Go Back   Sports Central Message Boards > Professional Sports Discussion > National Football League

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-19-2009, 03:08 PM   #1
Brad O.
1,549
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough
Default 2010 HOF Nominees

2010 Preliminary Nominees by Position

(But also, check out the typos in the AP release.)

A very strong class, with Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith among the first-time nominees.

25 of these players will advance to the semifinalists' round. My personal choices (not predictions):

Ken Anderson; Terrell Davis, Brian Mitchell, Emmitt Smith, Herschel Walker; Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Jerry Rice; Mark Bavaro, Todd Christensen, Shannon Sharpe; Dermontti Dawson, Russ Grimm; Chris Doleman, John Randle; Kevin Greene; Steve Atwater, Kenny Easley, Aeneas Williams; Gary Anderson, Steve Tasker; Don Coryell, Clark Shaughnessy; Paul Tagliabue, George Young.

That was really hard to narrow down, though. There are some guys I left off whom I would support for enshrinement.

The semifinalists will join Seniors nominees Dick LeBeau and Floyd Little.
Brad O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2009, 06:26 PM   #2
bachslunch
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 64
bachslunch is on a distinguished road
Default 2010 HOF Nominees

Looking at this list, there are two mortal locks, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith.

Would guess there will be three more modern candidates elected, and they could be anyone from a long list of players.

Am not at all a fan of the two Senior candidates, neither of whom I think belong in the HoF unless it gets a whole lot larger:

--re Floyd Little. It's tough to see the statistical difference (adjusted for era in some cases) between Little and players such as Chuck Foreman, Ken Willard, Don Perkins, Rick Casares, and Larry Brown.

--re Dick LeBeau. He's supposedly being considered solely as a DB, and it's not at all clear why someone with a postseason profile (AP 1st team all pro/pro bowl/all decade team) of 0/3/none belongs in ahead of Johnny Robinson (6/7/AllAFL), Dave Grayson (4/6/AllAFL), Jimmy Patton (5/5/none), Bobby Dillon (4/4/none), Cliff Harris (3/6/70s), Abe Woodson (2/5/none and monster KR), Lemar Parrish (1/8/none and monster KR), Bobby Boyd (3/2/60s), and Cornell Green (3/5/none). He's still active as a coach, so any such prowess should not count at present, as coaches need to be retired for 5 years before consideration. And even if one considers LeBeau as a combination candidate, why him and not Richie Petitbon (1/4/none as a DB, plus a long and distinguished assistant coaching career)? LeBeau had a load of INTs, but it would appear he was the CB that QBs preferred to throw on as opposed to Dick Lane or Lem Barney, both of whom manned the opposite CB post from him -- am thinking there's a good reason he got all those INTs.
bachslunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 02:37 AM   #3
Brad O.
1,549
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
Am not at all a fan of the two Senior candidates, neither of whom I think belong in the HoF unless it gets a whole lot larger:

--re Floyd Little. It's tough to see the statistical difference (adjusted for era in some cases) between Little and players such as Chuck Foreman, Ken Willard, Don Perkins, Rick Casares, and Larry Brown.

--re Dick LeBeau. He's supposedly being considered solely as a DB, and it's not at all clear why someone with a postseason profile (AP 1st team all pro/pro bowl/all decade team) of 0/3/none belongs in ahead of Johnny Robinson (6/7/AllAFL), Dave Grayson (4/6/AllAFL), Jimmy Patton (5/5/none), Bobby Dillon (4/4/none), Cliff Harris (3/6/70s), Abe Woodson (2/5/none and monster KR), Lemar Parrish (1/8/none and monster KR), Bobby Boyd (3/2/60s), and Cornell Green (3/5/none). He's still active as a coach, so any such prowess should not count at present, as coaches need to be retired for 5 years before consideration. And even if one considers LeBeau as a combination candidate, why him and not Richie Petitbon (1/4/none as a DB, plus a long and distinguished assistant coaching career)? LeBeau had a load of INTs, but it would appear he was the CB that QBs preferred to throw on as opposed to Dick Lane or Lem Barney, both of whom manned the opposite CB post from him -- am thinking there's a good reason he got all those INTs.
I agree that Little was a disappointing selection -- there are more deserving players -- but he really is not comparable to Willard or Perkins; Little was much better than either of them. Little put up good statistics in an era when offense, and RBs in particular, had depressed numbers, and he did it for a team that surrounded him with very little help. Would I take Little over Larry Brown? Eh, probably not. Would I vote for him? Most likely, though not with a lot of enthusiasm. Most of the deserving RBs are already in, and I'd rather see the selectors (and the Seniors Committee in particular) focus on defensive players.

