MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Super Bowl weekend could be special for ex-Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas.
Thomas is among 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In his 12 years with Miami, the Dolphins legend racked up a mind-boggling 1,640 total tackles. Still, Thomas deferred the praise to his old teammates.
“Yeah, I’m honored and humbled by it. But as they say, it’s a team game and you’re only as good as what’s around you, and I had a lot of talent around me,” he said. “They did all the dirty work, our defensive line, and then I’m getting all the credit.”
Thomas isn’t worried about whether or not he gets in. To him, the opportunity is more than enough.
“Just to be in the conversation for the final 15 is gratifying. I come from a small town, little kid, wasn’t the fastest or strongest or even the smartest, and I ended up in the top 15 players to ever play the game,” he said. “It is humbling to me. You know, when I look back at that, I just wanted to play one year in the NFL. You know the odds of making it to the NFL are like 1/10th of 1 percent, but the odds of making it to the Hall of Fame are steeper, so that’s where I get humbled.”
A week ago, Thomas’ former head coach, Jimmy Johnson, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This is shaping up to be a perfect storm: Thomas, Johnson and the Big Game in Miami.
Number 54 could be voted in the day before Super Bowl 54.
So who does he have his money on between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers?
“I can’t cheer for either,” he said. “I just want to see a great game.”
And that’s why he’s a Dolphins lifer!
Thomas played 12 of his 13 season with Miami, finishing his career with 1,107 solo tackles, 627 assisted tackles, 74 tackles for a loss and 20.5 sacks.
Class of 2020 Modern-Era Player Semifinalists:
- Zach Thomas, LB – 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys
- Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York
- Tony Boselli, T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve)
- Isaac Bruce, WR – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
- LeRoy Butler, S – 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers
- Alan Faneca, G – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
- Torry Holt, WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Steve Hutchinson, G – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans
- Edgerrin James, RB – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks
- John Lynch, FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
- Sam Mills, LB – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers
- Troy Polamalu, S – 2003-2014 Pittsburgh Steelers
- Richard Seymour, DE/DT – 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders
- Reggie Wayne, WR – 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts
- Bryant Young, DT – 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers