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Begun in 2002, the Hall of Very Good seeks to honor outstanding players and coaches who are not in the Hall of Fame.

Coy Bacon
Position: Defensive End/Tackle
Teams: Los Angeles Rams (1968-72), San Diego Chargers (1973-75), Cincinnati Bengals (1976-77), Washington Redskins (1978-81)
Bio: Coy Bacon experienced a career defining moment in 1969 when Rams’ teammate Roger Brown went down with a knee injury. He went from back up to starter, a post he never relinquished. Brown, who taught Bacon the tricks of the trade in his early years said, “He's going to be one of the best in the league. He's quick – what you might call like greased lightning.” Teaming with the other members of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome -- Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen and Lamar Lundy -- Bacon played right tackle and became an extremely feared pass rusher. Former Cincinnati Bengals radio host Dave Lapham said of him, “He was the best pass rusher I ever saw. He always gained ground … never wasted any steps. He could make you miss.” Bacon switched to right defensive end in 1970 and spent most of the rest of his career there. He not only garnered the attention of opposing offensive lines, he also earned accolades. Bacon was a three time (1971, 1972, 1976) second-team all-pro choice by outlets such as the Newspaper Enterprise Association and Pro Football Writers of America, and a consensus first-team all-conference selection in 1976. Bacon earned Pro Bowl honors in 1972, 1976 and 1977. In 1976, he recorded an unofficial 21.5 sacks that led the NFL. In eight of his 14 seasons, Bacon recorded unofficial totals of at least ten sacks per season, for an unofficial career total of 130.5 that ranks in the Top 25 all-time. Bacon bounced around the league with the Rams, San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins, mostly playing on mediocre teams that made just one combined playoff appearance. He wound up his career in the USFL with the Washington Federals and was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

Ray Childress
Position: Defensive End/Tackle
Teams: Houston Oilers (1985-95), Dallas Cowboys (1996)
Bio: In 1985, the Houston Oilers drafted Ray Childress, a two-time All-American defensive lineman out of Texas A&M, with the third overall pick in the NFL draft. He made the all-rookie team in 1985 and played 163 games in his NFL career, starting 160. Childress played defensive end in a 3-4 in his first five years. The Oilers switched to a 4-3 defense in 1990 and the former Aggie moved inside to defensive tackle, where he had his best seasons. The 6-foot-6, 272-pound Childress had a career-high of 13 sacks in 1992 and had four other seasons of eight or more. His career total of 76.5 sacks ranks second all-time in Oilers/Titans franchise history, behind only Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea. Childress also ranks second in franchise history to Bethea in multi-sack games with 13. Childress recovered 19 career fumbles including seven in 1988, with three coming against the Washington Redskins on October 30, 1988. The seven opponents’ recoveries are tied for third-most in a season in NFL history and the three recoveries versus Washington are tied for the most ever in a single game. The Oilers made the playoffs seven consecutive times during Childress’s peak years (1987-93) while posting a 70-41 (.631) record. The Oilers had one of the best defenses in the NFL for several of those seasons, as they allowed the fewest yards in the AFC in 1992, the fewest points in the AFC in 1993 and the fewest rushing yards in the AFC in 1988 and NFL in 1993. Childress was first-team all-pro in 1990, 1991 and 1992, with 1992 being a consensus selection. Additionally, he was second-team all-pro in 1988, 1989 and 1993. Childress was selected to play in the Pro Bowl five times and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

John David Crow
Positions: Halfback, Tight End, Fullback
Teams: Chicago Cardinals (1958-59), St. Louis Cardinals (1960-64), San Francisco 49ers (1965-68)
Bio: John David Crow of Texas A&M University, winner of the Heisman Trophy in 1957, was drafted second overall by the Chicago Cardinals in 1958. Known for his speed and versatility, Crow played halfback, tight end and defensive back while also returning kickoffs and punts in 11 NFL seasons. After an injury-plagued rookie year, he bounced back to rank in the top 10 in the NFL in both rushing yards and all-purpose yards in 1959. Crow’s best season was 1960 when he led the NFL with 1,533 yards from scrimmage that included a third-best 1,071 rushing yards. He rushed for 203 yards in a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers that year, and his 5.9 yards per carry was also the best in the NFL. Crow was named second team all-pro for the first of three times in his career. He was second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 1962 with 14, four of which came in a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Traded to the 49ers, Crow was an integral part of San Francisco’s league leading offense in 1965 with 1,007 yards from scrimmage (514 rushing, 493 receiving). He was named to the Pro Bowl that year for the fourth time. Moved to tight end in his final season, Crow remained productive with 31 receptions good for 531 yards and a stellar 17.1 average. With the 49ers, he twice won the team's prestigious Len Eshmont Award for courageous and inspirational play. Crow was named to the NFL’s all-decade team of the 1960s. He was inducted into the Texas A&M Hall of Fame in 1968 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1976. When the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant, Crow’s head coach at Texas A&M, retired in 1982, he said of Crow that “he was the finest player I ever coached.”

