The case for Aeneas

Posted by Darren Urban on January 17, 2012 – 9:58 am

In a few weeks (the day — Feb. 4 — before the Super Bowl), the Hall of Fame selectors will gather in a room in Indianapolis to cull the current list of 15 finalists down to a 2012 Hall of Fame class of between four and seven men. Former Cardinals star Aeneas Williams will be one of the candidates.

What are his chances? It’s so hard to handicap the NFL Hall of Fame. It’s based on a vote, but unlike baseball, for instance, where more than 500 voters simply list a ballot, the NFL version has 50 writers in a room debating the merits of each candidate first before a series of votes whittles down the prospective group. And football, unlike other sports, makes it much harder to compare positions because of the nature of the game, a cornerback versus a quarterback versus a tackle versus a linebacker is the ultimate apples-oranges problem.

But when you look at Williams’ numbers against the other defensive backs in the Hall of Fame, they seem to work. Williams’ 12 total defensive touchdowns are more than any DB in the Hall except for Rod Woodson. His 55 interceptions are right in the mix of most inductees (two more than Deion Sanders even).

As with any Hall class, however, it’s always about who else is possible. There are no Jerry Rices or Emmitt Smiths in the group, no absolute sure-fire no-brainers. The full list has receivers with huge stats (Tim Brown, Andre Reed, Cris Carter), Sack artists (Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene, Charles Haley), steady producers (Curtis Martin, Jerome Bettis), long-term linemen (Dermontti Dawson, Cortez Kennedy, Willie Roaf, Will Shields) and some high-profile coaches and execs (Bill Parcells, Ron Wolf).

Williams is humble about reaching the final round for the first time, and being the first Cardinal since the team moved to Arizona to make it to the final group (You’d assume another former Card/Ram, Kurt Warner, will do so when he becomes eligible during the 2015 season for the 2016 class).

Posted in Blog | 44 Comments »

44 Responses to “The case for Aeneas”

  1. By SteveG on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    If he had ever tooted his own horn 2 things would have happened

    1) Everyone would have died from the shock (Dude was all action, not words)

    2) Mortal lock for national celebrity and “Island” status!!

    Best Card I saw until Fitz.

  2. By notserious on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    what do yall think about this? trade fitz and our first rounder to the browns for mccoy?

  3. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    notserious —

    RE: Troll questions

    I think it’s time to quit trying to get a rise out of people. Feel free to go to a message board to do so.

  4. By Andrew Ritze on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    I enjoyed many seasons watching Aeneas Williams and his defensive mastery. A spot in Canton must be reserved for this premier player.

  5. By greg phibbs on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    iIn a time when the Cards were really bad Aeneas was a man among boys. He coverd Michael Irvin better then anyone in the league. He sure has my vote.

  6. By Judy on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    I am not ashamed to say that i cried ,when Aneas left the Cardinals.I rooted for the Rams in the playofs, when he was there.I wantd him to have that ring that much, because i hate the Rams.

  7. By MIKE G on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is good — I think A-Williams has a good shot to make the Hall of Fame–Just on the fact there are not many corners in the HOF. Kind of reminds me of Roger Wehrli–That CB position has one of the least number of members in the Hall!!! Do you think that is taken into account by the voters????
    It might???

  8. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Mike G –

    RE: Position numbers

    I don’t think it is a major factor for the voters, but I do think it is noted.

  9. By Judy on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Darren do you get to vote on this?

  10. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Judy –

    RE: Hall vote

    No, I do not get to vote. The voter representing Arizona is Kent Somers of the Republic.

  11. By bruincat on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    We moved to Gilbert in 1987 and use to go to a local coffee shop every Saturday morning. A few years later we started noticing this young man who was always sitting quietly in the corner by himself reading his bible. This guy was buff and I told my wife that he must have been chiseled out of stone. A few weeks later, after he made his presence known in his Rookie year with the Cardinals, I realized the guy was Aeneas Williams! He must have lived in the neighborhood at the time. Good luck Aeneas, you’ll always be a winner in my book.

  12. By Scott H on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    DARREN –

    I always wonder how much the issue of a great player doing great things with a bad team ( which Williams was for most of his career ) vs a great player doing great things with a great team matters in this process. I ask you – do you think Wiiliams is any more likely to make the HOF if he had played for the 49ers or Cowboys that he would be having played ( mostly ) for the Cardinals?

