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Old 02-14-2010, 02:47 PM   #26
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Default 2010 HOF Nominees

Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
Good points as usual, bachslunch.
You as well. No question you're the most challenging poster I engage in these kind of exchanges with. It's most welcome.

Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
Normally I would agree that this helps balance things out. My issue is that Jackson was never a first-team all-pro. That means he was never seen as the best OLB in the league. I have really mixed feelings about inducting someone who was never the best at his position.
There's been some talk about the relative worth of different organizations' 1st team all pro squads over at pfraforum and other sites in the past. Some folks over there think the NEA and UPI squads hold as much weight as AP ones. I'm not so sure on this, but for those who value the NEA 1st team all pro squads as much, Jackson made two of them. He did not for AP in any year, that's for sure, and that's surely not a point in his favor -- perhaps a big one. Depends on what one values, I guess.

Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
Absolutely agreed, and I put minimal faith in them. The issue for me, again, is that Jackson didn't get a vote. You mentioned John Anderson and Carl Banks; they're on the 2nd team because they got one vote each. Jackson clearly wasn't regarded as the best of his own era, and in cases like this I'm always suspicious about committee politics. How does someone like Jackson, a fine player but not really a standout among HOF candidates, a first-time Finalist who's been eligible for years, suddenly make so much progress in the voting?
Fair points to make. And I'll agree Jackson definitely wasn't the best of his own era at OLB. Lawrence Taylor was. The only point I can think re Banks and Anderson is why they got a vote at all on the 80s all-decade team. Politics may have played a role here as well given that only one vote is involved -- more votes for either candidate might have made things different, of course. Comparing Jackson, Banks, and Anderson one on one, I'd have chosen Jackson over the other two -- and for me, this raises some questions. And the big question in this case is, if not Banks or Anderson, then who belongs on this team? It might not be Jackson, either. Who should it be? Or do we assume there were no questions to be asked and accept both Banks and Anderson?

Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
To me, Jackson is a guy who could easily be left out, and the Hall wouldn't miss him. I suppose I feel about him the way I do about Floyd Little. Eh, they're in, they were good players and I'm happy for them. But Little was a hugely disappointing Senior candidate, and Jackson was about the 5th-best OLB without a bust in Canton, if that.

Little, we've agreed, doesn't really stand out from the best RBs not in the Hall. I think the same is true of Jackson. This is not someone who was obviously deserving of induction. If he deserves to be in, there are about a dozen other OLBs who probably should also: Baughan, Bennett, Matt Blair, Brazile, Bill Forester, Fortunato, Greene, Hanburger, Howley, Tom Jackson, Greg Lloyd, Clay Matthews, Robertson, Dave Robinson, Russell, Mike Stratton, Swilling, George Webster...

Is Jackson near the top of that group? Probably. But he's part of that group. He's not obviously better than most of those guys, and IMO he's clearly behind a few of them.
I can see a few possible differences between Jackson and Floyd Little in this regard. Agreed that neither are elite candidates at their position, of course. They're not Lawrence Taylor or Jim Brown, after all.

--outside linebacker is a poorly represented position in the HoF, while running back is arguably the most over-represented. As a result, I can see stretching the HoF to accommodate more of the former, not so much the latter.

--I don't see that voting in Jackson necessarily establishes a new floor level at his position regarding the HoF. I can see Jackson fitting in with a lower floor level of HoF LBs such as Harry Carson, Derrick Thomas, and Andre Tippett -- and perhaps guys like Dave Wilcox and Sam Huff from earlier eras as well. Maybe there are other LBs who belong there, too, but I'm not sure Jackson doesn't qualify. If this question can actually be answered affirmatively ("Is Jackson near the top of that group? Probably."), we may be more talking the difference between half full and half empty glasses than anything else. With Little, it's different -- in fact, I'm finding it tough to think of other HoF RBs that share his level of accomplishment. Maybe Paul Hornung qualifies, but I'm thinking he's a unique HoF mistake. And I'm not sure short career guys like Gale Sayers equate here.

--the difference between the second tier LBs from the 80s-90s and those from earlier eras is that several of the former are indeed getting elected. If they weren't, that would more likely be a problem. For me at least, the solution is to get the second tier LBs from previous decades into the HoF. Which may be just a restatement of my earlier point, or maybe another slant on that point.

Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
I'm not sure where you got this impression. Tippett was totally one-dimensional, and Jackson only a little better. They were superlative pass rushers with very few coverage responsibilities. I'm not aware that they had a particular reputation one way or the other on run defense; not liabilities, but not "very good", either. If you have a source, I'd be interested to see it.
These impressions came from reading things at pfraforum and elsewhere, plus some chats I've had. Here's one such thread involving Jackson I started over there and some thoughts from a poster over there named Bryan Lutes:

Saints '90s LB quartet -- how good on run, pass, in coverage? - Professional Football Researchers Association

I'll have to hunt up something regarding Tippett, and will post a link if/when I find one.

Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
I'm actually working on a column right now that I suspect will interest you. It's almost done, but it probably won't appear on the main site until next week.
Looking forward to it. <grins> Hope my being an opinionated horse's patoot helped out a little here.
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