28 Semifinalists

Discuss candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the PFRA's Hall of Very Good

Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby sluggermatt15 » Thu Nov 24, 2022 5:14 pm

ChrisBabcock wrote:My take on the 5 first year eligibles...
Joe Thomas: a slam dunk this year
Jahri Evans: I think belongs but may have to wait a year or two.
Darelle Revis: Will get in. Possibly this year. But am I the only one who saw about 4 years of greatness and then HoVG level play as he bounced around the league?
Dwight Freeney: I'm on the fence whether he belongs but will eventually be enshrined because... Sacks!
James Harrison: No. Unless he gets credit for having an interesting personality and being in commercials.


James Harrison is going to get into the HOF at some point. He was a four-time all-pro, NFL DPOY, and made arguably the greatest play in Super Bowl history on his 100 yard INT return for a touchdown. You could argue he should have been the SB MVP and that he literally won the game for the Steelers. 84.5 sacks is not too bad, either. For years, Harrison was the most feared defender in the entire league. He also won two championships and was a few plays away from a third.

Only way I don't see him getting in is if they hold his suspensions and comments towards the league against him.
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Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby Brian wolf » Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:51 pm

Great analysis of Harrison, Sluggermatt15 ...

He has the credentials and it will be interesting to see how the voters treat him. Steelers fans have to hope he doesn't get lost in the shuffle of other great Steelers LBs like Russell, Nickerson, Lloyd and Porter, who played well but havent gotten more HOF consideration. His case reminds me of Willie McGinest for the Patriots who was versatile as well, was a tough guy and made clutch plays in the postseason. Both were underrated pass rushers who could fire up their teammates. With other defenders ahead of Harrison in the queue and others coming ahead like Revis, Freeney, Peppers, Kuechly, Bowman, Suggs and others, fans can only hope he gets elected sooner rather than later ...
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Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby JohnTurney » Fri Nov 25, 2022 7:53 pm

sluggermatt15 wrote:James Harrison is going to get into the HOF at some point.
Maybe. You could be right, but would not be surprised if he doesn't

He was a four-time all-pro, NFL DPOY, and
All true, 2 1st team, 2 second team . . . DOPY is a good box checked

made arguably the greatest play in Super Bowl history on his 100 yard INT return for a touchdown. You could argue he should have been the SB MVP and that he literally won the game for the Steelers.
Agree with all that---he has a signature play and that should be one of major positives

84.5 sacks is not too bad, either.
Not too good, either. I think this will hurt him a little bit. In his era 100 sacks or more
is routine . . . it shows that he only had maybe a 5-6 year peak


For years, Harrison was the most feared defender in the entire league.
I could be misreading the word "feared"
if it is an intangble thing--toughness, scary, then okay.

My reading of feared relates to toughness to block or gameplan for. If that is the
definition then don't see that, felt others were better, even at his position


He also won two championships and was a few plays away from a third.
Yes, rings help him, IMO

Only way I don't see him getting in is if they hold his suspensions and comments towards the league against him.
Honestly don't think that will be any problem

My take is that he's kind of like Pat Swilling, similar honors, etc . . . but Harrison has the rings and that
could be a difference-maker. For good or bad, for right or wrong, rings boost a player's case


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Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby Brian wolf » Fri Nov 25, 2022 9:28 pm

Its just kinda unusual to have so many receivers make the semifinals over running backs. Yes, passing is the name of the game in todays NFL but receivers can accumulate statistics due to blown coverages or operating against maybe two to four defenders, while running backs get hit and chased by every defender ... Why should statisical milestones determine whether a back or receiver makes the HOF? Yes, a receiver is judged by receptions, yardage and TDs but a running back is judged by even more ... carries, running yards, receptions, yardage, TDs and blocking. Receivers are hardly ever judged by blocking or carrying the ball behind the line of scrimmage.

Hank Stram basically described the backs and receivers as "going by bus, or going by jet". Backs were about moving methodically, over time while the receiver is considered quick-strike and immediate. The receivers might be more exciting but the runners kept their defense off the field to get a rest and be more effective at the ends of games. Some running backs who havent made the HOF, had better hands than other wide receivers and could score in the open field just as well.

Yes, there is a backlog of eligible receivers but why dont the running backs have that same type of backlog ? Is a receiver with 13,000 yards better than a back with 15,000 scrimmage yards ?
Should all-purpose backs and receivers get more notoriety when adding special teams yardage to their totals ?

Watters and Taylor are the only RBs in the semifinals. Watters has more TDs than any receiver that has made this group. Will he get voted in ? Will a receiver ?

Just sayin ...
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Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby sluggermatt15 » Fri Nov 25, 2022 9:57 pm

JohnTurney wrote:
sluggermatt15 wrote:James Harrison is going to get into the HOF at some point.
Maybe. You could be right, but would not be surprised if he doesn't

He was a four-time all-pro, NFL DPOY, and
All true, 2 1st team, 2 second team . . . DOPY is a good box checked

made arguably the greatest play in Super Bowl history on his 100 yard INT return for a touchdown. You could argue he should have been the SB MVP and that he literally won the game for the Steelers.
Agree with all that---he has a signature play and that should be one of major positives

84.5 sacks is not too bad, either.
Not too good, either. I think this will hurt him a little bit. In his era 100 sacks or more
is routine . . . it shows that he only had maybe a 5-6 year peak


For years, Harrison was the most feared defender in the entire league.
I could be misreading the word "feared"
if it is an intangble thing--toughness, scary, then okay.

