Tony Dungy A Hall Of Famer?July 8th, 2010
When Joe thinks of former Bucs headed to Canton, Joe always first thinks of Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and John Lynch. And then Joe is always up for debating the chances of Ronde Barber and Mike Alstott.
But Joe never thinks of Tony Dungy when it comes to the Bucs-to-the-Hall discussion.
Perhaps Joe should. It’s an interesting debate.
Pat “Vacation Man” Yasinskas, NFC South scribe for BSPN.com, considered potential Hall of Famers from NFC South teams. And he picked Dungy as the guy for the Bucs.
Case for enshrinement: The knock on Dungy in Tampa was that he couldn’t win the big one and the Bucs had to turn to Jon Gruden to get them their Super Bowl victory. But Dungy was largely responsible for building that team and changing the entire football climate in Tampa Bay. Building around Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and John Lynch, Dungy took the defensive philosophy he learned in Pittsburgh and built the famed “Tampa 2’’ defense, which became a phenomenon around the league. He also built a lengthy coaching tree with Herm Edwards, Jim Caldwell, Lovie Smith, Rod Marinelli and Mike Tomlin going on to become head coaches.
Case against enshrinement: With all of the defensive talent he had in Tampa Bay and Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, Dungy only won one Super Bowl title.
First, Joe’s not sure why Vacation Man thinks Dungy’s ”head coaching tree” would factor into getting him into the Hall of Fame.
That aside, Dungy had a sick regular season winning percentage, bringing home a victory in two-thirds of his games. But he has a losing record in the playoffs and only one Super Bowl ring, despite extraordinary talent with the Bucs and Colts.
Tom Flores sticks out in Joe’s mind as a standout coach that didn’t make the Hall. He’s got two Super Bowl rings and a winning record in the regular season and postseason (8-3) with Oakland, but he tanked in Seattle. Flores also was a standout player, whereas Dungy wasn’t, if that even makes a difference.
Joe has trouble judging a coach beyond wins and losses and rings (see Don Coryell). Dungy, of course, is off the charts with his intangibles, from great guy extraordinaire to crafting the Tampa 2.
Joe thinks Dungy would be a shoe-in with one more ring. Time will tell.