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Randy Gradishar?s place in the Hall is long overdue

When the name Randy Gradishar is mentioned Juwann Winfree Jersey 2019 , the response speaks to the problems with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The words one should hear is, ?Hall of Fame linebacker.? Or, ?One of the best to ever play the game.? Instead the response is disbelief. There?s just no way a player that good could have played for the Denver Broncos. So the 2,000 tackles Gradishar racked up in his career are fudged. They aren?t real. Because, remember, there?s just no way a guy that good could have played in a ?cow town? like Denver. ?Well, there?s nothing to set straight,? the former head of Broncos public relations for 36 years and current team consultant/historian Jim Saccomano told me last summer. ?A lot of people love to act like they know everything. Tackle statistics are not official in the NFL. But forever people have said you?re better off taking them from the coaches than press box figures because in every press box there?s a visiting team. And the statisticians are busy doing a lot of things. You?re not quite sure how the tackles are going to come out. But taking them from film study, because you watched the video and you see this man made the tackle. So we always got them from our coaches. I got them from Joe Collier (Broncos defensive coordinator at the time), who is the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Randy made them, Joe counted them, and then I published them. And some writers have suggested that they were padded. Well, that?s of course nonsensical. It?s not true. It doesn?t mean they?re lying, it just means they don?t know any better. Like when a little child says, ?You hate me.? Either Randy wasn?t making them, Joe was falsifying them, or I was falsifying them.?Tom Jackson put it best. Now people can say, ?I don?t respect Tom Jackson. He?s an idiot and liar.? That?s great. Good for you. But Tom Jackson said the problem is Randy really was that good. He was great.?To put it in even simpler terms: You cannot write the story of the NFL without Gradishar. That?s the only criteria that matters when you consider a player?s or contributor?s candidacy for the Hall of Fame. It was true for Terrell Davis. It?s true for Pat Bowlen. It?s true for one of the greatest linebackers to ever step foot on the field. The fact Gradishar does not have a bust in Canton, Ohio is a shame and sham. When the Seniors Committee meets on Friday to move a nominee to the full selection committee for vote on the Saturday before the Super Bowl, that player must be Gradishar. The five voters who will make that determination, according to the Hall of Fame, are: Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin, Jeff Legwold, Ira Miller, and Dan Pompei. Aside from the 2,000 tackles (which some say is 400 more than any other player in NFL history), the interceptions, the stuffs on third-and fourth-and-ones Cheap Juwann Winfree Jersey , being the leader for one of the greatest defenses in NFL history, here are the numbers that make Gradishar a Hall-of-Famer. The 1978 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Gradishar is one-of-five defensive players to earn at least seven Pro Bowls from ?74-83. The other four are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Jack Lambert, Robert Brazile, Jack Ham, Randy White). That?s why you often hear Broncos fans say, ?If Gradishar played in (enter city), he would already be in the Hall of Fame.? ?There?s an unintentional, I?m not going to call it a bias because as it happens every franchise has one vote. Or one media member has one vote,? Saccomano said. ?There are 11 votes west of the Mississippi, and all the rest are east of the Mississippi. So generally speaking that means if there?s a really top player in Seattle he starts with the Seattle person speaking for him. But you couldn?t watch a guy in Seattle without flying there. But if someone is playing in Pittsburgh, there?s eight franchises, and people don?t realize this, they drive to the games. It makes a difference when you start the discussion with seven votes in the bag as opposed to one vote in the bag. And the first one to 75 percent wins.?The time has come to right one of the most absurd wrongs in NFL and pro football history. The time has come to put one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When the name ?Randy Gradishar? is mentioned, the time has come to end the disbelief that