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State Your Case


State Your Case: Why former 49ers K Tommy Davis deserves a HOF look

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State Your Case: Why Jim Covert deserves far greater HOF consideration

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State Your Case: Why Neil Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame

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Tommy Davis built a career when special teams were anything but special. There were no special-teams coaches, no designated deep snappers to deliver him perfect snaps and no coverage aces to chase his punts.

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Lloyd Wells was the first full-time African-American football scout and his arrival created pro football opportunities for players at historic black colleges and universities. He signed eight future All-Pros and four Hall of Famers for the Kansas City Chiefs of the 1960s.

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The NFL should have a modern-era official in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and former director of officiating Art McNally should be the first to be inducted.

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There were 22 position players, both on offense and defense, named to the 1980s NFL all-decade team. All except one have busts in Canton. Jim Covert is the lone omission — and he’s never even been a Hall of Fame semifinalist, much less a finalist.

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Richard Seymour was more than his statistics. He was a Hall-of-Fame performer.

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Harold Jackson had more catches for more yards and more touchdowns than any receiver in the 1970s, yet he’s not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And that is something that demands to be discussed.

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Neil Smith became one of the best pass rushers of the 1990 decade. He collected 95 ½ of his 104 ½ career sacks from 1990-99 and went to six Pro Bowls. He led the NFL with 15 sacks in 1993 and earned first-team All-Pro honors. His teams won 105 games in the decade and went to the playoffs nine times.

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Alan Ameche was an All-Decade runner with five outstanding seasons before injuries forced him to retire. Was he the Terrell Davis of the 1950s?

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Former linebacker Wilber Marshall deserves more than to have his name included on the Hall-of-Fame’s preliminary list for 2018. He deserves to have his case heard.

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In 2000, La’Roi Glover became only the second defensive tackle ever to lead the NFL in sacks with 17. No tackle has led the league in sacks in the 16 seasons since then.

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Miami Dolphins’ All-Decade tackle Richmond Webb blocked his way to the Hall of Fame but they haven’t opened the door for him yet.

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Lee Roy Jordan was the leading tackler on units that led the NFL in run defense five times in seven seasons (1966-72) and led the NFC another time (1971). And that was during an era when football was played on the ground, not in the air.

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Bob Gain was one of the greatest defensive linemen in Cleveland Browns history yet he has been forgotten. Time to remember him, folks.

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Billy Howton wasn’t just a star receiver. He broke Don Hutson’s career league records, holding NFL marks for catches and yards receiving when he retired. So why isn’t he in the Hall?

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John Lynch brought attitude both in coverage and run support. He played 15 seasons and amassed 1,051 tackles, including three 100-tackle seasons. He was voted to nine Pro Bowls. The only safety in history who ever went to more was Hall of Famer Ken Houston with 12.

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