Here's why Will Shields should be in the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class

Brian Behr Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs great Will Shields is up for the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, the third time he's been a candidate. Will this be the year he gets in? We say yes. The announcement comes this evening.

When Joe Montana and Marcus Allen came to the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1993 season, a new generation of Chiefs fans were born. With Montana's play and Allen's ability to jump 15 feet (or so) over the line of scrimmage for touchdowns, success came quickly to the Chiefs, who went to the 1993 AFC Championship game and picked up a new batch of fans, many of whom have stuck around over the years. The 1995 team was said to the best in Chiefs franchise history. The 1997 team lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. The 2003 team was one of the greatest offenses in history.

From 1993 forward, there was one constant and his name was Will Shields. As the Chiefs racked up five of the top six single-season rushing performances in franchise history, there was Shields. And so this new generation of fans looked to Shields as the finest offensive guard to grace the field at Arrowhead Stadium.

A 1993 third round pick by the Chiefs, Shields was the epitome of what GM Carl Peterson and head coach Marty Schottenheimer were looking for. King Carl wanted someone who the team could proudly point to as a leader in the community. Marty wanted a durable offensive lineman who could pave the way for his run-first philosophy. They both got what they wanted and more.

Will Shields is a 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist for the third time. His credentials stack up as well as anyone hoping for HOF entry this year. The 2014 Hall of Fame announcement is coming down on Saturday evening at the NFL Honors show at 7 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) on Fox.

Chiefs fans know Shields should be a no-brainer.

RelatedRandy Covitz on Will Shields' bid

The nuts and bolts

  • 1993 3rd round pick
  • Mack Lee Hill award winner for Chiefs rookie of the year
  • Started 223 consecutive games (Chiefs record)
  • Went to 12 consecutive Pro Bowls (Tied AFC-NFC Pro Bowl record)
  • One of four players over 200 consecutive games played at the time of his retirement
  • Chiefs Ring of Honor (2012)

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Kansas City Star McClatchy-Tribune

"Will to Succeed Foundation"

Thanks to the Chiefs for collecting much of this information on Shields.

  • Established the "Will to Succeed Foundation," which has developed a number of innovative programs and has benefitted more than 100,000 individuals since the foundation's inception in 1993. A complete listing of all Shields' charitable efforts are on the foundation's website at willtosucceed.org. Several major components of the "Will to Succeed Foundation" include: Serving as a spokesman and on the Board of Directors for the Marillac Center for Children which benefits children with emotional and behavioral disorders; "Operation Breakthrough" which helps meet the needs of disadvantaged children served by St. Vincent's Family Center; "Team Esteem," a program for inner-city youths which rewards academic and personal improvement with trips to cultural events and Chiefs games.
  • Received the inaugural "Arthur S. Arkush Humanitarian of the Year Award" presented by Pro Football Weekly in '99 which recognizes "an NFL player whose contributions to the community and charitable causes are both outstanding and hands-on."
  • Was the 2000 NFL recipient of "The Citizenship Through Sports Award" which is presented by the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance which annually recognizes athletes from all sports for "outstanding citizenship, sportsmanship, ethical conduct and community service."
  • Was a finalist for the 2004 Byron "Whizzer" White Humanitarian Award.
  • The Shields were named the Philanthropists of the Year by the Kansas City Council of Philanthrophy in May of 2005.
  • Was named one of the "Good Guys in Sports" by The Sporting News in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
  • Was named the NFL's Extra Effort Award winner for October of 2002 for his charitable work.
  • 2003 Walter Payton Man of the Year award
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Elsa Getty Images Sport

The Chiefs he played with

Just how long is 224 games played? And how impressive is that? Below is a collection of players that Shields played with on the offensive line over his 14 seasons. (Games played with them in parentheses.)

Left tackle (9): Willie Roaf (58), John Alt (55), Jeff Criswell (35), John Tait (34), Jordan Black (20), Glenn Parker (13), Derrick Graham (3), Marcus Spears (2), Kyle Turley (2)

Left guard (10): Dave Szott (92), Brian Waters (85), Jeff Blackshear (15), Glenn Parker (12), Jeff Smith (5), Marcus Spears (5), Donald Willis (4), Chris Bober (2), Danny Villa (2), Reggie McElroy (1)

Center (4): Tim Grunhard (125), Casey Wiegmann (95), Donald Willis (2), Brian Waters (1)

Right tackle (10): Victor Riley (52), Ricky Siglar (50) John Tait (32), John Welbourn (23), Glenn Parker (16), Marcus Spears (11), Derrick Graham (10), Jordan Black (9), Kevin Sampson (7), Kyle Turley (5), Chris Bober (4), Jeff Criswell (4), Trezelle Jenkins (1)

Quarterback (8): Trent Green (88), Elvis Grbac (47), Steve Bono (31), Joe Montana (24), Rich Gannon (19), Damon Huard (8), Dave Krieg (5), Warren Moon (1)

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Brian Bahr Getty Images Sport

2014 HOF finalists

Owner Eddie DeBartolo
DE/LB Charles Haley
DE/LB Kevin Greene
Morten Andersen
RB Jerome Bettis
LB Derrick Brooks
WR Tim Brown
HC Tony Dungy
WR Marvin Harrison
OT Walter Jones
John Lynch
WR Andre Reed
Will Shields
DE Michael Strahan
DB Aeneas Williams

What is the HOF voting process?

Complete details at the HOF website. The basics are below:

At the annual meeting, each of the nominees is thoroughly discussed by the committee before a series of reduction votes are taken.  First, the two senior candidates are discussed and voted on for election.  They must receive the same 80 percent affirmative vote as the modern-era candidates. Next, the there is a vote that reduces the modern-era finalists list from 15 to 10.  Following that, a vote is taken to reduce the list from 10 to 5 names.  The five remaining candidates for Hall of Fame election are then voted on individually (yes or no) for membership.

In order to be elected a finalist must receive a minimum of 80% of the vote.

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