Tom Flores, Richard Seymour make Hall of Fame finalists list for first time

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Coach Tom Flores and defensive lineman Richard Seymour are Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists for the first time. They made the list for the Class of 2019, along with three first-year eligible players.

The Hall of Fame announced the list of finalists Thursday night and to no ones surprise cornerback Champ Bailey, tight end Tony Gonzalez and safety Ed Reed could become first-ballot Hall of Famers.

The 48 selectors will elect the Class of 2019 on Selection Saturday in Atlanta the day before Super Bowl LIII. The 15 modern-era candidates came from an original list of 103 nominees that was reduced to 25 semifinalists.

The seniors committee elected safety Johnny Robinson as its finalist for the ballot, and Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Cowboys vice president of player personnel Gil Brandt are the contributors candidates.

Here are the 15 modern-era candidates for the Class of 2019:

• Steve Atwater, Safety – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets

• Champ Bailey, Cornerback – 1999-2003 Washington Redskins, 2004-2013 Denver Broncos

• Tony Boselli, Tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars

• Isaac Bruce, Wide Receiver – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers

• Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers

• Alan Faneca, Guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals

• Tom Flores, Coach – 1979-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-94 Seattle Seahawks

• Tony Gonzalez, Tight End – 1997-2008 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009-2013 Atlanta Falcons

• Steve Hutchinson, Guard – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings,
2012 Tennessee Titans

• Edgerrin James, Running Back – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals,
2009 Seattle Seahawks

• Ty Law, Cornerback – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets,
2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos

• John Lynch, Free Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos

• Kevin Mawae, Center – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans

• Ed Reed, Safety – 2002-2012 Baltimore Ravens, 2013 Houston Texans, 2013 New York Jets

• Richard Seymour, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders

101 responses to “Tom Flores, Richard Seymour make Hall of Fame finalists list for first time

  1. It’ll be nice to see Ed Reed get in the Hall. 7th on the NFL’s all time INT list. It will be especially good to see one of the all time great ballhawking safeties get in since the last two who have been eligible for induction (Eugene Robinson – 13th all time INTs, Darren Sharper – 8th) have no chance of getting in.

  2. Tony Boselli is really interesting because for 5 years he was probably the best or 2nd best Left Tackle in the game but being that it was only 5 years and his rookie year for 6 he didn’t have longevity(his 7th and final season was only 3 games). Personally I was opposed to Terrell Davis being elected but if 3 years as one of the top 3 backs and 2 other okay seasons is good enough then to me Boselli has to get in too.

  3. Hope my guy John Lynch can get in this year, great safety and he’s been in the finals for a few years now.

  4. I’m relatively new to watching football (just over ten years now), but I love watching highlights of players from earlier in the game’s history. NFL Films is terrific.

    Don Coryell should definitely get in. Tom Flores probably should, as well. Tony Gonzalez is a definite and Ed Reed is the best safety I’ve seen play. I understand that Steve Atwater has a compelling case, as well.

  5. I’m a “small hall” guy, so if Dungy and Terrell Davis are in, don’t want to have those “mistakes” lower the bar.

    Reed, Gonzalez, Faneca, and Coryell.

    I was around for the 70’s and 80’s Raiders and loved them, but Flores is not a Hall,of Fame coach. Cliff Branch needs to get in soon, that’s biggest Raiders snub currently.

  6. Every single position player on the official NFL team of the 90s, other than Leroy Butler and Steve Atwater in the HOF. Atwater is deserving and the fact that Butler isn’t even a finalist is absurd.

  7. I remember Flores crashing and burning with the Lions. Seymour got too big for his britches in NE. Had he stayed, He’d have been one of the best ever…

  8. Coryell absolutely needs and deserves to be in. Madden himself said so.

    Id be ok with Flores, too, but Coryell without question should be in.

  9. Fitting that this Ravens season started with Lewis being inducted into the Hall with the Ravens at the Hall of Fame Game and will end with Reed getting his jacket and the Ravens winning another title.

  10. If Alan Faneca doesn’t get in, it’s a joke.
    He was the Guard of his generation.
    Steve Hutchinson couldn’t carry his jock. 6 time First Team All Pro, 9 Pro Bowls.

  11. Reed was one of the most dynamic playmakers of all time. He could single handedly change the outcome of a game at any time. Interceptions for touchdowns, kick returns, fumble recoveries for touchdowns, punt and kick blocks for touchdowns. He would freelance defensive plays and play off pure instinct. On top of it all he was a class act. I don’t know we will ever seen another like him.

