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Why Herm Edwards Isn’t in the Hall of Fame

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Herm Edwards was a National Football League (NFL) player, a coach, and an analyst. He wasn’t the most high-profile player, but was relatively known. His television and coaching careers have boosted his profile and fans coined the term “Hermisms” to describe his messages. 

Edwards is yet to feature in the Hall of Fame. Let’s look at his career and find out why.

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Herm Edwards’ Early Life

Herm Edwards speaking at an event. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

Herm Edwards was born on 27 April 1954 in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. His father fought in World War II and was married to a German woman.

The footballer went to Monterey High School and joined the University of California where he played football. Later, Edwards went to San Diego State University (SDSU) and graduated with a degree in criminal justice.

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Herm Edwards’ Career

Herm Edwards speaking with attendees at an event titled “On The Clock & In the Media: Race, Hiring and the NFL”. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

After his college career, Herm Edwards was an undrafted free agent after the 1977 NFL draft. However, the Philadelphia Eagles signed him and he played for the team for nine seasons until 1985. During that period, the cornerback was available for 135 games. 

One of his best moments came in 1978 when he helped his team win against the New York Giants. The game was about to end when he picked a loose ball off Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik who was passing to Larry Csonka. He rushed it for a touchdown to win the game 19-17.

This specific play was dubbed “The Miracle of the Meadowlands”. After his time at the Philadelphia Eagles, Edwards joined the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams until 1986.

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Herm Edwards’ Coaching Career

Herm Edwards giving a keynote speech. Video Credit: proplayerinsiders

After his playing career, Herm Edwards transitioned into coaching, starting at San Jose State, where he was a defensive assistant. After that, he worked as an NFL scout and defensive back coach at the Kansas City Chiefs

He then joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he worked as a defensive backs and, or assistant coach. After several roles as an assistant, he landed his first coaching job with the New York Jets.

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New York Jets

African-American Legends profiles: Herman Edwards. Video Credit: CUNY TV

In 2001, Herm Edwards took over as the New York Jets head coach. Throughout his five-year tenure, he registered a 39-41 record for the regular season. He started on a pleasant note, getting to the playoffs in his first two seasons. He got a 9-7 record in the playoffs but lost to the Los Angeles Raiders.

The following season, Edwards led the team to the playoffs but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. By the end of the 2005 season, the Jets decided to trade Edwards to get a Kansas City Chiefs player. He was accused of being timid, by always opting for a defensive play and a lack of philosophy.

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Kansas City Chiefs

Between 2006 and 2008, Herm Edwards was the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. He led them to their first playoff appearances since 2003 but lost to the Indianapolis Colts. This made him one of four NFL coaches to lead two different teams to a playoff in his first season.

In the following seasons, the Chiefs struggled, with multiple changes in the team and coaching staff. However, it didn’t work and in the 2008 season, the owner announced his support for Edwards but expected the team to compete for a playoff position. Edwards opted to cut off veteran players in favor of young players.

However, things got tough after Tom Brady suffered a career-ending injury. As a consequence, the team suffered its most defeats in a season and a controversial decision to take a 2-point conversion failed. Edwards was fired in 2009.

Arizona State

Herm Edwards returns to coaching at Arizona State. Video Credit: ESPN

In 2017, the former cornerback was hired as the head football coach of Arizona State University. In his first season, he finished with a 7-6 record. His second season went well, with Edwards beating the Michigan State Spartans team.

In 2021, the Sun Devils were shrouded in controversy that led to a mass exodus of players and coaches. He lost his defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce and offensive coordinator Zak Hill.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) launched an investigation against the school for allegedly recruiting more than 30 prospects during the COVID-19 dead period. 

Despite the scandal, Edwards retained his position, but not for too long. In 2022, he was fired after losing to Eastern Michigan Eagles. In 2024, Herm Edwards and other ASU former staffers were handed punishment. They include:

He received a five-year show-cause penalty, the longest show-cause penalties for a football head coach in NCAA history, for recruiting violations. Additionally, ASU cut ties with Regina Jackson, mother to Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels.

Other Interests

The former NFL head coach joined ESPN working on the NFL Live and SportsCenter and also appearing on ESPN Radio.   

Away from that, Edwards is a passionate golfer and has played in several high-profile tournaments like the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe.

Why Is Herm Edwards Not in the Hall of Fame?

Hall of Fame inductees have achieved far more success than Herm Edwards did. He never got any records and didn’t win the Super Bowl and individual awards. There are far better players in his position so it’s unlikely he’ll get that honor.

Herm Edwards made it into the NFL and was a regular player. However, he didn’t have a ground-breaking career. After Philadelphia Eagles released Herm, he only spent one more year before he was released and retired. Nonetheless, Edwards managed to carve a career for himself after playing.

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