one of the greats really was that good and did it in Denver.?Woody Hayes said he was the best football player he ever coached,? Saccomano said. ?And at one point, for a 10-year period, I don?t know if this is still the case, the Football Encyclopedia had the 250 best players to ever play the game, and Randy Gradishar was perennially listed as one of the 250 best players to ever play the game. ?I have no question about it. No doubt about it.? Added Hall of Fame defensive lineman and broadcaster Merlin Olsen, who once said: ?If you ask me to name the five best linebackers I played against or had a chance to cover in my broadcasting career, Randy Gradishar would be on that list. He was the kind of player that I would have loved to have as a teammate. There is no question about credentials here; Randy Gradishar belongs in the Hall of Fame.?Since we can?t do enough to make this happen for Gradidshar, here?s one more, courtesy of Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent:Horse Tracks - Dead Horses, Lame Ducks and Raging Sheep In the spring of 2018 John Elway and the Broncos knew they needed fresh blood at the quarterback position. Case Keenum was the apple of their eye (or at least the consolation when Kirk Cousins showed no interest). Then come draft day, the Broncos took most expert?s top defensive player in Bradley Chubb at 5. In so doing Elway elected to pass on quarterbacks Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson. They had no chance at Baker Mayfield, who went first overall, and never managed a deal with the Giants to jump above the Jets for Sam Darnold. A quick look at their respective Sundays:Josh Rosen went 10 of 25 for 170 yards and a touchdown while helping the Cardinals convert two of their 12 third downs. He finished with a QBR of 33.4Josh Allen went 10/19 for 82 yards Isaac Yiadom Jersey , no touchdowns and a pick. He also ran four times for 19 yards and a touchdown. He had a QBR of 35.5 while the Bills converted four of 13 third downs as well as two of three fourth downs.Sam Darnold went 10/22 for 198 yards, three touchdowns and one pick. The rookie had a 58.0 QBR, while the Jets converted six of 13 third downs.Case Keenum went 35/51 for 377 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. The Broncos converted four of 14 third downs. He had a QBR of 28.6. The question I?m left with once again this Tuesday is why the Broncos coaching staff refuses to buoy Keenum with the elite ground game?Before Sunday Denver had the second best rushing DVOA by FootballOutsiders. The rookie running backs averaged more than five yards a carry Sunday but in a 3rd quarter when time is not yet a critical factor? Philip Lindsay had two carries. Royce Freeman? 0. On to the Broncos linksWhen is it time to bench Case Keenum for Chad Kelly? - Mile High ReportMile High Report writers (including yours truly) gave their thoughts on the QB situation. Audibles at the Line: Week 5 | Football OutsidersIf you?re looking for a reason to stick out the season, do it for the rookies. Sutton got robbed a long catch yesterday, got hurt and still chased down Marcus Maye. Even if they?re not being utilized properly, Philip Lindsay and Royce Freeman have been incredible. Bradley Chubb has been quietly impressive. Josey Jewell should improve as he learns to recognize play action. Isaac Yiadom is... a on the field. 5 things we learned from Denver Broncos 34-16 loss to the New York Jets - Mile High ReportHere is what I learned: this team is not a serious playoff contender. Vance Joseph is left hoping that some injury luck will work in their favor and the Broncos will find a way to steal enough wins to squeak in. That may be enough to save his job. Maybe.3 winners, 8 losers in Denver Broncos 34-16 road loss to New York Jets - Mile High ReportThe Jets and Broncos are both sitting at 2-3. This year they?re likely headed for similar finishes. That?s where the similarities probably end though. One team has a top tier defense and very young rookie quarterback who is growing as he goes. The other team has a 30-year old journeyman and aging core. They?re heading in different directions because Elway chose to patch a hole and in order to chase the playoffs this year.Anyone who follows the Broncos knows that Mike Klis basically runs PR for the team, so this tweet is a bit of a weird. The team?s done a great job... at losing?Derek Wolfe: I?m tired of talking about the same shit the last 2 years. - Mile High ReportCan?t help but wonder what the locker room is