Troy Polamalu, Patrick Willis among first-time Hall of Fame nominees

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced plans for an expanded class of inductees in 2020 by approving a proposal to put together a group of 15 candidates for selection in addition to the annual group of modern era nominees.

That new group will be made up of 10 seniors candidates, three contributors and two coaches and the entire group must be voted in as a block or none of them will make it.

Voting procedures will remain the same for the modern era nominees, who must make several cuts before before selectors meet the day before the Super Bowl to vote for a maximum of five inductees from 15 finalists. Those inductees must get at least 80 percent approval.

The Hall announced the 122 nominees who will be in the running for those spots on Thursday. The group, which includes players whose careers ended less than 25 years ago, includes eight first-time nominees. They are Troy Polamalu, Maurice Jones-Drew, Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, John Abraham, Reggie Wayne, Lance Briggs and Josh Cribbs.

The group also includes 2018 finalists Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Richard Seymour, Isaac Bruce, Edgerrin James, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson and John Lynch.

The entire list of nominees, which will be cut to 25 in November and 15 in January, is below:

QUARTERBACKs — Randall Cunningham, Jake Delhomme, Boomer Esiason, Jeff Garcia, Jeff Hostetler, Dave Krieg, Donovan McNabb

RUNNING BACKS — Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott, Tiki Barber, Earnest Byner, Larry Centers, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Priest Holmes, Edgerrin James, Daryl Johnston, Thomas Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew, Eric Metcalf, Lorenzo Neal, Clinton Portis, Fred Taylor, Herschel Walker, Chris Warren, Ricky Watters

WIDE RECEIVERS — Isaac Bruce, Gary Clark, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne

TIGHT ENDS — Dallas Clark, Ben Coates, Keith Jackson, Brent Jones, Jeremy Shockey, Wesley Walls

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN — Willie Anderson, Matt Birk, Tony Boselli, Lomas Brown, Ray Donaldson, Alan Faneca, Kevin Gogan, Jordan Gross, Chris Hinton, Kent Hull, Steve Hutchinson, Lincoln Kennedy, Olin Kreutz, Chris Samuels, Jeff Saturday, Brian Waters, Richmond Webb, Erik Williams, Steve Wisniewski

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN — John Abraham, La’Roi Glover, Casey Hampton, Chester McGlockton, Leslie O’Neal, Simeon Rice, Richard Seymour, Justin Smith, Neil Smith, Greg Townsend, Bryant Young

LINEBACKERS — Carl Banks, Cornelius Bennett, Lance Briggs, Tedy Bruschi, James Farrior, London Fletcher, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, Clay Matthews, Willie McGinest, Sam Mills, Chris Spielman, Takeo Spikes, Darryl Talley, Zach Thomas, Jessie Tuggle, Patrick Willis

DEFENSIVE BACKS — Eric Allen, Steve Atwater, Ronde Barber, LeRoy Butler, Nick Collins, Merton Hanks, Rodney Harrison, Albert Lewis, John Lynch, Terry McDaniel, Tim McDonald, Troy Polamalu, Bob Sanders, Troy Vincent, Darren Woodson

KICKERS — David Akers, Gary Anderson, Jason Elam, Jason Hanson, Ryan Longwell, Nick Lowery,

PUNTERS — Reggie Roby, Rohn Stark, Matt Turk, Sean Landeta, Jeff Feagles

SPECIAL TEAMS — Johnny Bailey, Josh Cribbs, Mel Gray, Brian Mitchell, Steve Tasker

93 responses to “Troy Polamalu, Patrick Willis among first-time Hall of Fame nominees

  1. I don’t know much traction he’ll get, but the A-Train belongs in the hall of fame. I used to absolutely HATE when my Vikings played those Bucs teams with Alstott. It would take like the whole team to bring him down and when you thought you had him down, he would still be up and rumble for another 5-6 yards. The guy was a linebacker playing the RB/FB role.

  2. Looking at that list it seems that most of the guys are “good” not “great”. How did those particular guys get on the list? Is this a way to allow some guys in that probably shouldn’t be? Vote on an individual basis. No player should be denied or granted entry based on another player’s reputation in a mass vote.

  3. The people who get into the HOF has certainly been watered down through years and it looks to begin with anyone who ever played being nominated.

    One person probably deserving is Gary Anderson for ,almost unbelievably, missing only one kick in 1998.

