Thursday, August 24, 2017

2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Senior Committee Nominees Are: Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile

By John Turney
Credit: George Bartell
The Senior Committee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame met this morning and narrowed a list of twenty-some names down to two. The two names are Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile.

Kramer has been a finalist many times before, most recently 1997, when he didn't get the required 80% of the votes of the full committee to gain induction. No one really knows why.

He was voted as the guard on the NFL's Official 50th Anniversary Team, was voted the 1960s All-Decade Team, was a Five-time First-team All-Pro and a Second-team All-Pro two additional times and was a starter on five NFL Championship teams, and was a key player on the Packer's key play: the Lombardi Sweep.

He should easily get the 80% of the votes come January.
Credit: Chuck Ren
Brazile is also a fine choice. He was a weak-side linebacker in a 3-4 defense who had good coverage skills and was a good blitzer (48 career sacks). He totaled 920 career tackles and 51.5 of them were stuffs (a tackle behind the line of scrimmage).
 He was a Five-time First-team All-Pro and three of those were consensus selections (making the majority of the recognized All-Pro teams) and was voted to seven Pro Bowls.
Brazile, along with Kramer, should easily garner the 80% of the votes of the HOF Selection Committee when they meet in February. Congratulations to both.


  1. I think they're both worthy choices, but I do think it's a shame that slightly more qualified candidates continue to get passed over particularly Howley and Gradishar.

    1. The All-Decades selection likely made difference. Howley and Gradishar at peak during mid-decades.

      Bethea, from 1975-79 was dynamite. After that, as you know from watching, tailed off.

      This will be 3 Oilers from that defense in HOF and none for the Orange Crush which was better for longer.

      Maybe next year.

  2. John, did you mean to say that Brazile from 75-79 was dominant?

    Shocked that Howley, Kuchenberg, and Klecko were not nominated.

    1. But if Howley and Kleck were nominated, someone could plausibly be disappointed that Kramer and Brazile were not. Kind of the way it goes.

  3. Kramer - He's been discussed ad nauseam. Put him in already.

    Brazile - In and of itself, I think he's a solid choice. 5 great years followed by 5 where he was more good than great (on mostly bad teams) seems sufficient. But I would agree that, while not night and day, Howley and Gradishar seem a little more deserving overall.

    The three are pretty even in terms of first-team All Pro and Pro Bowl selections. Gradishar's the only one of the three to be named DPotY. Brazile's the only one to be named to an all-decade team. That's big with some of the voters including Rick Gosselin, who was one of the Senior's voters this year.

    As with Curley Culp a couple years ago, Brazile is also helped by the "pioneer/prototype" argument. It's been said before that he was "L.T. before L.T."

    In addition to not being on all-decade team (though he should've been) and never being DPotY, Howley might be hurt by playing beside Lee Roy Jordan for a number of years. Jordan was a modern era HoF finalist way back in 1988, though strangely it was just that one time. I think he's been on the Seniors' finalist before, too, though.

    Gradishar? Maybe he's hurt by not having a "sexy" career. People like their inside linebackers snarling, eyes bulging. A few teeth missing. Gradishar just went out and quietly did his job at a highly efficient level. Perhaps Gradishar's also still waiting because of some anti-3-4 inside linebacker bias that exists. I've seen both Paul Zimmerman and Ron Wolf make the argument that Gradishar's tackle numbers were as high as they were because of the design of the defense. Not an argument I buy, but it's out there.

  4. I charted many of the Hall of Fame DLinemans games and Klecko scored higher than all of them.

    Gradishar belongs though. Howley too. And Kooch.

  5. exhaustive study on Randy G. that includes discussions with Billy Thompson & Tom Jackson(yes, I realize they might have a bias). Randy had pass defense responsibilities that NO inside linebacker ever had. He was a consistent tackling machine that did not miss. The lack of support of Pat Bowlen is disconcerting, yet will tell anyone who will listen why this man should be in the HoF.

  6. Yeah, Gradishar was always deflecting balls in coverage on my charts i have of him. That is a really underrated aspect of ILB play.

    Brazile, I've heard was too inconsistent. Seems like he went invisible for stretches.

    And I think Kuechenberg was better than Kramer was. I'm watching Kooch right now in a 1978 game against Dallas and Harvey Martin. Dude is playing left tackle effectively when he was already an all pro guard.

    Bob Skoronski should be considered. Good drive blocker.

    Why is Cliff Harris never mentioned?

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