I strongly disagree on LeBeau. You're underrating both his playing career and his coaching career.

LeBeau retired with 62 interceptions (t-7th all-time, with Ken Riley the only eligible player ahead of him) and picked at least three for 12 seasons in a row. The problem with relying on Pro Bowl and all-pro selections is that a player who was very good, but not selected, effectively gets a zero. It isn't a good way to judge players who are consistently good but seldom spectacular (e.g. -- Joiner, Monk). Also, those awards are subjective, and the best players don't always win. In fact, they often don't. Players with great teammates are especially prone to being shortchanged by voters, and the mere act of comparing him to Night Train Lane and Lem Barney suggests that LeBeau deserves serious consideration.

As a coach, LeBeau has been the most successful defensive coordinator of this era. Even more than his sustained success in that position, though, I support him as an innovator. LeBeau effectively invented the zone blitz, and is the most influential defensive mind at least since Buddy Ryan, probably since Tom Landry. You induct LeBeau for the same reason you enshrined Sid Gillman, or even Al Davis: he changed the game.

Richie Petitbon had a nice run as Joe Gibbs' DC. He doesn't belong in the same conversation as LeBeau. Petitbon's assistant coaching career was nice, but ultimately unremarkable. LeBeau's schemes have influenced every team in the league.

Technically, LeBeau has been nominated as a cornerback. Purely as a DB, he probably doesn't deserve to be in, but he's close. I would support him solely as a coach/contributor; he's been that good. Realistically, all of his contributions should be considered, and to me, he is a slam-dunk, no-doubt-about-it Hall of Famer. The guy will probably coach until the day he dies, and he deserves to see his bust in Canton before that day comes. Actually, though, the 5-year waiting period only applies to players. Coaches become eligible as soon as they retire.

I don't feel strongly about Little, but I hope you'll reconsider your opposition to LeBeau.
Brad O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 02:16 PM   #4
bachslunch
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 64
bachslunch is on a distinguished road
Default 2010 HOF Nominees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
I agree that Little was a disappointing selection -- there are more deserving players -- but he really is not comparable to Willard or Perkins; Little was much better than either of them. Little put up good statistics in an era when offense, and RBs in particular, had depressed numbers, and he did it for a team that surrounded him with very little help. Would I take Little over Larry Brown? Eh, probably not. Would I vote for him? Most likely, though not with a lot of enthusiasm. Most of the deserving RBs are already in, and I'd rather see the selectors (and the Seniors Committee in particular) focus on defensive players.
Will agree that most (likely all) of the deserving RBs who retired prior to 2000 are in the HoF already. Also agree that defensive players are mostly getting ignored here.

Here's the way I'm seeing it, and you may or may not agree. Little had a 9 year career, with 5 of those being first rate and 4 of those having some value; he returned kicks and did have some receptions but wasn't especially distinguished doing either, postseason profile of 1/5/none. Problem is, I'm finding it hard to distinguish his career value as being significantly better than that of Willard (10 years, 5 first rate, 5 of some value -- better pass catching numbers, no KR, 0/4/none), Casares (12 years, 7 first rate, 4 of some value, 1 worthless -- not much pass catching or KR, 1/5/none), and Perkins (8 years, all of significant value -- a little pass receiving and minimal KR, 1/6/none) .

More importantly, he looks no different to me than pretty much exact contemporaries Brown (8 years, 5 first rate, 2 of some value, 1 worthless -- better pass catching numbers, no KR, 2/4/none) and especially Foreman (8 years, 6 first rate, 1 of some value, 1 worthless -- first rate pass catching, the best of all these players, no KR, 1/5/none).

Little never did play on an especially good Denver team in his 9 years, true enough. But Perkins was stuck for 5 of his 8 years on some weak to godawful Cowboys teams in the early 60s, and Willard was on weak 49ers squads 6 of his 9 years with them.

