Elliot Harrison, NFL Media analyst for NFL.com, recently gave his take on which player from all 32 teams should be the next from their franchise to be honored with enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. Before I scrolled down to his Chicago Bears pick, I just assumed it would be 8 time Pro Bowler Brian Urlacher or 7 time Pro Bowler Lance Briggs. Or maybe even the recently retired Charles Tillman.
I was pleasantly surprised when Harrison went old school and picked defensive tackle Steve “Mongo” McMichael.
I’ve always thought Mongo was underrated, but I understood him being overshadowed by the other great players on that defense. Hall Of Famers’ Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary all had a flashier resumes than did McMichael, but he did the dirty work inside that helped those players reach such their lofty status.
Here’s what Harrison said about his pick.
"Mongo," as McMichael was affectionately known, was a complete defensive tackle. And much like many others on our top candidates list, he has been completely forgotten about, at least outside of Chicago. There he is loved for being an integral piece of the famed 1985 "46" defense. More importantly, McMichael was the rare interior player who could be a force against the run and pressure the quarterback. If he was facing single blocking, it usually meant he'd win, which is why he posted 95 sacks -- a huge number for a defensive tackle. Warren Sapp was a first-ballot Hall of Famer and had 96.5. Just saying.
That bold in the blockquote above is mine, and that’s because I wanted to point out his sack numbers. Overall he’s 40th in the history of the NFL in sacks, but if you scan the list of 39 players with more, you’ll find few players that played the interior of the d-line. Those 39 are mostly made up of defensive ends and outside linebackers, not guys that had to fight through the interior to get home on the quarterback.
Mongo may only have 2 Pro Bowls and 2 1st Team All Pros on his resume, but he’s one of the best defensive tackles to ever play the game.
He should be in the Hall Of Fame.
What do you guys think?