2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame

E5 Yaz

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Modern era semifinalists named. There are 25 on the list, Richard Seymour the only Patriot. (Not counting someone like Fred Taylor or Reggie Wayne)

There will be 20 members of the Class of 2020, but only 5 will come off this list. The remainder will come from players retired for 25 years or more, coaches and contributors.

Of note, especially for those thinking about Matthew Slater as a future HoFer, Steve Tasker is a semifinalist for the first time in 7 years

 

E5 Yaz

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The semifinalists, in alphabetical order:
  • Steve Atwater, safety
  • Carl Banks, linebacker
  • Ronde Barber, cornerback/safety
  • Tony Boselli, tackle
  • Isaac Bruce, wide receiver
  • LeRoy Butler, safety
  • Alan Faneca, guard
  • Torry Holt, wide receiver
  • Steve Hutchinson, guard
  • Edgerrin James, running back
  • John Lynch, safety
  • Clay Matthews, linebacker
  • Sam Mills, linebacker
  • Troy Polamalu, safety
  • Simeon Rice, defensive end
  • Richard Seymour, defensive end/defensive tackle
  • Steve Tasker, wide receiver/special-teamer
  • Fred Taylor, running back
  • Zach Thomas, linebacker
  • Hines Ward, wide receiver
  • Ricky Watters, running back
  • Reggie Wayne, wide receiver
  • Patrick Willis, linebacker
  • Darren Woodson, safety
  • Bryant Young, defensive tackle
 

Kliq

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I'd go Willis, Faneca, Barber, Hutchinson, Bruce. Not a sexy list though. Polamalu is going to get in but I always thought he was really overrated and gambled way too much, but they never showed those plays on his highlight reel.
 

E5 Yaz

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What I find interesting, if not surprising, is a name not on that list. If I told you that three of the career leaders in all-purpose yards were named Jerry Rice, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith, you figure HOF automatics.

But the No. 2 guy on the list, retired for 16 years, is no where to be found. I'm not saying he should be in the HOF, but his exclusion among semifinalists is odd. Never had much fame and was never a media fascination, but you'd think he'd merit consideration

Brian Mitchell
 

Al Zarilla

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What I find interesting, if not surprising, is a name not on that list. If I told you that three of the career leaders in all-purpose yards were named Jerry Rice, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith, you figure HOF automatics.

But the No. 2 guy on the list, retired for 16 years, is no where to be found. I'm not saying he should be in the HOF, but his exclusion among semifinalists is odd. Never had much fame and was never a media fascination, but you'd think he'd merit consideration

Brian Mitchell
The kind of yards he made aren't considered equal to the kind Jerry Rice, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith made.
 

Bergs

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The semifinalists, in alphabetical order:
  • Steve Atwater, safety
  • Carl Banks, linebacker
  • Ronde Barber, cornerback/safety
  • Tony Boselli, tackle
  • Isaac Bruce, wide receiver
  • LeRoy Butler, safety
  • Alan Faneca, guard
  • Torry Holt, wide receiver
  • Steve Hutchinson, guard
  • Edgerrin James, running back
  • John Lynch, safety
  • Clay Matthews, linebacker
  • Sam Mills, linebacker
  • Troy Polamalu, safety
  • Simeon Rice, defensive end
  • Richard Seymour, defensive end/defensive tackle
  • Steve Tasker, wide receiver/special-teamer
  • Fred Taylor, running back
  • Zach Thomas, linebacker
  • Hines Ward, wide receiver
  • Ricky Watters, running back
  • Reggie Wayne, wide receiver
  • Patrick Willis, linebacker
  • Darren Woodson, safety
  • Bryant Young, defensive tackle
Interesting you'd go Holt over Bruce. I'd have it the other way around.
 

NYCSox

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I'd go Willis, Faneca, Barber, Hutchinson, Bruce. Not a sexy list though. Polamalu is going to get in but I always thought he was really overrated and gambled way too much, but they never showed those plays on his highlight reel.
Post 2012 he was in decline and made a number of mistakes. Until then those mistakes were few and far between (at least when it was someone other than Brady as the opposing QB).
 

snowmanny

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All the members of the NFL 1990s offense and defense all-decade first teams are in the HOF except the safeties, LeRoy Butler and Steve Atwater.