  13. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: If Aeneas had played elsewhere

    I think that’s an impossible question to really know the answer to. He’s already a finalist in his third year, so obviously the voters think something of him already. If he had won a couple of rings, might it have made a difference? Well, you figure with those rings would have come a lot more publicity, so he’d probably be a lot more famous. I think it’s a fair thing to wonder, but it is in the end moot.

  14. By brad oneill on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Aeneas belongs in the HOF. if anyone disagrees with me they should be watching synchronized swimming and when its over they should be held under the water until they stop kicking.

  15. By Andy K on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Now that Jim Caldwell is fired, will the Cards look at him for consideration for the quarterbacks coach job?

  16. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Andy K —

    RE: QB coach/Caldwell

    No idea.

  17. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    The worst part of the Hall of Fame selection process is Peter King’s over-inflated ego that balloons to behemoth proportions when he writes about his inclusion in the very exclusive group that determines who is HOF material and who is not. Nauseating.

    I still cannot fathom how a group of writers who have never played a down of NFL football have total control when deciding if a player is a HOF’er.

  18. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    How I long for those classic uniforms… Replace the state flag on the arm with the Cardinal head (old or new) and you have my favorite uniform of all-time.

  19. By Scott H on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Darren –

    I hear you. Yes, it IS good to see that he is generally recognized for what he did, regardless of where he did it. And that is as it should be. But you got my question, as I WAS asking about….what I guess we could call the glamour factor. Just wondering and TY for the reply. We may not be in the playoffs but seeing Williams getting into the HOF would absolutely be something to celebrate.

    I know people are wondering about whether he goes in as a Cardinal vs as a Ram, but…I think that no matter what, he clearly achieved most of what he achieved as a Cardinal. And he is NOTHING BUT A CARDINAL to me.

  20. By Mark Slade on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    I have met him several times as Matt has. Not only was he the one that gave us Card fans hope he also gave to the communitee. I saw him walking one day while on the way to a job, he stood and talked to me like I knew him forever. I will always remember that. Lets all pray that he WILL BE THE 1ST PHX/AZ CARD inducted.

  21. By D on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    A. Williams and L. Centers were the only thing fun to watch at Sun Devil stadium while I got 3rd degree burns.

    Darren– going ito the draft, what position do you think the Cards value more, OT or OLB

  22. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    D —

    RE: “Valued” position

    No way to know that right now. Until we a) go through free agency and b) have the Cards conduct draft meetings, I don’t think anyone knows, including the Cards.

  23. By jwimmer2 on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    When I was taking my certification exams, I saw Aeneas Williams at McDonald’s (on Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur, Missouri- a suburb of St. Louis). He was buying stack of those Big Breakfasts that come in the styrofoam box for some disadvantaged kids. It was very early in the morning, and I think they were going to some sort of summer camp. He looked bigger than I thought a corner back would look like, but I’m not usually standing next to NFL players.

    Aeneas is well-liked and often interviewed in the local media for outreach activities that he’s involved with, not unlike Kurt’s “Warner’s Warm-up” that collects donated winter coats for homeless people in the winter time.

  24. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, do you know who will be the speaker for Aeneas when his case is presented?

    And for Scott H, players in Canton go as individuals, not team members. So while his bust placard would state both teams, it doesn’t show a favortism to either club.

  25. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Presenter

    Until a guy is actually named, usually that doesn’t come up.

  26. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry, Darren, but I’m confused. (Surprise!)
    I was in the thought that when the final 15 goes to the selection committee, the player is represented by someone (usually influential) to present why they should be included.
    I believe Mike Sando lobbied for Cortez Kennedy last year and will do the same this season.

    Not speaking of the actual presenters when inducted.

  27. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands –

    RE: presenter

    Obviously I am the one who was confused.

    Kent Somers will be the one presenting Williams’ case.

  28. By Matthew on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, why do people have to wait to be “eligible” to be elected for the HoF?

  29. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Matthew –

    RE: wait

    They don’t want people to say they are retired and then come back after getting elected. Thus a five-year wait.

  30. By TucsonTim on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Cards resigned Grimm. So there you have it. Nothing serious about this team winning and going back to the playoffs. 49’s have 3 1st round picks on the O-line. We have Russ Grimm and Levi Brown. No hope. No worry. Peace out.

