Sunday, January 25, 2015
The NFL will be naming their 2015 Hall of Fame class shortly. You can make a case for every man on the list. I know that my list isn't what will be announced. They will not vote 2 coaches in the same year. And that coaches rarely get in. That being said, I would put in Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson before anybody else in the Modern-Era list.
Senior Nominee: Mick Tinglehoff
Started in all 240 games that he played in consecutively. Was a 7 time First Team All-Pro. During his era, the middle linebackers dominated such as Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke. Was also present for the domineering defensive line phase of the game like the Fearsome Foursome and the Steel Curtain. A 7 time All-Pro at the center position during that time, you induct the man.
Contributor Nominee: Ron Wolf
The man spent 23 years as a personnel person of the Raiders. In those years, 6 times did they not have a winning season. The Raiders claimed 9 division titles, played in 8 AFL/AFC championship games and played in 3 Super Bowls during that time. Was the first GM of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and built the foundation that allowed them to reach the NFC Championship game in their 4th year of existence. Went to Green Bay as Executive VP/General Manager for 11 seasons and the Packers went to the Super Bowl twice and made them one of the prominent franchises of the NFL within the past 20 years. Yep.
Bill Polian - Teams that he was in charge of personnel made 5 Super Bowls, winning 1. His Bills, Panthers, and Colts teams were regulars in the playoffs when he was with the organizations. Led teams to 8 Conference Championship games. Won over 10 division title. Put him in.
Don Coryell - This is the coach that came along 20 years too early. Air Coryell was one of those things that I loved to watch because it was something that was different from what every other team was doing. His offenses in the late 70's and the 80's would look like it fit in the game these past couple of years.The man took two morbid franchises, the Cardinals and Chargers back to respectability and division titles.
Jimmy Johnson - Jimmy should have been in long ago. It has been proven that most coaches cannot thrive under the smothering presense of Jerry Jones in Dallas. Jimmy did. The bringing together of the Big 3 was done under Jimmy. Even the one Super Bowl that Barry Switzer won was with the players that Jimmy Johnson put into place. The Dolphins gig wasn't the greatest coaching job in the world, but his place in Canton was secured by his time in Dallas.
Junior Seau - Junior Seau was one of a few players who could change a game on defense. I always thought that Seau was the key member of those good to great Charger defenses that he was on. He was a player that hit superstardom when not playing in a major media market. All-Pro selection 8 times. 1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Named to the 1990's All-Decade team.
Kurt Warner - His story is legendary. Stocking shelves in an Iowa supermarket to backup for the St. Louis Rams. Then Trent Green gets hurt and Warner leads the Rams to the ultimate prize, the Super Bowl. He gets to a second Super Bowl with the Rams. Then plays one season with the Giants and is considered washed up. Gets to Arizona and leads a doormat of a franchise to the Super Bowl in 2008. Before Warner was with the Cardinals, the last division title the team had won was back in 1975 with Don Coryell.
Jerome Bettis - The 6th leading rusher in NFL history. Was his team's leading rusher for 11 of the seasons that he played. 6 time pro bowler. ROY in 1993. Was consistently one of those running backs that you named as being a prime factor for his team's success. Was a major cog in the Pittsburgh Steelers success in the early 2000's.
Missing the Cut: