Heroes of Canton
This weekend sees the start of the NFL preseason with the Dolphins playing the Cowboys. But before the kick off at Canton we get to see some of the great players of the past become part of NFL History and be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, the highest honour a single player can receive. So whilst I warm up my watching seat (yup, real thing) and try and keep myself occupied before the kick off, I thought I would make a list of players that could themselves be heading to Canton in the future.
Obvious choice. Peterson has been a phenomenon consistently since he came into the league. Last season he came back from an ACL tear to come within 9 yards of the single season rushing record, which has stayed in place since 1984. He averages 5 yards per attempt and stands a good chance to break the all-time rushing record. Taking stats out of it, Peterson was a joy to watch last year. He put a whole team on his back and dragged them kicking and screaming to the play-offs.
3 Superbowl rings…2 further Superbowl appearances. Shouldn’t really need to say any more than that…But I will. Brady makes every receiver look like a pro-bowler. Since he came into the league he has had a variety of receivers, with varying talent and managed to consistently get the Patriots to the Superbowl.
Probably my favourite QB of all time. Whilst he has only won one Superbowl, he has managed to drag a Colts franchise to be playoff contenders. Manning’s real talent is hard to describe without watching what he does. He is a coach on the field. No one can read a defense like he can. He is a master of knowing what a defense will do, before they do it. Hall of Famer for sure.
I know I am a Bears fan and I know that might create a little Bias, however… He is the greatest kick returner of all-time…ALL-TIME. He has made sure the Bears had decent starting position on pretty much every play, whilst throwing in some incredible return touchdowns. Finally he is responsible for the fastest Superbowl touchdown of all-time. To leave him out would cheapen the position, much in the same way as Ray Guy’s exclusion.
This is probably a long shot, but he is probably the best lineman in the league. He has played above and beyond on a consistently poor performing team and still managed to shine. What won’t help his cause is the lack of decent QB play behind him, but he does have being an honorary Gridiron Gentleman, going for him.
Another obvious choice, but you can’t leave out a man who has pretty much broken every Tight End record. Once again he does have a lack of Superbowl rings going against him, but you can’t leave him off this list.
Yup a kicker. But he is Mr Clutch and you can’t avoid his importance for both the Patriots and the Colts. Parcell’s described him not as “just a kicker”, but instead a “football player”. Finally despite being a kicker, you cannot avoid the fact that he has won 4 Superbowl rings and played a massive part in each of these games. Kicker, yes. Born winner, yes.
Maybe a long shot? But he is consistently playing at a high standards, not to mention he has come close to breaking the single season sack record, more than once. Like a lot of the players on this list he is hindered by his fellow defences, which have generally been poor.
There is a chance that he might never be the same player he was a few years ago. In his day Revis was the “elite”, corner the league has apparently been missing. No-one could get past him. It would become a challenge for receivers to try to beat him of which very few managed it. The main problem Revis has is, he could possibly have lost a step through injuries and be remembered for his coming years.
So there are probably more, feel free to let me know your opinion and let me know if you have any players you would add to this list.
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Photo: AP Photo/Steven Senne