JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Although he won’t be playing this weekend in Houston, nobody would blame former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli if he had pregame jitters. On Saturday, Boselli will learn if he’s been selected to join the most elite fraternity in football, The Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I’m not anxious, and I’m not nervous yet,” Boselli said Wednesday during an appearance on jaguars.com live from Super Bowl LI Radio Row. “I think I will be come Saturday.”
Credentials for Boselli read as such: First player ever inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars, five Pro Bowl appearances, three-time All-Pro at left tackle and a member of the NFL’s 1990s all Decade Team. The one knock against Boselli is longevity. Due to injuries he only played in 91 games during the seven seasons that he was healthy.
Boselli has been listed on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Preliminary Nominees list every year since 2009. He’s competing against the likes of RB LaDainian Tomlinson, DE Jason Taylor, QB Kurt Warner, and S Brian Dawkins, who attended Raines High School, as one of 15 finalist for the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Of those 15, only five will get to put on the iconic Hall of Fame gold jacket this coming August.
“There are 15 guys who are finalists, which means 14 guys besides me,” said Boselli. “Every one of them can make an argument why they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. If I’m one of those five … huge honor. If I’m not, that’s part of the process. I’m not going to sit back and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, how does he get in?’"
WJXT-TV sports director Sam Kouvaris is a Hall of Fame voter and will speak on Boselli’s behalf when the selection committee meets Saturday in Houston.
Tom Coughlin, who is now the Jaguars executive vice president of football operations, doesn’t have a vote, but coached Boselli during his time in Jacksonville. In his mind there’s no doubt that Boselli belongs in Canton.
“Look at the numbers,” said Coughlin. “When you look at his numbers, there isn’t any question. Now, you have other guys that played more, but they still, he gave up fewer sacks. All the things you would ask a left tackle to do [he did it] better than a bunch of those guys who are in the Hall. God bless, but if some of those injuries had not occurred, he would have played 10-12 years himself or more. I am certainly aware of that, but I think you have to look at the skill. You have to look at the ability and the skill and say, ‘This guy was rare, very rare.'"