The Patriots Hall of Fame committee meets annually to discuss candidates to be nominated for induction. On Thursday the group convened at Gillette Stadium and discussed the merits of 13 players and coaches. Among that group were some pretty qualified individuals including Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, Rodney Harrison, Bill Parcells, Chuck Fairbanks and others.
While a case could be made to many of the 13, only one will ultimately be inducted into the Hall, and fans will get to make that call. Until the voting process begins, it’s time to offer our two cents on the matter.
This week’s Samsonite Make Your Case question is straightforward: Who should be the next person inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame?
PFW’s Paul Perillo says …
To me this one’s easy. There may be other deserving candidates but none more so than Richard Seymour. In fact, Seymour narrowly missed out on induction into the actual Pro Football Hall of Fame a few months ago, making it to the final 10 before missing out. It would certainly be embarrassing for a player who meant so much to the Patriots to be inducted into Canton before he makes his own team’s Hall.
Seymour was a dominant defensive lineman during his eight seasons in Foxborough and was an instrumental part of three championship teams. He played inside and out while often sacrificing his own stats for the better of the team, working in a two-gap, 3-4 scheme that demanded discipline and not necessarily sacks.
In the locker room he was also an important piece to the puzzle. He was a respected veteran who was always willing to accept responsibility and was accountable for his actions. In short, Seymour was dominant both on and off the field and he needs to be the next Patriot to get the call.
PFW’s Erik Scalavino says …
It would be hard to go wrong with this choice as there are some really qualified candidates eligible this year, but it’s hard to top Mike Vrabel. Vrabel served in a number of capacities for the Patriots and excelled at them all.
He played outside linebacker and stopped the run as well as he got after the passer. When needed he moved inside and was effective in that role as well. Who could forget all the touchdowns he caught as a tight end, especially in the Super Bowls when it mattered most?
Vrabel was also a much-needed presence in the locker room and often was willing to take the pressure off others by being available when needed. He was always prepared and many who listened to him felt he would be a head coach one day. Now he’s just that in Tennessee, where he’s trying to build the Titans in that same mold.
Vrabel was a durable, hard-nosed player who did everything well for teams that won almost all the time. He should get his due and make his way into the Hall.