Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Pro Football Hall of Fame Biggest Snubs
This is an updated version of a piece I wrote in 2007. Many of the players I wrote about then have been elected to Canton, some new players have become eligible, and some things I've changed my mind about. Let's jump right in, going position-by-position.
Quarterbacks make up 4.5% of the 22 players on the field. Of the 195 Modern-Era players in the Hall of Fame, 23 of them are QBs — 11.8%. Quarterback is a uniquely important position, so it makes sense that quarterbacks should make up more than 4.5% of the Hall, maybe double that, 9%. To me, 12% seems excessive — I think all the deserving ones are already in, along with a few we probably could have left out. I don't believe there are any Hall-eligible QBs who should be inducted. If there is one, it's probably Ken Anderson. A darling of stat geeks, Anderson led the NFL in passing yards twice and in passer rating four times. He made four Pro Bowls, won the NFL MVP Award in 1981, and led the Bengals to Super Bowl XVI.
The other guy I might support is Randall Cunningham. Often, Hall of Fame disagreements arise around players who passed the eye test or compiled great statistics, but not both. Cunningham did both. He made jaw-dropping plays, posted superb statistics in his best seasons, was all-pro four times, and finished with career stats comparable to those of contemporary HOF QBs like Jim Kelly and Troy Aikman. All this even though he never played with great receivers until he was 35. I don't mind that he's not enshrined, but I'm surprised he hasn't been a stronger candidate.
There are plenty of other very good quarterbacks not in Canton, including Cecil Isbell, Frankie Albert, Tobin Rote, John Brodie, John Hadl, Daryle Lamonica, Ken Stabler, and Boomer Esiason. They were all fine players, even great players, but I think there are better eligible at other positions.
Running backs are even more over-represented than QBs, but there are more bad choices than at quarterback — both those voted in and those left out. I've written at great length about why Herschel Walker should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I'm also disappointed that the voters seem to have turned their backs on Terrell Davis, who for about three years was the best running back in football. Davis did not have a long career, but he is the only player in history to rush for 2,000 yards and score 20 TDs in the same season, and he was perhaps the greatest postseason RB in NFL history.
I'll take someone like Terrell Davis or Larry Brown, who excelled in a short career, over someone who stuck around forever but was never really the best. The one other RB I'd really like to see enshrined, though it will never happen, is Tiki Barber. He's one of only 11 players to rush for 1,500 yards three times, and only O.J. Simpson had more 200-yard rushing games. Barber was effective running inside and outside, a fine receiver, and a good returner. He retired with 10,000 rushing yards, 5,000 receiving yards, and six 1,000-yard performances, including probably the best season ever by a 30-year-old running back.
There are a handful of other RBs I potentially could be talked in supporting. Single-wing tailback Spec Sanders dominated the AAFC; the Rams' Deacon Dan Towler was a devastating force from 1951-53; Chuck Foreman was a critical factor in three Super Bowl appearances by the Vikings; Ottis Anderson threatened defenses with little help from his teammates; Roger Craig gave the 49ers options no other team had; Ricky Watters was an accomplished receiver who was overlooked because (1) some of his finest accomplishments weren't rushes, (2) he was overshadowed by Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith, and (3) a lot of people didn't like him. I also suspect that Corey Dillon might be a Hall of Famer if he hadn't been stuck on the Bengals when they were routinely the worst team in the league.
Any of those guys could get in and it wouldn't bother me, but after Walker, Davis, and Barber, I don't know that I'd consider any of them snubs, per se. I guess Watters might be the next-strongest candidate, in the same vein as someone like Tony Dorsett or Curtis Martin.
Contemporary fullbacks, the ones whose primary job is lead blocking for a ball-carrier, go back about 25 years. None of them are in the Hall of Fame, and none has ever been seriously considered as a candidate. Those who are full-time players are comparable to offensive linemen and tight ends, and Daryl Johnston, at least, should be a cinch for Canton. Ask Emmitt Smith and the Cowboys' opponents in the early '90s if Moose Johnston was a game-changer. Paul Zimmerman wrote that it was "Johnston [who] changed the nature of the position."
