On Saturday night, some deserving former football players will be immortalized when they receive word that they have been chosen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2015. FanBuzz caught up with hall of famer Chris Doleman to get his picks for this year’s class.
The class of 2012 HOFer thinks Kevin Greene, Tim Brown, Will Shields, Junior Seau will all be enshrined this year. He also thinks Mick Tingelhoff will be voted in by the hall of fame seniors committee. He thinks RB Jerome Bettis has an outside chance to get in and considers him a ‘dark horse.’
Most notably left off of his list are quarterback Kurt Warner, wide receiver Marvin Harrison and offensive tackle Orlando Pace. When it comes to Warner’s case for the hall, Doleman feels very strongly about him.
“Kurt [Warner] doesn’t have the numbers,” Doleman told FanBuzz on Friday. “Sure, his story is intriguing, but that doesn’t mean he gets in the hall of fame. I understand he led the Rams to multiple Super Bowls, but why don’t we just put everyone on that team, who have the credentials, in? He also had the luxury of playing with stars like Torry Holt, Issac Bruce and Marshall Faulk. Did those players make him great?”
Warner finished his career with 32,344 yards, 208 touchdowns and was a two-time MVP. There are only seven guys to win multiple MVP awards (Manning, Brown, Unitas, Favre, Montana, Young, Warner, Brady), all of those guys are or will be enshrined one day. So for Doleman to say Warner isn’t going to get in is surprising.
Warner’s teammate, offensive tackle Orlando Pace, is eligible for the hall of fame for the first time and has gotten loads of consideration for being a first-ballot hall of famer. But Doleman doesn’t understand why he is getting the praise.
“Orlando [Pace] isn’t first-ballot material,” he said. “There’s nothing special about his stats. I went up against him early in his career and I had success against him. But then again, there was no way I was letting some young kid dominate against me.”
Pace was a key part for hall of fame running back Marshall Faulk’s success and allowed Kurt Warner to thrive in St. Louis’ offense. He was a five-time All-Pro selection, and Doleman thinks that stat is more important than Super Bowl rings.
Another player that misses the cut for Doleman is Indianapolis WR Marvin Harrison. While he does think he’ll get in one day, he doesn’t think Harrison is worthy enough to get in on the first-ballot.
“Marvin [Harrison] isn’t better than Jerry Rice. Getting in on the first ballot means you’re an all-time leader.”
Harrison holds the single-season record with 143 receptions in 2012. He is also a member of the 2000s All-Decade team. Harrison is in the top-10 of the major receiving stat categories (receptions, yards and touchdowns).
But as all of these guys wait to get the news that they’ve been selected, Doleman’s advice is simple.
“Manage your expectations,” he said. “You guys are already part of the best of the best that’s ever played. Enjoy the moment you’re in.”
The class of 2015 will be unveiled Saturday night.