Earl Faison
Positions: Defensive End
Teams: San Diego Chargers (1961-66), Miami Dolphins (1966)
Bio: A three-year letterman at Indiana University, end Earl Faison led the Hoosiers in receiving in both 1958 and 1960 and was All-Big Ten in 1960. In the 1961 pro football drafts, he was selected by the Detroit Lions in the NFL and the San Diego Chargers in the AFL. Faison signed with the Chargers and became an immediate starter as a defensive end. Faison was the consensus AFL Rookie of the Year and a consensus all-AFL pick in 1961. The Chargers led the league in fewest points allowed twice, fewest yards allowed twice, fewest rushing yards allowed once and fewest passing yards allowed three times during his career. With Faison, San Diego played in four AFL Championship Games including a decisive victory in 1963 over the Boston Patriots. Faison was at the forefront of the fight for African-American players to receive equal treatment. He helped lead a boycott of the 1965 AFL All-Star game scheduled in New Orleans over racial discrimination Black players faced throughout the city before the game. The game was moved to Houston. In a career shortened to six seasons because of a back injury, the 6-5, 270-pound Faison was first team all-AFL four times, second team all-AFL once and participated in five AFL All-Star games including 1962 when he was named the game’s Defensive MVP. Chargers coach Sid Gillman said, "He was tremendous on the pass rush and strong on the run ... at his best, he’s the absolute best in the league ... He’s quick, strong, intelligent and he hits." Faison was inducted into the Indiana University Hall of Fame, the Chargers Ring of Honor and is enshrined in the San Diego Hall of Champions. After his NFL career, he did some movie acting and was a coach and educator in the San Diego area.

Leon Gray
Position: Tackle, Guard
Teams: New England Patriots (1973-78), Houston Oilers (1979-81), New Orleans Saints (1982-83)
Bio: Drafted in 1973 by a Super Bowl champion Miami team loaded with offensive line talent, Leon Gray was cut by the Dolphins and signed by the New England Patriots. By 1976, he was one of the best tackles in the NFL and the Patriots were an 11-3 playoff team. For several seasons, Gray and Hall of Famer John Hannah were an outstanding left side tackle-guard tandem. Gray’s excellent run-blocking helped the Patriots rush for 3,165 yards in 1978, an NFL record until 2019. That was the first of three consecutive seasons he was a consensus first team all-pro. He had been second team all-conference in 1976 and 1977. His 1977 honors came despite the fact he played only 11 games after a two-man holdout with Hannah. The Patriots just missed the playoffs that year after going 1-2 in Gray and Hannah’s absence, then rebounded to win the AFC East in 1978 with an 11-5 record. Gray was traded to the Houston Oilers in 1979 after more contentious contract negotiations. It was a controversial move opposed by, among others, Patriots’ head coach Ron Erhardt and Hannah who said, “We just traded away our Super Bowl.” Gray remained an elite player for Houston as the Oilers advanced to the AFC Championship Game in 1979 off an 11-5 record followed by another 11-5 season in 1980 that ended with a Wildcard Game loss to the Oakland Raiders. He helped Earl Campbell win rushing titles in 1979 and 1980, the latter year with 1,934 yards that at the time was the second highest total in NFL history. Gray was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in 1981. He played his final two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. Gray was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2019.

Nick Lowery
Position: Kicker
Teams: New England Patriots (1978), Kansas City Chiefs (1979-93), New York Jets (1994-96)
Bio: Nick Lowery may be the most overlooked great placekicker in pro football history. That is partly because he was the immediate successor to Hall of Famer Jan Stenerud when he joined the Kansas City Chiefs. After being cut 11 times by eight teams and playing only briefly for the New England Patriots, Lowery beat out his idol Stenerud for the Chiefs’ job in 1980. Consistent and outstanding from long range, Lowery ranked first in both career field goals (329) and field goal percentage (.800) at the time of his retirement. His teams won only one division title and made the playoffs only five times in his 18 seasons, and generally weak offenses held down his field goal attempts. In one of those playoff seasons, Lowery made 34 of 37 field goal attempts good for 91.9% and 139 points in 1990, leading the NFL in all four categories. He was a first team selection on every major all-pro team that year. In addition to his 1990 honors, Lowery was an NEA first team selection in 1981 and a consensus first team all-pro in 1985. He was especially highly regarded by NFL scouts who selected him first team all-pro seven times (1981-83, 1985-86, 1990, 1992). Lowery’s long-term success is all the more impressive because he played his home games in outdoor stadiums in cold weather cities in every one of his 18 seasons. By contrast, Morten Andersen, Lowery’s contemporary and the only other placekicking specialist in the Hall of Fame besides Stenerud, played his home games in domes in 22 of his 25 seasons. In the Adjusted Points Above League analytical system published in 2021 by football statistics maven Rupert Patrick, Lowery ranked as football’s best ever kicker for a career. He was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2009.

