Who is the most deserving senior candidate for the Class of 2019 (Round 2)?


Chuck Howley (54) photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys

NFL players have a 25-year window of eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame as modern-era candidates. There is a five-year waiting period after a player retires before he becomes eligible. Then he has a 20-year window of eligibility.

If that window closes, the player moves into the senior pool – otherwise known as “the abyss.” Many of those in the abyss are worthy Hall of Fame candidates who never advanced to the finals, thus never had their careers discussed and debated by the full 48-member selection committee.

Last week we asked our listeners and readers of the Talk of Fame Network to identify the player most deserving of the one senior committee nomination for the Class of 2019. Linebacker Andy Russell of the Pittsburgh Steelers was the overwhelming winner from the slate of 10 candidates we presented.

But let’s pull back the curtain on the senior committee. There are more than 10 deserving candidates in the senior pool. Far more. So we’re going to offer up a second-slate of 10 senior candidates worthy of Hall of Fame discussion. Frankly, we could offer up a third, fourth and fifth slate of candidates — and we will in the coming weeks.

And therein lies the problem for the senior committee, of which myself and fellow Talk of Fame Network host Ron Borges are members. There are too many deserving candidates but too few slots for worthy candidates who have fallen through the cracks of the selection process.

So if this grouping was the slate of finalists for the one senior spot in the Class of 2019, who would be most deserving of that honor? Here are your options:

Cliff Branch. There are 11 Raiders from the 1970s in the Hall of Fame. The franchise’s Hall of Fame owner Al Davis long believed there should be 12 – Branch. An Olympic-caliber sprinter, Branch set the then NCAA 100-meter dash record in 1972 with a 10.0 clocking and was invited to the Olympic trials. But he elected to pursue a football career instead after being drafted in the fourth round by the Raiders. That speed became his calling card on the football field. He averaged 17.3 yards per catch in his 14-year career, helping the Raiders win three Super Bowls. He deposited 67 of his 501 career catches in the end zone for touchdowns. He went to four Pro Bowls but has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Mike Curtis. Curtis was the best player on a Baltimore defense that allowed the fewest points in an NFL championship season in 1968. That sent him to the first of his four Pro Bowls. He was the best player on the entire team in 1970 when the Colts won their first Super Bowl. That earned him the first of his two team MVP honors from the Colts. He went to the Pro Bowl as both a strongside linebacker and a middle backer, and finished his career with the expansion Seattle Seahawks as a weakside linebacker. Curtis was a team captain of both the Colts and Seahawks. He has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Pat Fischer. Voted one of the 70 greatest Redskins and a member of the franchise’s Ring of Honor. Fischer played 17 seasons and 213 games at cornerback, which was at the record for his position at the time of his retirement. He intercepted 56 career passes, which ranks 18th all-time and ninth among pure corners. That ties him with Lem Barney, a Hall of Famer, and Charles Woodson, a soon-to-be Hall of Famer. Fischer overcame a huge obstacle – his size (5-9, 170 pounds) to go to three Pro Bowls and set an NFL record for cornerbacks with his 16 fumble recoveries. He has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Roman Gabriel. The NFL MVP in 1969. From 1967-1970, Gabriel quarterbacked the Los Angeles Rams to a 41-11-4 record and was voted to three Pro Bowls. He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973 and led the NFL that season with 3,219 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. He was voted the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year that year and was sent to his fourth Pro Bowl. He passed for 29,444 yards and 201 touchdowns in his career and also rushed for 1,304 yards and 30 more scores. Gabriel has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Charlie Hennigan. A wide receiver decades ahead of his time. Hennigan caught 100 yards in passes in 10 of Houston’s 14 games in 1961. That record stood for 34 years before Hall of Famer Michael Irvin posted 11 100-yard games for the Cowboys in 1995 in a 16-game season. Hennigan’s three 200-yard games that season still remain an NFL record 57 years later. His 1,746 yards receiving were another record that stood for 34 years before Hall of Famer Jerry Rice broke it, also in 1995, with 1,848 yards for the 49ers. In 1964, Hennigan caught 101 passes for an AFL-leading 1,584 yards and eight touchdowns. Those 101 receptions remained an NFL record for 20 years before Hall of Famer Art Monk caught 106 for the Washington Redskins in 1984 in a 16-game season. Yet Hennigan has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Chuck Howley. The MVP of Super Bowl V – the only player off a losing team ever so honored. Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry said, “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anybody better at linebacker than Chuck Howley.” His game was as versatile as it was complete. He intercepted six passes as a strongside linebacker in 1968 and five more as a weakside backer in 1971. He also had a career-best 5 ½ sacks in 1969. Howley intercepted two passes in Super Bowl V – one off Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, the other off Earl Morrall – on his way to MVP honors. He chipped in two more takeaways in Super Bowl VI – intercepting a pass by Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese and recovering a fumble by Hall of Fame fullback Larry Csonka – to help the Cowboys win their first championship. Howley went to six Pro Bowls, intercepted 25 career passes and recovered 18 fumbles. But he has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Joe Klecko. A member of the New York Jets’ vaunted “Sack Exchange” in the 1970s, Klecko is the only defensive player in NFL history voted to the Pro Bowl at three different positions – end, tackle and nose tackle. He was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1981 when he led the league in sacks with 20 ½ from his end position. But Klecko ruptured a patella tendon in his right knee in 1982, which led to his move inside to tackle in 1983. Another knee injury in 1987 slowed him down further. Klecko’s jersey number 73 has been retired by the Jets and he has been enshrined in the franchise Ring of Honor. But he’s never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

Bob Kuechenberg. A member of one of the best offensive lines in history. That blocking front powered the run-based Miami Dolphins to a perfect season in 1972 and back-to-back Super Bowl championships. Center Jim Langer has been enshrined in Canton, as has guard Larry Little. Kuechenberg has been an eight-time finalist who now finds himself in the senior pool. Kuechenberg went to six Pro Bowls, including one at left tackle when injuries forced him to change positions in 1978. Keuchenberg also played in Super Bowl VIII with a 10-inch metal rod in his forearm. Said Miami’s Hall of Fame coach Dan Shula: “Bob Kuechenberg did more to help my team win than any player I ever coached.” It should be noted that Shula coached Hall of Fame quarterbacks Johnny Unitas, Bob Griese and Dan Marino.

