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Tag:Jerome Bettis
Posted on: January 7, 2012 2:00 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 2:01 pm
 

2012 Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hall of Fame (US Presswire)By Josh Katzowitz

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the finalists (15 modern-day players and two senior players) for the 2012 induction class, and among them are Bill Parcells, Jerome Bettis and Cris Carter.

The selection committee, made up of 44 NFL writers from each NFL market, will meet Feb. 4 in Indianapolis to whittle down the list to the inductees. The new Hall of Famers will be announced that day at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Here is the complete list:

Jerome Bettis (RB) 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

Tim Brown (WR/KR) 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jack Butler (CB) 1951-59 Pittsburgh Steelers

Cris Carter (WR) 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins

Dermontti Dawson (C) 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers

Edward DeBartolo, Jr. (Owner) 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers

Chris Doleman (DE, LB) 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers

Kevin Greene (DE, LB) 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers

Charles Haley (LB, DE) 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys

Cortez Kennedy (DT) 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks

Curtis Martin (RB) 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets

Bill Parcells (Coach) 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys

Andre Reed (WR) 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins

Willie Roaf (OT) 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs

Will Shields (G) 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs

Dick Stanfel (G) 1952-55 Detroit Lions, 1956-58 Washington Redskins

Aeneas Williams (CB, S) 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams

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Posted on: August 16, 2011 9:49 pm
 

Why the Titans shouldn't pay Chris Johnson

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Chris Johnson wants to get paid. We don't blame him. It's just that the Titans can't do it. Not because they're cheap, or Johnson is undeserving, but because running backs are fungible. We're not willing to say they're a dime a dozen, but it's close.

Look, there's no disputing that Johnson and Adrian Peterson are the two best running backs in the NFL. But the difference between them and the NFL's 32nd-best back is negligible when compared to the differences between, say, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning and whoever your candidate is for the league's worst starting quarterback. The same holds for wide receivers, left tackles, cornerbacks, safeties -- basically every position but running back.

So why is that?

For starters, the shelf life for a top-flight running back is remarkably short. A study by Doug Drinin of Pro-Football-Reference.com found that RBs usually decline by age 28, WRs by age 30 and QBs by age 32.

In a story published in January 2005 in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Carl Prine explained that the sheer brutality of the position coupled with overuse has also played a role.

"The average career of an NFL back is 2.6 years and falling, according to the National Football League Players' Association. Players, coaches and historians interviewed by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review blamed the mayfly careers of rushers on the … high number of carries they get in an age of free agency," Prine wrote. "Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, teams rarely asked their backs to touch the ball more than 230 times in a season.

"Historically, every time a player gets more than that many touches in a season, his production declines the following year by 50 fewer carries and 1.2 fewer games. Nearly three out of every five of these backs are out of the league within four years."

Then there's the research by FootballOutsiders.com which suggests that rushing success is more dependent on the offensive line, but pass protection is more dependent on the quarterback. Put differently: teams can find productive running backs -- no matter when they were drafted (or if they were drafted at all) or how much they're making -- if a good offensive line is already in place. A great quarterback, however, can mask an o-line's shortcomings.

(See Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, for examples. They play two totally different styles -- Manning relies on his ability to assess defenses and quickly get the ball out of his hands; Roethlisberger takes hits, extends plays and waits for his receivers to come open.)

A great running back, in general, is wasted on a mediocre offensive line.

Chris Johnson's Holdout

So what does this mean for the Titans? General manager Mike Reinfeldt said last week that the organization is willing to make Johnson the league's highest-paid back. Johnson is looking for something more than that. This is certainly his prerogative. After all, he's rushed for more yards since 2008 than anybody in the league.

That also means Johnson logged a lot of carries, too. In three seasons, he's carried the ball 251, 358 and 316 times. Johnson's yards per carry have gone from 4.9 to 5.6 to 4.3 over that time. And whether you believe in the Curse of 370 or not (basically, the theory states that if a RB carries the ball roughly 370 times or more in the regular season he will usually suffer a major injury or drop in productivity the following season), there's no disputing that Johnson wasn't nearly as effective in 2010 as he was in 2009.