These RBs all seem like the next level down from those in the HoF. And given that RB is not an under-represented HoF position, am wondering why Little deserves the boost over all these other players. He's certainly no stiff, but I don't see the difference here. Forced to vote for one of these, I'd probably pick Foreman for peak value, but I'm really not sold on any of them.
bachslunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 05:27 PM   #5
Brad O.
1,549
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough
Default re: Floyd Little

For now let's forget about Casares, who played in a different era, and focus on Brown, Foreman, Little, Perkins, and Willard.

You're using a liberal definition of "first rate season", which I think places undue emphasis on being above-average and not enough on being great. Brown, Foreman, and Little were exceptional in their primes. There's a reason those guys still get mentioned (or even nominated) as HOF candidates. Neither Perkins nor Willard ever had a season as good as Brown in '70, or Little in '71, or Brown in '72, or Little in '73, or Foreman from '74-'76.

Brown was a poor man's Walter Payton, a wrecking ball who never went down on first contact. He played too hard for his body and injuries necessitated a short career, but at the top of his game, Brown was a true standout.

From 1968-73, Little was an elite back. In the period between the Sayers/Kelly Era (1966-68) and O.J. Simpson's prime (1973-76), Brown, Little, and Larry Csonka were the three guys you mention as maybe the best RB in the league, and it's not at all clear that Csonka is ahead. 1969-73:

Brown: 5037 yards, 4.0 avg, 1774 rec yds, 43 TD, 34 fmbl, no returning
Little: 4601 yards, 4.1 avg, 1424 rec yds, 42 TD, 19 fmbl, 406 KR yds (25.4), 328 PR (8.9)
Zonk: 4611 yards, 4.8 avg, 460 rec yds, 28 TD, 9 fmbl, no returning

There's an argument for each of them. I like Brown, who had by far the most yards from scrimmage and two all-pro seasons. But Little had many fewer fumbles and was a valuable returner. Csonka was pretty useless as a receiver and didn't score many touchdowns, but he had the best average and the fewest fumbles and did some good things in the postseason. Worth noting: Washington (33-24-3) and Miami (49-19-2) were good during these years; the Broncos (26-39-5) were not. Anyway, Little's right there, and it's not at all clear who was the best. There was never a point at which Perkins or Willard was considered one of the three best RBs in the league, much less a possible #1.

To describe Little's 1971-73 seasons with the same term ("first-rate") as Willard's '70 or '71 seasons shortchanges Little and gives undue credit to Willard. Look at 1971:

Willard: 855 yards, 4.0 avg, 202 rec yds, 5 TD, 8 fmbl, no returning
Little: 1133 yards, 4.0 avg, 255 rec yds, 6 TD, 4 fmbl, 28.4 KR avg

Little is ahead in every significant category (including rushing average, though that's very close and they both round up to 4.0). To call both of these years "first-rate" implies that they were equal; clearly, they were not. Little was much better.

I think 1973 was Little's best season. Whether you agree or prefer '71, Little's best season was much better than Willard's best (1968). Little's second-best season was light years better than Willard's second-best. Little's third-best was much better than Willard's. His fourth-best was better. Same thing for fifth- and sixth-best.

Let's compare Willard's '68 (definitely his best season) to Little's 3rd-best, 1972.

Willard: 967 yards, 4.3 avg, 232 rec yds, 7 TD, 4 fmbl, no returning
Little: 859 yards, 4.0 avg, 367 rec yds, 13 TD, 4 fmbl, a few returns

Willard had a better average, Little had more yards from scrimmage and almost twice as many TDs. Which was better? Eh, it's close. But this is Little's 3rd-best season, and easily the best of Willard's career. The guy never had a prime. Same for Perkins, who consistently good but never great. What separates Perkins from someone like John L. Williams? He doesn't belong in the same conversation as Brown, Little, and Foreman.

Little and Foreman really were not contemporaries. 1973 was Little's last good season, and Foreman's rookie year. One season is not substantial overlap, and 1973 (or at least thereabouts) was a critical shifting point in running back production. The climate for RBs in the mid-70s, when Foreman was in his prime, was much friendlier than it was in the late 60s and early 70s when Little was at the top of his game. Look at the best RB seasons from 1969-72, then look at 1974-77. Ranked against his peers, Little stood out just as much as Foreman.

If you want to argue that Brown and Foreman were better than Little, I don't know that I really disagree with that. I think all three are pretty close to equal, and they're all borderline Hall of Famers, guys who could be left out and it wouldn't bother me. Maybe this is too long a reply considering that it sounds like we're more or less in agreement on Little, but in Perkins and Willard, you're comparing him to the wrong guys.