Jim Marshall. There are two members of Minnesota’s Purple Eaters defense of the 1970s enshrined in Canton, end Carl Eller and tackle Alan Page. Minnesota’s Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant will tell you there should be a third – Marshall. He played more seasons (20) and more games (282) than any defensive lineman in NFL history and recovered more fumbles (29) than any defensive player in NFL history. He also sacked 128 quarterbacks. That’s more than Hall of Famers Derrick Thomas, Charles Haley, Andre Tippett, Fred Dean and Elvin Bethea. He has been a Hall of Fame finalist a single time (2004).

Ken Riley. Is the fifth all-time leading passer enshrined in Canton? Yes (Dan Marino). Is the fifth all-time leading receiver enshrined in Canton? Yes (Marvin Harrison). Is the fifth all-time sacker enshrined in Canton? Yes (Chris Doleman). How about the fifth all-time interceptor? Nope. That’s Riley, who intercepted 65 career passes, all with the Cincinnati Bengals. That also ranks him second among pure cornerbacks behind Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane. Riley led the NFL with nine interceptions in 1976 and again with nine more in his final season in 1983. But he was never selected to a Pro Bowl. He also recovered 18 fumbles and scored five touchdowns. Yet Riley has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.

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45 Comments

  1. bachslunch
    June 27, 2018
    Reply

    From this list, the choice is easy for me: Chuck Howley. But I can get behind Cliff Branch for the HoF as well, and maybe Joe Klecko as well.

    • social media
      June 27, 2018
      Reply

      Mr Gosselin
      In addition to your lists Round 1 and Round 2

      http://www.talkoffamenetwork.com/10496-2/

      Players
      CANNOT NOT WRITE HISTORY OF PRO-FOOTBALL WITHOUT:

      Duke Slater – Trailblazer
      Roman Gabriel – Trailblazer (on 2nd list)
      Jim Plunkett – Trailblazer

      & consider

      Johnny Robinson
      Chuck Howley
      Dave Grayson
      Art Powell
      Jack Tatum
      Cliff Branch
      Lester Hayes
      Jim Marshall
      Bob Kuechenberg
      Mark Bavaro
      Zach Thomas

      to name a few, the person waiting longest should be considered first

      some listed are on your lists here

      • Jim Appell
        June 28, 2018
        Reply

        Pat Fischer was the toughest player in the NFL pound for pound,
        He was a man among giants but had the biggest Heart. Who can forget when he would go up against Carmichael of the Eagles. He was great and his tremendous hits are evident today with his CTE. Many folks don’t know that he was just not a football player but was accomplished in the class room as well. Just a first class guy!
        He is an inspiration to any football player with below average height and weight. Hail to Pat.

        • Anonymous
          July 1, 2018
          Reply

          He got my vote!

        • bachslunch
          July 10, 2018
          Reply

          I’m not sold on Pat Fischer (honors of 3/3/none) for the HoF until Senior eligible CBs like Lemar Parrish (3/8/none), Bobby Boyd (4/2/60s), Dave Grayson (6/6/all AFL), Cornell Green (4/5/none), and Abe Woodson (5/5/none) — and note that all but Boyd and Green were top flight kick returners as well — get in.

          • Robert Ewing
            July 10, 2018

            I concur with Bach on Fischer curious question Bach how do you rank Parrish Grayson Boyd green and Abe Woodson

          • bachslunch
            July 10, 2018

            Tough ordering these five. Probably Parrish, Grayson, Woodson, Boyd, Green. But I could be persuaded differently with a strong enough argument.

    • Robert
      July 3, 2018
      Reply

      I’ll agree with bachs

  2. Bob Thompson
    June 27, 2018
    Reply

    Talk of Fame Network host Clark Judge also weighed in for Robinson.

    There were 22 players voted to the 1960s NFL all-decade team and Robinson is the only one not yet enshrined. Pearson is one of only two members of the 1970s NFL all-decade team not enshrined with Harris being the other. Gradishar is a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Anderson a former NFL MVP and four-time passing champion. Karras and Meador were all-decade selections in the 1960s.

    “All are Hall of Fame worthy, with some more than others, but there is no one I can see who is more worthy than Johnny Robinson,” Judge said. “The guy’s in just about every Hall of Fame … the AFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, the LSU, Missouri and Louisiana Halls of Fame … but he’s not in Canton. The reason? I’m still trying to figure that out. It’s way past time to recognize not just one of the greatest AFL players of all time, but one of the best pro football players ever.”
    June27, 2018
    Talk of Fame Network hosts Borges and Rick Gosselin both serve on the senior committee.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    Johnny Robinson, Safety, Kansas City Chiefs (1960-1972)
    Drafted 1st Round, 3rd Overall Pick in 1960
    7x Pro Bowls / All Star Selections (’63, ’64, ’65, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’70)
    7x First Team All Pro / All AFL Selections (’65, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’70,’71)
    2x Second Team All Pro / All AFL Selections (’63, ’64,) injury years
    9x All Pro /All AFL in 10 seasons as safety. (first 2yrs. played offense)
    3 AFL Championships ’62, ’66 ’69
    Super Bowl IV Championship (played Super Bowl I and IV)
    2x Interceptor of the Year ’66, ’70 (AFL & NFL)
    Most Interception Return Yards Leader ’69
    6 Top Ten Finishes: Interceptions ’65, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’70
    4 Top Ten Finishes: Interception Return Yards ’65, ’66, ’69, ’70
    57 Career Interceptions (3rd on all-time list at retirement)
    Interception Return Yards: 741
    18 career touchdowns
    Pro Football Hall of Fame’s AFL All- Time Team
    Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Combined Team of the Decade 1960s
    Pro Football Hall of Fame’s First All Pro First Team
    6x Hall of Fame Finalist
    All Time Super Bowl Team, Nominee
    Ranked the third most effective pass interceptor of all time (only played 10 yrs defense / first 2 yrs on offense and averaged 5.7 in 10 years)
    The Chiefs had a record of 35-1-1 when Robinson made an interception in the game. A real impact player. He made an interceptions in all three AFL Championships and in Super Bowl IV.
    5x Interception leader of the Chiefs
    His Team never lost a game to the Raiders, Chargers, Oilers, Broncos, Patriots, Jets or Dolphins when Robinson intercepted in a game.
    Kansas City Chiefs All Time Team
    Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame
    Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
    Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
    LSU Sports Hall of Fame
    LSU Team of the Century
    LSU National Championship Football Team

