The Chiefs are well represented in the latest Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist selections. On which Chiefs were nominated and why they should be considered for the Hall of Fame.
The Chiefs are set to add more members to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On Thursday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced a total of 54 semifinalists that were named for the Class of 2023. The semifinalists are all a part of the Seniors or Coach/Contributor Categories.
Among the 54 nominations, four former Kansas City Chiefs were mentioned. The semifinalists will now be considered until July 27 when the committees will vote on 12 Senior finalists and 12 Coach/Contributor finalists. These 24 finalists will then be reduced further to just three Seniors to receive final consideration and just one Coach/Contributor to receive final consideration.
By August 23 the current group of 54 will be reduced to just four. Which former Chiefs are among those nominated?
Lloyd Wells, Scout, Chiefs 1963-1974
Lloyd Wells was a scout for Kansas City from 1963 to 1974. His impact on the Chiefs and the NFL alike was perhaps one of the most underrated impacts a scout has made in NFL history. In an interview posted on the Chiefs’ official website, author Michael McCambridge discussed the impact of Wells on the Chiefs’ first Super Bowl team.
“Lloyd would get in his car and just make the circuit of black colleges in Texas,” MacCambridge said. “He’d go down to the Southeast—Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and work his way up. He eventually got up to Morgan State and Maryland Eastern Shore.”
The list of players that Wells would help bring to the Kansas City Chiefs was phenomenal. Hall of Famers Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, and Emmitt Thomas were all among the players that he helped scout and bring to Kansas City in his tenure. Otis Taylor, a wide receiver from Prairie View, was another. The team wouldn’t have won Super Bowl I and the NFL is likely entirely different without the impact of Wells.
As the first full-time African American scout, he was entirely well-received either. McCambridge continued in his interview to discuss the reception of the hire by some fans; “There was a really vicious telegram that was sent to Lamar’s father (HL Hunt). The gist of it was why are you letting your son sign all of these Negro ball players and ruin the fabric of our country?”
Without the impact of Wells, the NFL wouldn’t be the same today.
Carl Peterson, President, GM, And CEO, Chiefs 1989-2008
(Mandatory Credit – Cliff Schiappa – Getty Images)
Carl Peterson’s time in Kansas City ended in a somewhat unceremonious fashion. He resigned following a 2008 season that saw the Chiefs finish just 2-14. However, many forget the shape of the franchise when Peterson was brought in to fix the team back in 1989.
In the 12 seasons before 1989, Kansas City saw just two seasons above .500 and just one playoff berth. Their record in that span was just 71-110-1. The team was consistently one of the worst in the entire NFL in the decade-plus leading up to the hiring of Peterson.
During his tenure with the Chiefs, Peterson oversaw the most ferocious defense in team history and drafted some of the very best players in history. In his first draft in 1989, he drafted Derrick Thomas. Tim Grunhard would follow in 1990 along with Dale Carter in 1992. Will Shields, Donnie Edwards, Jerome Woods, Tony Gonzalez, Dante Hall, Larry Johnson, Jared Allen, Derrick Johnson, Dustin Colquitt, Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, and Brandon Flowers round out the list of notable draft picks by the Chiefs in Peterson’s tenure.
Peterson was phenomenal at finding talent in the draft, not to mention his work through free agency and trades that included Joe Montana, Priest Holmes, Trent Green, and Eddie Kennison. Thanks to an unceremonious ending, many Chiefs fans forget the massive impact of Peterson but his legacy for the team is among the very best in history.
Marty Schottenheimer, Head Coach, Chiefs 1989-1998
Alongside Carl Peterson for the first half of his tenure was the late Marty Schottenheimer. Despite a lack of Super Bowl success, Schottenheimer was fantastic as Head Coach in Kansas City. In his tenure, he saw just one losing season — his last — and seven playoff berths in ten seasons.
Kansas City ranked top ten in offense in five of Marty’s ten seasons. They ranked top ten on defense in six of those seasons, including the number one overall defense twice, in 1995 and 1997. Thanks to the efforts of Schottenheimer and Peterson, the Chiefs went from “worst to first” in a sense. The franchise’s history was forever altered with the duo of front office masterminds.
Schottenheimer, of course, went on to be the Head Coach of the San Diego Chargers as well, from 2002 to 2006. Although his efforts never culminated in a Super Bowl as they did for Hank Stram and Andy Reid, Schottenheimer deserves his place on the list of best Head Coaches in Chiefs’ history.
Otis Taylor, Wide Receiver, Chiefs 1965-1975
Chiefs fans have pounded the drum for Otis for years. He’s a fan favorite and his absence from the Pro Football Hall of Fame has become almost a cult following within Kansas City. Taylor, a member of the Super Bowl IV team, was a two-time Pro Bowler for the Chiefs. He was also a two-time All-Pro that led the NFL in receiving yards in 1971.
Not only was Taylor a Super Bowl champion, but his catch in Super Bowl IV also makes him a Super Bowl hero.
Happy 78th Birthday to the Man whose catch, spin move and run for 46 yards sealed the #Chiefs' triumph in Super Bowl IV. Here's wishing the very best to the very best, Mr. Otis Taylor… #ChiefsKingdom https://t.co/ppeSZziDiS pic.twitter.com/APBeC4taKo — Chiefs Facts (@ChiefsFacts) August 12, 2020
Taylor had just one catch in Super Bowl IV but it happened to be a 46-yard touchdown reception that would also be Len Dawson’s only touchdown pass that game. Had AFL contributions been more largely considered, Taylor would likely already be a Hall of Famer.
In addition to his one Super Bowl, Taylor was a part of two AFL Championship teams and led the AFL in touchdown receptions in 1967. In an era that wasn’t known for high-volume passing offenses and high-powered quarterback play, Taylor made his mark as one of the greatest wide receivers in his era.
His 7,306 career receiving yards would stand as the franchise record until Tony Gonzalez broke the mark. It still stands as the most ever by a Chiefs wide receiver and third in franchise history behind Gonzalez and Travis Kelce. Taylor has the most receiving touchdowns by a wide receiver in team history with 57 (just one more than Tyreek Hill). In today’s game, Taylor would certainly put up even greater statistics and his impact on the game in a much different era should not be discounted at all.
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Which Chiefs legend has the greatest chance to be inducted into the Hall of Fame class of 2023? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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