It is notoriously difficult for even exceptional wideouts to receive recognition from the voters. I wrote an exhaustive series this winter on WR Hall of Fame snubs, so here's the short version. The strongest candidates, as I see them, are Tim Brown, Cris Carter, and Billy Howton, followed by Henry Ellard, Harold Jackson, Billy Wilson, and Jim Benton.
The position of tight end effectively came into being in the early 1960s, about 50 years ago. The position's dominance seems to have gone in cycles, rotating roughly by decade. The first generation of great tight ends, in the 1960s, included Hall of Famers Mike Ditka, John Mackey, and Jackie Smith, as well as fellow standouts like Ron Kramer, Pete Retzlaff, and Jerry Smith.
The '80s featured the first receiving specialists, guys like Ozzie Newsome and Kellen Winslow: threats in the passing game but without the same blocking acumen as their predecessors. Of course, there were still good blockers who could catch. Todd Christensen only had six years as an impact player, and I guess he hasn't been inducted because of his short career and modest overall stats, but he was a well-rounded TE, and a difference-maker on some pretty good teams.
Mark Bavaro, like Christensen, had a short but brilliant prime. In his best seasons, he was an explosive receiver, punishing runner after the catch, and one of the finest blocking tight ends in the NFL. He probably was the best offensive player on the Super Bowl champion 1986 Giants. Bavaro's career numbers are even less impressive than Christensen's, but tight end is not exclusively a receiving position, and Bavaro in his prime was a force.
The voters have done a pretty good job recently of voting in deserving linemen, with eight offensive linemen inducted in the last seven classes. But some surprising omissions remain. There tends to be more disagreement at the non-stat positions about who the best players were, but the top candidates, some of whom are in the Seniors pool, should include Mark Stepnoski (center, Cowboys), Jeff Van Note (center, Falcons), Ox Emerson (guard, Lions), Bucko Kilroy (guard, Eagles), Bob Kuechenberg (guard, Dolphins), Riley Matheson (guard, Rams), Duane Putnam (guard, Rams), Winston Hill (tackle, Jets), Mike Kenn (tackle, Falcons), Marvin Powell (tackle, Jets), and Al Wistert (tackle, Eagles).
My top choices, though, would be Mick Tingelhoff (center, Vikings), Jerry Kramer (guard, Packers), Will Shields (guard, Chiefs), Joe Jacoby (tackle, Washington), and Jim Tyrer (tackle, Chiefs). Tingelhoff started 240 consecutive games and made seven straight all-pro teams. Kramer is a Packer legend, a three-time all-pro even before he threw the famous pivotal block in the Ice Bowl. Shields just became eligible and should get elected without too much trouble in the next year or two. Jacoby was the king of the Hogs, a full-time starter on four Super Bowl teams and the most famous member of the most famous line in history. Tyrer's on-field qualifications are without question; he's not in Canton for off-field reasons. I've written a lot this year about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and I wonder if CTE didn't play a role in Tyrer's murder-suicide.
Defensive linemen fare better at selectors' meetings than their other defensive teammates, with six players elected in the last five years: Fred Dean, Bruce Smith, John Randle, Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, and Cortez Kennedy. A dynamic pass rush is the easiest way for a defensive lineman to make an impact, but there's a lot more to the position, especially for interior linemen, who in most schemes are expected first and foremost to stop the run and occupy blockers.
Most of the compelling HOF snubs come from that interior defensive line. The most glaring omission from the interior defensive line is Curley Culp, who effectively created the position of 3-4 nose tackle. Les Bingaman made three all-pro teams and won two championships with the Lions. Rosey Grier played in five NFL Championship Games with the Giants and went on to become part of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome. Gene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb and Alex Karras have both been snubbed by the voters for off-field reasons. Lipscomb died from a heroin overdose, while Karras was a loose cannon, an actor and pro wrestler who made impolitic public statements and was suspended for a year for gambling. Tom Sestak was perhaps the greatest defensive lineman in AFL history. Joe Klecko excelled as both a tackle and an end, unofficially credited with 20.5 sacks the year before they became an official statistic. More recently, Bryant Young was a great defensive lineman who had the audacity not to be a sack specialist.
