Tag:Richard Dent
Posted on: August 9, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:01 pm
 

Hot Routes 8.9.11: Grossman takes the lead

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Posted by Josh Katzowitz
  • What kinds of consequences will Titans DB Cortland Finnegan have to face after missing practice last weekend because he was unhappy about his contract (and then lying to his fans about it)? Sounds like the team management will forgive, but might not forget.
  • Anthony Gonzalez isn’t exactly sure how many NFL players are taking HGH, but he’s pretty sure that those players are out there, lurking in the shadows. Said the Colts WR to the Indianapolis Star: "How many guys are on it, that's hard to say," Gonzalez said. "It could be 10, it could be a hundred or more; either way, it's too much. But around the league, you see guys on Sunday, and things don't add up; they don't look right. I see guys I saw in college, now they're in the NFL and they look totally different."
  • The relationship between newly-minted HOFer Richard Dent and his former coach, Mike Ditka? Yeah, not too good. Ditka didn’t show for last weekend’s induction ceremonies, and Dent didn’t mention Ditka in his speech.
  • Browns DE Marcus Benard bulked up about 25 pounds during the offseason because he thought that would make him more effective. Funny thing about that. The coaches disagree and want him to lose the weight.
  • As a brief aside, we hit the 10,000th follower on our Twitter feed today. Many, many thanks to those who made it possible.
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Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2011 2:59 pm
 

2011 Hall of Fame induction poignant, emotional



Posted by Ryan Wilson



                                                             Ed Sabol | Richard Dent (photos) | Chris Hanburger 
                         Shannon Sharpe (photos) | Marshall Faulk (photos) | Les Richter | Deion Sanders (photos)
                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news




The 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend may have been without an actual NFL game (the Bears and Rams were scheduled to play before the lockout dragged into July and led to its cancellation), but the induction ceremony wasn't without poignant moments, raw emotion, and inspiration.

Seven members were a part of the 2011 class: 

Ed Sabol. Ninety-four years old, Sabol gave his acceptance speech from a wheelchair while sounding every bit as lucid and spry as he appeared in possibly one of the best Hall of Fame introduction videos ever. Sabol's son, Steve, who is battling brain tumors, presented Ed for introduction.

"I've dreamt the impossible dream and I'm living it right now," Sabol said Saturday night. "This honor tonight really goes to NFL Films. I just happen to be accepting all the accolades. … I just want to say one thing: I've been very, very happy to have been your boss for all these years. You're a great bunch of people, dedicated, hard-working and loyal, and the reason I'm sitting up here."

Richard Dent. The former Tennessee State University player was an integral part of the 1985 Chicago Bears defense, one of the best defenses in modern NFL history. And Saturday, he becomes the third member of that unit to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dent, who had to wait seven years for this day, joins Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary.

"I grew up in a town where a man said 'I have a dream.' … As a kid growing up at that time, listening to [Martin Luther King], all I could do was dream," said Dent Saturday night. "… Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be here."

Chris Hanburger. With his North Carolina drawl and dry wit, Hanburger's speech was as much a stand-up set as it was an acceptance speech. And by the end of the night, Deion Sanders called Hanburger, who Sanders hadn't met before the weekend, a friend, saying "I love you, man."

As for his career, Hanburger played all 14 years with the Washington Redskins, and he was the original cerebral NFL linebacker. He was an 18th-round selection in 1965 who ended up a nine-time Pro Bowler, four times a first-team All Pro, and an eight-time first team All Conference selection.

"It's been a tremendous thrill for me," Hanburger said Saturday. "… I've never had a chance to meet members of the Hall of Fame like this. It's a great honor. ... This is one of the greatest moments of my life and I mean that from my heart."

Shannon Sharpe. Twitter was abuzz, even as Sharpe was still on stage, calling his speech (see it here) one of the best in Hall of Fame history, surpassing the impassioned words Michael Irvin just years before.

Sharpe spoke about mostly about his family and their role in his journey.