  12. Thomas was in on 1,720 tackles, had 17 interceptions, 17 forced fumbles, 20.5 sacks and four touchdowns.

    Urlacher was in on 1,353 tackles, had 22 interceptions, 12 forced fumbles, 40.5 sacks and two touchdowns.

  13. Personally I was opposed to Terrell Davis being elected but if 3 years as one of the top 3 backs and 2 other okay seasons is good enough then to me Boselli has to get in too.
    _____________
    TD played longer and at a high level than Gale Sayers. Also was a NFL MVP and SB MVP. TD OWns the most career playoff rushing tds. He is legit.

  14. ricko1112 says:
    January 3, 2019 at 7:59 pm
    Seymour got too big for his britches in NE. Had he stayed, He’d have been one of the best ever…
    —————————-
    He was a salary cap casualty. The trade itself was basically him for Derrick Burgess and future LT Nate Solder. Belichick looked at the upcoming free agencies of him and Vince Wilfork and decided Wilfork was better for the team long term being only able to afford keeping one of them. I think he was right but still a tough call to make.

  15. There should not be another single coach enshrined before Don Coryell. Every year he is passed over diminishes the value of the hall and further exposes those who nominate as frauds. It’s a no-brainer that those who revolutionize the game should receive the game’s highest honor. Those on the committee who don’t get this need to be replaced.

  16. REEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!! To be able to watch a young player’s career develop into what his became was what it is all about. Hate to sound like an NFL commercial, but it was beyond a pleasure to watch Mr Ed Reed perform. Going to the games, and even watching him tv, you could feel it coming when he’d get the ball and run it back. When Ozzy stated in an interview that they could feel it also, that they were experiencing the same thing… What more can you say? Thank you Ed Reed!

  17. This thread has some of the best comments I’ve seen on PFT in a long time.
    ———————————————
    15412pack says:
    January 3, 2019 at 7:38 pm
    Every single position player on the official NFL team of the 90s, other than Leroy Butler and Steve Atwater in the HOF. Atwater is deserving and the fact that Butler isn’t even a finalist is absurd.
    ———————————————
    thetooloftools says:
    January 3, 2019 at 7:45 pm
    How is Don Coryell not already in …The Godfather of the vertical game? Google air Coryell sometime.
    ———————————————
    WolfgangVomFramps says:
    January 3, 2019 at 8:52 pm
    How can Mawae be a finalist, when Jay Hilgenberg (7 consecutive Pro Bowls) is not in?
    Mawae was great, but there is list of centers who go in before he does.
    ———————————————
    (Other comments refer to the same finalists, I chose from a multitude of plenty.) Great comments by knowledgeable fans.

  18. I can’t remember where I heard it, but somewhere someone in media suggested that in addition to the numbers, one thing you should also ask/consider during Hall of Fame consideration is whether the history of the sport or league in question can be told without including reference to that person.

    If you agree that’s a fair or appropriate additional consideration, then Coryell has to be in. You really cannot tell the story of the modern NFL without reference to Coryell.

  19. For the love of god, will they vote in Flores. People say working for Al Davisnia the hardest coaching job and he won 2 Super Bowls, the first one after their starting QB went down, and the 2nd when they were predicted to come in last place in the division.

    I don’t care what anyways says, while Lynch was a a good player he had the luxury of being surrounded by insane talent. He was basically the 5th or 6th most important player on their D. Atwater was twice the player and he’s been waiting forever. It’s time for the HOF to do the right thing.

    Bruce is another guy who has to get in. He better be the next great wideout to get his jacket.

  20. ty law is far more deserving than richard seymour. that said don coryell, tony g, ed reed, champ bailey, ty law and isaac bruce deserve to get in this year, in my opinion. they are the only real truly standouts of the bunch. the offensive linemen list is an impressive bunch of names but how do you vote one in over the other? coryell changed the game. tony g best te ever so far, ed reed, well hes ed reed. bailey same as reed. ty law made so many plays during patriots run including pick 6 to set tone in rams upset. isaac bruce might miss but he should be in if kurt warner and marshall faulk are in.

  21. Atwater, Champ, Flores, Reed, Gonzales and Air Cornell.

    Lynch shouldn’t get in before “The Smilin’ Assasin Atwater”.

    Atwater was the man in the 90’s. Look up the hit on Cristina Okoye on MNF. Wow.

