Will the fifth time be the charm for former nine time Pro Bowl safety John Lynch and his latest bid to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? One thing is obvious, the competition is tough, again.
Just as a year ago, when players like QB Kurt Warner, RB LaDanian Tomlinson and former Dolphin great DE Jason Taylor were added to the Hall as part of seven total inductees, Lynch again faces other huge names (some for the first time) like WR Randy Moss, LB’s Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, and returning finalists: T Tony Boselli and WR Terrell Owens.
This is an impressive argument made on Lynch’s behalf by his former original team, the Bucs’ internet senior writer, Scott Smith:
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) February 1, 2018
Smith makes a couple of great points that in addition to the nine Pro Bowls, that of his 26 career INTs that 14 of them came in the fourth quarter of games that the Buccaneers were either trailing or winning by no more than seven points. In other words, they were vital to the outcome of the end of the game.
Also, the argument of being the anchor in the back end of a defense that from 1997-2002 was as aggressive/successful and feared, as any in football is a strong one, too. Plus, former Buccaneers teammates Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks have recently gotten the call to Canton, as well.
On Thursday afternoon, former Ravens Super Bowl winning coach now NFL Network analyst, Brian Billick, was asked Thursday afternoon on air from Minneapolis about this year’s finalists. In addition to signing the praises of Moss, whom he coached as the Vikings offensive coordinator in the late 90’s, he mentioned a second name immediately; Lynch.
“John Lynch was the prototype. He began the ‘in the box safety.’ So, when you do something generationally, that changes the game, I think that’s a factor, as well. John Lynch did it in my opinion, as did Randy Moss.”
Billick not only went head to head against Lynch in the old NFC Central late in the 1990’s, but also faced Lynch and the Bucs D, while coaching the Ravens in 2001, and 2002. Both were significant losses. So, he would know from experience.
Finally, there’s one more factor in Lynch’s favor and that’s leadership.
Others clearly followed him in Tampa Bay, and you look at how quickly, as a first year executive as GM in San Francisco that they got their act together, it’s impressive. Whether it was in the draft and the trade he made with the Bears at the top of the first round, the trade with the Patriots in season for QB Jimmy Garappolo and they win their final five games of his first year, etc., you see that leadership off the field.
Will Lynch get the votes Saturday afternoon/evening? Maybe, maybe not.
But, it’s a compelling case for sure.
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