It's not altogether surprising that Johnson wasn't able to duplicate his 2009 numbers (2,006 rushing yards, 14 TDs, 503 receiving yards), but he wasn't even close. He finished with 1,364 rushing yards, his yards-per-carry dropped by 1.3 to 4.3, and he had 258 fewer receiving yards.

More than that: even with his jaw-dropping performance in '09, the Titans won eight games and missed the playoffs. In 2010, they won just six times.

We could blame that on the precarious quarterback situation, but that's our point.

Here's what FootballOutsiders.com president and ESPN.com columnist Aaron Schatz told CBSSports.com about Johnson's demands for a substantial pay bump. "When was the last time a team with a big-name, big-money back went to the Super Bowl, or even had the best regular-season record in the league? I suppose the 2009 Vikings came close. Otherwise, do you have to go back to the 2005 Seahawks? The best offenses in the modern NFL simply aren't built around a single running back."

Ah yes, the 2005 Seahawks. Here's what we wrote earlier this summer about Shaun Alexander: 

"The Seahawks re-signed Alexander to an eight-year, $62 million deal in 2006, six years into his career. At the time, it was the largest contract ever signed by a running back. Alexander, who had 370 carries for 1,880 yards (27 TDs) in '05, managed just 896 yards on 252 carries (7 TDs) in '06. He gained 716 yards a year later, and by 2008 he was out of the league." 

Johnson does have supporters, however. CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel wrote last week that paying him is the right thing to do.

And Jerome Bettis, one of the most bruising running backs in the modern era, also thinks the Titans have to pony up for Johnson.

"You've got to have a feature [back] because what happens is that when you have that one guy, he becomes a threat all over the field and the defense has to respond to him a lot differently," Bettis told CBSSports.com last week. "I think that's where the difference comes in in terms of a feature back."

But Bettis thinks Johnson's worth to the Titans transcends what he's able to do on a football field.

"The problem is, if you lose [Johnson], now what do you have? You gotta have two things," Bettis continued. "In the absence of a quality football team, you've got to have a superstar for people to come see. If you don't have the quarterback, you better have the running back. If you don't have a quarterback and you don't have a running back then you don't have fans in the seats.

"You can load your team up with players, but who's going to come watch them? Because the NFL is run by superstars … and when you don't have that therein lies the problem. So [Johnson] is not only worth money ... just necessarily (for what he does) on the field, but off the field as well because you don't have the quarterback to position as your franchise guy."

And this is the dilemma facing the Titans. Do they pay Johnson because of not only what he means to the team but to the surrounding area and fan base? Or does the organization try to put butts in seats by using that large chunk of change to shore up other positions?

This reminds us of something Schatz wrote as part of his "Football Outsiders Basics" series: "By and large, a team built on depth is better than a team built on stars and scrubs. … Every team will suffer injuries; the only question is how many. The game is too fast and the players too strong to build a team based around the idea that 'if we can avoid all injuries this year, we'll win.'"

If you're still not convinced, how about this (from something we wrote earlier this month): "The previous eight Super Bowl winners didn't have a high-priced, top-5 running back on the roster. What they did have, however, was a franchise quarterback. Teams can survive without one but not the other." 

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 1:57 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Hot Routes 7.14.11: Just who is Greg Cosell?



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Andy Benoit, writing for the NY Times, profiles Greg Cosell of NFL Films. You might know Cosell as one of the most knowledgeable (non-coach, non-player) observers in the NFL.
  • Falcons fifth-round draft pick Jacquizz Rodgers is taking classes at Oregon State to finish up his degree, just like he, his mom and his uncle had agreed he would. After all, it’s not like he can study his playbook at this point.
  • According to Forbes, via PFT, the Cowboys are the second-most valuable sports franchise in the world, worth $1.86 billion. The Redskins ($1.55 billion) and the Patriots ($1.37 billion) come in at fourth and sixth, respectively.

