(Richmond Webb photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins)
Talk of Fame Network
Former Miami tackle Richmond Webb wasn’t just an accomplished player. He was so accomplished that he was named to seven consecutive Pro Bowls – which is a longer unbroken run than the quarterback he protected.
Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino.
Webb played in 184 games, was a four-time All-Pro and all-decade choice and was named to the Miami Dolphins' Honor Roll. So why wasn’t he included in the list of 94 modern-era players nominated for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2017?
You heard me: Not even mentioned.
He made a club-record 118 consecutive starts. He held Hall-of-Famer Bruce Smith – who holds the league career sack record – to 3-1/2 sacks in 14 games against him. And he was named to more consecutive Pro Bowls than anyone … anyone … in Miami Dolphins' history.
Yet his name is not included with 94 others on a Hall-of-Fame preliminary list. What's up with that? Webb has no idea.
"It's been on before," he said, "but I try not to focus on that because I've seen how it's really impacted or affected a couple of guys who felt they were deserving to be in there ... and it kind of eats away at them. The way I look at is: I think my career and my resume speak for themselves.
"I don’t understand the whole process and how it works, but that’s what kind of gives me confidence. I try not to focus on: I should be here, or I should be there. But like you say, if you mention some of the things throughout my career I definitely think I'm worthy. I just don’t know how to get on that list or what the process is or how they determine that. So I just try to keep it moving."
Webb had one of the most difficult jobs in sports, which was to protect the blind side of Marino. You screw up there, and everyone knows it. But in the 10 years they spent together, Marino was never sacked more than 28 times in any season and more than 20 times in just five.
"You don’t want to be the guy who gets him hurt," said Webb. "By the time I got to South Florida, I think he was in his seventh or eighth year, and he was already an icon. You don’t want to be remembered as the guy who (people say), 'Oh, yeah, I remember that guy. He's the guy who got Dan Marino's career cut short.
"That was something I used as motivation. I was just fortunate to play with Dan for 10 years, so I learned a lot from him."
The Dolphins were grateful. In 2006, they made Webb the second player that year -- and the 16th overall -- to be named to their Honor Roll, behind former safety Dick Anderson, another former star not in the Hall of Fame. The next stop, you would think would be Canton, but Webb made it clear he doesn’t spend time thinking about why he wasn’t included in the Hall's preliminary list.
"I know there are other guys who are deserving," he said, "but who haven’t made it to the Hall of Fame. So I just let it … if it happens, good. If it doesn’t happen, I'm good. But in the back of my mind I know I played at that level.
"It's kind of out of my hands, so I don’t let that affect me because I'm at peace either way. I know my resume speaks for itself. I don’t sit there and dwell on it and say, 'Oh, man, I should have gotten in.' I'm happy for all my brothers. I look at the NFL, and we're all brothers in a small alumni (association), and I'm happy for each guy who makes that achievement. I think that’s the way to approach it, and that’s the way I always have."