Former Cincinnati Bengals right tackle Willie Anderson was one of the best tackles of his era. However, he will have to wait another year to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as the 2024 class was just announced, and Anderson did not make the cut.
Anderson was one of 15 modern-era finalists.
Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2024:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 9, 2024
Anderson played 13 seasons — 12 with the Bengals and his final with the Baltimore Ravens — starting 184 games. He was instrumental to the offense’s success over that span, but it was really 2003 when the national media started to recognize his success. He was AP Second-Team All-Pro in 2003 and was an AP First-Team tackle for the following three years.
Towards the end of Anderson’s career, analytics became much more mainstream, with Pro Football Focus hitting the scene. PFF has been a huge fan of Anderson since hitting the scene in roughly 2007. They were able to measure just how incredible Anderson was at his job.
Willie Anderson was Pro Football Focus top pass blocker in the last 15 years. Here’s the stats researched by @PFF_Neil— Paul Alexander (@CoachPaulAlex) October 5, 2022
HOF ballots went out yesterday. Hope @BigWillie7179 is inducted this year
Anderson was looking to become just the third player for Cincinnati to reach Canton alongside Anthony Munoz and the late Ken Riley. Munoz was the first to be inducted in 1998, and it wasn’t until last year that Riley was finally recognized despite his 65 career interceptions (currently tied for fifth all-time).
You can tell by the gap there that the Hall of Fame voters don’t care too much about Bengal players. The Bengals have tried to help change this in recent seasons by starting a Ring of Honor in their stadium.
Alas, here’s to hoping next year is the year Anderson gets his due.