A number of defensive ends have been HOF finalists or semi-finalists recently, but with four of their peers elected so recently, those still on the outside may face an uphill battle. The most successful candidates have been L.C. Greenwood, a six-time Pro Bowler for the Steel Curtain; Charles Haley, the only five-time Super Bowl winner in NFL history; and Claude Humphrey, who made six Pro Bowls with Atlanta in the 1970s but failed as a Seniors nominee in 2009. I'm more supportive of Humphrey than of Greenwood, the sixth-best defensive player on his own team, or Haley, a fine player, but whose biggest claim to fame was being on the right teams at the right times.
He has generated little support in the past, probably because his career was so short, but Rich "Tombstone" Jackson might be the best player at any position not to have a bust in Canton. In fact, Steve Sabol (the President of NFL Films) has said exactly that. Paul Zimmerman (Sports Illustrated's Dr. Z) called Tombstone "one of, if not the best DE I've seen" and named Jackson to his All-Century Team. Al Davis called Jackson "the best player [the Broncos] ever had". Those are authoritative sources, titans of NFL history, guys who have watched a ton of football and know what great defensive linemen look like.
When I wrote the original version of this piece five years ago, there were only five outside linebackers in the Hall of Fame, just 3% of all Modern-Era players. Since then, the voters have enshrined Andre Tippett, Derrick Thomas, Rickey Jackson, and Chris Hanburger. That's a step in the right direction, though once again the glory goes to the pass-rush specialists; Tippett, Thomas, and Jackson did little else.
A list of great outside linebackers excluded from Canton includes — in alphabetical order — Maxie Baughan, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection; Robert Brazile, a Defensive Rookie of the Year, seven-time Pro Bowler, and All-Decade selection in the '70s; Joe Fortunato, who retired as the all-time leading linebacker in fumble recoveries; Kevin Greene, who officially ranks third all-time in sacks; Chuck Howley, a Super Bowl MVP and five-time all-pro; Isiah Robertson, who did a lot more than get run over by Earl Campbell; Dave Robinson, who won three NFL Championships with the Packers; and Andy Russell, who went to seven Pro Bowls with the Steel Curtain. I like Brazile, Fortunato, Greene, and Howley, but you can make an argument that all of those guys should be in.
Among inside linebackers, the leading candidate still on the outside is Randy Gradishar, who anchored the "Orange Crush" defense in the late '70s and early '80s. The other ILB who has attracted more and more regard since his retirement, and untimely death from cancer, is Sam Mills. A star in the short-lived USFL (he was named to all three All-USFL teams), Mills went on to become a star with the Saints (four Pro Bowls) and the Panthers (first-team all-pro in 1996). His height (5' 9") scared teams away, but his on-field performance and locker room leadership made him one of the greatest defensive players ever.
Other eligible linebackers, inside and outside, include Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, and Seniors candidates Tom Jackson and Tommy Nobis. To me, they're all borderline candidates the Hall can do without, but none would be a disgrace to Canton. Wilber Marshall wasn't even nominated last year.
From 2001-06, no defensive backs were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Since then, the voters have chosen seven DBs in six years, including three Seniors candidates: Emmitt Thomas, Dick LeBeau, and Jack Butler. Thomas and LeBeau, sadly, are among the weakest players enshrined in Canton, though I still support LeBeau because of his massive contributions as a defensive coach. Darrell Green, Rod Woodson, and Deion Sanders were all shoo-ins, easy first-ballot selections, so in the last five years, the only real ground the Hall has made up came via the induction of Jack Butler.
There are still a lot of deserving candidates out there, especially strong safeties. The most glaring omission is Kenny Easley, maybe the greatest ever at his position before injuries and severe kidney disease forced his retirement after only seven seasons. An Ed Reed-type player, Easley was a hard-hitting strong safety who went after passes like a ball-hawking free safety. Former Packers GM Ron Wolf is among those who consider Easley "the best safety I've ever seen."
Other strong safeties worthy of serious consideration include 1973 Defensive Player of the Year Dick Anderson; eight-time Pro Bowler Steve Atwater; Joey Browner, who went to six Pro Bowls; LeRoy Butler, the best strong safety of the 1990s; Steeler legend Donnie Shell; Billy Thompson, whom rival Al Davis called "as good a strong safety as anyone who's ever played the game"; and Darren Woodson, the standout defender on a team that won three Super Bowls.