Of all the members of the NFL 2000s all-decade offense and defense first teams, the only ones not in are three players not eligible yet (Brady, Freeney, Charles Woodson) and Faneca, Hutchinson, Seymour, James and Neal. I sort of expect 3 of Faneca, Hutchinson, James and Seymour to make it this year.
 

BaseballJones

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The semifinalists, in alphabetical order:
  • Steve Atwater, safety
  • Carl Banks, linebacker
  • Ronde Barber, cornerback/safety
  • Tony Boselli, tackle
  • Isaac Bruce, wide receiver
  • LeRoy Butler, safety
  • Alan Faneca, guard
  • Torry Holt, wide receiver
  • Steve Hutchinson, guard
  • Edgerrin James, running back
  • John Lynch, safety
  • Clay Matthews, linebacker
  • Sam Mills, linebacker
  • Troy Polamalu, safety
  • Simeon Rice, defensive end
  • Richard Seymour, defensive end/defensive tackle
  • Steve Tasker, wide receiver/special-teamer
  • Fred Taylor, running back
  • Zach Thomas, linebacker
  • Hines Ward, wide receiver
  • Ricky Watters, running back
  • Reggie Wayne, wide receiver
  • Patrick Willis, linebacker
  • Darren Woodson, safety
  • Bryant Young, defensive tackle
Good year to put in a bunch of offensive linemen:

Boselli
Faneca
Hutchinson

And then

James
Polamalu
 

TFP

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It'll never happen, but I'd love to see a year with zero skill position players. Boselli, Faneca, Hutchinson, Seymour, then one of Tasker/Polamalu/Lynch.
 
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DanoooME

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What worries me is not the 5 being elected this way, but the 10 "seniors" that are being added. Are those guys going to be Lloyd Waner in the Baseball HOF level disasters?
 

E5 Yaz

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espn

Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne were named finalists Thursday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2020 in their first year of eligibility. Five other former NFL greats made their first appearance as finalists.

Safety LeRoy Butler (Packers 1990-2001), wide receiver Torry Holt (Rams 1999-2008; Jaguars 2009), linebacker Sam Mills (Saints 1986-94; Panthers 1995-97), linebacker Zach Thomas (Dolphins 1996-2007; Cowboys 2008) and defensive tackle Bryant Young (49ers 1994-2007) were also named finalists for the first time, though all five previously had been eligible.

The other finalists for the Class of 2020:
  • Steve Atwater (Broncos 1989-98; Jets 1999)
  • Tony Boselli (Jaguars 1995-2001)
  • Isaac Bruce (Rams 1994-2007; 49ers 2008-09)
  • Alan Faneca (Steelers 1998-2007, Jets 2008-09; Cardinals 2010)
  • Steve Hutchinson (Seahawks 2001-05; Vikings 2006-11; Titans 2012)
  • Edgerrin James (Colts 1999-2005; Cardinals 2006-08; Seahawks 2009)
  • John Lynch (Buccaneers 1993-2003; Broncos 2004-07)
  • Richard Seymour (Patriots 2001-08; Raiders 2009-12)
 

Hoya81

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The rest of the special centennial HOF Class has been announced:

Jimmy Johnson-Coach (Cowboys-Dolphins)
Bill Cowher-Coach (Steelers)
Jim Covert-OT (Bears) '83-'90
Winston Hill-OT (Jets/Rams) '63-76
Harold Carmichael-WR (Eagles/Cowboys) '71-84
Duke Slater-OT (Cardinals) '22-31
Ed Sprinkle-DE (Bears) '44-'55
Steve Sabol-Contributor (NFL Films)
Alex Karras-DT (Lions) '58-'70
Donnie Shell-S (Steelers) '74-'87
George Young-Executive (Colts/Dolphins/Giants/NFL)
Cliff Harris-S (Cowboys) '70-'79
Mac Speedie-TE (Browns) '46-'52
Paul Tagliabue-Commissioner '89-'06

Aside from Karras and Carmichael not really familiar with any of the other players. Steve Sabol seems like a no brainer, but Tagliabue and Young will probably be somewhat controversial.
 