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Posted on: February 5, 2011 9:15 pm
 

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Posted by Will Brinson

Invariably, whenever there's a group of people inducted into a professional sports league's Hall of Fame, there's a group of people who got snubbed. And that's the case with the 2011 NFL Hall of Fame class.

That's not to take away from the group of men that got inducted: Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Shannon Sharpe, Ed Sabol, Chris Hanburger and Les Richer comprise a pretty tremendous class.

But there are still some pretty big names who didn't make the cut and probably deserved better. (Quickly: the good news is that next year's Hall class is substantially less qualified than this year, making things easier on nominees.)



[More Super Bowl coverage]

Curtis Martin, RB, NE/NYJ: Martin fell victim to the the positional abundance that Andy mentioned earlier -- he, Jerome Bettis and Marshall Faulk comprise a ridiculous group of running backs for one Hall class, particularly when it comes to first-time nominees.

Martin's the fourth all-time leading rusher in NFL history, ranks 12th in rushing touchdowns, third in total touches, 11th in all-purpose yards, eighth in yards from scrimmage, 19th in total touchdowns, third in rushing attempts, 11th in rushing yards per game, went to five Pro Bowls, was an All-Pro in 2004 and by all accounts is a hell of a nice guy. Maybe even too nice -- it's often believed that Martin's quiet personality cost him some fame as well as cache with non-regional voters. The good news is that he made the cut to the final 10 this year, and appears to be receiving a surprisingly strong groundswell of support from voters.

Willie Roaf, OT, NO/KC: Roaf might have been the biggest snub of the entire year, if only because he didn't make the cut from 15 to 10. It's not like he was an 11-time Pro Bowler, a six-time first-team All Pro, a three-time second-time All Pro and a member of BOTH the 1990's All-Decade Team and the 2000's All-Decade Team or anything. Oh, and that was in only 13 years, so there's that. Look, it's tough to make a cut from 15 to 10 (and even tougher from 10 to five, of course), and it's really difficult to gauge an offensive lineman's value, especially in this class. But it's just kind of tough to find a reason why Roaf wouldn't make it further.

Cris Carter, WR, MIN: You could probably make a case for including all of Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed here. They were all dominant receivers, but that turned out to be problematic, because the three candidates split the vote amongst themselves according to numerous voters.

Carter's rankings are pretty solid though: he ranks fourth in NFL history in receiving touchdowns, third in receptions, eighth in receiving yards, he made eight Pro Bowls and and was a two-time All Pro. But so are Reed's (he ranks 10th in total receptions, 11th in receiving yards and 12th in receiving TDs) and Brown's (fourth in receptions, sixth in receiving TDs, fourth in receiving yards, fifth in punt return yards and fourth in punt return yards). Setting a standard by which we can measure Hall of Fame receivers is only becoming tougher as the NFL becomes more and more tilted towards a passing league. The lack of Hall votes for these guys emphasizes that.

Jerome Bettis, RB, PIT: The Bus also falls into the positional disparity problem, because, well his stats don't lie: fifth all-time in touches, fourth all-time in rushing attempts, fifth all-time in rushing yards, 10th all-time in rushing yards, six Pro Bowls, two All Pro teams and a Super Bowl in his hometown. (Which counts for something, I think.)

But Bettis didn't even make it to the final cut, and that's a shame. Even if he's going to "get in at some point" or if he's "part of a tough RB class," he and Martin are pretty clearly two of the all-time greats when it comes to running backs in NFL history.

They just happened to be entering the Hall of Fame with a guy who was more dominant in Faulk. And even though there's no crime in getting the current class of guys in now, it's still tough to fathom how some of the guys listed above piled up the numbers they did without the recognition.

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Posted on: February 5, 2011 7:38 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 7:46 pm
 

What worked against those who didn't make HOF cut

Posted by Andy Benoit
C. Martin (US Presswire)
Every year the Hall of Fame announcement leaves a handful of elite all-time players on the outside looking in. This was especially true this season. Michael Wilbon of ESPN wrote beforehand that all 15 HOF finalists were worthy of enshrinement. Whether you agree with the extremism of Wilbon’s position or not, we can all agree that this was an especially competitive HOF class.

