NEW YORK — Former Chiefs guard Will Shields is one of 15 modern-day finalists who will be considered on Saturday for election to Pro Football Hall of Fame.
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
Former Chiefs quarterback Rich Gannon had a ready answer as to whether Shields, in his third year as a finalist, should make it this time.
“How can he not be a Hall of Famer?” said Gannon, who spent 1995-98 with the Chiefs. “It was his consistency. You could look at Will Shields as a second-year player and as a 12th-year player, and you wouldn’t see a lot of difference.
“He was just a dominant player at his position. He had great athleticism, he had great quickness. He got his hands on you before you know what hit you if you were a linebacker. He could run … he had great quickness and mobility … his toughness, his durability, his production over the course of a long time. He blocked for a lot of good backs …”
Shields, a 12-time Pro Bowler, will be up against some stiff competition for the maximum of five modern-day inductees. There are four first-time eligible candidates in Seattle offensive tackle Walter Jones, Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks, Indianapolis wide receiver Marvin Harrison and coach Tony Dungy.
Several other candidates who have come close to induction include Buffalo wide receiver Andre Reed, New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis, San Francico/Dallas outside linebacker Charles Haley, Arizona/St. Louis cornerback Aeneas Williams and San Francisco owner Edward DeBartolo.
“How many Pro Bowls did Will go to?” Gannon said. “They ought to make a new rule, if you go to at least 10 Pro Bowls, you go to the Hall of Fame.”
Defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who was inducted last year, said Shields was the fourth-best guard he played against behind Hall of Famers Larry Allen and Randall McDaniel and Brian Waters, who was Shields’ teammate in Kansas City.