Sunday, February 3, 2008

Colts in Canton?

Since the Hall of Fame committee decided who would get in (congrats to Art Monk, Darrell Green, Andre Tippett, Fred Dean, Emmitt Thomas, and Gary Zimmerman), it brought up discussion of who will get in later on in the future. The Colts are one of the most talented teams in the league, and it looks like they will have many future Hall of Famers. Eric Dickerson is the only Indianapolis Colt in the Hall of Fame, but he will be joined by many. Who will it be? Well, let's just see what my elaborate star system says.

Here's the system. Six stars are locks. If they retired today, they would be in for sure. Five stars are a few improvements in a statistical categories, but they will definitely get in barring injuries or trouble with the law. Four stars have had a great career, but need to have very solid years for the rest of his career. Three stars have to step it up and become Pro Bowlers for the majority of the rest of his career. After I rank the veterans, I will do the rankings for the young players. I will just use "In" and "On the Bubble" to measure their chances.

****** (6): Peyton Manning, Adam Vinatieri, Marvin Harrison, Tony Dungy- Peyton Manning has played 10 years. He is averaging more than 4000 yards and 30 touchdowns a season. If he plays eight more years as he intends, he will definitely break every notable passing record. He's a lock even if he retires today. Adam Vinatieri has won 2 Super Bowls on his feet. He is the most clutch kicker in NFL history, and he has been a starter on 5 Super Bowl teams, an amazing stat. He'll get in without a doubt.

Marvin Harrison may end his career coming close or breaking some of Jerry Rice's records. He's been very consistent over his long career, and he hasn't had many injuries until this past year. If his knee can recover, he will add onto his illustrious career. Dungy is the best regular season coach of the 21st century. He has led the Colts to 6 straight playoff births and 5 straight AFC South titles and 12 win seasons. Dungy added a Super Bowl ring to his resume, assuring him of being a Hall of Famer. Being the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl didn't hurt either.

***** (5): Dwight Freeney & Reggie Wayne: Freeney and Wayne are two draft picks that make Bill Polian a genius. Many of the Colts starters have been drafted on the second day or even signed as an undrafted rookie, but these two first-rounders have lived up to their pick. Freeney gets consistent pressure on the QB, and he normally hurries the QB into bad throws. Reggie Wayne came on strong when Marvin Harrison got hurt, and he only needs three or four more good years (1000 yards & 8 touchdowns) to become a lock.

**** (4): Bob Sanders, Jeff Saturday, Dallas Clark: Bob Sanders is the superstar, Clark is the X-factor on offense, and Jeff Saturday is the superstar offensive lineman. Sanders has had injury problems, but it is hard to deny that he does the most with less. He is under 6 feet, I tower over him, but he could kill me with one spear tackle. He won the Defensive Player of the Year last year, and if he can stay healthy, there's a good shot he can win it again. Jeff Saturday has made the All-Pro team 3 straight years, and he anchors the line. Dallas Clark had 11 touchdown catches this year, and when he doesn't drop balls, he is making big plays.

*** (3): Gary Brackett, Robert Mathis, Anthony McFarland: Gary Brackett is the leader of the defense, and he has had 3 good years, but he needs to be a Pro Bowler and have 110 tackles and 2 interceptions for the rest of his career. Mathis is very good, but he has been living in the shadow of Dwight Freeney and does not get much recognition. Booger McFarland's injury hurt his chances, but he has been a solid lineman and has been on 2 Super Bowl-winning teams.

Since the young players have not played enough to be considered, I will base it on the pace they have started at. These players have 2 or 3 years experience.

In: Joseph Addai & Antoine Bethea-Addai has 2842 yards from scrimmage and 23 total touchdowns. He is definitely on a good pace. Bethea will play in his first Pro Bowl this year, and he is a great ball-hawking safety. He's compiled 5 interceptions and 12 batted balls over his two years.

Bubble: Marlin Jackson & Kelvin Hayden-It's hard to separate the two. They both play the same style and have the same role in the defense. If one gets in, the other will. Right now, they will need to improve to become Pro Bowlers, but they have been very good, especially in big games.

I may have overshot some of these, but it is very easy to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hopefully I can come back to this in 15 years and see that all of these guys are in the Hall of Fame. Probably not, but a man can dream can't he?

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