  4. Troy Polamalu will probably get in and probably he should. But if you look at stats —–
    12 seasons / 12 sacks / 32 interceptions —- they are not that great.An average of 1 sack and less than 3 picks a season. 3 career TDs? Now take a look at Ed Reed’s stats.

  5. A lot of excellent players on this list but few Hall of Fame worthy players. The offensive line and defensive backs are stacked with deserving players though.

  6. Interesting list. MJD, Metcalf, Garcia. I was fan of those players but they don’t belong in HOF. Delhomme but no Plunkett really?

  7. Jake Delhomme? Really? I’m a big Jake fan but he is nowhere close to being HOF worthy. Would like to see Alstott get in, he was beast mode before there was a beast mode. There are plenty of players in that list that are really deserving, then again I don’t know how some of these others even made it to the list.

  8. 24hoursinaday24beersinacase says:
    September 12, 2019 at 1:40 pm
    Cliff Branch

    7 0 Rate This

    ——————–

    This…Guys who have waited and who are WAITING, need go in before new names get dropped.

    Polamalu was a massive liability in coverage and ran around like a chicken with his head cut off. Nice player and everything, but he’s not a HOFer.

    It’s ridiculous.

    Rodney Harrison gets in and there is no Troy Polamalu anywhere near this list.

    Just because you play in Pitt and are good, doesn’t mean you’re great even if you have really long hair.

    Ugh.

  9. citizenstrange says:
    September 12, 2019 at 1:50 pm
    Troy Polamalu will probably get in and probably he should. But if you look at stats —–
    12 seasons / 12 sacks / 32 interceptions —- they are not that great.An average of 1 sack and less than 3 picks a season. 3 career TDs? Now take a look at Ed Reed’s stats.

    2 0 Rate This

    ————————-

    Do you honestly think teams were concerned about Troy Polamalu? I mean, come on. Where does this come from?

    He wasn’t a generational Safety talent. At all.

  10. sanjosecupcrazy says:
    September 12, 2019 at 1:55 pm
    I have a hard time understanding how Roger Craig continues to be ignored.

    0 0 Rate Down

    ————————-

    I agree. I’ve made the case many times. How do you get featured on 3 SB teams in a dynastic era as the lead RB, have that kind of production and impact on those teams winning, and then not even get considered.

    This isn’t Wendell Tyler here, it’s Roger Craig.

    The way the league has moved more to offense in the last 2 decades really shortchanges the guys in the 1970s and 1980s.

    A lot of more recent players have become wildly overrated.

    Cliff Branch, Roger Craig, Rodney Harrison, etc, are all HOF players for being distinticvley unique both on winning teams and on their own merits for their era.

    It’s just amazing how the younger generation disrespects these players. Too many Millennials running around with zero or distant memories of this stuff, basing their logic on video games and fantasy football.

    Branch, Tom Flores, Roger Craig, Harrison,are all great options for this next class.

  11. My problem with all of the Hall of Fame programs is they have become the Hall of the Very Average. A Hall of Famer should be someone for whom there is not debate. You look at them and just know they belong.

  12. Don’t confuse very good with great. Polamalu was great. Almost all the others were good or very good – that is why they are on the list.

  13. This first pass list is very uninspiring. After glancing through, only a couple stand out to me as ‘Gimmes’. One should be Cliff Branch. It’s an absolute disgrace he was never elected when alive, just like Kenny ‘The Snake’. The others should be Faneca, Polumalu, Boselli and ‘The Edge’. Maybe Herschel Walker at a pinch. I am a massive Bears fan, and Kreutz and Briggs although fantastic players for the team, I do not think are HoF calibre.

    Just my 2c worth.

  14. citizenstrange says:
    September 12, 2019 at 1:50 pm
    Troy Polamalu will probably get in and probably he should. But if you look at stats —–
    12 seasons / 12 sacks / 32 interceptions —- they are not that great.An average of 1 sack and less than 3 picks a season. 3 career TDs? Now take a look at Ed Reed’s stats.
    ——————————————-
    The INT disparity is mostly because TP played SS while Ed Reed played FS. Having said that, as a Ravens fan, I have witnessed first hand how good TP was. Definitely first
    ballot HOFer

  15. bentedges says:
    September 12, 2019 at 2:14 pm
    Boselli should be in.

    3 3 Rate This

    ——————

    Din’t play long enough. If you put him in, Bruce Armstrong goes in. You can’t keep lowering the bar.

