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Handful of Dolphins among nominees for HOF

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its list of 126 nominees to be inducted into the venerable institution. A handful of Dolphins pepper that list and that is an accomplishment in of itself.

Linebacker Zach Thomas, cornerback Sam Madison, cornerback and cornerback Patrick Surtain are included in this year's  list of first-year eligible nominees. It's a strong group that includes Seattle tackle Walter Jones, linebacker Derrick Brooks, Mike Holmgren and Tony Dungy.

Receiver Mark Clayton is also among the nominees as are cornerback/safety Troy Vincent and former Dolphins defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger and former Miami and Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson.

I'm not sure any of these men will make it this year.

The process is a difficult one and ultimately no more than seven men will go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. This current list of 126 will be reduced to 25 and then 15. That list will be announced in January.

Go luck, gentlemen.


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1st, really?

Clayton and Duper should've been considered years ago.

Go luck?

I vote for Zach.

Madison and Surtain were great, but I don't know HOF worthy.

Walter Jones is a shoe in. So is D.Brooks.

Holmgren? Not this year.

T.Dungy? Yes. Even though statistically shouldn't be enshrined. But he is a sympathetic figure so he will get most the votes.

So I see 4 Sure Fire HOFers. Zach, W.Jones, D.Brooks, Dungy.

The NFL will vote 3 others in. But those are more debatable. Maybe T.Vincent and JJ. And maybe Holmgren. Even though I don't think he was that spectacular. But if Parcells is in the HOF why can't Holmgren join.

I am sure glad you mentioned Bill Arnsparger, as you know he was a tremendous teacher. Also Bobby Beathard is on the list. If any personnel guru deserved enshrinement it is someone like him, also George Young.

Madison and Surtain can be in the Dolphin HOF, Along Clayton and Duper.

Evidently Jim Irsay is concerned about Luck staying healthy against us.
Maybe we are better than I've been givng us credit for.

Clayton and Duper are NOT HOFers and this is from a diehard Dolfan since 1974. Sorry guys. Not sure Thomas is either, not before Walter Jones, Tim Brown and Andre Reed who should already be in to be perfectly honest.

Thomas is in the Top 5 all time in tackles made. The guy was the 2nd best MLB of his generation. He is a shoe in, In my book.

Off this list FSU's Walter Jones is a 1st ballot slam dunk and really that's it. Zach given he played in the Lewis ERA coming off a Ravens SB with talk about the G.O.A.T. at MLB's eventual induction could hurt his cause. I believe after Jones the 2nd surest bet (in my mind) is probably Tony Dungy as a SB winning Coach but more importantly for his place in a racial divide that was the NFL's dirtiest little secret all the way up to the end of the 80's.

As a Coach he took over a JOKE of a FRANCHISE in Tampa and turned them into a perennial contender, not some one Yr. Cinderella but a BONA FIDE winner! Was fired and suffered BITTERSWEET 02 Season watching Gruden and Brad Johnson take his team all the way which could have sent him back to the ranks of the Coordinator/Assistants but stayed the course and got himself another shot and was the 1st African American Coach to hoist a Lombardi trophy and was responsible for building the Tampa D that won their's along with the Indy team Caldwell took.

I understand some younger fans might take acception to the mention of race but need to understand the Good Ole Boy network the League was with regard to Black Coaches and QB's. He was really the 2nd one behind Art Shell who wasn't great but steady and had Dungy failed his detractors and he had POWERFUL ones would have looked to maybe kill the momentum that led to the Rooney rule given it would have taken the spotlight off it.

I think privately Dungy saw this as part of his mission given he was a teammate of Joe Gilliam who many might not know but was the African American QB of the Pittsburgh Steelers whom many believe was better than Bradshaw and should have been the QB of their dynasty but was denied by racism. The Dungy nomination brings alot more in terms of influencing the League than some know!

Agree Dashi regarding Thomas. When broadcasts (network) spend a LOT of time talking positively about a guy, you have to take that into account. And opposing teams had to take Zach into account. Until his last year with the Fins, no LB did more things really well, and some things to HOF standards.
Dungy is obviously a special person and a solid coach, but if you're going to put him in and leave a true INNOVATOR Don Coryell OUT? Sacrilege!

If Dungy is elected, will anyone step up and say it was a POPULARITY contest?
BTW, Walter Jones is not qualified to carry Kooch's jock.


fin4life, yours is an eloquent presentation, and true in all aspects.
However (there's THAT word...LOL),
From a standpoint of impact on the GAME itself, Dungy is not as qualified as Coryell.
BTW, I have no horse in that race.