    Since retirement, Johnny Robinson opened a home for troubled youth. He owns and operates the Johnny Robinson’s Boys Home located in Monroe, Louisiana and is there working everyday. His life has been devoted to helping troubled kids. This is in line with the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s credos of public service of giving back to the communities. This is an opportunity for the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame to shine a positive light on itself buy spotlighting yet another example of one of its former star players being an upstanding, solid, contributing citizen, by promoting the cause Robinson cares so much about and one of which the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame seems to care greatly — troubled youth. A Hall of Fame induction, and the attendant publicity that goes with it, is a great opportunity for this. Johnny Robinson has lived a Hall of Fame life!
    Johnny Robinson is every bit as deserving of Hall of Fame induction as any player who has ever achieved that honor. Simply put, Robinson has a gaudy resume and his accolades and play demonstrate that he is truly worthy of induction. He scored the highest with one other player in film play.
    He has received many endorsements for 2019 HOF induction from
    Lance Alworth, Don Maynard, Bobby Bell, Tom Flores, and many other players, coaches, sports media and authors.

    “Simply put, Johnny Robinson is one of the greatest safeties that I ever faced. In fact, I can’t think of any that I’ve seen in the 50 years since that have been better. When we ran cross patterns against Kansas City, I knew that I was going to get hit hard. I had to prepare myself specifically for him, both mentally and physically. Johnny Robinson absolutely deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
    Lance Alworth, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1978 & Member of the AFL All-Time Team

  3. David Carr
    June 27, 2018
    Reply

    Johnny Robinson, Safety, Kansas City Chiefs (1960-1972)
    Johnny Robinson for the Pro Football Hall of Fame
    6x First Team All Pro, 3x Second Team All Pro
    7x Pro Bowls
    57 career interceptions
    18 career touchdowns
    168 games
    3x AFL Championships
    Super Bowl IV Champions (played Super Bowl I & IV)
    Pro Football Hall of Fame AFL All-Time Team
    Pro Football Hall of Fame Combined Team of the Decade 1960s
    Kansas City Chiefs All-Time Team
    Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame
    All-Time Super Bowl Team, Nominee
    Below are recent, 2018, quotes received from players, coaches and sports media endorsing the nomination of Johnny Robinson for the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
    “Simply put, Johnny Robinson is one of the greatest safeties that I ever faced. In fact, I can’t think of any that I’ve seen in the 50 years since that have been better. When we ran cross patterns against Kansas City, I knew that I was going to get hit hard. I had to prepare myself specifically for him, both mentally and physically. Johnny Robinson absolutely deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”—Lance Alworth, San Diego Chargers, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1978 and Member of the AFL All-Time Team
    “Johnny Robinson is one of the best to ever play the game and is long overdue for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a great and honorable player, and I never had to worry about taking a cheap shot from him. It was my honor to play against Johnny Robinson, and I would surely cast my vote for him.”—Don Maynard, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1987 & Member of the AFL All-Time Team
    “Johnny Robinson was one of the best defensive players Kansas City has ever seen. He was a marvel to play football with, and the best teammate you could ever hope to have. Johnny is most deserving of hall of fame recognition!”—Jim Lynch, Kansas City Chiefs
    “I would play with Johnny Robinson any day and put him up against anybody. I put him at the top as a safety. Playing with Johnny was like having a coach on the field. It was great to play with a guy who was such a student of the game. Johnny Robinson should have been put in the hall of fame a long time ago.”—Bobby Bell, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1983 & Member of the AFL All-Time Team
    “He was a remarkable player at his position. A dynamite tackler and superb defender vs. the pass. Was the best at his position in the AFL!”—Ron Wolf, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2015, GM Green Bay Packers, past Raiders, Jets, Buccaneers franchises
    “Johnny brought class and leadership to the free safety position. He was calm and disciplined and always prepared, rarely out of position. Without fanfare, he defined the position.”—Tom Flores, 10-Year AFL Player & Two-Time Super Bowl-Winning Head Coach
    “I’ve got to take my hat off to Johnny Robinson. He, Bobby Bell, Willie Lanier and Buck Buchanan are the ones who stick out in my mind when I think about the Chiefs. Johnny wasn’t as big as those other guys, but he was as sure a tackler as the Chiefs ever had. One of the very best.”—Paul Lowe, San Diego Chargers & Kansas City Chiefs
    “Offense, defense, return teams…Johnny Robinson could do it all and do it well. Carried over his offensive skills catching and running with the ball to defense, an all-time great safety. Tough, fast and determined. What is a hall of fame without him?”—Chris Burford, Kansas City Chiefs
    “Johnny Robinson, as one of the greatest defensive backs in pro football history, deserves a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s not just because of his remarkable interception record, picking off 57 passes in 10 years as a safety, but also his uncanny intelligence as the air-traffic controller on the great Chiefs’ defense of the “60s and early “70s. Blessed with agility, grit, instincts and composure, he was one of the defining players of his era, justly earning his spot on the All-Time AFL team. All that’s left is his much-deserved bust next to his peers in Canton.”—Michael MacCambridge, Author, America’s Game
    “Johnny Robinson was fantastic. There’s no doubt about it. When you watched him against the receivers on your team, and saw the respect they afforded him, you quickly understood how great a player he was.” –Bob Talamini, New York Jets, Houston Oilers, AFL All-Time Second Team
    “Johnny Robinson was the most athletic defensive back in the league. He could also play wide receiver and running back and did at times. He should, without a doubt, be in the hall of fame.”—Tony Banfield, Houston Oilers
    “Johnny Robinson was a fantastic safety and really controlled the great Chiefs defense of the 1960s. In fact, the Kansas City Chiefs would not have been the Kansas City Chiefs without him. I have absolutely no reservations about saying that Johnny Robinson deserves induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. —Clem Daniels, Oakland Raiders, AFL Career Rushing Leader & Member of the AFL All-Time Team
    Past quotes endorsing the nomination of Johnny Robinson for the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
    “Induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a well overdue honor that Johnny Robinson exceedingly deserves. His leadership, physical abilities, character and person contribution to the game of football are very worthy of this honor.
    I have never competed against a more clever free safety during my 16-year career. In addition to leading a World Championship team, he brought the position to a higher standard of play as was apparent by his seven-time Pro Bowl achievement. He is an amazing credit to the game of football from playing a Super Bowl with three broken ribs to being the interception leader five times while with the Kansas City Chiefs. His dedication is clear by being one of only 20 players who was in the American Football League for its entire 10-year existence. The role of a safety was redefined as Johnny gained the respect of his teammates as well as his fans.”—John Hadl, San Diego Chargers
    “Johnny Robinson was as complete a safety as ever played. He was as valuable as Len Dawson, Willie Lanier and Bobby Bell, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame.”—Hank Stram, Texans/Chiefs head coach 1960-1974 and Hall of Fame Class of 2003
    Johnny Robinson was a six-time First Team All-Pro selection, three-time Second Team All-Pro selection and seven Pro Bowls. He is credited by many to have redefined the role of safety in modern professional football. His career was more than spectacular. He was the consummate team player who did whatever it took to help his team win. His statistics do not lie, and his impact on the game of professional football is immeasurable.
    “Johnny Robinson is at the top of my list of the greatest and revered football players of all time. He deserves to be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is an honor that is long overdue.” –Me

