all time.

    Along with Jones, that’s 2 Seminoles this year in Canton!!!!

  56. Can someone please explain to me why Modell “deserves” to be in the HOF? Here are the facts about this idiot:

    -when he bought the Browns they were the strongest franchise in the NFL, coming off 2 decades of championship domination.
    -he then fired one of the most legendary coaches in the NFL.
    -he then drove off the greatest running back in history… right in his prime.
    –living off the Paul Brown players and talent, they won only one more championship… In 1964.
    –after the PAul Brown talent depleted, Modell only reigned over one successful period–the 5 Shottenheimer/Kosar years. And what did he do? He drove Shottenheimer away.
    -he traded away Paul Warfield, one of the greatest receivers of all time.
    -he allowed the most popular Brown of all time, Kosar, to be unceremoniously dumped.
    -and of course he moved one of the most popular franchises in history away from their heartbroken city after promising he would never do so.

    Yeah… I am aware that he helped out with television deals and other crap. But this guy does NOT belong in Canton, OH. Plain and simple.

  57. I’m glad others question Dungy because I don’t understand what the fuss is about this guy.

    This guy had great teams and he is under .500 in the playoffs…..he is Mr. one and done himself….

  58. Is there any combination of guesses that isn’t going to get thumbed down to hell?

    Jones probably makes it, but sometimes linemen don’t make it when they should. Guessing at the receiver position has always been a crap shoot so why bother. It’s always a fair assumption that at least one of the recent guys, Dungy, Bettis, Strahan, Harrison, is going to make it.

    If I had to guess, I’d say Jones, Dungy, Strahan, Brown (you have to pick one wildcard), and either Bettis or Brooks.

    Honestly wouldn’t be surprised if none of my guesses made it; if you think you know, you’re full of it. HoF writers are ridiculous.

  59. Modell deserves to be in way before DeBartolo who was tossed out of the league. Modell contributed a lot to the league, DeBartolo didn’t.

  60. Can someone please explain to me why Modell “deserves” to be in the HOF? Here are the facts:

    -when he bought the Browns they were the strongest franchise in the NFL, coming off 2 decades of championship domination.
    -he then fired one of the most legendary coaches in the NFL.
    -he then drove off the greatest running back in history… right in his prime.
    –living off the Paul Brown players and talent, they won only one more championship… In 1964.
    –after the PAul Brown talent depleted, Modell only reigned over one successful period–the 5 Shottenheimer/Kosar years. And what did he do? He drove Shottenheimer away.
    -he traded away Paul Warfield, one of the greatest receivers of all time.
    -he allowed the most popular Brown of all time, Kosar, to be unceremoniously dumped.
    -and of course he moved one of the most popular franchises in history away from their heartbroken city after promising he would never do so.

    Yeah… I am aware that he helped out with television deals. But this guy does NOT belong in Canton, OH. Plain and simple.

  61. I love Tony Dungy, but he is not a HOFer. His cover-2 defense is absolute garbage. It takes zero skill to coach a cover-2 defense because the defense does the exact same thing on every play. And it has a bend, but don’t break philosophy, which kept Peyton Manning on the sideline far too long. Colts got whipped in time of posession every single year. And as we are nowing seeing, it probably kept Robert Mathis from being an all-time great outside linebacker.

  62. What exactly has Tony Dungy done to make the Hall of Fame? He was a very good coach, not an all-time great. I love Tim Brown, but Harrison and Reed deserve to go in ahead of him, which makes his enshrinement less likely.

  63. Morten Anderson is the all time leading scorer in NFL history, having scored twice as many points as the great Jerry Rice. The fact that he wasn’t a first ballot guy was disappointing. Keeping him out of the HOF would be detestable.

    Go ahead, give me the thumbs down for saying a kicker needs to get in ASAP. All. Time. NFL. Leading. Scorer.

  64. Tony Dungy as a finalist is a joke. As someone mentioned earlier, please tell me what he accomplished to get on this list.

    Also, Terrell Davis, as good as he was for 3 years, does not belong in the HOF. Someone earlier mentioned that TD ran for 2000+ yards one year. So did Jamal Lewis. Big deal. Sorry, but he didn’t play long enough. I should say, he didn’t dominate long enough. Priest Holmes had just as dominant of a 3 year run and better numbers overall than TD, and no one is clamoring for him to be in. No for TD!

    Walter Jones, Will Shields, Derrick Brooks are shoo-ins. The rest? Tough call, but I would put Tim Brown and Andre Reed in too.