Among free safeties, the most compelling names are probably one-eyed Bobby Dillon, hard-hitting Cliff Harris, and Kansas City Chiefs Deron Cherry and Johnny Robinson, who combined for 107 INTs. At cornerback, the most celebrated snubs are mostly from the 1970s and '80s: Raiders CB Lester Hayes, the 1980 Defensive Player of the Year who made five Pro Bowls; former Bengals Lemar Parrish and Ken Riley; another Chief, 16-year vet Albert Lewis; and 2012 Hall of Fame Finalist Aeneas Williams, a dominant corner with the Cardinals in the '90s and a successful safety with the Rams in the 2000s. Pre-merger CBs Jim David, a three-time champion with the Lions, and Abe Woodson, a return ace who made five Pro Bowls, also merit consideration, though I believe there are stronger Seniors candidates at other positions.
It's a stunning group of snubs, worthy players and borderline cases who could get in without diminishing the Hall. My personal top 10, in alphabetical order: Dick Anderson, LeRoy Butler, Bobby Dillon, Kenny Easley, Cliff Harris, Lester Hayes, Albert Lewis, Lemar Parrish, Billy Thompson, Aeneas Williams. Unfortunately, most of those guys are in the Seniors pool now, and the voters have shown no interest in Butler or Lewis, so Aeneas Williams is the only one with a decent chance to get in.
Special teams contributions used to play a huge role in Hall of Fame voting, when candidates were viewed as whole players. George Blanda was a successful quarterback with the Oilers, but he's in the Hall of Fame as much for his kicking as his passes. Lou Groza was a good offensive lineman, but he was nicknamed "The Toe". Jack Christiansen only played eight seasons, but he was as fine a punt returner as the game had ever seen; his teammate Yale Lary was an exceptional punter. Neither would be in Canton without his special teams contributions. The same applies to Gale Sayers, and Paul Hornung, and half a dozen other players.
It appears, however, that contemporary selectors have made a conscious decision to ignore special teams. Herschel Walker is among the NFL's all-time top 10 in all-purpose yardage, but his kick returning hasn't earned him so much as a Semi-finalist's spot in the voting. Tim Brown has a great case for induction just on his career receiving numbers, but he was also a standout punt returner. You'd think that would put him over the edge, but to this point it doesn't seem to have helped. Lemar Parrish scored 5 kick return TDs; he's never even been a Finalist. The list goes on.
This also applies to pure specialists. I understand the argument: they're only in for a handful of plays each game. But those are high-impact plays. Every field goal attempt is plus or minus three points. Every kickoff or punt return is a big play waiting to happen. A punt that gets blocked, or returned for a touchdown, or pins an opponent inside the 10-yard line, is a huge play, with many times the impact of your average 3rd-and-5.
The cinch choice for best eligible kicker not in the Hall of Fame is Gary Anderson. A four-time Pro Bowler, Anderson scored 100 points in a season 14 times, including 164 in 1998, the fifth-highest total in history, and until last season the highest ever by a pure kicker. Anderson's 2,434 career points rank 2nd all-time. He's 2nd all-time in field goals made, and 3rd in extra points made, with an XP% over 99%. On the ballot for two years, Anderson has never advanced beyond the first stage of voting. I really thought Anderson would break special teams' streak of sorrow with the voters, but they've proved me wrong in a big way. There was even a time I believed Anderson might get in on the first ballot.
Among punters, the big names are Tommy Davis and Ray Guy. Davis led the NFL at various times in field goals (1960), punting average (1962), and extra points (1965). His career punting average (44.7) is still among the best in history, 4th-highest among retired players. Guy has been criticized for kicking too many touchbacks, and his career average (42.4) is not exceptional, but he got a ton of hang time, and is widely regarded as the greatest punter in history. If the Seniors committee ever selects Davis, I will probably die of shock.
The other special teamers of potential interest are mostly returners: Brian Mitchell, who is 2nd all-time in all-purpose yardage; Mel Gray, the greatest return man in NFL history; and 1970s-80s difference-makers Billy "White Shoes" Johnson and Rick Upchurch. The other name is coverage ace Steve Tasker, a 7-time Pro Bowler and 2012 Hall of Fame Semi-Finalist. It will be interesting to see how the voters treat all-time leading scorer Morten Andersen, who becomes eligible next year. He'd go in on the first ballot if I were voting, but at this point I'd bet he falls short.
