PFHOF Profile: Will Shields

Will ShieldsThere is a theme among the two lineman selected as a part of the Class of 2015 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, toughness.

It is almost a requirement for lineman if they want to play beyond Pop Warner football as it can be one of the most physically demanding positions in the game.

Lineman are often the players that people look to when speaking about how un-athletic football players can be.

It is a group of 300lb men with big guts that barely move more than a few yards at a time and many use that as a negative against the game.

Yet despite their perceived lack of athleticism lineman are some of the most important and toughest players in the game.

Yes a quarterback is needed to be successful but they rarely get hit and receivers and running backs who get hit often are never hit as many times as a lineman does in a game.

On every play there is a massive collision between the biggest men on the field as the trenches are constantly a struggle.

Trying to either move defenders or offensive lineman is a tough job and one that can punish a body over time in the game.

Knees, shoulders, backs, and hips are always the issues that lineman deal with and every year a new crop of younger lineman come in that are healthier and have more time making it tougher to keep a spot.

Yet time after time it seems like lineman count among some of the longest playing streaks in the NFL.

In the top ten of the ironmen of football four are offensive lineman while two more are defensive lineman.

In the Class of 2015 there will be two men on this list that will enter the Hall of Fame as two of the true ironmen of their eras.

The first will be Mick Tingelhoff who enters on the senior committee ballot while Will Shields enters on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Shields entered his first game as an injury replacement but from that point on he would never relinquish his starting spot.

After playing 223 games without missing a start, Shields ranks fifth all-time on the iron man list and was an essential part to a very good group.

The Kansas City Chiefs had one of the most potent offences when Shields was on the line and they didn’t excel at only one thing.

Instead they were good at all aspects of offensive football averaging some of the best all-purpose yards in the league.Former Player - Will Shields

Shields was a big part of an era where the Chiefs ranked among the best offences in the league and Priest Holmes emerged as a true star running back in the era.

While with the Chiefs, Shields was a part of the line that had the fewest sacks in franchise history (19) and was a part of the line that helped the Chiefs to earn the most total yards in 2004 and 2005.

Shields was a constant on the line for the Chiefs and led the charge of an offence that ranked among the best while he patrolled the line.

There is nothing more important than consistency on the line as the group can block better when the pieces are all together.

Shields provided that consistency and the results speak for themselves as the Chiefs became a great offence.

Shields is yet another member of the Hall of Fame and a brotherhood of offensive lineman who know what it is like to go to every game and fight in the toughest part of the field.

Even though he was always in the trenches fighting to give his quarterback time or to create a hole for his running back, Shields never let the bumps and bruises get to him.

His toughness and consistency on the line may not have gone recognized while he was playing but they will be when he enters the halls of Canton as a member of the newest class of nominees.

wshields.fw

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