Friday, Feb. 4, 2011Posted: 10:00 PM
By John Mullin
The selections for this years Hall of Fame class will be made and announced Saturday and an unofficial prediction is that Richard Dent will finally get some very overdue recognition from the Hall electors and officially join the games elites.
The Colonel doesnt need anyone to plead a case that he made more than eloquently in his career.
An amusing part of the 2010 Bears season was the observation that Julius Peppers sometimes was mistakenly perceived as going less than full-out because he made it look so easy. That was Dent, a so-called bad body who Walter Payton once said would take the wallet out of his back pocket by reaching over his left shoulder, but someone whose grace and fluidity masked excellence at the craft of pass rushing that few in his era and others grasped so completely.
Dent told me once that, yes, of course he had plays with less that max intensity; so did everyone who had half an NFL brain. The point was to know which ones were the ones on which to do that, and at the same time to use those as part of setting up an offensive lineman for future downs.
Dent has 137.5 career sacks and has been eligible for nine years, which means a bunch of disappointments. For one of the dominant players of his era, this Saturday should put an end to that.
As for the others who would comprise my Class of 2011 (and their principle team):
Willie Roaf, tackle, New Orleans Saints
The Bears opted for wideout Curtis Conway in 1993s first round instead. When the Saints scrimmaged in training camps against the Bears, pass rushers against Roaf bordered on the comical.
Dermontti Dawson, center, Pittsburgh Steelers
Olin Kreutz considers him the standard of the era. The best in a tradition of great Pittsburgh middlemen.
Deion Sanders, cornerback, Dallas Cowboys
The ultimate shutdown corner who coordinators and quarterbacks admitted made at least one-quarter of the field off-limits. Nine-time first-team All-Pro.
Charles Haley, defensive end, Dallas Cowboys
Five-time Super Bowl winner with San Francisco and Dallas, two-time NFC defensive player of the year. Overshadowed by an offense built around Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith, Haley was the player Jimmy Johnson went after to put his Cowboys team over the hump, which Haley did.
The toughest calls are Cris Carter and Marshall Faulk. Carters 1,101 receptions are absolutely Hall-worthy, as are Faulks 19,154 career rushing yards. Both belong in the Hall of Fame, the only question being now or next year.
If Dent does not make the cut this time, it will be for one or both of these last two.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.