Don Coryell and Bill Parcells. Those are the names attracting attention, both semifinalists in 2012, with Parcells advancing as a Finalist.
Coryell is the winningest coach in Cardinal history, though he is best remembered as the mastermind behind the Charger offenses of the early 1980s. From 1979-82, San Diego led the NFL in passing offense every season, a unique accomplishment. Coryell is a Hall of Fame candidate less for his 100 wins and success with two different teams than for his strategic influence on the modern passing game. He also worked with HOFer Sid Gillman when both coached in San Diego in the 1960s, and his most famous pupil was three-time Super Bowl champion Joe Gibbs, who asked Coryell to present him for Hall of Fame induction.
Parcells won two Super Bowls, and reached conference championship games with three different teams. His success rebuilding down-and-out franchises is impressive, but I wonder if the Tuna wouldn't have helped his cause more by sticking around and developing another champion than by switching teams every three or four years. That itch to move on probably hurt his legacy in the long run.
No other long-time head coaches are serious candidates for Canton, but arguments could be made for two-time Super Bowl winners Tom Flores and George Seifert. Two interesting candidates became eligible last year: Bill Cowher and Marty Schottenheimer. Cowher, who coached the team that won Super Bowl XL, has a much better shot at induction than Schottenheimer, but Marty had many more wins (200-149) and did more to shape the game — including giving Cowher his first NFL coaching job.
Along with GMs, one of the two most overlooked categories for Hall of Famers. NFL history boasts several assistant coaches who never did much as HC, but who as assistants made vital contributions to championship teams, and ultimately shaped the game of football as we know it.
Clark Shaughnessy only spent two seasons as an NFL head coach — which is why the HOF voters ignore him — but as an assistant to George Halas, he helped frame the modern T-Formation (the NFL's dominant offensive set for 40 years), then ran the Bears' defense for a decade, tutoring defensive assistant and future Hall of Fame coach George Allen. Okay, his NFL coaching record was 14-7-3, but he was one of the most important men in the history of the game, probably did more to influence 1940s and early post-war football than anyone but Paul Brown.
The other particularly big name among successful assistant coaches is Buddy Ryan. The architect of the famous 46 defense, Ryan also left behind a coaching tree among the best in the game today: Jeff Fisher, Leslie Frazier, Ron Rivera, Rex Ryan, and Jim Schwartz. The voters have shown no interest in enshrining coaches with limited success as HCs, but Ryan was arguably the most important individual on the team that won Super Bowl XX and the most dominant defense of all time.
In 2010, the PFHOF inducted Dick LeBeau, a cornerback for the Bears, head coach of the Bengals, and defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. LeBeau was a disaster as HC (12-33), but he was a very good cornerback (62 INT) and a brilliant defensive coordinator, overseeing four top-ranked defenses and creating the zone blitz, the most significant defensive innovation in decades. LeBeau technically went to Canton as a DB, but with a significant wink at his coaching accomplishments.
Two other players with borderline Hall of Fame careers made coaching contributions which arguably should put them over the edge. Lou Rymkus was an all-pro tackle who played in the league championship game every season of his career, winning five titles with the Browns. In 1960, he served as head coach of the first championship team in the history of the American Football League, the Houston Oilers.
Richie Petitbon made four Pro Bowls as a safety with the Bears, including the inimitable 1963 championship season, when Petitbon intercepted eight passes, for 161 yards and a touchdown. In his last four seasons, Petitbon served as one of George Allen's defensive captains, first with the Rams and then in Washington. He retired with 48 INTs, returned for 801 yards and 3 TDs. Thirty years later, he is still one of only 26 players with over 800 INT return yards. He later served as the defensive coordinator for Joe Gibbs — a Don Coryell disciple with little interest in running the defense — and won three Super Bowls. Petitbon was hired to replace Gibbs in 1993, but the team went 4-12 and Petitbon was fired.
Rymkus and Petitbon went a combined 15-19-1 as head coaches. But Rymkus won a championship, and Petitbon collected three rings as the key defensive mind for the Joe Gibbs Dynasty that won three Super Bowls. Both were great players, probably not quite Hall of Famers, whose accomplishments on the sidelines should earn them consideration for Canton.
Really, it is stunning how little regard the voters have for the men who shape great teams. Plenty of coaches coast to the playoffs, or even to championships, with talented rosters. But who assembles those teams? Guys like Bobby Beathard, Ron Wolf, and George Young.
