HOF poll: Kevin Greene is most deserving

July, 2, 2011
7/02/11
9:00
AM ET
SportsNation asked you/me/us to pick the most deserving Pro Football Hall of Fame candidate from a group of five former players who finished their careers with more than 100 sacks.

The results were clear: At week's end, two-thirds of nearly 14,000 votes went to Kevin Greene. A few comments suggested the disparity could be a reflection of our current readership levels -- Greene is currently the Green Bay Packers' outside linebackers coach -- but never, ever, ever, never would I believe Packers fans would stuff the ballot on that connection alone.

Greene's resume speaks for itself. His 160 career sacks are the third-highest total since the NFL began tracking them in 1982. Both players above him, and six players below him on the NFL's top 100 sack leaders, are enshrined.

A few of you made impassioned arguments for longtime Minnesota Vikings defensive end Chris Doleman, whose 150.5 career sacks places him No. 4 on the NFL's all-time list. I'll pass two of them along for consideration on the floor:

Opabina wrote that Doleman was more deserving than a player who will be inducted this summer, former Chicago Bears defensive end Richard Dent:
Greene should get in, but I voted for Doleman because he is much more deserving than Richard Dent, who got in this year. Doleman and Dent played the same number of seasons (15, all but two overlapping) and in the same division, so the caliber of their opponents was essentially the same, but Doleman has 13 more career sacks and 243 more career tackles than Dent. Dent was Super Bowl MVP, but any number of players on the Bears defense were equally deserving of the award, and Doleman held the NFC single-season sack record for 12 years before Strahan broke it. People also forget that Doleman played LB his first two seasons and had just 3 1/2 sacks during those years, so he would probably have ~160-165 career sacks if he spent his entire career at DE (and maybe 190+ if he played as long as Smith). He has been criticized for supposedly ignoring the run, but if that's true, then how come he averaged more tackles per season than Bruce Smith and just 9 fewer per season than Reggie White, who played on the left side, where defending the run is more important? And anyone who downgrades Doleman's performance because he played with John Randle has to acknowledge that Dent played with Dan Hampton.
Supavike1, in fact, thought Doleman's career was more balanced than Greene's:
[H]ere is the bigger picture, which supports Doleman before Greene when you consider more than sacks.

Greene:

160 sacks, 669 total tackles, 23 forced fumbles, 5 INT, 1 TD

Doleman:

150.5 sacks, 914 total tackles, 44 forced fumbles, 8 INT, 2 TDs

I think 240 more tackles and double the number of FFs makes up for 9.5 fewer sacks.

Y'all have a great holiday weekend. I'll be taking some family time next week and will be back with you July 11.

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