The two sides of John Lynch January, 29, 2014 By Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com Of all the plays that former Tampa Bay safety John Lynch made during his lengthy NFL career, one stands out to me.Lynch’s signature moment came in a 1997 game against the Chicago Bears. Lynch already was developing a reputation as a fierce hitter, but that was forever cemented on that day.Lynch put a vicious hit on John Allred and knocked the Chicago tight end out. It’s important to note here that Allred is Lynch’s brother-in-law. Lynch’s wife, Linda, later would joke that if she was a receiver her husband wouldn’t hesitate to tackle her. She might not have been exaggerating.The thing that Lynch did best on a football field was tackle people. The strong safety was one of the hardest hitters of his generation and that’s part of the reason he’s a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame (the voting will be conducted Saturday).But there’s irony in the fact that Lynch is best known for his vicious hits. He might have been a terror on the field. But, off it, Lynch quite possibly was the nicest and most refined player I’ve ever covered. He always had time for the media and gave insightful answers.I remember asking Lynch at the Pro Bowl one year about the contradiction between his personality on the field and off it. Lynch basically said there was a switch he flipped when he walked onto the field.That switch worked quite nicely as Lynch was a cornerstone of one of the best defenses of its era.Is Lynch a Hall of Famer? I think he’s got a chance to get there. It might be tough this year because the class is strong and it isn’t easy for safeties to get in. But at some point down the road, I think voters will flip the switch and Lynch will be selected to the Hall of Fame.
I think he gets in TBH. He may not deserve it. But the media guys are really gonna push for him to make it and a ton of media guys vote soo. He may not get in this year. But if you make the Top 15 list your likely to get in at some point.
No. No way in hell. I love Lynch, but not even the most biased Buc fan would say he belongs in the HoF. To be honest, if we’re talking underrated Bucs HOF inductees, Hardy Nickerson was FAR better than Lynch, and he’ll probably never get in.
Guys like Deron Cherry, Kenny Easley, Cliff Harris, Leroy Butler, Donnie Shell, Steve Atwater and Johnny Robinson are not in the HOF. Donnie Shell has been named by Dungy as the prototype for Lynch as the SS in the same defense the Bucs played and he’s not in there. I don’t think a viable argument can be made that Lynch should get in and at least some of the guys listed shouldn’t.
This is a tough question to answer. On one hand the safety position is under-represented. Otoh he is not the best safety not in the Hall. I’d go Shell, Robinson then either Lynch or Atwater. Harris, while good, was probably never one of the 5 best on the Dallas defense. Cherry it’s ver close. But only 6 Pro Bowls. Of course Robinson was only 7 and Shell 5 so you get 9 and a championship and you can make a very strong case. But I don’t buy the if there’s a doubt then no argument. Lynch would not be the weakest player if he was chosen.
The question one of the baseball guys asks is “Was he ever considered the best player at his position during his career”. With Lynch I think the 9 pro bowls and 3 All pros says at one point he was very highly thought of but “the best”? I’m not sure about that. I mean during his career you had guys like Woodson, Reed, Dawkins, Sharper, Harrison and I think he is about even with all those guys so either I feel all of those are hall of famers or none of them are (I think Reed gets in off his highlights).