  4. Sammy Travis
    June 27, 2018
    Reply

    I just read what Lance Alworth and others had to say about Johnny Robinson. Very impressive. Those endorsements are hard to dismiss. When players from other teams speak about how great you are then its time to take notice. Robinson certainly has all the credentials for a Hall of Fame member. No doubt about it. I checked his stats and he is super. I think the what two of the senior committee voters wrote earlier today sums it up best. He was simply great, perhaps arguably the greatest safety to ever play the game. Its time for Johnny Robinson to take his rightful place among the elite of the game. The Pro Football Hall of Fame would finally get a man who has lived a Hall of Fame life!

  5. Hamilton Porter
    June 27, 2018
    Reply

    After all that I’ve seen and read I have to go with Johnny Robinson for 2019 Senior Candidate. I think many feel that its his time now that Jerry Kramer has been inducted. Robinson is the only player left on the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Combined Team of the Decade 1960s without a bust in Canton now that Kramer is in. He was a superstar during his career. Great man after football too. Established the Johnny Robinson’s Boys Home for troubled youth and is there everyday.

  6. June 28, 2018
    Reply

    Ron McDole 18 year career, 240 games pro bowls, championships if you need more stats I have them! Loved by all!! Pat Fishers best friend and Godfather!

    • bachslunch
      July 10, 2018
      Reply

      Ron McDole’s honors profile is a little skimpy for my taste at 5/2/allAFL. For me, the most deserving DE Seniors would be folks like Gene Brito (4/5/none — and why don’t all the ‘Skins bandwagon boosters around here support him?) and Mark Gastineau (4/5/none) and Earl Faison (4/5/none).

      • bachslunch
        July 10, 2018
        Reply

        And L.C. Greenwood (2/6/70s). Forgot him.

  7. David Harris
    June 28, 2018
    Reply

    There are a number of great names mentioned in these last two polls. Some, not all, are possibly deserving of Hall of Fame recognition, but the Professional Football Hall of Fame was created for honoring the elite of the game. Many have had good careers with great statistics, but to be worthy of the Hall of Fame their play on the field should be one in which their overall level of performance never diminished to be graded as Hall of Fame worthy. It should be a career in which the player dominated their position and was recognized for it by all. A career that stands the test of time.

    I have looked at the list of the last two polls and some names that probably will be on the next polls most likely. When trying to select one player as the Senior Candidate, it seems a monumental task. I made my decision based not only on the player’s ability, intellect, statistics, accolades and awards, but what do other players, coaches, fans, sports writers and other media say about the player. I think a great measure of how a player was thought about during his career is to hear it from the guys that he played against. I have made my decision on which player that I believe best represents a Hall of Fame career and the most logical candidate. It is Johnny Robinson. His play never diminished as time went on. He was one of the very few players whose playing ability stayed at the elite level throughout his career.

    Johnny Robinson has been endorsed recently this year by some of the greatest Hall of Fame players that played during his era. When players, coaches, media and sport writers have provided written endorsements of a player’s skill then that is how you really judge a player’s career. Hall of Fame member Lance Alworth made a video endorsing Robinson for the Hall of Fame. When these individuals state that he was the greatest safety in his day, perhaps the greatest safety that has ever played, then we should all pay attention.

    Johnny Robinson has lived a remarkable life after football too helping underprivileged youth by establishing the Johnny Robinson’s Boys Home where he has lived and worked ever since his football career ended.