Michael Dean Perry
Position: Defensive Tackle/End
Teams: Cleveland Browns (1988-94), Denver Broncos (1995-97), Kansas City Chiefs (1997)
Bio: Michael Dean Perry was selected in the second round of the 1988 draft by the Cleveland Browns after being named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year as a senior at Clemson University. He made an immediate impact and was named to all the major all-rookie teams as a defensive end. After being moved to tackle in 1989, Perry thrived in both the 4-3 defense and at nose tackle in the 3-4. He was such a pillar of strength that he often confronted double and even triple team blocking. In his second season, Perry was first team on every all-pro team and was named AFC Defensive Player of the Year by the UPI. He finished second in a vote of NFL players for AFC Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1991. Stuffs – any tackle for a loss besides a sack – underscore Perry’s status as an elite player. According to football historians/researchers John Turney and Nick Webster, Perry ranked in the top 6 in the NFL in stuffs four times, and Turney estimates that Perry had the most stuffs of all players during the ten years of his career. His 14 stuffs in 1993 are more than the best seasons of contemporary Hall of Fame tackles Warren Sapp, John Randle, Cortez Kennedy and Bryant Young, as well as Aaron Donald. Turney calls Perry’s total of 23 tackles behind the line of scrimmage (11.5 sacks and 11.5 stuffs) in 1990 “Aaron Donald-type numbers.” Perry earned extensive all-pro honors during his career. Most impressive are his five consecutive years as a Sporting News first team all-pro (1989-93), as that team is based on a vote of NFL players. Perry was named to the Pro Bowl six times and was a member of the first class inducted into the Cleveland Browns Legends in 2001.

Buck Shaw
Position: Head Coach
Teams: San Francisco 49ers (1946-54), Philadelphia Eagles (1958-60)
Bio: After a collegiate playing career at Notre Dame where he was an All-American tackle/placekicker under Knute Rockne, Buck Shaw entered the coaching ranks in 1924 at the age of 25. As the head coach of previously unheralded Santa Clara, he led the Broncos to five top 10 rankings in seven seasons and Sugar Bowl victories in 1936 and 1937. In 1946, he took the head job of the San Francisco 49ers in the inaugural season of the All-America Football Conference. In the four seasons of the AAFC, Shaw guided the 49ers to a 38-14-2 record (.731) but they could do no better than four second place finishes behind the powerhouse Cleveland Browns, including a 21-7 loss to Cleveland in the 1949 AAFC Championship Game. Behind Frankie Albert, Joe Perry, Bruno Banducci and Alyn Beals, Shaw’s 49ers were an offensive juggernaut in 1948 and 1949 when they averaged a combined 35 points and 406 yards per game. After a poor first season in the NFL in 1950 after the AAFC-NFL merger, the 49ers were contenders the next four years. They were in contention for first place entering the final day in 1951 and 1953, only to finish second both times. Offense remained San Francisco’s trademark and Shaw coached outstanding players of the era like Perry, Y. A. Tittle, Gordy Soltau, Billy Wilson, Bob St. Clair, Hugh McElhenny and Leo Nomellini. Shaw was fired after nine seasons and returned to the NFL as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1958. He led Philadelphia to the 1960 NFL championship as the Eagles handed the Green Bay Packers their only playoff defeat of the Vince Lombardi era. Shaw retired with a pro record of 90-55-5 (.621) and a reputation as one of the most gentlemanly and well-liked coaches to ever grace a sideline.

Jeff Van Note
Position: Center, Guard, Linebacker
Teams: Atlanta Falcons (1969-86)
Bio: Over the first two decades of their existence, the Atlanta Falcons lacked consistency. They endured 13 losing seasons, six head coaching changes and only three playoff berths. There was one constant for most of that time, however: Jeff Van Note. Drafted as a linebacker in 1969, Van Note was converted to center by head coach Norm Van Brocklin. He played in 246 games (second most in Falcons history) and his 18 seasons with one franchise is the second most in NFL history. Van Note was routinely responsible for blocking some of the game's greatest defenders like Dick Butkus, Joe Greene and Willie Lanier, and consistently excelled against such competition. On his longevity, Van Note said, “I didn't know anything but that I loved to play.” Missing just four games during his career, Van Note was selected to six Pro Bowls (1974-75, 1979-82) including four when he was 33 and older. He was twice named second-team all-pro (1979, 1982) by the Associated Press and was a first-team all-conference selection in 1980 by Pro Football Weekly and the UPI. The 1980 season was special to Van Note, as the Falcons won their first division title. In the playoffs against the Cowboys, Atlanta led by 10 with less than seven minutes remaining, but lost, 30-27. Of that team, Van Note said, “I had always played against the best. For once I was part of the best. We had a great offense.” Van Note was also a part of playoff teams in 1978 and 1982. His number 57 was retired in his final home game in 1986 and 20 years later, he was inducted into the Falcons Ring of Honor. He worked for the team as its color commentator in the 1990s and was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.