  65. How is Morten Andersen, the All Time Scorer for the NFL, not in the Hall of Fame?!?

    That’s right, he didn’t play in the AFC/NFC East…

  66. Art not making it again? Everything about the NFL is a f*cking joke now a days. Piss poor officials and voters for the hall. Since when has a “hall of fame” become a popularity contest. very high schoolish

  67. What is this garbage DeBartolo was thrown out of the league? For the good of the franchise he turned the keys over to his sister to ensure the Niners weren’t affected by the garbage riverboat scandal where honestly he was duped. He did get suspended for a year but what no one in the hall has ever been suspended? You think that will keep Belichek away with Spygate or Payton with Bounty Gate?

    DeBartolo is one of the greatest owners of all-time, if OJ is still in, and Michael Irvin who uses cocaine like we use water are in the hall then why is DeBartolo not?

    Niners Forever

  68. Terrell Davis gets screwed again…and all other Broncos for that matter. Atwater, Mecklenberg, the list goes on. John Lynch will get in but his best days were with the Bucs. He will be the last of that generation of safety to go into the hall, with all the defenseless rules and all…

  69. Dear God,

    Don’t put Tony Dungy in the HOF. He is nearly insufferable as it is, can you imagine if he makes it?

    His declaration that Joe Webb will lead the Vikings to a playoff win are just proof that he needs to just go the local racetrack instead of Canton, Ohio.

    All NFL Fans with the possible exception of Joe Webb’s mother.

  70. Why the hate on Harrison? Statistically, he is 3rd all time in receptions behind Rice and Gonzalez (and ahead of Carter, Monk, Sharp, Lofton, and way ahead of Irvin – all HOFers).

    In addition, Harrison has the NFL record for most receptions in a season..and a Super Bowl ring to boot.

    Was he flashy or diva WR? No – so I am sure many find him “boring” by today’s standards. Heck, he rarely, if ever, spiked the ball after a TD.

    But he deserves to be in the HOF – no brainer.

  71. The best wr of all time (in order)

    1. Jerry Rice 1549 rec 22895 yards 197td (wow)
    2. Marvin Harrison 1102 rec 14580 yards 128td
    3. Randy Moss 982 rec 15292 yards 156td
    4. Terrell Owens 1078 rec 15934yds 153td
    5. Calvin Johnson 572rec 9328yds 66td

  72. Davis’ three year dominance also carried over to the playoffs (neither Lewis nor Holmes can say that) the greatest 8 game stretch ever for a running back is considered to be AP’s final 8 games of 2012, Davis’ 8 playoff games were better than that.

    Again it’s about dominating during the regular season, which TD did for 3 years, but also dominating when it matters most, in the playoffs, which again TD did. Statistically TD is the best running back to ever play in the NFL playoffs, it’s unbelievable that selection committee would overlook that because he didn’t tack on 4 more average to below average years in his career.

  73. Many of you old timers might remember this, but the main reason I think Art Modell should be in the Hall of Fame is that he was instumental in setting up the conferences during the merger talks in the late 1960’s. He convinced his old friends Carroll Rosenbloom (Baltimore Colts) and Art Rooney SR (Pittsburgh Steelers) to switch to the AFC. Modell thought he could put his Browns in a division with the Steelers (1-13), the Houston Oilers (7-7) and the 2nd year Cincinnati Bengals. What happened the next year was that Cincinnati won the division, and the Browns were under .500. The rest, as they say, is History!

  74. How is it possible that Jerome Bettis is NOT in the hall of fame…it changed the perception of a BIG back who could move…he was the first really successful big running back…at the time he retired he was 5th all time in he is 6th…I realize that everyone has their time…but it is time for the Bus to be in the hall.

  75. Jimmy Johnson = Master architect, Motivator, Draft innovator, two time champion…compared to Tony Dungy? Jimmy Johnson left a bigger mark on the game than Dungy..fools are still using his 20 year old Draft value chart.

    The Hall of Fame is a joke.

    Tim Brown, Todd Christensen, Jack Tatum, Steve Wisniewski, Lester Hayes, Cliff Branch..should all be in the Hall.

  76. The only first timer deserving of a first ballot election is Walter Jones. Bettis, Lynch and Dungy do not belong on the list at all. The rest are all deserving and it’s anybody’s guess what the HOF voters are thinking.

    My WAG:
    – Charles Haley gets in ahead of Strahan, Greene and Williams.
    -Tough call at WR, but Andre Reed should be the first of the receivers inducted, not that Brown and Harrison aren’t deserving.
    – Will Shields should get in…period.
    – Lots of hate for DeBartolo here but the dynasty that he and Walsh built in SF makes him worthy in my opinion.
    – I would dearly love to see Morten Andersen get in but given kicker bias (see Ray Guy), I’m afraid it won’t happen anytime soon.

