Why Hall-of-Fame semifinalist belongs in Canton … hopefully, sooner rather than later.

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Jason Hanson played 21 seasons with one team, an NFL record. Only four players in NFL history played more games than the 327 of Hanson and only three scored more points than his 2,150. His 52 career field goals of 50 yards or more are another NFL record.

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Rodney Harrison was the first player to make 30 interceptions and 30 sacks. He played in Pro Bowls and Super Bowls. He made two different 50th anniversary NFL teams. So why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame?

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Joe Fortunato is one of 14 defensive players named to the NFL’s 1950 All-Decade team and the only one not in the Hall of Fame. Who knows why?

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Former NFL offensive line coach Howard Mudd was a stickler for technique. He not only wanted defenders blocked, he wanted them blocked the right way. That led to some sticky moments on the practice field, in the meeting rooms and on game-day sidelines.

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Willie McGinest’s unselfishness made him a three-time Super Bowl champion and the holder of playoff record for sacks. But will a team-first attitude hurt his Hall-of-Fame chances?

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Nick Lowery was the most accurate kicker of his era, yet he has never been discussed as a Hall of Fame finalist … and that is wrong.

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On the field, Gilchrist was a freak of nature – a 6-1, 251-pound package of power and speed who was bigger than the defensive linemen and linebackers of his day.

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Bo Jackson could have been a pro football Hall of Famer but was he really a unique hybrid version of one?

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The Atlanta Falcons drafted Fralic with the second overall pick of the 1985 NFL draft. Only one offensive tackle in the history of the draft had gone higher – Hall of Famer Ron Yary, who went first overall to the Minnesota Vikings in 1968.

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Few coaches in NFL history have played the hand they’ve been dealt as masterfully as Marty Schottenheimer. He coached for 21 seasons and won 200 games. He suffered only two losing seasons in his career, taking 13 teams to the playoffs and winning division championships with eight of them.

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Brian Urlacher is one of the greatest middle linebackers in Bears’ history. Will that be enough to join ex-Bears Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary as first ballot Hall of Famers?

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Why former Buffalo guard Ruben Brown deserves more than he’s gotten from Hall-of-Fame voters, which isn’t much.

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Legend has it that Jackson’s football field at L.B. Landry High School in New Orleans abutted a fireman’s graveyard. Thus, the nickname “Tombstone” for a defender who laid out opposing ball carriers with his tackles, be they quarterbacks or running backs.

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