  16. citizenstrange says:
    September 12, 2019 at 1:50 pm
    Troy Polamalu will probably get in and probably he should. But if you look at stats —–
    12 seasons / 12 sacks / 32 interceptions —- they are not that great.An average of 1 sack and less than 3 picks a season. 3 career TDs? Now take a look at Ed Reed’s stats.

    13 7 Rate This

    Ed Reed never earned DPOY. Troy has.

  17. inozwetrust says:
    September 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm
    citizenstrange says:
    September 12, 2019 at 1:50 pm
    Troy Polamalu will probably get in and probably he should. But if you look at stats —–
    12 seasons / 12 sacks / 32 interceptions —- they are not that great.An average of 1 sack and less than 3 picks a season. 3 career TDs? Now take a look at Ed Reed’s stats.
    ——————————————-
    The INT disparity is mostly because TP played SS while Ed Reed played FS. Having said that, as a Ravens fan, I have witnessed first hand how good TP was. Definitely first
    ballot HOFer

    0 0 Rate This

    ————————

    Well, Rodney Harrison played both and has 3 times the amount of sacks, as many SB wins and played in more SBs than little Troy one trick pony.

    Rondey Harrison is the ONLY Safety in NFL history to have at least 30 sacks and INTs.

    THE ONLY ONE

    he has Troy in spades with his resume. Go ask Bill Belichick his opinion of both. Polamalu was not a guy NE feared because he just wasn’t very intelligent on the field.

  18. embolomere says:
    September 12, 2019 at 2:15 pm
    Troy was so easy to sucker out of position.
    Nope to him.

    Weak field overall. McGinest maybe.

    4 10 Rate This

    Do you have a YouTube channel with some game tape to back your claim?

  19. chrisg5988 says:
    September 12, 2019 at 2:41 pm
    Zach Thomas. The fact he isnt in already is mind boggling. Same stats as Urlacher

    1 0 Rate This

    ——————–

    From that era, I agree. He and Tedy Bruschi need to get in. While Zach Thomas was more productive, Tedy was the smarter player, better gamer and played in 5 SBs.

    How do you have such a resume and not get in? It’s mindnumbing.

    If NIck Buinoconti is in for Miami, Bruschi is in for NE.

  20. nyyankeehatespoliticos says:
    September 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm
    Don’t confuse very good with great. Polamalu was great. Almost all the others were good or very good – that is why they are on the list.

    3 4 Rate This

    —————-

    Umm, are you sure you’ve watched the NFL?

    Rodney Harrison’s resume dwarfs Troy Polamalu’s. This is a fact, not a debate.

    You have it bakwards.

    Polamalu played on some very good TEAMS that made him look better than he actually was. He and Clay Matthews are arguably the two most overrated one dimensional players at their position of their generation.

    Yes.

    Long hair and running around like a chicken with your head cut off, does not quality you for a HOF nod.

    Please learn the sport.

    There are actually tons of Safeties who were way better from yesteryear that never got in or juat got in recently like Kenny Easley.

  21. Troy Polamalu will probably get in and probably he should. But if you look at stats —–
    12 seasons / 12 sacks / 32 interceptions —- they are not that great.An average of 1 sack and less than 3 picks a season. 3 career TDs? Now take a look at Ed Reed’s stats.
    ——–
    15 seasons / 30.5 sacks / 34 INT’s– and they are spectacular. He also forced 15 fumbles and inadvertently gave us Kurt Warner.

    Rodney Harrison added another 7 INT’s in the Playoffs/Superbowl forced 2 more fumbles and 2 more sacks.

  22. I look at these nominees and get flashbacks to some of my first fantasy football drafts… I need another beer and a Geritol.

  23. 60% of these were very good players, but have zero business even being considered for the HOF. Folks should get in by merit only, not because the NFL has a quota to put in.

  24. “Go ask Bill Belichick his opinion of both. Polamalu was not a guy NE feared because he just wasn’t very intelligent on the field”

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

    This may be the biggest LOL of the day. I would love to see a quote by BB stating anything of the kind. All I’ve ever read is BB singing TP’s praises.

  25. tylawspick6 says:

    Rondey Harrison is the ONLY Safety in NFL history to have at least 30 sacks and INTs.

    THE ONLY ONE

    —-

    He also got busted for PED use. That’s one stat that is pretty glaring to me.