  31. By georgiebird on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Aeneas was a very good player but only a borderline HOF. In Aeneas case, playing on bad Cardinals’ teams was to his advantage. Yes, there was no big stage, but on the other hand, the defense was so bad that no one targeted Aeneas but rather looked to attack 10 other weak links.

  32. By William Barry on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Aeneas should definitely go to the HOF….He was truly a great player, and I can’t wait to watch the HOF ceremonies with him and his presenter….GOCards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. By CreditCard on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    David Winfield had some monster seasons with the last placed San Diego Padres, when traded to the Yankees — he suddenly became a star and was noticed on a national scale.

    Aeneas Williams is deserving for the HOF, and s/b a no-brainer getting elected. Seems to me, being in the west and on a poor team is a double-whamming against him. It’ll be ineresting — hope he gets in.

  34. By drummer-1 on Jan 17, 2012 | Reply

    Bye Tucson Tim… The Denver Tebow’s can use another flip flop fan..

  35. By in fitz we trust on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    im sure i could just look this up, but has any other cardinals make the hall???

  36. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    In Fitz —

    RE: Cards in the Hall

    Here are the guys who played for the Cards at some point in the Hall of Fame: Ernie Nevers, coach Jimmy Conzelman, Paddy Driscoll, owner Charles Bidwill, Charley Trippi, Ollie Matson, Night Train Lane, Dan Dierdorf, Larry Wilson, Roger Wehrli.

  37. By dan on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    Aeneas should already be in the Hall.

  38. By D on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    Okay Darren, here is one of my plans on getting a additional draft pick. (since we don’t have a 2nd, would be nice to add another one to this draft)

    Sign R. Marshall to a 3-4 yr deal to start at Free Safety. (he is younger and probably covers better than Rhodes)

    Then, I would call up Mr. Belicheck on draft day and offer Rhodes to him for thier 3rd round pick.
    (late pick of course)

    Rhodes still has a few years of productive time left
    Patriots have 2 first round and 2 second round picks this year. (probably will trade down with one of those like always and grab a future pick)

    The Patriots like Vet players and they need a Free safety who can start and provide leadership to their young secondary.

  39. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Pats trade

    I don’t think Rhodes would be someone the Pats would be interested in.

  40. By Louisville Card on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    @ georgiebird

    Damn do you ever have anything nice to say about any card. Seems like all you give are backhanded compliments at best. Why are you on this website are you really a cards fan? You should be happy for Aeneas.

  41. By cards62 on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    Aeneas Williams I have no doubt will be in the HOF one day. I do not know if he makes it in this year, but I know he will some day as the man was a great player.
    Could you guys just imagine if we had Aeneas, and A. Wilson in their prime to mentor our young DBs Peterson, Toler, Jefferson, Johnson. Man that would be something. I also see Adrian WIlson making it to the HOF one day, and I have my fingers crossed that the Peterson kid will be better than all of them ha ha..

    To D – Do not be too quick to get rid of Rhodes as he was one of just a few bright spots we had during the 2010 season. He impressed me in 2010 and I did not miss A. Rolle because of him. Remember Rhodes suffered a major injury this season and as we all now know it takes a lot of reps to master Coach Hortons defense. If he stays healthy I think we will all be happy with his play in 2012.

    Very nice to hear from many of you that Aeneas is even a better person than he was a football player. I still have family in Ohio so hopefully I can schedule a trip to Canton to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame during Aeneas’s induction ceremony.

    Go Cards and good luck Aeneas!

  42. By Scott H on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    georgebird –

    Well, we’re all entitled to our opinions but…I just don’t get yours.’ In MY humble opinion, Aeneas Williams was every bit as good as he appeared. Had nothing to do with playing on a bad defense. If anything, his opportunities were probably limited over the course of his career because he WAS that good that QB’s stayed away from him. And he STILL did what he did. BTW, for what it’s worth, Michael Irvin is on record as saying that of all the great CB’s he played against during his career, none were greater than Williams. Williams made Irvin disappear on a regular basis, just as he did whoever was playing on his side of the field. THAT is what great CB’s do. And he WAS a great CB, on this team or ANY other.

    I fail to understand how a Cardinals fan could not appreciate such a rare and talented player…and not be proud that he played here.

  43. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    You forgot the hot-dog-regurgitating-recently re-signed Russ Grimm as a Cards HOF also, Darren.

  44. By darthcard on Jan 18, 2012 | Reply

    all you need to hear is Micheal Irvin take on A. williams. My favorite cardinal all time.

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