  77. Walter Jones is probably the best pass protector ever, but he was not an elite run tackle, and what exactly did he win with his team? Not much really, i’d say next year.
    My list, Brooks, Strahan, Reed, Brown,
    Haley should have got in a few years back but he gets no love from the voters, i’d say Shields get in this time

  78. My top 7 would be
    Morten Anderson (NFL all time leading scorer) lock
    Walter Jones (9x Pro Bowl, 6x All-Pro)
    Marvin Harrison (7th all time receiving yards)
    Tim Brown (6th all time receiving yards)
    Michael Strahan (fifth all-time sacks leader)
    Kevin Greene (third all-time sacks leader)
    Derrick Brooks (11x Pro Bowl, 9x All-Pro)

    Narrowing down to five for this year is hard:
    Morten Anderson (NFL all time leading scorer) lock
    Walter Jones (9x Pro Bowl, 6x All-Pro)
    Tim Brown (6th all time receiving yards)
    Kevin Greene (third all-time sacks leader)
    Derrick Brooks (11x Pro Bowl, 9x All-Pro)

  79. HOF is becoming a joke . I love Dungy. He is a great ambassador and role model but he doesn’t belong anywhere near the HOF. It isn’t the hall of very good coaches and affirmative action has no business being a part of the debate. He won one Super Bowl on the back of a true HOF qb. Just because he is the first black coach to win a Super Bowl doesn’t make him Nelson Mandela!

  80. charles haley and kevin greene??? ahhh NO.
    Haley? what did he accomplish? Used free agency to from one dominate team Cowboys to the 49ers. Greene had maybe 2 seasons? If you put those 2 in you better Put in Fridge Perry and Mongo McMichael from the 85 Bear. 2 players from one of the most dominant defense ever.

  81. Bettis is in. Cry bleeding hearts, cry. All this yapping about Bettis’ LONGEVITY. The last 4 years of his career he ran for 2786 yards. The majority of his yards were gained in the first 9 seasons. At 270 lbs, he’s 6th all-time in career rushing. If it was easy for anyone to do it that size and to take all that pounding you’d be able to identify that person again. He isn’t out there and there will NEVER be another back like like him.

    He’s unique and he has the numbers to prove it. That’s HOF worthy.

    270 lbs!

  82. I’ll bring up the elephant in the room. I like Tony Dungy a lot. He’s a great guy and a good coach. But I don’t believe he would have won a SB had Peyton Manning not been his QB. However, the bigger issue is that they’re saying one of his qualifications is that he’s the first African American to win a Super Bowl. I could care less if he was the first purple person to win the Super Bowl, he’s not HOF material. Are they going to let someone in the HOF for being the first person of that ethnicity to win a SB? Or maybe in the next century, the first female to win a SB? I hope not. Are we going to start Affirmative Action for HOF entry? HOF entry should be based SOLELY on contributions and accomplishments that were above and beyond those of others.

    And before the haters start in on me, I’m a minority myself, so you can’t claim I’m some pro-white person. I could give a crap what color someone is. I’m all for equal opportunity, as long as it’s based on equal merit and nothing else.

  83. There needs to be a separate optional entry for contributors (Owners, coaches, broadcasters, etc). There is too big of a logjam.

    It will be an outrage if Brooks doesn’t get in on the first ballot.

  84. What is Tony Dungy getting in for, most wishy-washy football commentator? If he’s getting in because of his coaching success, he should just automatically give his award to Peyton Manning – because he was nothing as a coach.

  85. Put Tim Brown in already. It’s an embarrassment to the committee that they’ve failed to do so by now. A 9X Pro Bowler who’s still top-5 in virtually every career receiving category despite the fact that the true passing explosion took place after his career was over.

    Watch Harrison go in first though, since the committee is blinded by their own hype. Forget the fact that Brown has been waiting several years and has numbers to rival or beat Harrison. Not to mention the fact #81 didn’t play his entire career with an all-time great QB, in a dome nonetheless. And that’s not to rip too much on Harrison, who should be a Hall of Famer, but if Brown gets passed up again like he did for Cris Carter last year it tells you the committee is not that sophisticated.

  86. Yikes, while people complain that the baseball HOF limits voters to 10 votes per ballot, we’re still stuck with this ridiculous 5 player limit in the NFL that has created a log-jam. When will we move to correct this? Elect those who deserve it, rather than capping things at an arbitrary number.