My caveat to Dungy is that racism is still alive and well in the NFL, on BOTH sides.
Watch some teams as they leave the field after a game, win or lose. All too often (sadly) blacks group to blacks, the whites to whites.

Only maybe 3-4 years ago, Johnson, the big fullback for the Chiefs commented Bryant Gumbel that black players will "play harder" for a black coach.

I'd love to see a guy like Dungy as commissioner as opposed to Goodell. He is respected on both sides of the racial divide.
Imagine his HOF credentials then!


Agreed. Dungy is a sympathetic figure. And everyone wants to act like that is not the reason he will be voted in.

Just cause you are the first at something doesn't mean you are the best at it.

Now if they Vote him in as a Humanitarian or as some sort of ambassador of the game. I am all for it. But don't say that Dungy deserves the HOF on Coaching alone.

Air Coryell should've been n the HOF years ago. The guy is as responsible for the way the game is played today than any Coach in History.

I only see 2 coaches from the 70s that can probably still coach today's game if they were young enough. Shula and Coryell. And more Coryell than Shula. But even Shula knew the game evolves.

Does anybody honestly thinks Lombardi will be as good in the modern game? With those 3 Back formations. And running sweeps all day. He will get crushed when they open it up on him.

Zach should be voted in just off of being the only player to successfully run a 4-1. Name 1 good OLB Z.Thomas played with. J.Taylor has always been a DE. Even as a OLB all JT did was Rush the Passer.

If Dungy is elected, will anyone step up and say it was a POPULARITY contest?
BTW, Walter Jones is not qualified to carry Kooch's jock.

Posted by: IMAWriter | September 11, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Have always found your posts very knowledgeable but couldn't disagree with you more here. If you analyze the career of Kuechenberg he was that player who could play every OL Pos. and at a very high level, no denying this but Walter Jones was the VERY BEST at his Pos. for a few Seasons. He was getting the recognition while playing in Seattle that more often than not is like the witness protection program of the NFL until P.Carroll started to make them vogue. My opinion of Dungy I posted earlier and feel his contribution huge aside from winning the SB and being responsible (his finger prints on others) Air Coryell was alot of fun but didn't go to the dance while boasting Fouts, Winslow Sr., Wes Chandler, Charlie Joyner and John Jefferson.

I'd love to see a guy like Dungy as commissioner as opposed to Goodell. He is respected on both sides of the racial divide.
Imagine his HOF credentials then!

Posted by: IMAWriter | September 11, 2013 at 11:51 PM

You and I both know the owners would never vote in a minority Commissioner. Goodell is their lap dog as was Pete Rozelle in Yrs. past. I always wondered what the AFL/NFL merger would have looked like if maverick Al Davis had gotten the votes instead of Pete?


That 3 back formation you mention is now being called the Diamond formation with King Spread Urban Meyer implementing it in Ohio St.'s Offense. Alot of Coryell in what Sean Peyton does in New Orleans and Coryell's influence is alive and well but ZERO SB HARDWARE while having the VERY BEST WITHOUT QUESTION to work with in terms of Offensive weapons. You talk about Coryell Coaching today? I tell you what go google WR's John Jefferson, Charlie Joyner and Wes Chandler with T.E. K.Winslow with Fouts throwing the rock and all of them would have been Pro Bowlers in todays pass happy game with the rules and speed to burn!

Al Davis would never have permitted any merger if he were allowed to stay on as commissioner. He was quite bitter about that. He was enjoying his role as AFL commissioner too much, and he just loved sticking it to the man. He loved raiding (no pun intended, sort of) all the NFL teams for any player he could get. John Brodie? Sure, offer him huge bucks to come over.

Pete Rozelle was actually a brilliant move to merge the AFL/ NFL. He was a compromise, and a 2nd choice for all the voters, but he was someone they could at least agree on. And he wasn't Rams-centric, which was nice. I think Al Davis might have been putting needles in voodoo dolls of Raider opponents when he was serving as AFL commissioner.

Roger Goodell? Well, whatever.

As a matter of interest, I don't know where I was for a couple of decades, but I have not heard of Walter Jones until this article. That's kind of scary to me-- the one person everyone agrees belongs in the Hall of the Famous, and I've never heard of the guy. Now Kooch-- that guy I've heard of. And I would have wanted him in the Hall of Fame until he snubbed Obama and his teammates. Heck, wasn't Jake Scott even there? Why the heckola could Kooch not come out and support the team one last time? Boo!