    The information below is provided from material already mentioned in this site and from the National Football League, American Football League Reference, Pro Football Hall of Fame and LSU Sports Hall of Fame.
    *Note- Johnny Robinson is the last position player on the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Combined Team of the Decade 1960s that doesn’t have a bust in Canton now that Jerry Kramer has been inducted.
    Johnny Robinson, Safety, Kansas City Chiefs (1960-1972)
    Drafted 1st Round, 3rd Overall Pick in 1960
    7x Pro Bowls / All Star Selections (’63, ’64, ’65, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’70)
    7x First Team All Pro / All AFL Selections (’65, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’70,’71)
    2x Second Team All Pro / All AFL Selections (’63, ’64,) injury years
    9x All Pro /All AFL in 10 seasons as safety. (first 2yrs. played offense)
    3 AFL Championships ’62, ’66 ’69
    Super Bowl IV Championship (played Super Bowl I and IV)
    2x Interceptor of the Year ’66, ’70 (AFL & NFL)
    Most Interception Return Yards Leader ’69
    6 Top Ten Finishes: Interceptions ’65, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’70
    4 Top Ten Finishes: Interception Return Yards ’65, ’66, ’69, ’70
    57 Career Interceptions (3rd on all-time list at retirement playing only 10 years at defense)
    Interception Return Yards: 741
    18 career touchdowns
    Pro Football Hall of Fame’s AFL All- Time Team
    Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Combined Team of the Decade 1960s
    Pro Football Hall of Fame’s First All Pro First Team
    6x Hall of Fame Finalist
    All Time Super Bowl Team, Nominee
    Ranked the third most effective pass interceptor of all time (only played 10 yrs defense / first 2 yrs on offense and averaged 5.7 in 10 years)
    The Chiefs had a record of 35-1-1 when Robinson made an interception in the game. A real impact player. He made an interceptions in all three AFL Championships and in Super Bowl IV.
    5x Interception leader of the Chiefs
    His Team never lost a game to the Raiders, Chargers, Oilers, Broncos, Patriots, Jets or Dolphins when Robinson intercepted in a game.
    Kansas City Chiefs All Time Team
    Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame
    Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
    Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
    LSU Sports Hall of Fame
    LSU Team of the Century
    LSU National Championship Football Team

  8. Rasputin
    June 29, 2018
    Reply

    Looks like some pranksters have broken the poll, so I’ll ask a more pertinent question to you, Rick Gosselin, since you have a direct say in the matter.

    John Turney – “I think Chuck Howley should be in the Hall of Fame.”

    Do you agree or disagree with this statement, or are you undecided at this point? If Howley was somehow nominated would you vote up or down in the end to place him in Canton? I think that’s a fair question.

    • Rick Gosselin
      June 30, 2018
      Reply

      I would agree. Chuck Howley belongs in the Hall of Fame. So do Drew Pearson and Cliff Harris. Every established NFL franchise has 3-4 players it feels has not gotten a fair shake in the selection process. That gives you a slate of about 80 candidates who deserve to have the candidacies discussed. Johnny Robinson, Randy Gradishar, Alex Karras and Ken Anderson all deserve to be in the Hall of Fame in my opinion. And committee gets to make one nomination for the Class of 2019.

      • Rasputin
        June 30, 2018
        Reply

        No, in fact if you check you’ll see that I was the first to comment on that page when it came out. But y’all do countless State Your Case pieces, including for some obscure players who won’t and sometimes shouldn’t get anywhere near the HoF (maybe for historical educational purposes), so simply writing an article like that isn’t a clear endorsement. I’ve never seen you definitely state that you think Howley belongs in Canton until now, so I appreciate you giving that clear answer. Would have been better if you hadn’t immediately diminished his case by saying every team has 3-4 players they feel hasn’t gotten a fair shake, because Howley’s case is objectively overwhelming in a way other guys’ aren’t. It’s not just Cowboys fans pushing him either.

        How about you use that “one nomination” for the Class of 2019 to finally give the 82 year old, still living legend with 5 first team NFL All Pro selections his first ever hearing? Up or down, at least then he would have finally gotten a fair shot.

        • Rick Gosselin
          July 5, 2018
          Reply

          When we write these State Your Cases, we’re saying a player is worthy of discussion by the selection committee. Then let the process play itself out — but at least give him the discussion his career deserves. Maybe he gets in, maybe he doesn’t. Most fans have a one player agenda. A Dallas fan wants Chuck Howley. A Kansas City fan wants Johnny Robinson. A Raiders fan wants Cliff Branch. A Jets fan wants Joe Klecko. A Rams fan wants Eddie Meador. A Steelers fan wants Andy Russell. A Bengals fan wants Ken Anderson. A Lions fan wants Alex Karras. All will argue with conviction that their candidate is the most deserving. All certainly had careers that deserve discussion. We on the committee have about a 60-player agenda. We try to choose the best candidate from the 15 that we discuss as finalists in August. And we understand that no matter who we pick, it will be widely criticized by those with one-player agendas that it was the wrong pick.

          • Rasputin
            July 6, 2018

            “Best candidate”. So you agree that not all these candidates are equally deserving whether they’re pushed by a particular fan base or not. “at least give him the discussion”. Then does that mean the number of times they’ve been a finalist enters into it? How could it not given what you said? Johnny Robinson, for example, has already had 6 chances to be discussed. Chuck Howley, who’s still alive at 82, hasn’t ever had that chance. Shouldn’t someone who combines strong credentials with never having had his case heard have priority over someone who has been a finalist? I’d be satisfied if Chuck Howley just got one chance to have his case heard while he’s still here. Johnny Robinson can have his 7th chance the following year.

  9. Charlie Thomas
    June 29, 2018
    Reply

    It’s time for Johnny Robinson. He is way over due. Considering he only played ten years at safety, he has the most impressive career than anyone. His accomplishments are many and the Pro Fooball Hall of Fame has already picked him as the best of his era by naming him to their AFL All Time Team and PFHOF Combined Team of the Decade for the 1960s. In fact, he is now the only player on that team that has not been inducted now that Kramer went in.

