By Niner Faithful
Thirteen players(Joe “The Jet” Perry, Y.A. Tittle, Joe Montana, Steven Young, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Dave Wilcox, Charles Halye, Fred Dean, Hugh “The King” McElhenny, Bob St. Clair, Leo Nomellini and, Jimmy Johnson) one coach(Bill Walsh) and one Owner(Eddie D) are inducted as Niners in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Ten more players(Larry Allen, Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene, Bob Hayes, Rickey Jackson, John Henry Johnson, Deion Sanders, O.J. Simpson and, Rod Woodson) in the Hall have played at least a year for us. That’s tied for 6th among all NFL teams. The latest being Owner Eddie DeBartolo who went in August 2016. With the Hall Of Fame ceremony happening this Sunday I have decided to go over some Niners that I feel should be in the Hall Of Fame either already or will soon be eligible that should go in when they are.
Terrell Owens: In his prime there was no better receiver in the game than T.O. He used his rare combination of size and speed to torch defenses. He had the power to change the way a defense would play whatever team he was on. You better have your popcorn ready, because at any moment from any spot on the field he could make a play. His Touchdown celebrations either pissed you off or made you love him even more (I was the latter) but no matter what it got you to watch you just had to see what he was going to do. He’s 2nd all-time in career yards with 15,934 8th all-time in receptions with 1078 and 3rd all-time in receiving touchdowns 153. It’s not The Hall Of People Who Were Choirboys it’s The Hall Of Fame numbers are what get you in and when your number 2 in most Niner record books as far as receiving you needs to be in The Hall Of Fame.
Patrick Wills: When you think of Niner Linebackers you think of P Wills. He was the most feared hitter in the game in his era. He even hit someone (Brad Smith) so hard they threw up on the field. He was the player that gave the pregame speeches and would get the crowed fired up when he would walk out the tunnel. I could still close my eyes and see the play ageist the yams when he not only ran down a player that looked like he was gone but also punched out the football. In his 7 full seasons he was selected to the Pro Bowl every year and was a First Team All Pro 5 out of 7 years. He led the Niners in tackles the first 4 years of his career and was second every other year and was Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2007. He also stated every game he played in since his rookie year in 2007. He finished his career with 950 tackles 20.5 sacks 16 Forced Fumbles 8 interceptions and 2 touchdowns. All numbers that few players in his era put up. He’ll probably not get in in his first year of eligibility (2020) but should get in one day because he truly was the best linebacker in football in his prime.
Frank Gore: Frank The Tank whatever you say about #21 will still be an understatement for what he meant to this franchise. He is the Niners all-time leader in rushing yards (1173) 100 yard games (39) most rushing yards in a season (1695) rushing yards in a game (212) 1,000 yard seasons (8) and Second in rushing touchdowns (64) For most of his career HE WAS the Niners offense. Teams would put eight in the box to stop him all the time close all the running lanes and Frank would squeeze through and still make a play (I still think if we would have given the ball to Frank we would have won the super bowl). He is the NFL leading active rusher and with 108 rushing yards he will pass Tony Dorsett for the eighth most rushing yards in NFL history. And with 1,037 yards will pass Curtis Martin for 4th all-time. Whenever Frank deices to hang up his cleats he should be a first ballet fall of famer 5 years later.
Roger Craig: Roger Craig famous for his unique high knee running style changed the position of running back forever. He was the first player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards rushing (1,050) and receiving (1,016) in the same season in 1985. He finished his 11 year career with 8189 yards and 56 touchdowns rushing and 566 catches and 17 touchdowns receiving. He is a 3x Super Bowl Champion (84, 88, 89) 5 x Pro Bowler (85, 87, 88, 89) and was a First Team All Pro in 1988. He was the first player to score 3 touchdowns in a Super Bowl (Super Bowl 19). He was been snubbed the past few years and need to go in.
Bryant Young: In my mind when I think of Niners D linemen I think of “B.Y.” He played 14 years all for the Niners was a 4x Pro Bowler, All Pro (1996), Rookie of the Year in 1994, and a Super Bowl Champion. He was leading the entire NFL at the DT position in sacks with 9.5 prior to his season-ending injury suffered in week 13 of the 1998 season having a metal rod put in his leg. Then year after in 1999 he had 11 sacks winning Comeback Player Of the year. He finished he career with 89.5 sacks 11 forced fumbles 6 fumble recoveries 29 passed defensed and 3 safeties. He ranks 4th all-time in sacks by a DT trailing Trevor Pryce(91), and Hall of Famers John Randle(137.5) and Warren Sapp(96). I think he was snuffed a lot of years for the Pro Bowl. If you look and he overall career and what he meant to the Niners and his comparable numbers to Hall Of Famer Warren Sapp he needs to be in the hall.
I know there are many more players that I could have named, but to me these are the ones that should be slam dunks.