There has been a lot of talk about former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson lately. Thanks largely to David Kubicki and his efforts, Anderson, now 62 years old, probably has the best chance to be voted into the NFL Hall of Fame now than he did when he was first eligible.
Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson, who joined us on our podcast two weeks ago, even said that he believes we'll see Anderson make it into the hall of fame in the next few years.
"Well I think Kubicki has done a hell of a job," Hobson said during last week's podcast. "He's blanketed the national media and he's blanketed the voters with all sorts of great material. I think this is as good of a shot as Kenny's ever had probably including when he was a finalist twice in the '90s. That doesn't mean he's going to get in this trip, but I think at some point he will. I think the numbers are so overwhelming that I think he's going to get in. I think Dick LeBeau had to wait, I think 13 years, for the senior committee. I don't think Anderson will have to wait nearly as much as that. I think he's going to get a good run this trip and I think in the next couple of years he'll get in."
A young quarterback would be lucky to work with Anderson. None of us would have expected that young quarterback would have been former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, though.
"He's been a good kid to me. He does what you ask and he's a very hard worker. I like him," Anderson says. "He's a perfectionist. He wants to know how he's doing and I like that. The tough thing is I'd like to be able to teach him an offense, but wherever he goes it's going to be a different offense. So we're getting him ready for his Pro Day, talking about blitzes and protections, when to throw it hot. We watch video that's not all that extensive, but we can talk about the basics and going through his progressions."
He's got an NFL arm," he says. "Some have had better arms than him that have made it and some haven't had as good an arm and have made it. He's obviously a tremendous athlete and he's made a lot of throws while running. He certainly has a lot of tools you need."
Anderson believes that Pryor could find success in the NFL, though he thinks Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has a leg up, mainly because he went through the draft process and didn't decide to to go into the NFL just a month ago.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame senior committee is getting together next month to discuss who will be in the next class of inductees. Anderson has more momentum behind his hall of fame status than ever before, but he's not taking a break to make a push for Canton. He's going to continue working with Pryor.
It's possible Anderson's on-field achievements won't be enough to get him to Canton this year, but maybe his work as a coach and a mentor will change the voters' minds eventually.
According to Ken Herock, a former Bengals tight end who helps prepare NFL prospects for the draft with his ProPrep service, it's only a matter of time.
"The guy has his career going for him. It was a great career. He was one of the best," Herock says. "And he just happened to be a good coach for a long time."