    Brooks- One of the greatest defenders ever. Should waltz in
    Shields- One of the greatest offensive linemen ever. Should have been first-ballot
    Strahan- You have to be a New York hater to deny him. Heck, I AM a NY hater, and I still respect
    Greene- When you’re third on the all-time sacks list, you should get in easy (a 10 pack of double-digit sack seasons too)
    Harrison/Brown/Reed- All tremendous, but WR has been a numbers problem recently. Perhaps Reed falls short given that he’s dropped behind so many others
    Williams- Just a crazy good CB
    Jones- You don’t become a four-time All Pro in a lesser market by accident
    Andersen- Specials teams needs to be represented. All-time NFL scoring leader, chosen as the NFL’s First Team All Pro Kicker for the 1980s AND the 1990s

    To be frank, the only player candidates who don’t quite merit election are Haley (roughly the same as Greene but in a shorter career) and Lynch (Hall of Very Good player), plus maybe Reed if the WR bar has indeed risen. There is no good reason to keep the above players out beyond the arbitrary annual cap that we’re stuck with.

    If I have to go with five, my choices would be (in order): Brooks, Shields, Strahan, Greene, Brown. The top three are my slam dunks, Greene shouldn’t have to wait any longer, and I have to go with at least one WR to get the line moving there (I’ll take Brown because he’s waited long enough, Harrison’s time should come soon). Not a fan of having to leave off Williams, Jones, and Andersen.

  87. Where is the love for Aenas Williams? Tied for 5th all time in non-offensive touchdowns. That’s tied with guys like Charles Woodson and Ed Reed.

    He’s also 20th all time in interceptions with 55, ones less than Charles Woodson and more than the following:

    Deion Sanders (HOF)
    Darrell Green (HOF)
    Willie Brown (HOF)
    Jack Butley (HOF)
    Mel Renfro (HOF)
    Ronde Barber (FHOF)
    Champ Bailey (FHOF)

    Maybe he should have had a bigger mouth?

  88. Look at that, I even managed to completely forget Jerome Bettis. He absolutely needs to make it too…his career is basically a clone of Curtis Martin’s (those two really were attached at the hip for years), so if one makes it, so does the other.

    Still gets squeezed from my top five if I’m limited to that, but make that at least four players who won’t make it this year who should…

  89. Where do they find these moron voters who don’t think the position of punter is important enough for even ONE to be recognized. Punters aren’t in the game often, but when they are, they are the focus. Ray Guy averaged 5.1 punts per game. Jerry Rice averaged 5.2 receptions per game. Both had huge impacts on many of their plays, and NOBODY disputes Jerry Rice’s place in the hall.

    No, I’m not comparing Guy to Rice, just pointing out their relative rates of participation, which is often the excuse for omitting punters.

  90. It’s crazy to me that Aeneas Williams doesn’t get more love.

    Yes….he played for a bad team. He wasn’t the flashy CB Deion was, but then he actually was good in run support as well. Quiet unassuming guy, but might have been the best all around CB of the time period……because of his ability to cover AND play well in run support. 8x pro-bowl selection (4x 1st team).

    This guy needs to be in the hall

  91. Tony Dungy??? Really??? The bucks had to hire Gruden to win it for them. Then he goes to the colts and has one of the top 3 qb’s to play the game with a great offense and it took a giant rain storm in the Super Bowl for a win. Totally overrated. I call him the messiah. All he does is mentor AA kids

  92. All of these finalist, minus Dungy and DeBartolo, were great players. With that being said, My five would be,
    – Tim Brown
    – Andre Reed
    – Kevin Greene
    – Jerome Bettis
    – Aeneas Williams
    Brown, and Reed have waited long enough. Both receivers numbers dwarf those of others already in the hall. I don’t get how in the world Micheal Strahan gets in ahead of Kevin Greene? Both men played 15 seasons, of those Greene came away with 18.5 more sacks. Greene posted 10 double digit sack years, compared to Strahan’s 6. I’m Not hating on Strahan, I just remember Greene being dominant for his entire career, whereas Strahan was dominant for only parts. Jerome Bettis is sixth on the all time rushing yards list. More than Dickerson, Dorsett, Brown, Faulk, Allen, Harris, Thomas, Riggins, and Simpson. The bus was a beast! Aeneas Williams was a shut down corner before the term shut down corner became popular. He made 8 pro bowls, while playing on a terrible Cardinals team for most of his career.

  93. Dungy absolutely deserves it. When he got to Tampa, that team was a doormat – three winning seasons in twenty years, and none in the previous twelve. He turned them into a perennial playoff team without having a franchise QB, and was fired in spite of his success. Thirteen years total as a head coach, winning 67 percent of his games. And if you’ll keep him out of the HOF because of only winning one Super Bowl, I guess you’ll keep Manning out, too.

