DALLAS — Selection for the Pro Football Hall of Fame is on Saturday, with Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders considered locks. The rest of the potential class is up for debate, but one name seems to be picking up considerable steam among the throng on radio row — tackle Willie Roaf.
Roaf was selected to the Pro Bowl 11 times during his 13 NFL seasons and was a member of the NFL 1990s all-decade team and 2000s all-decade team, splitting time with the Saints and Chiefs, though he spent most of his time with New Orleans.
One of the most vocal proponents on Friday was former Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, who coached Roaf from 2002-05.
And yes, before you ask, Vermeil did get a little emotional while talking about Roaf.
“He was the best, most explosive big man I have ever seen,” Vermeil said. “I never saw a player who can do what he could do. He was dominant against great players.”
Vermeil went on to compare Roaf to Bob Brown and John Hannah, both players in the Hall of Fame. Vermeil even said that Roaf was better than Hannah. Not that it was a knock against Hannah, Vermeil was quick to point out, but a testimony to just how good Roaf was.
Faulk also played one season for Vermeil, as a member of the St. Louis championship team in 1999.
“I coached Faulk for only one year, but nobody meant more to me than Marshall,” Vermeil said.