“Sterling was supposed to be in the Hall first," Shannon said Friday. "I was supposed to introduce him for his speech, for his introduction and then take his bronze bust into the Hall. But now we’re going in together. I’m taking him in with me. … I’ve always wanted to be like him. …

"I'm here today for a lot of reasons," Shannon contineued. "… Some have absolutely nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the kindness and patience of all the people who guided me through my life."

Marshall Faulk. The San Diego State star revolutionized the running back position during his 12-year NFL career. After five seasons in Indianapolis where he never averaged more than 4.1 yards per carry, Faulk teamed up with Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz in St. Louis and became an integral part of the "Greatest Show on Turf." In his first three years with the Rams, Faulk averaged 5.4 yards per carry, in addition to more than 1,600 receiving yards over that time. He ended his career with 12,279 yards rushing, 6,875 yards receiving and 136 touchdowns.

"This is pretty special -- this right here, these guys … I'm glad to be a part of it," Faulk said. "I want to thank God. And I want to thank God because this is football heaven."

Les Richter passed away in June 2010, but his legacy as a hard-hitting, game-defining player remains. At 6-3, 240 pounds, he was one of the most physical linebackers in the league during his nine-year career that began with the the Los Angeles Rams in 1954.

“It always puzzled me why Les was not in the Hall of Fame," said Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who played against Richter in high school, college and the NFL. "He was a great, great player. I don’t know any linebacker in that era who even compares to him.”

Deion Sanders. In the second-most emotional speech of the night, Sanders was funny, poignant and passionate.

Deion is widely considered the best cover cornerback in NFL history and his first-ballot enshrinement is a testament to his effect on the position and the game during a 14-year career.

"I appreciate this game so much," Sanders said Saturday. "...This game taught me so much about people, about focus, about sacrifice."

Sanders also addressed the doubters who said he wasn't much of a tackler during his NFL career.

"Some of my critics say, 'You know, Prime didn't tackle.' I want to respond to that publicly, because that affects me, that bothers me. …Since 1989 I've tackled every bill my mama has every given me. Haven't missed one. The next time they say 'Prime didn't tackle.' Let them know 'Yes he did.'"

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 8:17 pm
 

Richard Dent: 2011 Hall of Fame Class



Posted by Ryan Wilson

"The thing about Richard was he really made himself what he became," said Mike Ditka, the '85 Bears' coach.

"I didn't worry about [this] day coming. I more or less worried about the people who I wanted to thank, make sure they were living. I lost my high school coach who just died a couple years ago. My mother passed in '89, and I think the last guy living here that played a big part of it was Coach Gilliam." - Richard Dent on finally being inducted into the Hall of Fame

"I'm just a skinny kid from Glennville, Georgia, 3,500 people, two traffic lights, going to the Hall of Fame. Trust me, I don't get lost for words very often, but this has got me baffled." - Richard Dent



                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Dent in photos | More Hall of Fame news




Richard Dent was an integral part of the 1985 Chicago Bears defense, one of the best defenses in modern NFL history. And Saturday, he becomes the third member of that unit to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dent, who had to wait seven years for this day, joins Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary.

More via the Associated Press: A four-time Pro Bowl pick and MVP of the Super Bowl during the 1985 championship season, Dent played 15 years and is tied for sixth with John Randle on the NFL's all-time sacks list with 137 1/2. He set a team record with 17 1/2 in 1984, led the NFL with 17 sacks a year later and finished with 10 or more eight times in his career.

"I grew up in a town where a man said 'I have a dream.' … As a kid growing up at that time, listening to [Martin Luther King], all I could do was dream," said Dent Saturday night. "… Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be here."

Dent was a 1983 eighth-round pick of the Bears. Joe Gilliam, Dent's college defensive coordinator, presented him for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction live chat



Posted by Ryan Wilson

There may not be a Hall of Fame game this year but there's still the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. And we're covering it live. So feel free to join us to talk about the inductees, who should've been donning a sweet canary yellow jacket tonight, or just to relive some of your favorite Shannon Sharpe quotes from over the years.



                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news




The fun starts around 6:15 p.m. ET.