E5 Yaz

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I'm very surprised to learn that Shell, Covert and Hill weren't already in the HoF

There are some conspiracy theorists who believe this entire thing was a ploy to get Tagliabue elected
 

richgedman'sghost

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The rest of the special centennial HOF Class has been announced:

Jimmy Johnson-Coach (Cowboys-Dolphins)
Bill Cowher-Coach (Steelers)
Jim Covert-OT (Bears) '83-'90
Winston Hill-OT (Jets/Rams) '63-76
Harold Carmichael-WR (Eagles/Cowboys) '71-84
Duke Slater-OT (Cardinals) '22-31
Ed Sprinkle-DE (Bears) '44-'55
Steve Sabol-Contributor (NFL Films)
Alex Karras-DT (Lions) '58-'70
Donnie Shell-S (Steelers) '74-'87
George Young-Executive (Colts/Dolphins/Giants/NFL)
Cliff Harris-S (Cowboys) '70-'79
Mac Speedie-TE (Browns) '46-'52
Paul Tagliabue-Commissioner '89-'06

Aside from Karras and Carmichael not really familiar with any of the other players. Steve Sabol seems like a no brainer, but Tagliabue and Young will probably be somewhat controversial.
[/QUOTE]

I strongly disagree with your assessment of the late George Young as a controversial pick. Young did a fine job in the Dolphins and Colts front offices before completely changing the fortunes of the Giants. The Giants were on a 18 year streak of missing the playoffs before Young took over. Under his watch the Giants won 2 Super Bowls and became a consistent playoff team. He then served a distinguished time in the league office before retiring. George Young is why the "contributor" category was created for the Hall of Fame. He is the definition of the award
 

Ale Xander

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Big Sey deserves it over all 4 of those guys. And Atwater was my favorite DB growing up.

DT's aren't sexy or something.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Don’t want to pass myself off as a football expert, and will acknowledge this take is a.) scorching hot, and b.) based predominately on games I saw him play in the last 5-6 years of his career against Tom Brady...but I always felt Polamalu sucked. Spent a ton of time going for big hits and/or ballhawking, and consequently would get burned over and over again.

But good for marketing, sure.
 

tims4wins

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Don’t want to pass myself off as a football expert, and will acknowledge this take is a.) scorching hot, and b.) based predominately on games I saw him play in the last 5-6 years of his career against Tom Brady...but I always felt Polamalu sucked. Spent a ton of time going for big hits and/or ballhawking, and consequently would get burned over and over again.

But good for marketing, sure.
Agreed
 

Kliq

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Don’t want to pass myself off as a football expert, and will acknowledge this take is a.) scorching hot, and b.) based predominately on games I saw him play in the last 5-6 years of his career against Tom Brady...but I always felt Polamalu sucked. Spent a ton of time going for big hits and/or ballhawking, and consequently would get burned over and over again.

But good for marketing, sure.
Yeah he was the gunslinging equivalent for a DB. He could make some incredible plays because he gambled a lot, but time and highlight reels forget all the mistakes and blown coverages. Smart QBs could also manipulate him to open up big plays downfield, which Brady always did. Hell, Polamalu let Tim fucking Tebow beat him in a playoff game with a big play over the middle.
 

InstaFace

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Doesn't take much unearthing. There were plenty of lowlight clips and even film breakdowns showing where he was supposed to be (and wasn't), even during his career.

But that hair, man. That hair sells a lot of consumer packaged goods.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Doesn't take much unearthing. There were plenty of lowlight clips and even film breakdowns showing where he was supposed to be (and wasn't), even during his career.

But that hair, man. That hair sells a lot of consumer packaged goods.
Clearly. In the example that Kliq brought up, Polamalu simultaneously wore Ike Taylor and Ryan Mundy’s uniforms on Tebow’s winning pass to Thomas.

If it wasn’t for the hair, he would have been in the CFL selling shampoo north of the border.
 
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InstaFace

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Clearly. In the example that Kliq brought up, Polamalu simultaneously wore Ike Taylor and Ryan Mundy’s uniforms on Tebow’s winning pass to Thomas.

If it wasn’t for the hair, he would have been in the CFL selling shampoo north of the border.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMVnLsODqqg


Just because he was so slow he was out of the frame by the time most of the pursuit happened, doesn't mean that he wasn't the free safety responsible for that deeper zone, who came in to within 4 yards of the LOS because he thought he could poach something, ended up covering nobody, and got beat by one of the worst QBs of the last 20 years to win a playoff game. He couldn't even be bothered to make a credible effort to chase from behind on a season-ending play.

