Podcast: Five offensive linemen battle for a Hall of Fame place

Joe Jacoby photo curtesy of Washington Redskins

Offensive linemen tend to do their best work in a crowd. Fittingly then, Saturday five Hall of Fame worthy linemen will form the most crowded field of Hall of Fame nominees when the new class of inductees are voted on the day before Super Bowl LII.

Tony Boselli, Joe Jacoby, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson and Kevin Mawae will be vying with 10 other modern era candidates for an optimum of five slots but in many ways they will be in a battle with each other. So which is most likely to emerge? Our Talk of Fame Network hosts Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge have a combined 40 years as Hall of Fame voters. They understand how the process works and how the debate may go.

In today’s Talk of Fame Network podcast our Hall of Fame guys debate the credentials of each but first discuss a larger issue. Will the five of them cancel each other out? Will the vote be so splintered that none will be able to reach the final cut down or will several of them reach the final five?

Many consider left tackle the cornerstone of every offensive line because they protect the quarterback’s blindside. Two of the five, Boselli and Jacoby, played that position so well they were All-Decade selections. But each is facing a difficult circumstances.

Boselli had an injury-shortened career that many felt would preclude him ever becoming a Hall of Famer but with the election a year ago of Terrell Davis, whose career was also injury plagued, the door was opened. But will it let an offensive linemen in?

As for Jacoby, he is in the final year of eligibility. Will that lead voters to lean toward him?

And what of the others, guards Faneca and Hutchinson and center Mawae? Who do our three experts feel is the most deserving? And which is the most likely?

To hear it all download our free daily podcast at iTunes or Vokelnow.com by clicking on the links below:

iTunes Link:


VOKAL link:



Previous Ray Lewis: Here's why I think I'm the best middle linebacker ever
Next Why Hall finalist Kevin Mawae lets resume "speak for itself"

1 Comment

  1. Justin
    January 30, 2018

    I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make my pitch for Jacoby, so here it is.

    First, and foremost, Joe Jacoby was the best player on the best o line in NFL history. I know the 70s Raiders had more hall of famers, but the Hogs won more championships and consistently but up better numbers than any other OL. In 1991, the last great Redskins team (and one of the best NFL teams ever), the Redskins gave up 9 sacks for the season (I believe including the playoffs). That is less than half a sack a game. And that team played Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, Clyde Simmons, Jerome Brown, Leonard Marshall, and Ken Harvey twice! As well as Richard Dent, Steve McMicheal, Michael Dean Perry, Sean Jones, William Fuller, Greg Lloyd, and of course, Bruce Smith in the Super Bowl. All of those players, with the exception of Bruce Smith who was injured most of the year, average more than half a sack a game by themselves. That means, the Redskins played at least 18 games against players that had as many sacks individually as the Redskins gave up as a team!

    Grimm got into the HOF fame first because he retired first. Both were great, but even Charlie Casserly recently admitted that if he could only have one, he would pick Jacoby because he played the more valuable position. Jacoby started at left tackle as an undrafted rookie. He was repeatedly an all pro and pro bowler. Yes, it would be nice if he had went to more pro bowls, but if he played today, he would have easily made 6-8 based on the fact he was a pro bowler by his third season and stayed a pro bowler for the next three seasons. After that, he would have been voted in on reputation as happens today. However, that is not to say that his play diminished much. He was hurt more often after his seventh season, but his biggest obstacle to more pro bowls was actually the fact that so many of his fellow Hogs made the pro bowl at one time or another: Grimm, Lachey, May, Bostic, and Schlereth all made the pro bowl while playing along side Jacoby. There was only so many Redskins OL that could get voted in each year.

    The winning speaks for itself. The Redskins did have one of the greatest coaches in history, but it never had a HOF caliber QB while Jacoby played. Yet, the team still won three Super Bowls and went to a fourth. And let’s not forget that Jacoby played without John Riggins for well over half his career, including two Super Bowl winning teams. Therefore, without either a HOF QB or RB, the Redskins won two Super Bowls. The OL was a HUGE part, if not the biggest part, of the franchise’s success.

    Finally, Jacoby was the first of a new breed of left tackle. Yes, Anthony Munoz is the gold standard for left tackles, but he would actually have a very hard time playing today at his 278 pound playing weight. By comparison, Joe Jacoby was 305, which is a much more common weight today. Before Jacoby, offensive tackles were much lighter players. After Jacoby, the position changed. It wasn’t just that Jacoby was big, but that he was still cat quick. He pulled just like Forrest Gregg did at 250, but hit with the load of 300+ pounds. When he passed blocked, the rushers couldn’t even see the QB. Several of his defensive contemporaries have described Jacoby as the best left tackle they played. It is no mistake that the golden era of left tackles came immediately after Jacoby. Walter Jones, Orlando Pace, Jonathan Ogden, Willie Roaf, etc. were all playing left tackle (probably instead of defensive line) because of Joe Jacoby. There is a reason that both the Blindside movie and book start with a discussion of Joe Jacoby and his absence from Joe Theismann’s last game.

    While I have no allusions that guys like Munoz, Gregg, and Shell were rendered obsolete by Jacoby. They could still play today, but they would be differently shaped and be asked to do different things. That is simply the reality of Joe Jacoby’s impact on the game of professional football. For that reason, not to mention his individual and team dominance, Joe Jacoby belongs in the hall of fame.

    There are already enough senior OL candidates that deserve induction (for example, George Kunz). I hope that Jacoby avoids that abyss and gets elected this year. Coming out of the senior pool is a very difficult task for any player.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.