  94. >>Tony Dungy??? Really??? The bucks had to hire Gruden to win it for them.

    The Milwaukee Bucks never hired Jon Gruden nor was Dungy ever a member of their organization.

  95. @ atwatercrushesokoye

    TD simply didn’t do it long enough. PERIOD. His first 4 years were great. His last 3 were injury riddled. Sorry, but 4 years isn’t enough to make the HOF.

  96. Total yards rushed is no measure for the Bus who was counted on to get the one yard you needed every time you were in the red zone. As with Steelers QB, it’s winning team championships , not stats, where they excell.

    The Bus will move the ball across the Hall’s goal line.

  97. Dungy has 2 rings, one as a player and one as a coach. When you do HOF voting you look at both. Also Dungy has the 9th highest winning percentage every in league history – and that includes coming into a terrible situation in Tampa.

    I’m a huge Bucs fan and for the talk that Dungy should not be considered is moronic. I’m with the people that say he probably isn’t a first ballot guy, that is fair, but to say he’s not even worth making this cut shows how stupid most of these commenters are.

    Also another stat for you – Warrick Dunn has more career rushing/receiving yards (not to mention return yards) than Bettis does – yet no one even mentions his name. He’s an all time top 20 offensive yards guy (Bettis doesn’t make that cut) yet Bettis is included on this list? Why?

  98. I like John Lynch but if he get’s in over Leroy Butler then that is a crime. Butlers stats are comparable or better in every category in 40+ less games and he’s never gotten consideration. He’s even on the NFL 1990’s All Decade team.

  99. My H.O.F. class of 2014

    Tim Brown – A must
    Kevin Greene – The epitome of football
    Walter Jones – The human levee
    Michael Strahan – Give the man his due
    Jerome Bettis – Get him on the bus to Canton

    If I was voting, this is the way I would go. It pains me to leave out Charles Haley again, but I asked myself who would I want on my team. It was a tough call, but I’m taking Kevin Greene. Charles Haley for sure next year. No matter what.

  100. Right wrong or indifferent, Dungy is the first black coach to win a Superbowl.

    Career record of 139-69, playoff record of 9-10.
    He’ll probably get in.

    He also developed and helped along the way, Lovie Smith, Mike Tomlin, Jim Caldwell and Leslie Frazier.

    He’s definitely developed and strengthened the African American coaching culture in the NFL.

  101. cassiusclaymatthews says:
    Jan 13, 2014 9:29 AM

    Right wrong or indifferent, Dungy is the first black coach to win a Superbowl.

    Career record of 139-69, playoff record of 9-10….etc,.

    excellent comment…and you are write…and he also helped Herman Edwards

  102. Anyone saying Bettis was mediocre clearly never watched him play, most certainly not in his prime. Was he Barry Sanders, no, but he was a power running back who always got the Rams and Steelers a critical 1st down. You can drool over the numbers of a lot of guys but I’ll take a Jerome Bettis over an awful lot of guys that have played the position. Charles Haley and Kevin Greene were game changers. Dungy doesn’t belong in the hall at this point. Ray Guy should’ve been in there 20 years ago..

  103. atwatercrushesokoye says: Jan 9, 2014 11:07 PM


    You DO understand that all your talk about Bettis only undermines anything you say about Davis?

    Terrel Davis “played” 8 years, although he didn’t have a single carry in ’02.

    Davis had two fantastic playoff years but his last three year after that were far below par for a HOF-type back.

    Davis also played behind a guy named “Elway” who was pretty good.

    Finally, Davis played in the zone-blocking scheme which saw the likes of Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, Clinton Portis, Reuben Droughns and Tatum Bell run for 1000+ yds.

    Jerome Bettis ran for 8 1000+ yards seasons, scored 91 touchdowns and played almost twice as long as Davis all the while as a 6’/270lb. RB who had both speed and agility in the first hal of his career and the power and vision to remain successful in a power-running game even as his youth passed by. He played the vast majority of his career with second-rate QBs yet still carried his team to success. Unlike Davis, who was sadly unable to continue his career, Bettis finished as the RB with the 5th-most rushing yards of all time despite the brutal nature of his style.

    Jerome Bettis is by far the ONLY heavyweight RB to have so long and successful a career.

    TD definitely belongs in the HOF for his outstanding play, but no way should it be ahead of Jerome Bettis.

    The only reason there is even a question is because of who Jerome played for. Some think great players should be held out of the HOF simply for having the unfortunate luck of playing for a team known for it’s iconic players. Just ask Andy Russell…

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