I think the best eligible RBs not in the Hall of Fame are all relatively recent players: Terrell Davis, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters, maybe O.J. Anderson or Roger Craig. After that, Dan Towler plus Brown, Little, and Foreman. That's the thing when you get to the borderline guys: it becomes tough to separate them. Was Foreman really better than, say, Lydell Mitchell? Was Craig clearly better than James Brooks? Were any of them better than William Andrews or Casares? I'd as soon leave Little (and the others) out, but I'm inclined to support the Seniors nominee unless he's clearly undeserving, and Little is not.

Still, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have mixed feelings. Other than Davis and Walker (and Emmitt, of course), we really don't need any more RBs in the Hall right now. Your general point -- that Little doesn't stand out from other very good RBs who haven't been enshrined -- is a sound one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
These RBs all seem like the next level down from those in the HoF. And given that RB is not an under-represented HoF position, am wondering why Little deserves the boost over all these other players. He's certainly no stiff, but I don't see the difference here. Forced to vote for one of these, I'd probably pick Foreman for peak value, but I'm really not sold on any of them.
Brad O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2009, 09:24 PM   #6
bachslunch
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 64
bachslunch is on a distinguished road
Default 2010 HOF Nominees

Some good points here, and some criticisms I can agree with. Others, I'm less sure of. See below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
You're using a liberal definition of "first rate season", which I think places undue emphasis on being above-average and not enough on being great. Brown, Foreman, and Little were exceptional in their primes. There's a reason those guys still get mentioned (or even nominated) as HOF candidates. Neither Perkins nor Willard ever had a season as good as Brown in '70, or Little in '71, or Brown in '72, or Little in '73, or Foreman from '74-'76.
Fair point to make. I've looked at Willard, Perkins, Foreman, Brown, and Little again in terms of where they finished in the top 10 in rushing yards during their careers. Reasonable? If not, would appreciate an explanation why not, as some kind of time period adjustment seems appropriate.

Little, Foreman, and Brown would seem to have varying degrees of big but short peaks with drier periods:

--Little: 9 years. 5 top 10 finishes: 1st (once), 4th (once), 5th (once), 9th (twice).
--Brown: 8 years. 4 top 10 finishes: 1st (once), 2nd (once), 4th (once), 6th (once).
--Foreman: 8 years. 3 top 10 finishes: 5th (once), 6th (twice).

They're almost identical in years played. Brown looks best here compared to his immediate peers. You're also right about Foreman not really being a contemporary, as the baseline suddenly got a lot higher for rushing stats when he was active. However, it still looks like Foreman has significantly better receiving stats than the other two (maybe a period adjustment needs to be made here, but am unclear how one would go about it). Note also that Little's 5th place finish year occurred while playing in only 9 games, which makes that particular season more impressive if one assumes similar production over a full season (maybe fair, maybe not, as Little might have done just as well or tanked one or more games -- we'll never know).

Willard may be just a shade behind, but when you (very importantly) compare him to his competition year by year, he ends up pretty close to the other three looking at things this way. Willard started two years earlier than Little, and two of his top 10 years came before Little started playing. In fact, if you don't give Little extra credit for his 5th place finish while doing so in fewer games, Little and Willard look surprisingly similar.

--Willard: 10 years. 5 top 10 finishes: 2nd (once), 4th (once), 5th (once), 9th (twice).

Brad, you're right that Perkins is indeed different from the rest, but if you value consistency and not peak, he's a good choice. In fact, he never once finished out of the top 10 in his career.

--Perkins: 8 years. 8 top 10 finishes: 5th (twice), 6th (three times), 7th (once), 8th (once) 10th (once).

