Sunday, February 5, 2012

+Charles Haley + Finalist NFL Hall of Fame

+Charles Haley  + Finalist NFL Hall of Fame, Chris Doleman is not one of the four Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists who won a Super Bowl. He doesn't believe that should affect his chances of being elected to the shrine. Doleman terrorized quarterbacks and running backs as a defensive end for the Vikings, Falcons and 49ers for 15 seasons. He led the NFL in sacks in 1989 with 21 on his way to 150 1/2 sacks, fourth all-time when he retired.Unlike Charles Haley, Bill Parcells, Jerome Bettis and Ed DeBartolo Jr. among the 17 finalists who will learn Saturday if they are voted into the hall, Doleman never got to the NFL's biggest stage. "Yes, it can hurt me and it's unfair, absolutely," Doleman said Friday. "I'd like to think the voters look at this and say, 'Let's take the Super Bowl out of it.' These guys were such great players that if you placed them on that particular team, would it have won the Super Bowl? Can you take a Super Bowl player and put him on a team I played on and is he a difference maker?" As Doleman was reflecting on his career, Aikman walked by. Asked how often Doleman put him on his back, he winced and said, "Too many times. More than I care to remember. He was quite a player."

Doleman is one of four defensive players known for their ability to knock down quarterbacks who made the final list. One of them, Charles Haley is the only player to win five Super Bowls, two with the 49ers and three with Dallas. Cortez Kennedy spent his entire 11-season career with Seattle, while Kevin Greene, one of the original hybrid linebacker-ends, played for four teams in his 15 pro seasons.

"It's a great group," said Doleman, who along with Reggie White and Bruce Smith was considered the class of pass rushers for several seasons. Indeed, Doleman might have been the prototype for the pass-rushing 4-3 end of today's game: powerful but agile, able to rush with speed or overwhelm a blocker with strength. "I would have players and coaches telling me their teams were trying to get people to copy what I was doing," Doleman said.

The other Super Bowl winners are DeBartolo, who owned the 49ers when they won their five titles from 1981-94; Bettis, who concluded his 13 NFL seasons in 2006 by winning the championship with the Steelers; and Bill Parcells, who coached the Giants to their 1987 and 1991 Super Bowl victories. Parcells also took the Patriots to the 1997 game they lost to Green Bay.