Now I don't think that's an accurate portrayal of his entire career or anything, in his prime he had the speed and reflexes to make up for some of the worst consequences of his freelancing. But the dude freelanced.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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Never understood the Polamalu adulation, either. Brady would routinely make him look silly.

I’m actually glad to see James get in. I always thought he was the very underrated X factor on the best Colts teams of the Manning era. I don’t think Wayne deserves to get in; I see him more as a compiler, the John Taylor to M. Harrison’s Jerry Rice-Lite. Nothing special.

Hope Seymour eventually gets in. He was such a load...
 

Kliq

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMVnLsODqqg


Just because he was so slow he was out of the frame by the time most of the pursuit happened, doesn't mean that he wasn't the free safety responsible for that deeper zone, who came in to within 4 yards of the LOS because he thought he could poach something, ended up covering nobody, and got beat by one of the worst QBs of the last 20 years to win a playoff game. He couldn't even be bothered to make a credible effort to chase from behind on a season-ending play.

Now I don't think that's an accurate portrayal of his entire career or anything, in his prime he had the speed and reflexes to make up for some of the worst consequences of his freelancing. But the dude freelanced.
Had the link ready to go but see you’ve already covered what I was going to say. VT’s dismissal of Polamalu’s role in that play is inaccurate, he got suckered into a RPO by not Tom Brady, but Tim Tebow and while he wasn’t the only Steeler to screw up on that play, he does bear a lot of responsibility.

No one is saying Polamalu sucks or would be a CFL player, but the guy gambled and lost a lot during his playing days, sometimes at very critical moments.
 

Vinho Tinto

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No one is saying Polamalu sucks
One poster said he sucked and the first poster to respond wrote “agreed”.

The Steelers were selling out playing run because the Broncos were running the ball roughly 60% of their plays. Bad job by Taylor and Mundy. They were covering Thomas, not Polamalu.
 

Super Nomario

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMVnLsODqqg


Just because he was so slow he was out of the frame by the time most of the pursuit happened, doesn't mean that he wasn't the free safety responsible for that deeper zone, who came in to within 4 yards of the LOS because he thought he could poach something, ended up covering nobody, and got beat by one of the worst QBs of the last 20 years to win a playoff game. He couldn't even be bothered to make a credible effort to chase from behind on a season-ending play.
I don't understand why you think he was the free safety responsible for the deep zone. He's in the box the entire play. I do agree he made kind of a half-assed effort to chase the play down after.

Never understood the Polamalu adulation, either. Brady would routinely make him look silly.
Brady is probably the best quarterback all time at dissecting zone defenses, and the Steelers ran a shit-ton of zone. He made a lot of guys look silly.

And yet, Polamalu still made his share of plays against the Patriots. In seven career games against the Pats, he had a pick, seven passes defensed, and two forced fumbles. Now granted, a lot of that was in the game he played against Matt Cassel, but that just reinforces the above paragraph - when he got to face mortal quarterbacks, he was pretty damn great.

I also think our "Patriots lens" influences how we see defenders like Polamalu. "Freelancing" is a dirty word in Foxboro, but that's not true everywhere. A lot of coaches encourage great players to be aggressive, and live with the occasional mistake in exchange for the on-ball production they'd generate. Junior Seau would freelance, Ed Reed would freelance, Lawrence Taylor would freelance.
 

InstaFace

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All three of the guys you mention are Head and Shoulders above have chunks of Troy Polamalu in their stool. You just mentioned 3 of maybe the 5 greatest back-seven players of all time. They were out-thinking their opposing QBs; Polamalu, more often than not, was guessing. Sometimes he'd guess right and it'd make SportsCenter.

For me he's in the Derek Jeter Hall of "greatness that was nevertheless so overrated by the national sports media that it drove those of us rooting against him crazy". Hence the snark, the lowlights, the jokes about his commercials. Is he a HOFer? Probably, eventually. Would you draft him ahead of John Lynch, nevermind Faneca or Seymour? Absolutely not.
 

edoug

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The Steelers were selling out playing run because the Broncos were running the ball roughly 60% of their plays. Bad job by Taylor and Mundy. They were covering Thomas, not Polamalu.
They didn't account for the ball travelling farther in the thin air.