However, he also never finished higher than 5th, which all the others did. Thus one can argue he had no real peak like the others had, more a flat baseline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
I think 1973 was Little's best season. Whether you agree or prefer '71, Little's best season was much better than Willard's best (1968). Little's second-best season was light years better than Willard's second-best. Little's third-best was much better than Willard's. His fourth-best was better. Same thing for fifth- and sixth-best.
There is danger going this route. If indeed Little's best season was in 1971 and Willard's in 1968, there's three years difference. The top ten by numbers in rushing yardage for NFL1968, when Willard finished 2nd: 1239, 967, 947, 858, 856, 836, 813, 805, 761, 662. The top ten for NFL1971, when Little finished 1st: 1133, 1105, 1051, 1035, 1000, 948, 867, 865, 835, 811. The general leader terrain already looks very different between these two years, as the top 5 players in 1971 rushed for 1000 or more yards, while only one player did so in 1968 -- plus there are well over a hundred yards between the two at the 10th position. Am thinking there needs to be adjustment for year in some way, and things can shift a lot in a short time, as was seen with Foreman above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
What separates Perkins from someone like John L. Williams?
Actually plenty. Williams never once finished in the top ten in rushing any year he played. Perkins did every time out.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Regarding Dick LeBeau. I'm thoroughly disgusted with his nomination for reasons I've outlined above -- especially because of clear HoF voter disregard for the 5 year waiting period on coaches and the fact that regardless of the circumstances, he'll be listed in the HoF as a DB and I firmly believe a none-too-deserving one. You seem heavily on board with his nomination. We'll just have to leave it at that, as I'm not sure we will be able to have a constructive discussion on the subject.
bachslunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 02:26 PM   #7
bachslunch
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 64
bachslunch is on a distinguished road
Default 2010 HOF Nominees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
Actually, though, the 5-year waiting period only applies to players. Coaches become eligible as soon as they retire.
This used to be the case, but not any more. Per the Pro Football Hall of Fame's website regarding eligibility:

"The only restriction is that a player and coach must have been retired at least five years before he can be considered. "

Source:

Hall of Famers: Selection Process FAQ

So regardless of what else one may think, LeBeau's coaching career is still active and thus by the HoF's own guidelines off limits in consideration.
bachslunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 03:16 PM   #8
bachslunch
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 64
bachslunch is on a distinguished road
Default 2010 HOF Nominees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
As a coach, LeBeau has been the most successful defensive coordinator of this era. Even more than his sustained success in that position, though, I support him as an innovator. LeBeau effectively invented the zone blitz, and is the most influential defensive mind at least since Buddy Ryan, probably since Tom Landry. You induct LeBeau for the same reason you enshrined Sid Gillman, or even Al Davis: he changed the game.

Technically, LeBeau has been nominated as a cornerback. Purely as a DB, he probably doesn't deserve to be in, but he's close. I would support him solely as a coach/contributor; he's been that good.
I agree that LeBeau has been a highly successful assistant coach, arguably one of the best of his time. Maybe even among the best who didn't become a successful head coach. But there are some issues to bring up besides the 5 year eligibility one:

--one can certainly argue with the assertion that LeBeau invented the zone blitz. Have a look at this article by Peter King, which I found to be interesting reading:

WITH THE SECONDARY BOLSTERING THE PASS RUSH AND LINEMEN - 09.01.97 - SI Vault

Did LeBeau perfect what Arnsparger came up with? (For that matter, did Arnsparger get the idea from coaches before him?) I can get on board with LeBeau learning from what Arnsparger had done, but then where does that leave us with the concept of LeBeau as an innovator?

--if we're rightly going to give LeBeau credit for the fine assistant coaching years he had with the Steelers, we also need to rightly consider that he was unsuccessful as the Bengals head coach from 2000 to 2002. Not to mention this quote from Peter King's article cited above, which suggests LeBeau wasn't exactly an overwhelming success while he was a Bengals assistant:

"In LeBeau's eight seasons as defensive coordinator with Cincinnati, the Bengals on average finished 17th in the league in sacks and 20th in points allowed, and the man with the radical scheme was run out of town in '91."

Fair's fair.

--if there were a precedent for inducting assistant coaches who did not go on to be successful head coaches, I could more easily get on board with the idea of LeBeau being voted into the HoF via this route. But there aren't any such players inducted, and one can argue (as Dr. Z apparently has done in the past) that Clark Shaughnessy could be seen as the most deserving such candidate. Do we break the mould with LeBeau and not Shaughnessy? Good question indeed.
bachslunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 06:51 PM   #9
Brad O.
1,549
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
This used to be the case, but not any more.

