AFC East: Tom Sestak

Hall of Very Good an interesting club

June, 14, 2011
6/14/11
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When a debate over whether or not an accomplished player belongs in the Hall of Fame ensues, the cynic almost inevitably will say something along the lines of "Well, if there was a such thing as a Hall of Very Good, he'd be in it. But not the Hall of Fame."

Eight years ago, the Pro Football Researchers Association formed a Hall of Very Good.

The Hall's mission statement is "to honor outstanding players and coaches who are not in the Hall of Fame and are not likely to ever make it." A handful of players have made the Hall of Very Good and later been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

The PFRA has announced its 20 nominees for this year's class. Prototypical examples include Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson, Oakland Raiders receiver Cliff Branch and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Andy Russell.

Three AFC East names also are in this year's group: Buffalo Bills head coach Lou Saban, Bills defensive tackle Tom Sestak and New England Patriots receiver Harold Jackson.

You can see the list of inductees by visiting ProFootballResearchers.org. Honorees with AFC East ties are Dolphins safety Jake Scott, Patriots receiver and kicker Gino Cappelletti and Patriots running back Chuck Foreman.

Sorting through all-time draft polls

April, 10, 2010
4/10/10
1:33
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I have a few problems with the NFL's attempt to determine the 75 most valuable draft picks of all-time.

The project was created to celebrate the 75th draft, which will begin April 22. Fans can vote through April 18.

On Thursday, the NFL provided a rundown of the 20 who've received the most votes so far. The list indicated a popularity contest, not an actual consideration for draft value. One player among the list of 20, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, was taken later than 82nd overall.

Not in the top 20? Pro Football Hall of Famers Deacon Jones, Roger Staubach, Ken Houston or Rayfield Wright, who were selected in the 14th, 10th, ninth and seventh rounds.

Also absent were former league MVPs Mark Moseley (14th round), Brian Sipe (13th round), Larry Brown (ninth round) and Terrell Davis (sixth round). Six-time Pro Bowler L.C. Greenwood (10th round), five-time Pro Bowler Tom Nalen (seventh round) and Bo Jackson (seventh round) weren't there either.

So I set out to post my own list on the blog.

I didn't get far.

Soon after I began sketching out my list, I noticed the ballot doesn't offer Wright as an option to begin with.

NFL.com set up the project by creating the pool, 10 players from each team. Wright didn't make the cut. Another omission was Steve Largent, a fourth-round selection who retired as the all-time receptions leader.

The Houston Oilers drafted Largent. The Oilers/Tennessee Titans' list did, however, include Derrick Mason. And for those who might think Largent shouldn't qualify because he didn't play for the Oilers, know that kicker Gary Anderson is listed for the Buffalo Bills, tackle Leon Gray for the Miami Dolphins and punter Craig Hentrich for the New York Jets.

I gave up on the endeavor, but needed to expunge that draft-ranking jones from my system.

Thankfully, I found an outlet at BuffaloBills.com. It's running a satisfactory all-time draft poll that instructs visitors to "Select the 10 players you feel provided the team with the most value." So Anderson isn't an option.

Here's my Bills list:

1. Thurman Thomas, second round

2. Andre Reed, fourth round

3. Bruce Smith, first round

4. Jim Kelly, first round

5. O.J. Simpson, first round

6. George Saimes, sixth round (AFL)

7. Tom Sestak, 17th round (AFL)

8. Howard Ballard, 11th round

9. Darryl Talley, second round

10. Joe Ferguson, third round

Now I feel better.

The Bills' official list will be revealed April 22 at a season-ticket holder draft party.

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