like behind closed doors if things like this are slipping out into public. Injury Updates: Adam Jones, Garett Bolles suffer injuries against JetsYou?re almost left wondering if it makes sense to have your 35-year old slot corner returning punts. They meant left, obviously, but if Bolles can?t go it means Elijah Wilkinson steps into action for Sunday?s game with the Rams. Billy Turner is already playing for Jared Veldheer. Denver Broncos need to fire Vance Joseph - Mile High ReportI?ve been pretty critical of the Joseph hire from the start, but it?s too soon to move on from Vance Joseph. Not because he?ll figure it out and the Denver will stumble into the dance after a comet strikes Kansas City. Elway would be mistaken to give the coach his walking papers now because the Broncos are all of 5 games into a 16 game schedule. All the move would do now would throw extra work onto the other coaches and potentially shock the roster. It?s a short term feel good move for a longer term issue. Look ahead to Los Angeles. Is there any hope the Broncos can beat the Rams?Ranking 2018 NFL season's biggest playoff risers, fallers - Postseason odds improved and declinedI?ll be doing a deeper dive into this with GIF Horse and potentially 3 and Out this week, but that?s the recipe in a nutshell. Barnwell?s piece also starts to dig into a potential Derek Carr Jon Gruden split beginning to brew. Worth a look.Rams rally to remain undefeated with 33-31 win at Seattle - Los Angeles TimesRams will need to find some defensive consistency with more big matchups ahead - Los Angeles Rams Blog- ESPNIf Broncos Country is looking for any small semblance of hope, it may be this: 4 takeaways from the Rams? thrilling win over the SeahawksA look around the rest of the West, where at least the Raiders continue Grudening. Positive momentum from Raiders first win gives way to rash of all too familiar issues in loss to Chargers - Silver And Black PrideAmari Cooper frustrated with just one target in Raiders brutal loss to Chargers - Silver And Black PrideRaiders week five report card vs Chargers - Silver And Black PrideOnly a matter of time before Gruden get's a grade, but right now the faithful at Silver And Black seem to be in denial.What Did the Raiders Say After Losing to the Bolts?From Near Disaster to Incredible TD: The Bizarre Play that Saved the BoltsMelvin Ingram, defense (finally) lead way as Chargers humble Raiders - Los Angeles Chargers Blog- ESPNChiefs RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif fractured fibula against Jacksonville - Arrowhead PrideLooks like the Chiefs starting guard is out for the year.Kansas City Chiefs beat Jacksonville Jaguars: 15 winners and 9 losers - Arrowhead PrideChiefs' Chris Jones, Dee Ford ejected vs. Jaguars - NFL.comIn other news, Drew Brees passed Peyton Manning for the All Time Passing Yardage record last night.Where does New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees rank among all-time great quarterbacks? - NFL VideosI would put Brees in the top 5. An interesting theoretical question: how would the careers of Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady gone if they had landed on different teams? Call me crazy, but I think both Brees and Manning do what Brady did if they landed with the Patriots and Belichick.On to the rest of the leagueMike McCarthy: I believe in Mason Crosby ? ProFootballTalkWill Colts' Andrew Luck set the NFL career passing records?Graham Gano?s 63-yard field goal saved the Panthers from themselves vs. the Giants - SBNation.comEric Reid takes a knee during national anthem - NFL.comNFL Week 5 Breakdown & Analysis: Bortles, Rams, Gano | SI.comGuess Sports Illustrated doesn?t consider what the 2015 Broncos did a ?beating.? I wouldn?t either since they basically strangled both quarterbacks. Buffalo Bills Upsets: Breaking Down How They're Winning | SI.comCould the Eagles trade for Le?Veon Bell or David Johnson?Eagles place Jay Ajayi on injured reserve with torn ACL ? ProFootballTalkJerry Jones on OT punt: It was time for risk ? ProFootballTalkWhile we?re talking about decisions that cost teams games, on to this week?s Zebra watchMike Tomlin faces possible fine for his comments about officiating ? ProFootballTalkTeams Should Aggressively Pursue Arizona LB Haason Reddick - The Draft NetworkYou?re weekly look at what the experts are projecting to Denver in next years NFL draft. Marino's 2019 Mock Draft 2.0 - Page 2 of 3 - The Draft Network

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