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Posted on: August 6, 2011 2:33 pm
 

Photos: Richard Dent, Hall of Fame Class of 2011

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The class of 2011 will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, August 6. Whether it's background on all the members of the Class of 2011, more on Richard Dent, Hall of Fame news in generalor if you want to join us as we follow the induction ceremony live, CBSSports.com and the Eye on Football blog have you covered.


MVP Richard Dent #95 of the Chicago Bears lifts up Defence Coach B. Ryan after winning the Superbowl XX game against the the New England Patriots at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Bears defeated the Patriots 46-10. Credit: Mike Powell, Getty Images.



In this Jan. 26, 1986 file photo, Chicago Bears' Richard Dent (95) sacks New England Patriots' Steve Grogan during the Super Bowl XX football game in New Orleans. The Bears won 46-10 and Dent was named most valuable player of the game. Dent will finally become the third member of that legendary 1985 Chicago Bears defense to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, when he joins fellow “Monsters of the Midway” Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary, an honor that his teammates and coaches say is long overdue. Credit: AP Photo/Lennox McLendon, File.



11 Nov 1990: Defensive lineman Richard Dent of the Chicago Bears sacks Atlanta Falcons quarterback Chris Miller during a game at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears won the game, 30-24. Credit: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images.



Richard Dent waves to the crowd after receiving his gold jacket from Joe Gilliam at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival inductees dinner Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 at the Memorial Civic Center in Canton, OH. Gilliam will be presenting his Dent for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday. Credit: AP Photo/The Repository, Scott Heckel.


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Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:54 am
Edited on: August 6, 2011 12:59 am
 

Is Hall of Fame voting process a bug or feature?



Posted by Ryan Wilson

This is like trying to identify the ugliest Victoria Secret's Angel, but in the spirit of fairness (and on behalf of ugly people everywhere) we feel compelled to mention that of the four modern players to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday -- Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe -- Sharpe is probably the least attractive lingerie model of the bunch, metaphorically speaking.

That's not to say he shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame one day -- he should -- just that it's all relative, in both senses of the word. First, you can make a case, without much effort, that Cris Carter or Curtis Martin would have been just as deserving had they been selected instead of Sharpe. And even Sharpe, speaking the day before his induction, admitted that his brother should've ended up in Canton before he did.

“Sterling was supposed to be in the Hall first,” Sharpe said. “I was supposed to introduce him for his speech, for his introduction and then take his bronze bust into the Hall. But now we’re going in together. I’m taking him in with me. … I’ve always wanted to be like him,” said Shannon.

Part of the issue is the fickle, sometimes secretive nature of the voting process. And barring a sudden change in course away from old-school writers debating the merits of each candidate based on things like "grit" and "gut feelings" in favor of a room filled with eggheads, mountains of data and complex algorithms accounting for variables most of us would've never even considered, it's going to be a messy affair.

If you're willing to accept the premise that it's an imperfect system but one that, in general, eventually gets it right, it makes the whole undertaking much less stressful and slightly more reasonable. (At least for the onlooker. We can't imagine what the nominees must go through, leaving the fate of their professional legacy in the hands of faceless voters.)

As for Sharpe's credentials, they're impeccable. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler, four times a unanimous first-team All Pro, he started for two different Super Bowl-winning organizations, and he retired as the NFL's career leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns by a tight end (records later broken by Tony Gonzalez).

So what's the problem?

It's less a problem than a nuanced distinction that gives us pause, even if momentarily. (Not to mention our previous concerns that there were very little differences among the candidacies of Sharpe, Carter and Martin.) In February, after the 2011 Hall of Fame candidates had been announced but before the finalists had been named, ProFootballReference.com wrote about Sharpe's Hall of Fame chances.

They (like us) thought he deserved to be in Canton, but made an intriguing point: Sharpe was a tight end, but at 6-2, 225 -- and given how he was utilized (and that he wasn't considered much of a blocker) -- he was closer to a wide receiver. PFR.com contrasts Sharpe with a player critics of the HOF voting system would point to whenever they wanted to make their point in just two words: "Art Monk."

