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Old 03-04-2011, 07:08 PM   #10
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Note well that bringing up Chris Doleman in this discussion was emphatically not my doing.

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
Using the Pro Bowl argument & ignoring the real awards sure doesn't help your credibility in this convo, I'm afraid...

(See above Pro Bowl excerpt)

Not going into detail of your squeezing Dean into this but his sack total, official & unofficial, stands at 93 in 11 years while Dent was basically done after 11 years due to injuries & having 124 at the time. Not much argument against Dent but actually bolstering his selection, I'd say.
I can see the idea that devaluing pro bowl selections after the fans got one-third of the vote is not unreasonable. If memory serves, that happened in 1995, after which Dent was practically done and Doleman would get only two more such nods. That still leaves Doleman with two more such selections. And as you pointed out above, Doleman was named a 1st team all pro three times, Dent twice. Regardless, it's info that's there and perfectly legit to point out.

There are rare exceptions who are HoF deserving with meager numbers, something I've referred to in the past as the "Ray Nitschke exception." Nitschke was a 1st team all pro only 3 times and a pro bowler once, but that's because he was always stuck behind first Bill George and Joe Schmidt and later Dick Butkus when it came time to hand out such honors. I'm having a hard time seeing such an exception in Dent's case. If time permits, I can do a year-by-year to see if that holds up to careful scrutiny.

I'm also one who is suspicious of raw defensive stats, as I'm not sure they necessarily tell us how good the player actually was. Dan Hampton's sack total was meager, but that wasn't his role in the Bear's defense at the time. And high sack totals don't tell you that Doleman, Dent, Dean, John Randle, and Derrick Thomas did not play the run well. Tackles are notoriously unreliable to cite, as Rich Gosselin said in an article that's unfortunately no longer up at his paper's website -- the article was originally found at:

In it, Gosselin pointed out that there's no uniform standard for counting tackles and many teams are remarkably lavish about awarding them. In short, tackle stats are meaningless.

I can also say that I did not sweep Dent's success in Super Bowl XX under the rug. It's not to be denied. However, I did note that "One fine season or a clutch of great games do not a HoF-er make."

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
Yea, Keith Millard & Henry Thomas were bums. Doleman did it all on his own.
As mentioned above, I didn't initially bring up Doleman here.

Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
& you obviously don't know about reputations nor watched Dent thru the years to even say that. I did, every one of them...
I've noticed a fair bit of revisionist history going on the last several years regarding player reputations in order to boost their HoF arguments. I've seen observations from what would clearly seem to be, well let's just say "favorably leaning" sources saying that Shannon Sharpe blocked for several 1000 yard rushers (in fact he didn't block well and thought it was beneath him), that Derrick Thomas played the run and pass well (not my understanding here), and that Richard Dent played well against the run.

I'm not impressed when a Bears fan or Bears writer puts forth glowing praise of Dent's supposed run stopping prowess any more than I am about John Madden saying Ray Guy was the greatest punter ever. And the only places I've seen making the "good against the run" assertion for Dent come from Bear-friendly sources.

In defense of what I'm saying, please take a look at this article:

which was written by someone from Sporting News who clearly thinks much of Dent and appears to have been a big '85 Bears fan. Note well that he says here:

"The only knock I can put on Dent is he was -- and this is hard for a guy who has "1985 Bears" tattooed on his forehead to admit -- kind of lazy. By my recollection, he took lots of running plays off. He didn't exactly chase ballcarriers across the field; his approach was more to wave his giant right hand and say, "Good luck to you. Otis Wilson probably is about to kill you, but good luck to you.""

Yeah -- I'm finding that really tough to ignore.

And no offense, but I'm also leery about taking a fan's word on behalf of a player's prowess, unless they did hard-core film study and really know what to look for in evaluating a player's skill. A fan who doesn't will probably see when Dent makes a sack or strip, but not likely be aware if he's out of position on a running play. Chances are good they're doing what most of us guys do at a football game -- noticing the guy with the ball, checking out the cheerleading talent, yelling invective at an opposing player. It's fun, but it's not hard-core talent weighing.

One other issue I have here is this: why has Dent been found worthy of the HoF when Claude Humphrey and L.C. Greenwood have been rejected several times and someone like Gene Brito hasn't even gotten the time of day from the committee? If the bar's low enough and all three of these folks are in, maybe that's different.
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