The support for Ken Riley’s Hall of Fame case grows by the day.
Late last month, legendary defensive back Mel Blount—a Pittsburgh Steelers lifer—gave his case for Riley to join him in Canton, Ohio. Now, another gold jacket owner is joining in on the conversation.
James Lofton, a Hall of Fame wide receiver and current CBS analyst, spoke about Riley’s legacy with Bengal Jim Foster.
“65 career interceptions. You have to wonder why Ken Riley is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” Lofton said. “Was it that he didn’t start fast or didn’t finish great? No. He started fast, he had interceptions in his rookie season. And in his last season, 1983, Ken Riley, at the age of 36, was named First Team All-Pro. He led the NFL in interceptions. Eight interceptions in 14 games.”
Lofton entered the NFL towards the end of Riley’s career. In the middle of Riley’s All-Pro 1983 season, he shut down Lofton in a game against the Green Bay Packers. In the eight weeks leading up to that game, Lofton had amassed 800 receiving yards.
“I played against Ken Riley. He made life difficult for a lot of receivers. But I went to Cincinnati on a hot streak. ...I did not catch a pass against Ken Riley, or the Cincinnati Bengals, that Sunday afternoon.”
It’s no small thing to have legends such as Blount and Lofton support Riley’s posthumous case for Canton. Lofton is a unique individual who is a Hall of Fame player and voter, so his words do carry an ample amount of weight.
“Ken Riley gets my full endorsement for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When his name comes up, I’ll be ready to cast my vote for him.”
You can watch the full video below via Jim!
Yet another HOF endorsement for Ken Riley. This time from current HOF'er James Lofton. VERY powerful video here (He's referring to the 1983 season in these comments). @ProFootballHOF | #Bengals | #JungleToTheHall https://t.co/ksAhnj4JNM via @YouTube— Bengal Jim’s BTR (@bengaljims_BTR) June 7, 2021