Steve Tasker says Matthew Slater’s special teams contributions should put him in the Hall of Fame

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
Getty Images

During his years with the Bills, Steve Tasker was widely regarded as the NFL’s best special teams player. But while Tasker has been a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame nine times, he still hasn’t made it, and he may never get in.

Tasker, however, thinks someone else is eventually going to get into the Hall of Fame purely off his special teams contributions: Matthew Slater.

Slater, the Patriots’ longtime special teams captain, ought to be a lock for the Hall given his 10 Pro Bowl selections, Tasker said on Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen’s podcast.

“I don’t think there’s any question he’ll get in when his time comes. He may not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he’ll be a guy they have to address,” Tasker said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.

Two kickers — Andersen and Jan Stenerud — are in the Hall of Fame, and so is one punter, Ray Guy. But so far no one has made it from the less glamorous work of blocking and tackling on special teams, which is the specialty of Slater and was the specialty of Tasker. If Tasker never makes it, perhaps Slater will be the first.

18 responses to “Steve Tasker says Matthew Slater’s special teams contributions should put him in the Hall of Fame

  1. Anyone against special teams players making the HOF should try to convince the 2010 chargers that special teams isn’t important

  2. All NFL coaches talk about the importance of their teams’ three units……the offense, defense and special teams. If the ST units are equally important than there is no reason why Steve Tasker isn’t in the Hall of Fame!

  3. Tasker should get in before Hester but it wont happen. Slater wont either. Neither will Bill Bates or Hank Bauer, who were tackling machines …

  4. Special teams players are typically only noticed when something goes spectacularly wrong. Outside of returners, gunner’s are the rare exception to that, but they simply don’t have a consistent enough impact on the game that would merit inclusion. They may make a big play on rare occasion, but is that enough to earn hall of fame consideration?
    A machine-like long snapper is more valuable and gets even less recognition than players like Tasker or Slater do. And I’m willing to bet few can name the best ones in the league today or in the past.

  5. Not only was Slater a great STer, his conduct in the locker room, the community and for charity are HOF worthy on their own.

  6. Slater is the greatest gunner the league has ever seen. Nice to see a former rival team’s player not be jealous of the greatness, 3 rings and 5 sb appearances.

    I don’t know how Slater wouldn’t be in with such a resume.

    Tasker also deserves strong consideration.

  7. I believe Tasker and Slater should both make the HOF. A great special teams guy can be so important to a team. The Vikes had Chris Walsh for 9 seasons, and while his accomplishments weren’t to the level of Tasker or Slater, he was money on special teams. Walsh was at best a role-player at WR, spending most of his time behind Cris Carter, Jake Reed and then Randy Moss, but he carved out a very nice 11-year NFL career (first two years with Buffalo) by being a special teams ace. Special teams standouts need more recognition.

  8. Tasker also did some work as a 3rd WR late in his career, so he was doubly important. I hope he gets it. Slater is a maybe for me.

  9. Tasker was great but as a Patriots fan I watched Slater when he kept getting Pro Bowl selections. He was there literally on every special teams play. Never out of position and always making the tackle or whatever needed to be done.

    The person who said Tasker was better than Slater was just putting out there something not thought all the way through. I can’t say because I never focused on Tasker but Slater is really outstanding and hasn’t lost a step at what 38.

    If you are the best at what you do you are a Hall of Famer. A designated hitter doesn’t play the field, but a pitcher at least in one league doesn’t hit and a relief pitcher only pitches a few innings. But you can’t question Mariano Rivera’s HOF credentials. The same goes for kickers, punters and special teams players. And put Devin Hester in too.

  10. Nope, sorry but the HOF this is the best of the best and they don’t play on the special teams. No offense to little people but we this really is talking about the tallest little person and rewarding them with giants. If you have HOF talent you probably never got a look at special teams in most cases. If you want to put theses guys in then you have a backlog of special teams players in the 20s and 30s when punting was a major part of the game and points where at an extreme premium. Punting was done on 1st down as much as on 4th in these days with no hash marks and field position meaning so much more. To say Tasker and Slater should get in over these guys shows little knowledge of the game’s history.

  11. Matthew Slater should get in not only for his years of unparalleled special teams play but also for being one of the League’s all-time professional, gentlemanly sportsmen.

  12. Steve Tasker went to the Pro Bowl 7 times as the Special Teams Player. Do you know who went to the Pro Bowl as Special Teams player before Tasker? No One. Tasker had such an impact playing special teams that He could no longer be ignored. If there had been a special teams player spot on the Pro Bowl, Tasker most likely would have been selected 10 or 11 times.
    Steve Tasker belongs in the Hall.

  13. Slate is a throw back all around football player. hes resume speaks for itself he did his family proud.

  14. Get over it guys…..tasker was a coverage man, not a kick returner, not a punt returners. A coverage guy, that’s it. Never will be in the Hall….EVER. And shouldn’t be

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.