The details:

PFR lists Sharpe at 6'2, 225 and Monk at 6'3 and 210. While Sharpe looks a lot bigger, and their careers overlapped, some significant changes occurred in the NFL while these guys were playing. In Monk's breakout season, 1984, the average TE was 6'3 or 6'4 and 236 pounds. Ten years later, the average TE was 6'4 and 254 pounds. So Monk was about 25 pounds lighter than the average TE; Sharpe was a little shorter and about 30 pounds lighter than the typical tight end. In Monk's five 1,000 yard seasons, he averaged 13.8 yards per reception; the league average for yards per reception (YPR) for WRs was 15.2 in those seasons. In Sharpe's four big-yardage years he averaged 13.0 YPR while the average WR averaged 13.7 YPR. Both were dependable, reliable possession receivers and had significantly better hands than the typical tight end. Both were much better blockers than your average WR but worse blockers than the average tight end.

If Sharpe is considered as a WR, he's in trouble. He ranked in the top ten just once in receiving yards, a tenth place finish in 1993. Like Monk, he has three Super Bowl rings, but that won't be enough if people compare him to Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss.

But -- and this distinction can't be overstated -- the PFR.com post makes one final, important point: "We shouldn't just think of these guys as tight ends or wide receivers, but as football players. And unlike in baseball, your contribution to your team can't be measured by what designation they put next to your name on the team roster."

It's that consideration that makes it easier for us to reconcile Sharpe's 2011 enshrinement over other just-as-deserving candidates. Football is the ultimate team sport, and contributions irrespective of position should carry more weight than anything else. It's just that sometimes, voters reach those conclusions separately from those of us on the outside looking in. Monk is the most obvious example. He had to wait eight years to get his due, but it finally came in 2008. 

Three years later, and with nowhere near the controversy, it's Sharpe's turn and he's earned it. Sure, we could just as easily be talking about Carter or Martin here, but history suggests they'll eventually end up in Canton, too. This weekend, Shannon is the Laetitia Casta to Deion, Marshall and Richard's Marissa Miller, Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum. There are worse fates.

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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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Posted on: June 14, 2010 8:15 pm
 

Five Fun, Misc. News Tidbits From Monday

T.J. Houshmandzadeh had a great response when asked whether he thought it was wise for head coach Pete Carroll to have left USC:
"Yeah, of course. Get out when the house is burning.”
By the way, Houshmandzadeh’s comments were made to TMZ.

The Oakland Raiders are making their final OTA session closed to the media, which prevents Tom Cable and Co. from having to answer about the team’s OTA violations.

Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett (of all people) Tweeted this about Vince Young: “Mann I dunno wat 2 say abt VY that was childish & very unprofessional u cant do [expletive] like that when u play qb. He needs better ppl round him." Anyone who remembers Bennett as a rookie on Hard Knocks is smilingly right now. In an testament to the tight end’s own maturity, it should be noted that his Twitter account is “KungFuAstronaut”.

Bears great DE Richard Dent, analyzing the Chicago sports scene, had this to say about the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup title: "I don't think it ranks up there with our championship. People had a swagger when they talked about our championship because they know we would go out and kick ass and take names and come home with a victory. There was no doubt, there was no worry. It was all about taking care of business. If (the Blackhawks) play like that over the next three or four years....then you can start talking about other stuff." (If you feel like harping on Dent for favoring the Bears, read the entire article. He gives some pretty fair and balanced commentary on the entire Chicago sports scene.)

Sports Illustrated sent Peter King to South Africa to cover that lower-scoring brand of football, so Raiders erudite cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha wrote the Monday Morning Quarterback this week. You can view it here. It was well written but full of fluffy advice for rookies on page 1. The most interesting part was Asomugha saying that because he transitioned from safety to cornerback upon entering the NFL, he didn’t start to feel comfortable until his third year. A lot of people forget that he was considered a bust early in his career. Page 2 was more interesting. Asomugha wrote, “I think that Raiders fans and the 49ers fans would not be happy campers if they had to share a stadium together.”


---Andy Benoit

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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