So regardless of what else one may think, LeBeau's coaching career is still active and thus by the HoF's own guidelines off limits in consideration.
Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I didn't realize it had changed. I recognize that the rules stipulate only retired coaches should be considered, but everyone understands that LeBeau's coaching career is part of this nomination. There is precedent for inductees being selected on the basis of both their playing and coaching careers, and this is obviously such a case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
--one can certainly argue with the assertion that LeBeau invented the zone blitz. Have a look at this article by Peter King, which I found to be interesting reading:

WITH THE SECONDARY BOLSTERING THE PASS RUSH AND LINEMEN - 09.01.97 - SI Vault

Did LeBeau perfect what Arnsparger came up with? (For that matter, did Arnsparger get the idea from coaches before him?) I can get on board with LeBeau learning from what Arnsparger had done, but then where does that leave us with the concept of LeBeau as an innovator?
No, one can not argue with the assertion that LeBeau invented the zone blitz. From the article you linked:
Quote:
The zone blitz is the rage in the NFL these days. Carolina and the Pittsburgh Steelers are winning with it ... and more teams are following suit. The scheme's designer, 59-year-old Dick LeBeau...
The piece you're trying to use as evidence against LeBeau flatly calls him the designer of the zone blitz. This is not in question, and Peter King is one of LeBeau's biggest advocates, in part because "LeBeau invented the Zone Blitz".

By your logic, no one in the last 50 years was an innovator. Arnsparger was obviously very influential, but that doesn't mean he gets credit for LeBeau's work. Are we going to credit Sid Gillman and Al Davis for Bill Walsh's offense? Pop Warner for the Wildcat? Walter Camp for everything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch
--if we're rightly going to give LeBeau credit for the fine assistant coaching years he had with the Steelers, we also need to rightly consider that he was unsuccessful as the Bengals head coach from 2000 to 2002. Not to mention this quote from Peter King's article cited above, which suggests LeBeau wasn't exactly an overwhelming success while he was a Bengals assistant:

"In LeBeau's eight seasons as defensive coordinator with Cincinnati, the Bengals on average finished 17th in the league in sacks and 20th in points allowed, and the man with the radical scheme was run out of town in '91."
Should we remove Terry Bradshaw from Canton because he struggled as a rookie? Will we hesitate to induct Bill Belichick because he got fired in Cleveland? Maybe we should remove Joe Gibbs because of the Snyder years, and Paul Brown for his time with the Bengals.

LeBeau has been an unqualified success as a defensive assistant for the last 20 years. I would suggest that:
1. The 1980s Bengals didn't have great defensive personnel.
2. LeBeau was undermined by Sam Wyche's no-ball-control offense.
3. LeBeau perfected the scheme in Pittsburgh. No one is suggesting that his years in Cincinnati add to his résumé, or that the system was already in its current form 25 years ago.
4. As the NFL has become more and more a passing league, the zone blitz has gone from curiosity to revolution. It is almost without question the most important defensive development of the last 30 years, and LeBeau was its pioneer.
Quote:
Just as the West Coast offense energized pro football in the '80s, so has the zone blitz given defense a catch-up tool in the '90s.
15 years ago, the Steelers were the only team in the NFL playing a 3-4 defense. Now, thanks to Bill Belichick and LeBeau, almost half the league uses it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch
--if there were a precedent for inducting assistant coaches who did not go on to be successful head coaches, I could more easily get on board with the idea of LeBeau being voted into the HoF via this route. But there aren't any such players inducted, and one can argue (as Dr. Z apparently has done in the past) that Clark Shaughnessy could be seen as the most deserving such candidate. Do we break the mould with LeBeau and not Shaughnessy? Good question indeed.
Two wrongs don't make a right. Shaughnessy should be in, too. So should Don Coryell, for that matter. Look at my original post in this thread, or any of my HOF articles from the last several years, and you'll find that I've been very consistent on this.

LeBeau has an opportunity this year, and he shouldn't be deprived of it just because Shaughnessy has been. It seems like you're arguing that precedent can never be broken, that the mistakes of the past should never be corrected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
It's a nice thing to say, and if in fact LeBeau belongs in the HoF, I'm certainly sympathetic to the idea. Of course, there are plenty of other candidates in this position, headed by 88-year-old Al Wistert, who has never once gotten a chance as a finalist.
I think you missed my point. Al Wistert's full career is eligible for consideration right now. LeBeau's coaching career isn't supposed to be considered until he retires, which he may never do. Apples and oranges.
Brad O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 03:31 PM   #10
bachslunch
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 64
bachslunch is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad O. View Post
The guy (LeBeau) will probably coach until the day he dies, and he deserves to see his bust in Canton before that day comes.
It's a nice thing to say, and if in fact LeBeau belongs in the HoF, I'm certainly sympathetic to the idea. Of course, there are plenty of other candidates in this position, headed by 88-year-old Al Wistert, who has never once gotten a chance as a finalist.
bachslunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 07:43 PM   #11
bachslunch
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 64
bachslunch is on a distinguished road
Default