If any of you have Showtime go to their Sho-West and catch Jim Rome's re-broadcast of Rome is burning, He closes with a very interesting interview with Ricky Williams and parting shot at Rex Ryan, good stuff!

Rob H | September 12, 2013 at 12:19 AM

I know the story but the Commissioner can't veto his Owners who wanted to merge. Big Al's problem was that he was the Commissioner who oversaw the fight for fans and rating with the AFL getting the upper hand because of innovative Offenses but at the end of the day owners on both sides were swayed by the ALL MIGHTY DOLLAR signs. When the dust settled Davis lost a new expanded NFL Owners vote to be Commissioner.

My point was that Davis opened the door to minority Coaching in a still very bigoted business in the late 80's. He was a forward thinker who did like to stick it to the man suing Rozelle and the ownership committee for the right to move his team/business from Oak to L.A. then back to Oak with flirtations along the I-5 Highway with every small town going back with one seriously considering building them a Stadium in a rock quarry in Irwindale. That said he was on board and on the vote for original NFL Comissioner.

Rob H | September 12, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Pins in voodoo dolls, huhh? LOL! Maybe I remember Big Al being out there!

JJ is a given.



Bill Arnsparger, Mark Clayton and Zach Thomas should all GO-PERIOD and in that Order.

You can throw Holmgren in there too, but I'm sure there are tons of good candidates not mentioned that could bump him back.

But seriously, no bias here, Arnsparger, Clayton and Thomas should all be first year, first ballot inductees.

I like Coyle, but I have to say, I'll take Arnspager in a Heartbeat! Even in this pass happy day and age. In his Prime.........? It wouldn't take him long to frustrate any of your offensive plans.

You can't take ANYTHING away from The "Don", but Arnsparger was "The Man". I can't imagine The Legacy that might have been had these two stayed together longer(Not to mention Csonka, Kiick and Warfield! Oops, I JUST DID-LOL!).

And Zach and Clayton......? Get out of here! Who wouldn't you trade for these two? Anybody safe on our roster today? Maybe Wake..........MAYBE?

In their Primes, imagine how they would help us today......INSTANTLY! Zach in the middle and slide Ellerbe outside. On offense we could run Wallace, Gibson, Hartline and Clayton in our 4 wide. Yeah! We would KILL IT!

Ok, ok.........I'm Babbling! But seriously, I don't care who they pull out of their asses, I don't care about the latest popular NFL fad of disregarding All Things Miami Dolphins, Arnsparger, Clayton and Zach Thomas are **IN**.

At least they ARE and ALWAYS WILL BE, in This Heart of a Dolphin Fan's Heart!

I Fvcking LOVE The Miami Dolphins and I ALWAYS WILL!

Don Shula IS GOD!!!!

God Bless Don Shula!!!!

OK, I don't know where all that came from, but **IT FELT GOOD**


Repost from last Blog(edited)..........

That is why we must come out throwing to try and get a lead. Trying to establish the running game is after you establish that you can score some points.

Posted by: Everybody Knows | September 12, 2013 at 12:53 AM

Agreed! If I were Indy's Head Coach or DC, that's the way I would play it too. Try forcing Tannehill into trying to do too much. Force him to make **ALL THE PLAYS**, betting on him making more and bigger mistakes than his counter-part.

I agree with your "counter-Punch too". Count on better O-Line play, but set up the run with the Pass.

This all makes for what SHOULD be a very intense and Fun Game to watch. I still believe that our Defense gives US too big of an edge for Luck and Co to handle.

I think he'll get exposed for being a touch younger and a little bit more inexperienced than everyone wants too admit.

Wake, Dion Jordan and Danell Ellerbe will ensure as much! Vernon is DUE too. They will make the biggest difference by stymieing Luck and shutting down Indy. They will buy Tannehill enough chances to run it up on them with ANOTHER Sound Road Win!


Posted by: odinseye | September 12, 2013 at 01:07 AM

Daniel Thomas is a Hall of Famer.

Kooch didn't come out to support "The Team" because some things are more important than a game played by men in tight pants.

Boo yourself.

Phins just signed Manute Bol to play fullback.

Not sure Thomas is either, not before Walter Jones, Tim Brown and Andre Reed who should already be in to be perfectly honest.

