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Is Matthew Slater a hall of famer?


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I was just reading his career stats and despite being listed at WR and having a 14 year career (and counting), he’s only ever had one catch in his whole career.
 

 

He’s basically built a career as a punt gunner, and is a 9 time pro bowler, multiple all pro, 3 time super bowl champion as a pure special teams player.

 

Theres no doubt he’s the most decorated special teams gunner of all time.

 

Does this get him a bust?

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11 minutes ago, iknowcool said:

I’m not against a special teamer making the HOF, but what special or memorable plays does he have?

None.

Here's the thing with Matthew Slater- he's been a solid ST guy his entire career, but those accolades are not entirely deserved. The last few all-pro/pro bowl honors he's received have been due to the fact that he is coasting off the superb ST play he had years earlier and NO ONE who votes for those is going back and watching special teams snaps.

To illustrate what I mean, in 2020, when he was a pro-bowler and 2nd team all-pro, he had 7 tackles. Those were his season stats. Only 4 of them were solo. There is a lot more to special teams than just tackles, but still, c'mon man. I know there have been better STers the last few years he's received those awards. Hell, I think Justin Bethel is probably the best STer on the Patriots. Keion Crossen was better than him last year in the AFC.

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2 hours ago, paul-mac said:

Theres no doubt he’s the most decorated special teams gunner of all time.

Tasker is a 7 time Pro Bowler, 7 time All Pro and a former Pro Bowl MVP, so unless you're counting rings - this isn't correct.

He wasn't just a gunner either, he blocked kicks/punts and was a good returner. Bill Parcells admitted he'd have to create a gameplan around Tasker, because he was one of the most feared hitters in the game at the time and he'd force fumbles if you didn't pay attention.

Once Tasker gets in, I'll remotely consider Slater - and will still probably say no, because Tasker set the bar SO high.

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Matthew Slater is an example of when people want others to think they watch the game more than they do and so they just laud him with accolades... I sincerely doubt the people who have voted for Slater as an All-Pro, etc watched each and every one of his Special Teams snaps and the snaps of all of his contemporaries...

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1 minute ago, BlaqOptic said:

Matthew Slater is an example of when people want others to think they watch the game more than they do and so they just laud him with accolades... I sincerely doubt the people who have voted for Slater as an All-Pro, etc watched each and every one of his Special Teams snaps and the snaps of all of his contemporaries...

I've been harping on this for years now. It almost makes me want to go back and find out truly who the best special teams player was the last decade... but just like everyone else, I don't want to watch the all-22 angle of special teams snaps.

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8 minutes ago, BlaqOptic said:

Matthew Slater is an example of when people want others to think they watch the game more than they do and so they just laud him with accolades... I sincerely doubt the people who have voted for Slater as an All-Pro, etc watched each and every one of his Special Teams snaps and the snaps of all of his contemporaries...

And btw, account for everyone on STs, not just the gunners who make the splashy plays.

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1 hour ago, minutemancl said:

None.

Here's the thing with Matthew Slater- he's been a solid ST guy his entire career, but those accolades are not entirely deserved. The last few all-pro/pro bowl honors he's received have been due to the fact that he is coasting off the superb ST play he had years earlier and NO ONE who votes for those is going back and watching special teams snaps.

To illustrate what I mean, in 2020, when he was a pro-bowler and 2nd team all-pro, he had 7 tackles. Those were his season stats. Only 4 of them were solo. There is a lot more to special teams than just tackles, but still, c'mon man. I know there have been better STers the last few years he's received those awards. Hell, I think Justin Bethel is probably the best STer on the Patriots. Keion Crossen was better than him last year in the AFC.

Also, he was on television a lot, Bill loves to talk about special teams, etc. 

There was one year where he was essentially benched (or injured) from what I recall, and his replacement had more snaps and more contributions, yet Slater still "made" the Pro Bowl. 

I keep thinking back to former 49ers linebacker Gary Plummer who played four seasons with the team, but earlier had spent eight seasons with the San Diego Chargers. People come up to him all the time and no one ever talks about his time as a Charger. They only remember him as a 49er, due to the exposure the team had by winning many games, and being on television a lot in the 1990's. 

BTW, no one knows what the hell is going on during the limited scope of the telecasts during special teams plays anyway. If Slater was on the Jaguars no one would know who the hell he was. Or at the very least he wouldn't have 9 Pro Bowl selections. 

Edited by TecmoSuperJoe
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1 hour ago, kramxel said:

And btw, account for everyone on STs, not just the gunners who make the splashy plays.

Early in his career, I maintained Zak Deossie was the best long snapper in the NFL. Not because he was flawless in his long snapping, but because he was the first man to meet the punt returner on every single punt. 

Watch any Giants game between 2008-2015 and watch and listen when the Giants punt, especially when it is fair caught. You'll see #51 in the face of the punter, and you'll hear a loud screeching being picked up by the field mics. Deossie would sprint down to the punt returner, get right in their face, and let out almost like a screeching cowboy yell to try to distract them if they were calling for a fair catch. It was awesome. If they didn't, he would regularly make the tackle. Never really got any credit for those contributions, but he was an awesome LS.

Found an article about it: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323455104579012540737751988

The screeching never really worked, but it was fun. But the article does confirm that he may be the best tackling LS of all-time.

Edited by minutemancl
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Tidbit from an article via The Ringer on the career of Slater written a couple of years back. Don't worry, it's not a hit piece. But just wanted to post this part that I think in my opinion does depict what I and others have been eluding to...which is that Slater's career has turned into a bit of a tall tale at times.

Quote

As it turns out, this season’s data backs Belichick up. Of the 217 NFL players who took at least 50 percent of their team’s special teams snaps in 2018, Pro Football Focus gave Slater the highest grade. But at other points in his career, praise for Slater has been almost entirely based on reputation.

In 2016, PFF credited Slater with four made tackles and a stunning seven missed tackles in the regular season and playoffs. Here’s one of the misses, an egregious whiff during the 2017 AFC championship game that allowed Steelers return man Sammie Coates to pick up an additional 10 yards.


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You can see that it’s kind of a miracle that Slater even got into position to make this play, as he bobbed and weaved between three Steelers blockers and covered 40 yards to end up exactly where Coates was headed. But he failed to bring Coates down, instead flinging the Pittsburgh player in the opposite direction where there were yards to be gained.

Slater’s missteps didn’t damage his rep. While Ebner led the league in special teams tackles (and didn’t miss one all season) during the 2016 campaign, it was Slater who was selected to the Pro Bowl and named a first-team All-Pro. (PFF graded Ebner’s special teams production higher than Slater’s in 2016 and 2017.) Slater suffered from injuries during the 2017 season, missing seven games. And even after he returned, New England had cornerbacks Johnson Bademosi and Jonathan Jones serve as the team’s gunners on the punt coverage team. Despite being benched at the position where he ostensibly has the biggest impact, Slater was selected for his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl.

 

https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2019/1/29/18201377/matthew-slater-patriots-special-teams-coin-toss-super-bowl-liii

Edited by TecmoSuperJoe
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