Brad, found all this indeed helpful, and the tree post is really good to see -- thanks. No unhappiness with any possible pedantry in what was written, either -- that's good info as far as I'm concerned, and welcome. It appears fair to say there's some level of difference between the quality of last year's and this year's "pioneer" argument mentioned above. I'm admittedly one who really likes and best trusts documentation and stats (used in correct context, for sure), but there are some things you can't delineate this way, and football can be especially messy here. The trick is knowing when it works and when it doesn't, and that takes experience. Even baseball has this problem when it comes to player fielding prowess; fielding percentage can be a very deceiving stat (telling nothing about fielding range, which is important), and fielding runs tells you more but not enough to discount personal observation.

Will say that one of the concerns I ran into in conversations online and elsewhere about Dick LeBeau's candidacy revolved not just around comparisons to the "Bob Hayes is a pioneer" aspect last year, but also around the level of assumed information I was encountering on LeBeau this year -- and that included me as well as other people. I knew about the HotVG level of his DB play (which some folks still don't seem aware of), but I had taken for granted a particular brilliance level regarding his overall assistant coaching career (I knew he hadn't had a successful head coaching run). One could say that's true for his time spent with the Steelers, but the Bengals part of his AC career was a surprise, and notably less good than I had assumed. This told me in part to question everything and assume nothing, for good or ill. I needed to know for sure here as well. Hopefully understood from this perspective.

For what it's worth, I initially used to support the idea of Floyd Little for the HoF, and you'll find older posts of mine on the internet to that effect. That's no longer true, and discussions plus a more careful look at things shaped that change.
bachslunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2010, 04:52 PM   #12
Brad O.
1,549
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough
Default HOF Class of 2010 Announced

Enshrinement » Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Announced

Russ Grimm
Rickey Jackson
Dick LeBeau
Floyd Little
John Randle
Jerry Rice
Emmitt Smith

Rice and Smith were no-brainers, and everyone suspected LeBeau was going to make it. The other three are a little surprising, Grimm and Jackson in particular.

I'm thrilled that Grimm finally made it -- at last, a Hog in the Hall -- and I don't have a problem with Jackson, but I wonder about some of the deserving candidates who didn't get in.

Tim Brown, Cris Carter, and Shannon Sharpe all got turned back. Maybe Dermontti Dawson will finally get in now that Grimm is out of the way; there seems to be an unofficial limit of 1 offensive lineman per year. Perhaps the elections of Derrick Thomas and Jackson will open the door for Kevin Greene, who IMO was better than either of them.

Maybe one day safeties will become eligible for Canton, so Cliff Harris, Kenny Easley, LeRoy Butler, and Aeneas Williams (also CB) can make it.

I'd like to see coaches and contributors start getting in again, too. Yeah, Ralph Wilson made it last year. Coryell, Tagliabue, both Sabols... all should be in, easily.
Brad O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 12:07 PM   #13
doublee
Sports Virtuoso
 
doublee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 11,138
doublee will become famous soon enoughdoublee will become famous soon enough
Default

I don't understand how Carter is not getting in.
__________________
Can I get an Amen from the bobbleheads?
Hey I said pass the ketchup! I'm eatin' salad here!
Oooh, there is so much I don't know about astrophysics. I wish I had read that book by that wheelchair guy.
You SU-DIDDILY-UCK Flanders!!
doublee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 03:20 PM   #14
bachslunch
Grizzled Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 64
bachslunch is on a distinguished road
Default 2010 HOF Nominees

All in all, a good set of five modern era candidates. Grimm is the weakest of these (relatively short career marred by injury), but I can see a case for him, and if he's deemed worthy this was a good time to elect him. The field will be crowded with good candidates in the next three years (Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis, Curtis Martin, Deion Sanders, William Roaf, Bill Parcells, Will Shields, Jonathan Ogden, Michael Strahan, Larry Allen, Warren Sapp) and they'll need a crane to get just these folks in -- that's two classes of 5 modern candidates plus one extra right there.

