Time for some more speculating, as we still have about a month or so before training camp kicks off in Latrobe, PA for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Today's question: is Carnell Lake a Hall of Famer?
PRO BOWLS (5): 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999
ALL-PRO SELECTIONS (1): 1997
Here are the safetys currently in the Hall of Fame: Ken Houston, Paul Krause, Yale Larry, Ronnie Lott, Mel Renfro, Emlin Tunnel, Larry Wilson, Willie Wood.
Of those 8 players, all had more interceptions than Lake. By a long shot, in fact. Even guys like Yale Larry, who played in the 50s predominantly, when passing the ball was certainly not done with the same type of regularity that it is today, had more career interceptions than Lake.
Despite the meager interception totals, Lake's tackle totals are very sound. His three year stretch from 1991-1993, where he had 83, 85, and 91 tackles respectively, is a tremendous accomplishment. Compare that to Ed Reed's best season (also a SS) of 71 tackles and Troy Polamalu's best season of 74 tackles and suddenly the debate becomes a little more interesting.
However, at the end of the day, Carnell Lake will probably fall short of reaching the Hall of Fame. The interception total of 16 is just too skimpy I'd guess for him to warrant serious consideration from the voters. That said, he was one heckuva football player that was as sure a tackler as there was in the game during the pinnacle of his career in the early to mid 1990s.
What do you think? Memories of his greatness?