Who is a Hall of Famer is the definition of subjective.
There are so many ways to weigh one candidate over another. And what makes all of it even more maddening is there is no set criteria for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s up to each individual on the 48-member selection committee.
Over the last week, we’ve laid out the first of our 27 reasons in 27 days why Denver Broncos legend Steve Atwater should get in the Hall of Fame on Feb. 2 in Atlanta (when the inductees are chosen). On the latest MHR Radio Podcast, Atwater joined Adam Malnati and me to discuss his candidacy and what being inducted would mean to him.
When you compare Atwater to other safeties, there are many mitigating circumstances that go beyond statistics. Each player has his own story. It’s unique but also complex. In the same breath, statistics do yield clues into how players stack up.
When you compare Atwater to another safety whom many, including Atwater, consider the best to ever play the position, you see how truly great Atwater was. I’m speaking Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott.
Atwater — 1,180 career tackles, 24 interceptions, six forced fumbles and five sacks in 167 games.
Lott — 1,146 career tackles, 63 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles and 8.5 sacks in 192 games.
When the selection committee weighs the candidacy of Atwater, it should be abundantly clear he’s one of the best to ever play the position. When you compare his stats to the best to ever do it, he’s right there with him.
Get the Smilin’ Assassin to Canton on Feb. 2.