    7x First Team / 2x Second Team All Pros and 7x Pro Bowls.
    It’s Johnny Robinson’s time.

    • robert ewing
      July 6, 2018
      Reply

      i can go along with either robinson or howley tbh honestly id rather see howley like rasputin does btw rasputin i apologize for my gabriel rant against you

      • Rasputin
        July 6, 2018
        Reply

        Apology accepted.

  10. Rasputin
    June 29, 2018
    Reply

    For the record…

    First Team AP NFL All Pro Selections

    CHUCK HOWLEY – 5

    Roman Gabriel – 1
    Pat Fischer – 2
    Charley Hennigan – 0 (3 AFL)
    Mike Curtis – 2
    Cliff Branch -3
    Joe Klecko -2
    Bob Kuechenberg – 1
    Jim Marshall – 0
    Ken Riley – 1

    (and from round 1)

    Andy Russell – 0
    Ken Anderson – 1
    Randy Gradishar – 2
    Cliff Harris – 3
    Drew Pearson – 3
    Winston Hill – 0
    Alex Karras – 3
    Eddie Meador – 2
    Johnny Robinson – 1 (5 AFL)
    Tommy Nobis – 1

    Again, Chuck Howley is the only man to have 5 first team AP NFL All Pro selections in the 20th Century Super Bowl era but not be in the Hall of Fame. The other 9 men with such honors have all been enshrined in Canton. Johnny Robinson is similarly qualified (though AFL and NFL accolades are apples and oranges), but Robinson has been a finalist SIX(!) times. He’s had his case heard. Howley, who’s slightly older than Robinson and everyone else on your list (except Charley Hennigan who’s passed away), has NEVER been a finalist. Despite being voted the very best at his position in the entire NFL for fully half a decade and Super Bowl MVP to boot Howley has never gotten to have his case heard. Why is that?

  11. Rasputin
    June 29, 2018
    Reply

    It also happened to be Chuck Howley’s 82nd birthday yesterday.

  12. Dennis Arrignton
    June 29, 2018
    Reply

    Weak arguments are made by trying to put down other players because you favor someone else. Makes a person seem small. Please just state the case for your player. Anything else and you appear whiny.

    • bachslunch
      July 10, 2018
      Reply

      I think that depends on the argument being used, myself. WRT Jim Marshall, for example, it’s entirely fair to make the argument against him that his honors are a skimpy 0/2/none and he was vulnerable against the run (as was shown in some of the Super Bowls). Heck, I’m not a big fan of Ron McDole’s HoF argument, but I think he’s got a better case than Marshall.

  13. Robert Newsome
    June 29, 2018
    Reply

    Johnny Robinson should be the 2019 Senior Candidate. He has received some amazing endorsements this year from some of the greatest players in pro football history. Glad to see him get attention this year. You know he’s great when coaches and players are giving endorsements because they feel he needs to be inducted .He should have been in 35 years ago. We are talking about pro football history. It’s the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the NFL Hall of Fame. This guy proved himself against some of the greatest of all time and as many have already have stated, he was the best in his time, if not the best safety ever.
    Love what John Facenda of NFL Films called him in a NFL 1970 year in review highlight. “All Everything Johnny Robinson”. That has stuck in my head ever since. Best reflection of what he was thought about during his career days.

  14. Steven Wells
    June 29, 2018
    Reply

    My vote is with Johnny Robinson former safety of the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Johnny Robinson NFL Reference Statistics 1960-1972

    ALL-PRO Teams ( AFL / NFL All Pros are recognized by the NFL as the same, but were voted by different entities for the AFL and the NFL before 1970 when the first combined team was named.)
    Johnny Robinson was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s First All Pro First Team which is recognized as the first official All Pro Team to be named in the modern era (Pro Football Hall of Fame).

    ALL PROs
    Year Tm Level Voters
    1963 2nd Tm All-AFL UPI
    1965 1st Tm All-AFL AFL
    1965 1st Tm All-AFL Associated Press
    1965 2nd Tm All-AFL NY Daily News
    1965 2nd Tm All-AFL UPI
    1966 1st Tm All-AFL UPI
    1966 1st Tm All-AFL NY Daily News
    1966 1st Tm All-AFL Newspaper Ent. Assoc.
    1966 1st Tm All-AFL Associated Press
    1966 1st Tm All-AFL AFL
    1967 2nd Tm All-AFL Sporting News
    1967 1st Tm All-AFL NY Daily News
    1967 1st Tm All-AFL Newspaper Ent. Assoc.
    1967 1st Tm All-AFL UPI
    1967 1st Tm All-AFL Associated Press
    1968 1st Tm All-NFL/AFL Pro Football Weekly
    1968 1st Tm All-AFL UPI
    1968 1st Tm All-AFL Pro Football Weekly
    1968 1st Tm All-AFL NY Daily News
    1968 1st Tm All-AFL Newspaper Ent. Assoc.
    1968 1st Tm All-AFL Associated Press
    1968 1st Tm All-AFL Sporting News
    1969 1st Tm All-AFL UPI
    1969 1st Tm All-AFL Pro Football Weekly
    1969 1st Tm All-AFL NY Daily News
    1969 1st Tm All-AFL Sporting News
    1969 1st Tm All-AFL Hall of Fame
    1969 1st Tm All-AFL Newspaper Ent. Assoc.
    1969 1st Tm All-AFL Associated Press
    1970 1st Tm Associated Press
    1970 1st Tm Pro Football Writers
    1970 1st Tm All-Conf. UPI
    1970 1st Tm Pro Football Weekly
    1970 1st Tm All-Conf. Sporting News
    1970 1st Tm All-Conf. Pro Football Weekly
    1970 1st Tm All-Conf. Associated Press
    1970 1st Tm Newspaper Ent. Assoc.
    1971 1st Tm All-Conf. Sporting News

    Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 6/29/2018.