My reading of feared relates to toughness to block or gameplan for. If that is the
definition then don't see that, felt others were better, even at his position


He also won two championships and was a few plays away from a third.
Yes, rings help him, IMO

Only way I don't see him getting in is if they hold his suspensions and comments towards the league against him.
Honestly don't think that will be any problem

My take is that he's kind of like Pat Swilling, similar honors, etc . . . but Harrison has the rings and that
could be a difference-maker. For good or bad, for right or wrong, rings boost a player's case




John, excellent breakdown. I want to make a comment on the sacks that can help clarify.

Harrison was not a full-time starter on defense until his fifth season in 2007. From 2002 to 2006 he was cut multiple times, playing sporadically on defense. In those years he was a special teams player. Prior to starting full-time on defense, he only recorded 4.0 of his 84.5 sacks. Taking his 12 other seasons where he totaled 80.5 sacks is almost 7.0 sacks per season. No, not great, but also consider watching game film, he was held on a lot, a lot, a lot of plays. He also made the players around him better. Very similar to TJ Watt. Teams hone in on him to block him leaving gaps for other players to sack/pressure/hit the QB.
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Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby JohnTurney » Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:03 pm

sluggermatt15 wrote:
John, excellent breakdown. I want to make a comment on the sacks that can help clarify.

Harrison was not a full-time starter on defense until his fifth season in 2007. From 2002 to 2006 he was cut multiple times, playing sporadically on defense. In those years he was a special teams player. Prior to starting full-time on defense, he only recorded 4.0 of his 84.5 sacks. Taking his 12 other seasons where he totaled 80.5 sacks is almost 7.0 sacks per season. No, not great, but also consider watching game film, he was held on a lot, a lot, a lot of plays. He also made the players around him better. Very similar to TJ Watt. Teams hone in on him to block him leaving gaps for other players to sack/pressure/hit the QB.


I get it, and you may be right . . . in terms of HOF. I don't doubt he was a leader on that defense and made guys better---and in those peak seasons he avereages 46 pressures (PFF) or 38 pressures (FO) whichever you think is better . . . so no doubt had a very good career. I am only speculating on what voters may do . . . and could be totally wrong.
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Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby Brian wolf » Fri Nov 25, 2022 10:13 pm

Hines Ward for the Steelers on offense was similar to Harrison. It took him forever to get on the field and start but once he did, he excelled. He never had any speed but blocked and scored more TDs than any other receiver other than Steve Smith.
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Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby JohnTurney » Thu Dec 01, 2022 5:32 pm

rewing84 wrote:Henry Ellard, WR – 1983-1993 Los Angeles Rams, 1994-98 Washington Redskins, 1998 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2023)
Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 9 – 2015-2023)
Andre Johnson, WR – 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022-23)
Steve Smith Sr., WR – 2001-2013 Carolina Panthers, 2014-16 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022-23)
Hines Ward, WR – 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 7 – 2017-2023)
Reggie Wayne, WR – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2020-23)


having seen Ellard a lot--he did some HOF things--route running, great punt returned . . .he had a disadvantage early in his career due to bad QBs
but still, I just don't see him as a HOFer...a classic HOVG

I think Andre Johnson is the class of this group.

I know Holt and Wayne will get in, but they have great numbers -- not saying they are compilers but they seem to be beneficiaries
of systems and liberalization of rules.

Not sure what will happen but guessing Andre Johnson gets the nod this year.
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Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby Brian wolf » Fri Dec 02, 2022 5:13 pm

Andre Johnson reminds me of Ellard in that he had ability but was handcuffed by mediocre QBs. Both could have scored more TDs but its difficult if the QBs cant get the ball to them. Though Johnson should probably wait longer to make the HOF, I can understand the PR efforts for a representative from the newer Texans.

Ellard and Smith though were also dependable on special teams, which should give them more a leg up--especially with Smith's TDs--but we will see if they progress.

Thoughts on Wide Receivers In Semifinals

Johnson -- maybe more ability and measurables than production but lack of a very good QB hurt him.
Ward -- got more out of his ability than anyone on this list and very clutch but more known for blocking than spectacular plays.
Smith -- as tough and ornery as a wolverine but also played awhile without a very good QB until Flacco for awhile, though Panthers fans admired Delhomme's grit.
Wayne -- smooth, productive player but was second banana on his own team for awhile.
Holt -- same as Wayne but paid his dues in the yearly HOF election process.
Ellard -- smooth and underrated but like Johnson, waited awhile for a top throwing QB.
Boldin -- forgot about including him but has a great case and career as well. Played outstanding for different teams, a rarity for a free agent going to multiple teams.
Hester -- great on special teams but just occupying the position on offense. Will probably be voted in before most of these others ...

Personally, I would make all these players wait awhile before election except Ellard but the voters may feel there is too much of a backlog to ignore ...
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Re: 28 Semifinalists

Postby Ken Crippen » Sat Dec 03, 2022 9:56 am

Brian wolf wrote:
Personally, I would make all these players wait awhile before election except Ellard but the voters may feel there is too much of a backlog to ignore ...


I think that there is definitely emphasis to remove the "logjam" at WR, which means someone is getting in. If I had to guess, I would say Johnson and personally, if I was forced to choose among the group at WR, I would also pick Johnson.

I would not be happy seeing Hester make it in before Tasker, but with Tasker being a senior now, his shot is pretty much gone at this point.
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