(Ken Riley photo courtesy of the Cincinnati Bengals)
(Ty Law photo courtesy of the New England Patriots)
Talk of Fame Network
There are 23 quarterbacks and 24 wide receivers from the modern era in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Yet there are only 12 pure cornerbacks enshrined in Canton. If there are so few worthy pass defenders, have we over-inflated the quality of passers and catchers in the Hall of Fame?
The answer is no. The solution would be to enshrine more worthy cornerbacks, and there are plenty of them –and most haven’t gotten a sniff thus far from Canton. That’s the subject of this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll – who’s the best cornerback not in the Hall of Fame. Here are your candidates:
Bobby Boyd. An NFL all-decade selection from the 1960. Boyd played only nine seasons with the Baltimore Colts but ranks 13th on the all-time interception list with 57. His Colts won one NFL championship but lost in the Super Bowl that season to the New York Jets. Boyd retired after that game. He has never been a Hall-of-Fame finalist.
(Bobby Boyd photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts)
Pat Fischer. No cornerback in history overcame greater odds than Fischer. He was a 17th-round draft pick in 1961 and tiny for his position at 5-9, 170 pounds. But he went on to play 17 seasons, intercept 56 passes (18th all-time) and go to three Pro Bowls. He spent his first seven years with the St. Louis Cardinals and the last 10 with the Washington Redskins. His best season was 1964 when he intercepted 10 passes and returned two for touchdowns. He has never been a Hall-of-Fame finalist.
(Pat Fischer photo courtesy of the Washington Redskins)
Lester Hayes. An all-decade selection from the 1980s. Hayes led the NFL with 13 interceptions in 1980 with the Oakland Raiders. He played 10 seasons and went to the Pro Bowl in half of them. Hayes intercepted 39 career passes and won two Super Bowls with the Raiders. He has been a four-time Hall-of-Fame finalist.
(Lester Hayes photo courtesy of the Oakland Raiders)
Ty Law. An NFL all-decade selection from the 2000s’ team. Law played 15 seasons and intercepted 53 passes, which ties him at 24th all-time with Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders. He spent his first 10 years with the New England Patriots and won three Super Bowls. He was voted to five Pro Bowls — four with the Patriots and a fifth in his 12th season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He led the NFL with nine interceptions for the Patriots in 1998 and 10 for the New York Jets in 2005. He has never been a Hall-of-Fame finalist.
Ken Riley. One of football’s great mysteries. Riley intercepted 65 passes to rank fifth all-time and second among pure cornerbacks behind Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane — but was never voted to a Pro Bowl in his 15 seasons. He led the AFC with nine interceptions in 1976 and eight in 1983, his final season. He also recovered 18 career fumbles but never won a championship. He has never been a Hall-of-Fame finalist.
Louis Wright. An NFL all-decade selection from the 1970s. Wright played 12 seasons with the Denver Broncos and was a member of the Orange Crush defense that lost in the 1977 Super Bowl to the Dallas Cowboys. He intercepted 26 career passes and played in five Pro Bowls. He has never been a Hall-of-Fame finalist.
(Louis Wright photo courtesy of Eric Bakke/Denver Broncos)