Posted by: Dolfandave | September 11, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Thomas is in the Top 5 all time in tackles made. The guy was the 2nd best MLB of his generation. He is a shoe in, In my book.

Posted by: Dashi | September 11, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Ok, I'm back from my Nostalgic Miami Dolphin Orgasm!

This is two interesting, yet opposite points of view from Dashi and Dave. I'll give both of them credit for sharing their opposing opinions.

Having said that and my Dolphin Bias aside **FOR REAL**, I want to......NO.......I **NEED TO** make a comment here. From my heart, balanced by my NFL Football Knowledge.........All Biases Aside.......ONE QUESTION:

Are you Kidding Me Dave?

I believe Dashi went right to "The Meat and Potatoes" of the matter.

Forget Zach's long and arduous journey to the NFL. Forget the precarious position he found himself in on Draft Day. Forget the physical liabilities and the absolute "Non-Prototypical" Fred Flintstone like appearance he was razed about in Training Camp.

Look at the Tape! Look at the Stats! Look at the way he dominated and commandeered the 4-3 Defense sideline to sideline for The Miami Dolphins.

Don't judge Zach Thomas because he was a short little white dude. He played in an era that featured Ray Lewis as the Ultimate Stud Middle Linebacker. Most of that time, Lewis was *The Only* one better at it.

Zach's a First Ballot Hall Of Famer in my humble opinion and I'll add a "PERIOD and CASE CLOSED" to Boot-LOL!


Clayton Arnsparger and Thomas should be in there, and I guess Johnson also

I literally hate the Indy Dolts! I will be hating them for at least another 3 and a Half days. I have a feeling though, they're going to win my heart by rolling over for my new IMPROVED Miami Dolphins.

I know how Freaking Good Luck is, but come on, he ain't perfect. I just happen to know the perfect bunch of guys to show us all of his faults.

Our Team Speed on Defense should really be exploited on the fast carpet at the RCA Dome or where ever they play anymore, Meh! A shutout(or close to it)here would really set the tone for our defense this year.

Luck can be BEATEN and that's just what I expect Wake, Vernon, Jordan and the crew to do! Beat the Kid DOWN!

PS: Someone needs to send a memo to the refs about Holding on Wake. If Wake doesn't get the sack or a solid HIT on Luck, you know the Dolts were HOLDING! C'Mon MAN!

~Lets GO - 2-0~

Arnsparger should have been there years ago. His defenses were amazing

Zach Thomas should be in the HOF but like Clayton he will never get in. You people don't understand the process. Unless someone was impossible to ignore in terms of their on the field performance. Having people lobby for a player, as well as the player lobbying for himself are two of the most important factors. So is the players relationship with the media, especially during his playing years. Shula won't lobby for Clayton. Clayton used to call Shula "The fat old man." Marino is too busy covering up his affairs with fugly thirty something interns. Traitor Jason Taylor kissed all the right asses and in general was a politician during his career. He even welcomed the trade to Washington and bolted to N.Y. before the Phins could make him an offer, in part so he could expand his network. Taylor will get in...Thomas and Clayton will never get serious consideration even though they should. It's not about numbers...if it were, then Henry Ellard and Ricky Prohl would be in the HOF. It's about politics...

Go ZACH!!! Man do I miss watching #54 on the field on sundays! He is one classy dude. (Met him in person once). A true HOFmer.

Zach Thomas and Arnsparger all the way.
Clayton was close, but needed to do it for longer period of time.

Zach is total class act. Met him at a Sporting Goods store while he was with his little boy...told him we Dolhphans miss him....his response ??? 'I miss ya'll too!

Zach- HOF, period.


Not for nothing but I'd rather have Zach Thomas over Ray Lewis . It's a worthless topic really, but from what I've seen with Ray was a player being on a defense that was always solid. Unlike Zach..Zach always had Centers running at him and yet he would always be around the ball. Boulware took the brunt of the hits which ways freed up Ray to circle around.d the field much easier. Ray was great no doubt. But give me Zach! Who not only had a better nose for the ball.. but was one of the greatest in peyton mannings eyes with playing chess on the field. He frustrated so many great QBs and made them 2nd quests with their audibles all the time ! He was a great LB minus covering TE's lol..

Listen, I don't think any of those dolphins players should be in the hall. I watched all of them, all were superstars but did not change the game or have ultimate winnings. Dan Marino changed the game, and the 72 Hofs have ultimate winnings - get my point?

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