  22. ZACH THOMAS
    7× Pro Bowl (1999–2003, 2005, 2006)
    5× First-team All-Pro (1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006)
    2× Second-team All-Pro (2001, 2005)

    More tackles than any linebacker currently in the Hall of Fame besides Ray Lewis. (2,061)

  23. Zach Thomas, better stats than Urlacher and matched Ray Lewis in their early careers before Zach was too injured. ZT just doesn’t go out in the public and parade himself. What a joke.

  24. cardiovascularendurance says:
    January 3, 2019 at 8:43 pm
    Richard Seymour in the HOF?? I don’t think so.

    ————

    Major star on dominant defense that won 3 Super Bowls out of 4 and had an undefeated regular season. Someone on the team must have been HOF level.

  25. Seymour basically was the prototype for the next wave of Defensive Ends. His play as a 5 Tech is quite seriously very underrated because he didn’t have ‘stats’. He is a member of the 2000s All Decade team. 100% should be in the Hall of Fame.

  26. Not feeling it with Flores. .527 career in regular season. He did win two Super Bowls but so did Shanahan with a higher winning percentage. MEH to both of them.

  27. I’ll tell you one thing. They can vote Coach Flores in… but it wasn’t for his stint in Seattle.

  28. Zach Thomas was a tackling machine, but he wasn’t a game changer like Urlacher was. That’s why he he’s not in and shouldn’t get in. If you’re just looking at stats in regards to linebackers, then you’re looking in the wrong place- if you like stats, check out baseball- they love giving out awards based on statistics.

  29. reed Gonzalez,coryell,boselli and Hutchinson would be may picks. also think law should get in before bailey Atwater before lynch. have a feeling bailey gets in this year.flores should get but Coryell should be in first.

  30. Can y’all please not turn guys like Hutchinson, Faneca, and Mawae into the next Jerry Kramer? It’s nothing short of a disgrace that he had to wait 50 YEARS to get into the Hall just because interior O-linemen aren’t appreciated or respected by sportswriters.

  31. “The NFL passing game we know today is because of one man

    Don Coryell”

    Don Coryell belongs in, and him being ignored for so many years is a travesty of the 1st order. Watching his Chargers in the 70-80s, especially against the Raiders, during the Sunday late games back in the day, were always breathtaking things to witness. But your statement is not entirely accurate, as even Coryell would argue with your assessment that Air Coryell was with no precedent (it’s actually steeped in deep NFL and college heritage, making his case even stronger IMO).

    Air Coryell was a direct derivative of Sid Gillman’s ‘Feast or Famine’ offense (“force the defense to defend the entire field”), and Coryell came directly from Gillman’s coaching tree (which has produced 26 Superbowl winners and a trophy case full of NCAA titles); and includes: Al Davis(HoF), Chuck Noll(HoF), Chuck Knox, Dick Vermeil, George Allen(HoF), and of course, Don Coryell. Notable college coaches include; Ara Parseghian, Bo Schembechler, and many others. Sid’s reach was long…

    The 2nd generation, and beyond, is a veritable Who’s Who of NFL coaching, and includes Bill Walsh(HoF), attributed with creation of “The West Coast Offense”, the 2nd great offensive scheme emerging, and being generally adopted, over the last 50 years, and still having an impact today. TWCO is more of a precision, lateral, slashing at the seams game, whereas AC is an imbalanced, vertical deep threat, from every offensive skill position, and “right down your throats” boom or bust game. Both have left their marks forever on professional football. And both have been a joy to watch; win, lose, or draw.

    For reference, Gillman invented the Superbowl, among many other outstanding NFL accomplishments, was only 1 of 2 coaches to coach a single team through the entire life of the AFL (L.A./S.D. Chargers; the John Hadl/Lance Alworth years, speaking of “go go go”), virtually created game film study as an art, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. His mark on the game runs deep, and should never be forgotten. Nor should Don Coryell…

  32. How Safety LeRoy Butler misses the cut is beyond me. His stats compare favorably to Altwater and Lynch. Without him, the Packers don’t get to two Super Bowls and win one. Butler was the QB of that defense and opponents had to game plan for him because he was so good at coming down in the box. Butler deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame.

  33. finfan65 says:
    January 3, 2019 at 7:07 pm
    …Seymour. Give me a break.
    ———————————————————————-

    Richard Seymour will probably come up short, because his sack stats are not sexy enough for the voters, but I think he deserves consideration. Many people had Seymour on their short list of the best defensive linemen in the game during the first decade of this millennium. He helped start the Patriots dynasty as one of the two best defensive players on those early Pats Super Bowl Championship teams (IMO Seymour and Law were their two best defensive players, with all due respect to Bruschi, McGinest, etc.). I did not pay a lot of attention to Seymour when he went to the Raiders, but I suspect he was one of the few good players on their team during those years.

  34. Based on his accomplishments with the Raiders, Tom Flores is an obvious choice for the HOF although I suspect that the bad stint he had with the Seahawks was/is probably the reason he hasn’t yet gotten in.

    The exclusion of Cliff Branch from the HOF is a travesty. Branch played in the same era as John Stallworth & Lynn Swann (who are both in the HOF) and Branch’s productivity was on a par with Stallworth and Branch was much better than Swann.

  35. Gonzalez, Bailey, Reed, Flores and Coryell. All 3 players are Hall of Famers. Flores has 4 rings, 1 as a player, one as an asst coach and 2 as a head coach, 1st Hispanic QB, 1st Hispanic head coach. Coryell was a great offensive coach and had some good teams and a lot of the offense you see in the modern game comes from what Coryell did with the Cards and Chargers.

  36. Did I miss something or did Flores kind of reappear out of nowhere like a comet? I figured he’d get in on the seniors slate one day but I don’t remember him getting any recent buzz.

    When Flores won his second SB as HC (already had 2 as player and assistant coach) people may not have thought how signicant that was because rhe SN era was still new. Realtor, not many have won that second as SB and many Payton, McCarthy, Ditka, Cowher, Billick, Carroll, Dungy,, Tomlin, Harbaugh haven’t got there. And he beat,Dungy as the first minority coach.

    Looks like the voters took a mulligan on Flores and I’m all in.

  37. The NFL Hall of Fame is becoming a bit of a joke with some of the players they are inducting, don’t get me wrong, these are good players but i always thought you had to be GREAT to be inducted in the hall & the system is a bit watered down recently.

  38. First four are easy….Coryell, Reed, Gonzalez and Bruce. Not many people have talked about Bruce on here. The guy is 5th all time for receiving yards. He should be a shoo in. As for the last spot, I’d probably give it to Atwater but wouldn’t hate if Bailey, Faneca or Law was the choice.

  39. Alan Faneca and Ty Law? Let’s get serious. This is for the best of the best. Not just those slightly above average.

  40. yes, richard seymour deserves to get in, and why? because he was dominant while with the patriots, including the season they went 16-0. come on people and wakee up and smell the brimstone.

  41. LeRoy Butler
    4x 1st Team All-Pro
    38 INTs
    20.5 sacks
    13 forced fumbles
    10 fumble recoveries
    889 tackles
    3 TDs

    Steve Atwater
    3x All-Pro, 2x 1st Team
    24 INTs
    5 sacks
    6 FF
    8 FR
    1180 tackles
    1 TD

    John Lynch
    4x All-Pro, 3x 1st Team
    26 INTs
    13 sacks
    16 FF
    9 FR
    1054 tackles
    0 TDs

    Absolute fail by the voters.

  42. Tom Flores – 2 time Super Bowl Champion Head Coach;1 time Assistant Coach Super Bowl Champion;1 time Super Bowl Champion-Player; AFL All Star Player. He deserves to be in!!!

  43. How Safety LeRoy Butler misses the cut is beyond me. His stats compare favorably to Altwater and Lynch. Without him, the Packers don’t get to two Super Bowls and win one. Butler was the QB of that defense and opponents had to game plan for him because he was so good at coming down in the box. Butler deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame.
    ======

    From 1995-1997, he was arguably the best player on a defense… that featured REGGIE WHITE.

    The Broncos gameplan in SB XXXII singled out Butler, while Reggie was totally neutralized by Tony Jones that day..

    He’ll get in.. but its pathetic it looks like the Senior Committee will have to put him there.

  44. If Alan Faneca doesn’t get in, it’s a joke.
    He was the Guard of his generation.
    Steve Hutchinson couldn’t carry his jock. 6 time First Team All Pro, 9 Pro Bowls.
    =====

    Hutch
    7x All-Pro, 5x 1st Team
    2000 All-Decade Team

    Faneca
    8x All-Pro, 6x 1st Team
    2000 All-Decade Team

    Will Shields
    7x All-Pro…. only 3x times 1st Team
    2000 All-Decade Team

    … BOTH Hutch and Faneca will get in. Both are deserving. Neither was dramatically better than the other.

  45. January 4, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Ed Reed is NOT a first ballot HOF…… sorry
    =====

    Other than Ronnie Lott, name a better S……..