  26. Ricky Williams should at least be on the list. Might not make it past the first round, but should have made it to the first round.

    2431 carries for 10,009 yards and 66 TD’s

    plus

    342 receptions for 2606 yards and 8 additional TD’s.

    More rushing yards than: Shaun Alexander, Mike Alstott (over double more, but he’s a FB really), Earnest Byner, Larry Centers, Priest Holmes, Maurice Jones-Drew, Eric Metcalf, Lorenzo Neal (way more, but he’s a FB), Clinton Portis, Herschel Walker and Chris Warren

    440 yards less than Eddie George
    582 yards less than Thomas Jones
    634 yards less than Ricky Watters

  27. 6burgh says:
    September 12, 2019 at 2:48 pm
    citizenstrange says:
    September 12, 2019 at 1:50 pm
    Troy Polamalu will probably get in and probably he should. But if you look at stats —–
    12 seasons / 12 sacks / 32 interceptions —- they are not that great.An average of 1 sack and less than 3 picks a season. 3 career TDs? Now take a look at Ed Reed’s stats.

    13 7 Rate This

    Ed Reed never earned DPOY. Troy has.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    False. Ed Reed AP DPOY 2004. TP is not HOF Worthy

  28. Jake Delhomme over Steve McNair? I know it’s the just the preliminary list and neither have a shot, but I’d still include McNair over Delhomme, personally.

  29. “Polamalu was a massive liability in coverage and ran around like a chicken with his head cut off. Nice player and everything, but he’s not a HOFer.”

    Still living rent free.

  30. Harrison took a common PED going into his FINAL NFL season to help him heal faster = a blip on what was otherwise an OBVIOUS HOF career. And if you think Rodney doesn’t belong because he was a headhunter, then you ALSO believe Ronnie Lott doesn’t belong either.

  31. Seth Joyner is under appreciated. His stats compare favorably to Urlacher. He should get in:
    3× Pro Bowl (1991, 1993, 1994)
    2× First-team All-Pro (1991, 1993)
    Second-team All-Pro (1992)
    Super Bowl champion (XXXIII)
    Sports Illustrated NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1991)
    Sacks: 52 (10.5 more than Urlacher)
    Interceptions: 24 (2 more than Urlacher)
    Fumble recoveries: 12
    Touchdowns: 2 (same as Urlacher0

  32. It’s nice to see Greg Townsend at least get a mention. I’d be shocked if he ever gets in but he is deserving IMO. He had help playing on a line with Howie Long but Howie Long also had Greg Townsend helping him out too.

  33. tormundsbeard says:
    September 12, 2019 at 2:02 pm
    Jake Delhomme? Really? I’m a big Jake fan but he is nowhere close to being HOF worthy.

    Neither is Mike Alstott. Give me a break. Talk about lowering the standards.

  34. Troy Polamalu was a poor mans Roy Williams, overrated because of the team he was on. Nowhere close to being HOF worthy.

  35. Troys ability to wander and still cover zones made the defense very strong and let’s not forget he was on 3 Superbowl team’s. While he roamed the field and could be anywhere, it made it very difficult for other team’s to prepare for the Steelers defense as a whole. The blitz could come from any direction. A lock for the H.O.F. Whether or not he is first ballot I think is a coin flip. Being realistic.

  36. Seth Joyner needs to be in the hall. Only player in NFL history with 50+ sacks and 20+ INTs. He was one of the first do everything LB’s.

  37. My picks …

    Randall Cunningham (Changed the game, without Him … we have No Vick, No McNabb, No Cam, No McNair, etc. etc.)

    Edgerrin James (15,610 yards rushing/receiving/91 TDs)

    Herschel Walker (More Professional Football Yards than Jerry Rice 25,283 versus 23,546)

    Isaac Bruce/Torry Holt (They are “the rest of” the “Greatest Show of Turf”)

    Sean Landeta (23 seasons in Pro Football, 1401 punts for 60k+ yards 43.3 average …

    Brian Mitchell (19,013 Kickoff and Punt Return yards. 23,330 All-purpose Yards, 9 Return TDs behind only Metcalf and Hester)

  38. Ravens fan here. I hate the Steelers.

    But anyone saying Troy Polamalu wasn’t great, or isn’t HOF worthy doesn’t know football.

    Good guy. Would have wanted him on my team in a second.