    7 Pro Bowls
    Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Combined Team of the Decade 1960s
    Pro Football Hall of Fame’s AFL All-Time Team
    Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame
    Kansas City Chiefs All-Time Team
    Chiefs Silver Anniversary Super Bowl Team
    NFL All-Time Super Bowl Team, Nominee
    NFL.com’s 2018 All-Time Kansas City Chiefs Team

    • Rasputin
      June 30, 2018
      Reply

      No, NFL and AFL All Pro selections aren’t “the same”. They were two different leagues in the 1960s so accolades are inherently apples and oranges.

  15. Marcus Grays
    June 29, 2018
    Reply

    Johnny Robinson should be the next senior candidate. He was the greatest safety during his days playing football. He dominated that position in the 1960s and early ’70s. He was a beast and ball hawk who would knock your head off coming across the middle. My gosh all you ever see written about him is that this man belongs in the Hall of Fame. How many decades now has that been written? this is the time for him since Jerry Kramer has gone in. I wish I had teh autographs of that PFHOF Combined All Decade Team of the Sixties. I saw the official picture and its a virtual who’s who of the legends of the game. Now Johnny Robinson is the only one not in the Hall of Fame because Kramer is in. Get him in then proceed to the 1970s players most deserving. Complete that 1960s’ team. Man what a team!
    Johnny Robinson is hands down the best. He showed them how to play that position of safety in two leagues! Recognized as the best safety ever and what a man after football.

    Go Johnny Go !

  16. Anonymous
    June 29, 2018
    Reply

    I think this list is weaker than the prior one. I am definitely not sold on Marshall, Hennigan or Gabriel. Not really high on Fischer, and Curtis is borderline. Why is Ken Riley on this list and not Lemar Parrish, his far more deserving teammate? Klecko and Kuechenberg would be fine additions. Branch is #2 on my list, Howley is at the top by far.

    I just find it mind-boggling that neither Howley or Robinson have yet to have a turn as a senior nominee. Last year would’ve been perfect for Howley – team him up with Kramer on the 50th anniversary of the Ice Bowl. I really hope both of those guys have their chance before they are gone.

  17. John Brennan
    June 30, 2018
    Reply

    Appears perhaps a review of the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame rules about acceptance of all AFL ALL Stars and ALL AFL selections are needed. They are considered the same as AllPros and Pro Bowls. Two different leagues same talent. Better check how many Heisman, All Americans, All Conferences and first round draft choices that the AFL were getting from the start. Just same old typical bias. NFL Films owner Steve Sabol made a special film about the AFL and appeared on ESPN and formally apologized and stated that yes it was a concerted effort to defame the AFL as a weak league because of revenue and competition for fans and tv ratings which boiled down to money. He said the AFL had real stars that proved they were with time. He said they were great and the NFL held no advantage other than been around longer.
    Always someone who can’t appreciate great players regardless and hang on to old bias for the sake of some mean spirited means of promoting their player as superior to others. Just state your case for your guy.
    I’ve always been a Chuck Howley fan and believe he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but not this year. This year the 1960’s All Time Team player deserves his recognition as the final player waiting from the PFHOF Combined Team of the Decade 1960s and that is Johnny Robinson. He’s lived a Hall of Fame life! God bless Johnny Robinson for the work he has done with underprivileged children.

    • Rasputin
      June 30, 2018
      Reply

      What “rules” are you talking about? Those accolades don’t “count” as points to anything. They just are what they are. And if you believe a league that was made up entirely of expansion teams in 1960 was completely on par from top to bottom with the NFL for most or all of that decade then you have absolutely no respect for the NFL whatsoever. Even if the AFL did have equal talent, which it didn’t, the fact remains that they were two separate leagues so the accolades are apples and oranges. They can’t be equated with precision.

      And there’s nothing “mean spirited” about laying out objective facts showing one player was better than the other candidates in a various categories. Comparative analysis is inherently necessary in any discussion involving awards, rankings, or the HoF.

      As for Johnny Robinson, I’ve always supported him for the HoF but not this year. He’s already had 6 chances to have his case heard. Chuck Howley deserves at least one chance.

  18. Michael Johnson
    July 1, 2018
    Reply

    My vote this year is for Johnny Robinson. He was such an awesome player. He was the leader of the Chiefs defense and best safety in 1960s. I still have the poster of him as the NFL Interception Leader of 1970. Probably one of the toughest guys to ever play. He proved that when he played Super Bowl IV with three broken ribs. Don’t know how he could play much less make an interception and fumble recovery in that game.
    I read all of the things he has been appointed or named to and the list is very impressive. Impressive enough for an impressive player. Only thing missing is his bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

  19. William
    July 1, 2018
    Reply

    Johnny Robinson is part of professional football history. He was one of the original men who played at what is considered the beginning of modern professional football. He is a big part of Super Bowl history having played in two of the first four and regarded as a legend of the NFL in any era.
    Finish out the HOF Combined Team of the Decade for the Sixties and put Robinson in Canton.

  20. Sedric
    July 1, 2018
    Reply

    I watched the recent video that Lance Alworth made endorsing Johnny Robinson for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When a player the caliber and career such as Lance Alworth states that Johnny Robinson was the best he ever faced then I got to go with someone who knows just how great Robinson was during his era. I read the numerous endorsements that Johnny Robinson has received and I think the 2019 Senior Candidate should be Johnny Robinson and he should be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s time!