I think Rickey Jackson was very deserving, and his getting in validates the astute and equally non-trendy election of Andre Tippett recently, plus likely bodes well for Kevin Greene and Charles Haley in future. For a change, there's a logjam (here of LBs) that's being broken up and ushered in piece by piece (add in Harry Carson and Derrick Thomas to this group).

Brad, like you, I remain mystified by the continued exclusion of safeties. And am thinking contributors and coaches should have their own election category separate from modern players and seniors. This will get deserving folks like the Sabols in finally.

In retrospect, it's not surprising Cris Carter is being delayed. He's likely and not unfairly being perceived as a possession receiver, and Ray Berry aside, it's not unusual for such WRs to wait a few years. Plus he's not seen as the best WR of his time (Jerry Rice is), and counting Rice this year, only five WRs have ever been "first ballot/first year eligible" (the others were Alworth, Berry, Warfield, and Largent). Am guessing the voters intend to elect Carter, Tim Brown, and Andre Reed eventually, and my guess is that Reed made the cut into the top 10 (as opposed to Carter and Brown) because he has been waiting the longest -- but there's a logjam here, whose break-up likely got delayed further by Rice's being voted in this year. Just a guess, but it's possible the epic-proportion whining and hand-wringing over Carter's not being elected (not least by Carter himself when he didn't get in "first ballot") may not be sitting well with some electors who feel shown up.
bachslunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2010, 05:56 PM   #15
Brad O.
1,549
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
All in all, a good set of five modern era candidates. Grimm is the weakest of these (relatively short career marred by injury)
I would have to disagree with this. IMO Jackson was the weakest -- he was never first team all-pro on the AP team; Grimm was, three times. Grimm was first-team all-decade, Jackson didn't make second-team. In fact, he didn't get a vote.

Grimm played on perhaps the most celebrated offensive line in history and is the only member of that group in Canton. He is actually the only enshrinee to play in all three of Washington's Super Bowl victories. You'll probably disagree with this, but I believe Joe Jacoby should get in eventually, too. The offensive line was the constant on that team, which won with three different QBs, three different RBs, and a defense that was good but not dominant. Jackson, playing alongside Sam Mills and Pat Swilling, also played on a defense that was good but not dominant.

I'm not saying Jackson was unworthy -- he was probably just as good as Tippett -- but I don't believe he was more deserving than Robert Brazile, Kevin Greene, Chris Hanburger, and Chuck Howley.

It's not clear to me what separates Jackson from Maxie Baughan, Cornelius Bennett, Joe Fortunato, Isiah Robertson, and Andy Russell. I'm not convinced that he was better than Swilling. Jackson made 6 Pro Bowls, Swilling 5, basically a draw. Jackson has better stats (sacks, etc.). But Swilling was first-team all-pro twice, the 1991 DPOY. His peak was higher than Jackson's. I just don't see a lot of separation between them. To me, this is the pack, the guys who can go to Canton and it's not the end of the world, but who could just as easily be left out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch
The field will be crowded with good candidates in the next three years (Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis, Curtis Martin, Deion Sanders, William Roaf, Bill Parcells, Will Shields, Jonathan Ogden, Michael Strahan, Larry Allen, Warren Sapp)
When you say "good candidates", do you mean players who deserve to get in, or just who are likely to get in? I'm not sure Jerome Bettis is either. I'm not sold on Parcells or Sapp, either, and I bet a lot of those guys won't be first-ballot. Bettis seems like a really nice guy, but he's absolutely not worthy of induction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch
I think Rickey Jackson was very deserving, and his getting in validates the astute and equally non-trendy election of Andre Tippett recently, plus likely bodes well for Kevin Greene and Charles Haley in future.
I'd like to see Greene get in. Haley was a good player who wouldn't have a prayer if he didn't have 5 Super Bowl rings. He was in the right places at the right time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch
And am thinking contributors and coaches should have their own election category separate from modern players and seniors. This will get deserving folks like the Sabols in finally.
Agreed.
Brad O. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
hall of fame, hof


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2009 HOF Class CKFresh National Football League 2 12-01-2008 06:56 PM
2009 HOF Nominees Brad O. National Football League 3 10-29-2008 04:31 PM
Baseball HoF Veterans Committee nominees bachslunch Major League Baseball 2 10-28-2008 03:31 PM
Winning Super Bowl QB's and HOF philabramoff National Football League 11 12-03-2007 07:27 PM
2008 HOF nominees Brad O. National Football League 29 11-29-2007 08:47 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:49 PM.