Will Shields, Priest Holmes, Marty Schottenheimer Nominated For Pro Football Hall Of Fame
By Ben Nielsen
Former Kansas City Chiefs guard Will Shields, running back Priest Holmes, kicker Nick Lowery, and cornerback Albert Lewis were nominated as part of the 113-man modern-era players and coaches nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Former Chiefs quarterback Rich Gannon and cornerback Ty Law were also nominated as player. Coaches Marty Schottenheimer and Dick Vermeil were two of the fourteen coaches nominated.
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Only 25 of the 113 men listed will move on to the semifinal list, which will be announced in November. Shields is considered the most likely of this group to make it into Canton this year but it seems like we have been saying that for a while now.
The Kansas City Star has all 113 names and a rundown of the selection process on their website.
One would think at some point Shields, Schottenheimer, and Vermeil will all have their busts in Canton. Shields is one of the best guards of all-time and was a key figure in what was one of the greatest offensive lines ever assembled in Shields, Willie Roaf, Brian Waters, Casey Wiegmann, and John Tait. Those five helped pave the way for Priest Holmes and Vermeil to have a ton of offensive success in Kansas City through the mid-2000’s.
Vermeil has a Super Bowl ring and led three different teams to the playoffs during his time as a head coach. In 15 seasons he won 120 games and two NFC Championships to go with that Rams Super Bowl. He also coached some of the most prolific offenses in NFL history along with players like Kurt Warner, Tony Gonzalez, and Marshall Faulk.
Schottenheimer may be the greatest coach to never win a Super Bowl. That’s not a title any coach wants nor does it sound great in a room full of people deciding your hall of fame fate, but it is probably a true statement. Marty won 200 regular season football games, which is tied with Bill Belichick for fifth most in NFL history. From 1985 to 1997 his teams never finished worse than second in the division and he did not suffer his first career losing season until 1998 when the Chiefs finished 7-9.
His coaching tree is also very impressive. Two Super Bowl winners, Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy, each worked directly under Marty, and future head coaches Herm Edwards and Cam Cameron were also coaches with Schottenheimer. Go one more degree of separation and you’ll find Mike Tomlin, Lovie Smith, Marvin Lewis, Ken Wisenhunt, and Rod Marinelli. Again, not shabby.
Of these players and coaches nominated, who do you think has the best shot of getting in this year?