  21. Will
    July 2, 2018
    Reply

    Johnny Robinson should get the Senior Candidate for 2019. He is part of Super Bowl history. He played in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IV. He played Super Bowl IV with three broken ribs and helped lead the Chiefs to a victory by making an interception and a fumble recovery. And as far as AFL vs NFL, Johnny Robinson was AFL Interceptor of the Year in 1966 and NFL Interceptor of the Year in 1970. He is the only player to ever lead two different leagues in interceptions proving what a tremendous safety he was. The players of both leagues acknowledge that. I watched the ESPN Super Bowl I show and they interviewed Davis and Kramer from the Packers who are both Hall of Fame members. What I remember was when they were describing the Chiefs both said they were a great team and that they didn’t know just how great Johnny Robinson was until then. Kramer said that Robinson was really great. I don’t think anybody who played during those days would argue against Robinson for induction. I’ve read a lot of recent endorsements of Johnny Robinson from other players and coaches and media who all say that he belongs in the Hall of Fame now. In fact all have said that he belonged a long time ago.
    I have to go with Johnny Robinson for 2019 Senior Candidate and I would go for Howley as the 2020 candidate. He definately belongs, but not this time. Finish the HOF Combined Team of the Decade of the 1960s first. Johnny Robinson is the only position player on that team not inducted now that Jerry Kramer went in.
    Kansas City Chiefs legendary safety Johnny Robinson gets my vote.

  22. Greg
    July 2, 2018
    Reply

    Johnny Robinson for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2019 Senior Candidate. He deserves to be inducted this time. Let’s get it over with then move on. He’s been waiting for decades. He should have been the first safety inducted into the Hall of Fame. Time for him to be enshrined!
    If the Hall of Fame is for the elite then lets put one in. Anybody that watched him knows how great he was. All of us that weren’t Chiefs fans saw how many times he ruined our chances to win. We all wished that he played for us instead of the Chiefs. He was truly just one of those rare guys that if you were lucky enough you got to see play and you knew that you were watching simply the best at his position than anyone else ever. I think he is an all time elite player in pro football in any decade.

  23. Winston Smith
    July 3, 2018
    Reply

    Rick, all of these guys deserve to be in, and more. The question isn’t which one, but whether the rules should be changed to induct more seniors candidates per year, much like they’ve done with the contributor class.

    Why should we accept that this is the way it has to be, when it DOESN’T have to be that way? Every time I read a known contributor talk about the backlog, he/she says that it’s a shame. Well, if you, the voters, can’t change the rules, who can? And why don’t you/they?

    There are a few reforms that should be made to the voting process that might alleviate this problem:

    1. The 5-year wait for recent retirees should be increased to 10 years. Not only does that shrink the logjam by opening the door to older candidates, it allows the committee to consider a player’s career over a longer sweep of history that might put that player in better context in relation to other HoF members. It’s rather sad to see a posthumous induction for a guy who had to wait 20, 30, 40 years (or more) to get in. It’s worse that some of these players to never get in at all. Adding an additional 5-year wait to a player who might end up being in his mid-40s before he’s inducted is almost always harmless to that player’s chances of still being alive on the day he’s inducted.

    2. There should be a fan element in the nominating and voting processes, along the lines of Pro Bowl voting, where fan votes count for a certain percentage of the final tally. It need not be 50%, but it should have some weight in affecting the outcome.

    3. As mentioned above, the yearly cap on seniors candidates should be raised, at least until the backlog is reduced. Adding an additional senior player per year will not seriously lengthen the inductions, and even if it would it’s possible the NFL could trim some of the bloat in the program anyway (perhaps by limiting speeches to 20 minutes or less).

    There’s a way to fix this broken process if the voting members really apply some thought and imagination, and refuse to accept that this is the way it has to be because it’s the way it has always been.

    I will leave you with one question that has been bothering me for several years now: when is the voting committee going to show the wisdom, class, and respect to induct Steve Sabol into the Hall? As a contributor, he can be (and could’ve been) inducted without a 5-year wait. It’s a disgrace that he wasn’t inducted upon first news of his illness (how nice it would’ve been to see him go in at the same time as his father), but to leave him languishing nearly 6 years after his death is appalling. His contributions to the popularity and success of the NFL are virtually immeasurable, and it seems to be the height of ingratitude and disrespect that the voting committee has not yet seen fit to right that wrong.

    I will be most interested in your thoughts on these points. And, by all means, please continue to advocate for Chuck Howley and all of these well-deserving men who have been overlooked for far too long.

    • Rick Gosselin
      July 4, 2018
      Reply

      You’re preaching to the choir. One senior nominee per year is not enough. Two are not enough. Too many worthy and deserving candidates have slipped through the cracks and landed in the abyss of the senior pool. As a member of the senior committee, I have a working list of 100 senior candidates in front of me who deserve consideration for Canton. Fifty-three of the names on that list were all-decade performers and 31 of them have never been discussed as finalists. If you are considered one of the best players of your generation and receive that all-decade acclaim, you deserve to have your career discussed in context with the greatest players of all time. Jim Tyrer, Maxie Baughan and Walt Sweeney went to nine Pro Bowls apiece. Ed Budde, Winston Hill and Lemar Parrish went to eight Pro Bowls apiece. Johnny Robinson, Andy Russell, Randy Gradishar and Jay Hilgenberg all went to seven Pro Bowls apiece. None are enshrined in Canton. If a player goes to 7-8-9 Pro Bowls in his career, he has a career certainly worthy of HOF discussion. Robinson, Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris and Jim Covert all were first-team all-decade players. None are enshrined in Canton. Jerry Kramer was voted the best guard in the NFL’s first half century by the HOF selection committee yet it took him 45 years to get in. The Hall could give the senior committee five nominees per year and it still wouldn’t put much of a dent in a list of deserving candidates that grows by the year. Sabol has been discussed by the contributor committee. He remains in the mix. We on the committee have expressed our concerns about the abyss to the HOF.

  24. July 6, 2018
    Reply

    What about Roy Jefferson?

    • bachslunch
      July 10, 2018
      Reply

      Not if WRs like Billy Howton, Harold Jackson, Billy Wilson, Del Shofner, Mac Speedie, Cliff Branch, Drew Pearson, and Harold Carmichael aren’t enshrined first. All have far better HoF arguments.

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