Beathard was a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs when they played in Super Bowl I. He was Director of Player Personnel for the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. He was General Manager for Washington in the 1980s, bringing in players like Darrell Green, Russ Grimm, and Art Monk. As GM in San Diego, he drafted Junior Seau and helped the Chargers reach their first Super Bowl in team history. As much as I respect players like Tim Brown and Mark Bavaro and Lemar Parrish, did they contribute nearly as much to the game as someone like Beathard, who helped build championship teams for four different franchises?
Wolf is no less accomplished. He was a personnel man for the Raiders in the '60s, '70s, and '80s — the team's dynasty era. During Wolf's tenure, the Raiders had as many Super Bowls as losing seasons. He is best known, however, as the architect of the 1990s Green Bay Packers. As GM in Green Bay, Wolf hired Mike Holmgren, traded for Brett Favre, signed Reggie White, and drafted Darren Sharper.
Five-time NFL Executive of the Year George Young served as a personnel man and assistant coach for the Baltimore Colts from 1968-74, years in which the Colts won two NFL championships. In the late '70s, he was Director of Personnel and Pro Scouting for the Dolphins. But Young is most celebrated for his 19 seasons with the New York Giants, when the team brought in gifted players and coaches like Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, Bill Parcells, Michael Strahan, and Tiki Barber.
Beathard, Wolf, and Young are probably the most accomplished GMs snubbed by the Hall, responsible as much as anyone for some of the game's greatest dynasties. Some league observers have suggested that "contributors" — as distinguished from coaches and players — should be selected to the Hall through a separate process, and that's fine with me. I don't have a problem with GMs and league officials competing with players for a spot in Canton, but I don't have a problem if they go through a separate door, either. I do care, though, that they get the recognition they deserve, and right now that's not happening.
For those of you who skipped the GM entry, I understand why some fans want to see people like Steve Sabol and Paul Tagliabue go into the Hall of Fame through a different process than players, so that the two groups aren't competing for votes. Most of the nominees in this category are people who have been around the game for a long time, but never really contributed anything uniquely positive to the sport. It amazes me that so many writers want to enshrine the guy who signed the checks (owner) but not the one who chose the players and coaches (GM).
Sabol and Tagliabue, however, should get in. Sabol and his father, Ed (HOF Class of 2011), were the architects of NFL Films. For five decades, it's been an extraordinary organization, giving fans film access no other sports league can offer. You're probably familiar with the argument that football is uniquely suited to television, that no other sport has taken advantage of TV the way pro football has. The Sabols have been a tremendous part of that, and Steve is just as deserving as his father. Ed started the business, and I'm glad he's in, but Steve has been running the show for a long time now.
League commissioners tend to inspire mixed feelings among fans, but Paul Tagliabue did a lot for the NFL. Under his leadership, any question about the most popular sports league in North America disappeared. If football was edging ahead when Tags took over, it was solidly in first when he stepped down. He oversaw the birth of free agency, well-managed expansion, the 2002 realignment, instant replay, and more, but one of his greatest accomplishments was labor peace. During an era which saw cancellation of the World Series and the Stanley Cup, football never disappeared. For Tagliabue to maintain labor peace even with so many changes around the league was an extraordinary accomplishment.
The All-Snub Team
Having acknowledged that some positions may actually have too many members in the Canton, here is my All-Snub Team, listing the best eligible player not in the Hall of Fame at every position.
QB Ken Anderson
RB Herschel Walker
FB Daryl Johnston
WR Billy Howton
WR Cris Carter
TE Todd Christensen
C Mick Tingelhoff
G Will Shields
G Jerry Kramer
OT Jim Tyrer
OT Joe Jacoby
DT Curley Culp
DT Gene Lipscomb
DE Rich Jackson
DE Claude Humphrey
OLB Chuck Howley
OLB Kevin Greene
ILB Randy Gradishar
CB Aeneas Williams
CB Lester Hayes
FS Cliff Harris
SS Kenny Easley
K Gary Anderson
P Tommy Davis
KR Mel Gray
ST Steve Tasker
HC Don Coryell
Asst Clark Shaughnessy
GM Bobby Beathard
Contrib Paul Tagliabue