  39. bunkmcnulty says:
    September 13, 2019 at 1:02 pm
    Ravens fan here. I hate the Steelers.

    But anyone saying Troy Polamalu wasn’t great, or isn’t HOF worthy doesn’t know football.

    Good guy. Would have wanted him on my team in a second
    ———————————————
    Ravens fan here also. I agree. He could play for my team. Could you imagine TP at strong safety and Ed Reed at free safety on the same team !! Wow!!

  40. “Troy was so easy to sucker out of position.
    Nope to him.”

    “Do you have a YouTube channel with some game tape to back your claim?”

    “Go ask Bill Belichick his opinion of both. Polamalu was not a guy NE feared because he just wasn’t very intelligent on the field”

    “All I’ve ever read is BB singing TP’s praises”

    BB always buttered up the opposition. That’s his MO. No bulletin board material.

    You want game tape? Seek out most games of the Steelers vs. Pats, particularly in the last half of TP’s career. Guy was a non-factor.

  41. Probably get downvoted for this, but I don’t really care THAT much if the HOF keeps getting a bit more diluted. I’m not advocating for ‘everyone needs a participation trophy’, but who really cares? Take Mike Alstott. If you were a fan at that time, you know he was an iconic player in the league when he played. If I went to visit Canton, I would love to see a plaque and re-count watching him. Same with Polamalu. Was he Ronnie Lott? Of course not. But he was also an iconic player, why not have him in there. Does him getting into the NFL somehow cheapen what Lott did in his career? Not at all. Why not let him, his family and Steelers fans see it celebrated.

    Again, not saying they should admit everyone but I guess I don’t see the case for having an incredibly high bar. It’s just entertainment and the HOF is just a way to celebrate the best players and recount their careers and for the truly great, nothing they do with HOP admissions diminishes what they did on the field.

    Thumbs down coming…

  42. Polamalu isn’t HOF material. If he gets in it’ll be a bone thrown to grieving Steelers’ fans over their imploded team.

  43. They have so watered this down theres no point to it anymore. I hear names of guys that I never heard of now. Polymolly? He wasnt that good. All hype. always hurt but ran around a lot trying to make noise not tackles.
    They really should pro rate statistics. Used to be a 12 then a 14 game season. These guys now play 16 games, they should have better numbers. Lets use an algorithm to adjust the numbers to reflect a 14 game season and many of these new guys would be avg at best compared to way back when

  44. I would love it if they didn’t nominate a single player, take a hiatus of sorts. Then re-calibrate the thinking that only the absolute cream of the crop gets in. Make it more speical and make it mean something.

  45. I loved how networks always showed Troy Palamalu jumping over the line to make a tackle, but conveniently ignored all the times he tried it and whiffed like an idiot (probably most of the time when you average out his later years), leaving the other 10 guys hanging.

  46. Any one who thinks Troy Polamalu belongs in the NFL HOF before LeRoy Butler is nutz. Butler has more sacks 20.5 vs 12.0 more int`s 38 vs 32 and tot tackls 889 vs 778 . Heck LeRoy was the one who changed how the SS position can be played as a impact defensive position. and I am not saying Troy does not deserve consideration heck Troy has better numbers than Darren Woodson outside total tackls 951.

  47. LeRoy Butler has been absolutely hosed.

    4x 1st team All-Pro
    1990s All-Decade team

    John Lynch
    4x All-Pro, but only 2x 1st Team
    NOT on an All-Decade team

    Rodney Harrison
    3x All-Pro, only 2x 1st Team
    Also NOT on an All-Decade Team

    Steve Atwater and Darren Woodson deserve to go in before those 2 as well.

    .. I think Polamalu gets in. 6x All-Pro, 2010 DPOY, 3 Super Bowls.. we all know voters don’t value ANYTHING more than that.

  48. Shanahan and Kubiaks key to beating the Packers in XXXII; moving Shannon Sharpe all over the place to take LeRoy Butler out of the game.

    Meanwhile, Reggie White was single blocked by Tony Jones most of the afternoon.

    Butler was a key to the Packers success in the mid-late 90s. As good as any S over the course of his career.

  49. The so called experts who make this lists remind me of the GOP. STILL no Roger Craig? And Jake 5 int in the playoffs delhomme? Really? Maybe i missed something, and Cajun Jake eas actually the first player in NFL history to rush and receive for 1000 yards each???? Idiots.

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