But the key problem for those who did not get in this year was not the fact that there was a thick crop of very deserving finalists (though that was certainly a factor), the problem was the amount of position overlap.

There were four pass catchers up for consideration, four defensive linemen and three running backs. You have to assume players at the same position were pitted firmly against each other at some point during the voters’ seven-and-a-half-hour debate. The principle of split votes naturally comes into play.

Plus, normally the Hall of Fame debate involves position vs. position discussions. (Example: do we prioritize a wide receiver over a linebacker?) That issue will always be relevant; this year, voters had to first figure out who was representing the position. Say a wide receiver is deemed more important than a linebacker. OK…now, is a second wide receiver who was almost as great as the first wide receiver more important than a linebacker? If that second wide receiver had been compared to that same linebacker, but the first wide receiver had never entered the discussion, the second wide receiver would look a lot better. It’s just simple subconscious behavior.

This issue of position overlap likely worked against Curtis Martin, Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Andre Reed, Cortez Kennedy, Charles Haley and Chris Doleman in the voters’ debates.

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Posted on: February 5, 2011 6:58 pm
 

Report: Bettis misses cut on 2011 Hall induction

Posted by Will Brinson

The 2011 NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony is about to begin and the information related to the inductees has been kept quiet throughout the day. However, a there's a report that Jerome Bettis, the long-time Steeler, will not be part of the induction's class.

That's according to Dan Gigler of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who cites a source who says both Bettis and Dermontti Dawson were not selected.

2011 was Bettis' first year of eligibility; Dawson has been eligible since 2005.

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Posted on: January 9, 2011 12:46 pm
 

NFL Hall of Fame 2011 class finalists announced

Posted by Will Brinson

Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin -- three of the great running backs in NFL history -- were all listed as part of the 17 finalists for the NFL Hall of Fame's 2011 class.

The Hall of Fame announced the list Sunday, via NFL.com, and it includes 15 modern-era players, two senior nominees and five first-timers on the list.

Bettis, Faulk, Martin, Deion Sanders and Willie Roaf were listed as first-time finalists on the Hall of Fame ballot for 2011. It seems unlikely that all three running backs will make it, and Faulk and/or Bettis seem likely to land a spot moreso than Martin, mainly because of team success and off-field behavior.

Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Dermontti Dawson, Richard Dent, Charles Haley, Cortez Kennedy, Andre Reed and Shannon Sharpe made the ballot as nominees who had been listed before.

Chris Hanburger and Les Richter were listed as the senior nominees on the Hall's ballot.

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Posted on: November 28, 2010 12:54 pm
 

Pro Football HOF semifinalists released

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Here’s the list of the 26 official Hall of Fame semifinalists.

Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins

Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers

Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings

Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos Dermontti Dawson, C – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers

Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1979-1997 San Francisco 49ers

Richard Dent, DE – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles

Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers

Marshall Faulk, RB – 1994-98 Indianapolis Colts, 1999-2005 St. Louis Rams

Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers

Ray Guy, P – 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys Lester Hayes, CB – 1977-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

Cortez Kennedy, DT – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks

Curtis Martin, RB – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets Art Modell, Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2003 Baltimore Ravens

Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins

Willie Roaf, T – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs

Ed Sabol, Contributor – 1964-1995 NFL Films

Deion Sanders, CB/KR/PR – 1989-1993 Atlanta Falcons, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-99 Dallas Cowboys, 2000 Washington Redskins, 2004-05 Baltimore Ravens

Shannon Sharpe, TE – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens

Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League

Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams

George Young, Contributor – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League

A couple notes:

- The five first-year eligible players are Bettis, Faulk, Martin, Roaf and Sanders.

- This is the first time DeBartolo and Sabol have made it to the semifinals.

- Usually, there are 25 semifinalists, but there was a tie for the final spot. So, 26 it is.

- The list will be whittled to 15 finalists and will be announced next January.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com