Bill Fralic - HOVG?

Discuss candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the PFRA's Hall of Very Good

Bill Fralic - HOVG?

Postby sluggermatt15 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:56 pm

Just became eligible this year.

9 NFL seasons, 132 games, 131 career starts. Right guard for the Falcons and Lions. Drafted #2 overall in 1985.

Four time Pro Bowl (1986 to 1989) selection; two-time first-team All-Pro (1986, 1987); second-team All-Pro (1988).

1985 NFL All-Rookie Team & second team 1980s All-Decade Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/ ... alBi00.htm

Innovator of the "pancake block". He was a ferocious run blocker. Was also one of the first players to take advantage of the NFL's free agency system in 1993, doubling his salary signing with the Lions. He was a fairly athletic offensive lineman and solid, reliable, durable. Does not have the longevity of other Falcons linemen during the time like Jeff Van Note and Mike Kenn, could hurt his case.

What do you guys think? HOVG worthy?
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Re: Bill Fralic - HOVG?

Postby Halas Hall » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:50 pm

Just one man's opinion, I think the two players you mention - Jeff Van Note (2019 nominee) and Mike Kenn (2020 nominee) have stronger cases.
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Re: Bill Fralic - HOVG?

Postby sluggermatt15 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:45 pm

Halas Hall wrote:Just one man's opinion, I think the two players you mention - Jeff Van Note (2019 nominee) and Mike Kenn (2020 nominee) have stronger cases.


Sure, it's a fine opinion. What makes you think they have stronger cases?
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Re: Bill Fralic - HOVG?

Postby Halas Hall » Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:28 am

Thanks for opening up my eyes on Bill Fralic, he has some really solid credentials. I totally forgot he finished up with the Detroit Lions. Maybe Van Note and Kenn have stronger cases due to the lengths of their careers (both 17 seasons)? I think Jeff Van Note had six pro bowls and Kenn had five. Chris Hinton played some with both Fralic and Kenn and I think Hinton had seven Pro Bowls in 13 seasons. I think Hinton is eligible for the H of VG next year.
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Re: Bill Fralic - HOVG?

Postby sluggermatt15 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:42 pm

Halas Hall wrote:Thanks for opening up my eyes on Bill Fralic, he has some really solid credentials. I totally forgot he finished up with the Detroit Lions. Maybe Van Note and Kenn have stronger cases due to the lengths of their careers (both 17 seasons)? I think Jeff Van Note had six pro bowls and Kenn had five. Chris Hinton played some with both Fralic and Kenn and I think Hinton had seven Pro Bowls in 13 seasons. I think Hinton is eligible for the H of VG next year.


You're right. Between Kenn, Van Note, and Hinton, they have 17 or 18 Pro Bowls. It's amazing. The Falcons had some formidable offensive lines in the '80s.

I think Van Note missed four games in his entire career. Kenn started in every game he played.
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Re: Bill Fralic - HOVG?

Postby Bryan » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:44 pm

sluggermatt15 wrote:You're right. Between Kenn, Van Note, and Hinton, they have 17 or 18 Pro Bowls. It's amazing. The Falcons had some formidable offensive lines in the '80s.

I think Van Note missed four games in his entire career. Kenn started in every game he played.


RC Thielemann had a nice career and was a contributor to the 87 Skins Super Bowl team. I remember Fralic being hugely hyped coming out of college...I think in the 70's and 80's only John Hicks and Tony Mandarich had similar hype. Fralic was the only one who came close to living up to it.

IMO, Fralic's peak was much higher than Van Note's. I think Kenn was better than Fralic in terms of consistency and also comparable in terms of peak, and Kenn played LT while Fralic played RG. So I would rank them Kenn ------Fralic--Van Note.

Fralic had a weird career. I think he was in part a product of steroids, like Mandarich and Dave Rimington. He was a big anti-steroid guy toward the end of his NFL career, but his career was relatively short and he somewhat quickly (IMO) became just another guy at RG instead of a top performer. I don't know what to make of that aspect of Fralic's legacy.

I will say those early 1980's Pitt teams were the greatest collection of college talent never to have won a national title. Jackie Sherrill should be ashamed, like how John Thompson couldn't make the Final Four with Dikembe Mutombo & Alonzo Mourning, or not winning Gold at the 1988 Olympics.
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Re: Bill Fralic - HOVG?

Postby sluggermatt15 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:52 pm

Bryan - this is a great post. Thank you for sharing that.

Do you think any of Fralic's decline in productivity is due to him being on a bad team? I'm going to guess the fast coaching changes may have had an impact.. Dan Henning left after 1986, replaced by Marion Campbell. My understanding he was not well liked? Then Jim Hanifan was there for only one season, followed by Jerry Glanville.

I knew Fralic did steroids when he was at Pitt. Is there confirmation he did them in the NFL?
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Re: Bill Fralic - HOVG?

Postby Bryan » Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:50 pm

sluggermatt15 wrote:Do you think any of Fralic's decline in productivity is due to him being on a bad team? I'm going to guess the fast coaching changes may have had an impact.. Dan Henning left after 1986, replaced by Marion Campbell. My understanding he was not well liked? Then Jim Hanifan was there for only one season, followed by Jerry Glanville.

I knew Fralic did steroids when he was at Pitt. Is there confirmation he did them in the NFL?


I don't know if Fralic's decline was due to him being on a bad team, because the Falcons were pretty much terrible the entire time he was there. I have no confirmation that Fralic did steroids in the NFL; it's speculation on my part to connect a decline in productivity to being steroid-free.

This is the write-up from Turney's website, who ranked Fralic as the #50 OG of the post-WWII Era:

Said Joel Buchsbaum, "A super destroyer, a powerful blocker" but also "didn't always play unto expectations". Fralic played nine years and was a starter all nine. He was All-Pro twice and went to four Pro Bowls, then tailed off. He was a Second-team member of the All-1980s Team. In 1986 the NFL Alumni voted him the NFL's top offensive lineman.
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