    Brian Dawkins

    1

    1

    Rate This

  46. Reed
    8x All-Pro, 5x 1st team
    64 INTs (7th all-time, #3 @ safety)
    3x INT leader
    11 forced fumbles
    6 sacks
    139 passes defended (18th all-time)
    9 TDs, 7 defensive (11th all-time)
    *Most INT return yards in NFL history

    Dawkins
    6x All-Pro, 5x 1st team
    37 INTs (104th all-time)
    36 forced fumbles (12th all-time)
    26 sacks
    4 TDs
    153 passes defended (7th all-time)

    Guess it would be a preference of whether you want a centerfielder (Reed) or a S that plays at the line of scrimmage (Dawkins)

  47. aarons444 says:
    January 4, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Ed Reed is NOT a first ballot HOF…… sorry
    =====

    Other than Ronnie Lott, name a better S……..

    ====================

    Jack Tatum. But Tatum is blackballed from getting into the HOF because of the unfortunate Daryl Stingley paralysis. Ronnie Lott himself said that Tatum was the role model for his style of play.

  48. Jack Tatum. But Tatum is blackballed from getting into the HOF because of the unfortunate Daryl Stingley paralysis. Ronnie Lott himself said that Tatum was the role model for his style of play.
    =====

    I didn’t see him play.

    Lott and Reed are the 2 best I’ve seen. Its not close.

  49. Patriots fan here, who watched nearly every play of Ty Law and Richard Seymour’s career.

    Ty Law was a true elite lock down corner and play maker. He also made his biggest plays on the biggest stages in the playoffs and Super Bowl. To me, he’s not a lock, but should be should be in the NFL HOF.

    Richard Seymour was great, but I’m not sure he belongs in the HOF.

  50. Ed Reed is easily a first ballot HOFer. That guy was a dynamic play maker. Few have been as great in so many areas. He’s arguably the best “center fielder” safety of all time he had almost unlimited range to get to passes and always made a great play on the ball. He also was an intimidating hard hitting safety. Don’t forget to factor in his explosiveness and game changing ability as a kick/punt returner as well.

  51. How is Don Coryell not already in as a coach? Didn’t they name an entire offense after him? “Air Coryell”

  52. The number 1 guy that belongs in the HOF is Henry Ellard. When Ellard retired in the late 1990’s he was the 3rd leading receiver in yards (currently 15th). He started his career on special teams, until the Rams figured out what to do with him. He had more yards than contemporaries Art Monk, Steve Largent and Andre Reed. That 1983 draft by the Rams was likely the 2nd greatest draft in NFL history (with Dickerson at 1 and Ellard 2), as the top 2 picks are in top 20 offensive stats all time (only 2001s Chargers with Tomlinson and Brees was better).

    The number 2 guy is Brian Mitchell. Mitchell is number 2 all time in all purpose yards. He was quite a player that Washington did not know how to fully use.

    The number 3 guy is Cliff Branch. 3 Super Bowl rings. he was better than Swan and had 38 less receiving yards than Stallworth. Branch belongs in the HOF.

    The number 4 guys, Clay Matthews Jr, Jesse Tuggle and Kyle Clifton all of whom are top 5 in tackles all time. (This is the father of Clay Matthews III on Green Bay).

  53. laxman1944 says:
    January 4, 2019 at 9:10 am
    Ed Reed is NOT a first ballot HOF…….sorry
    ———————————————

    You will need to brace for some disappointment when Ed Reed, one of the two or three best safeties to ever play in the NFL, and the best defensive player on some excellent Ravens defenses, sails into the HOF this year on his first ballot.

    Reed and Gonzalez are well-deserved locks. The others…not so much.

  54. I agree with a lot of people who commented on this story that Zach Thomas should be in the H.O.F. if Urlacher made it, to me they were almost the same player.

    It’s too bad Thomas wasn’t as big as Urlacher in stature because he would have been a 1st ballot player if he wasn’t injured as much.

    I remember watching him play for the Cowboys for 1 season and i loved him & he was almost done as a player at that time.

  55. Once again, John Lynch is a finalist when his contemporary strong safety Rodney Harrison gets snubbed despite having better career turnover forcing and tackling stats.

  56. Clay Matthews Jr didn’t make the final 15 again!!! He was a beast, check his stats!! I’ll put him up against Urlachger anytime!

  57. Atwater needs to be in. One of the most feared hitters ever. The okoue hit was legendary and he was almost named co MVP SB XXXII. He was a monster in that super bowl.

  58. 80’s 90’s 00′ and beyond best corner’s…C.Bailey, D.Green, D.Sanders real- Deal lock down corner’$…

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