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Steve Tasker Makes Hall Of Fame Case For Matthew Slater

BOSTON (CBS) -- Steve Tasker may not make the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his work on special teams for Buffalo in the 1980s and '90s. But he believes that honor will eventually be bestowed upon Matthew Slater.

"I think a Matthew Slater, I don't think there's any question that he'll get in when his time comes," Tasker said on "Great Dane Nation," Morten Andersen's podcast. "He may not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he'll be a guy that they'll have to address. And at least he'll get into the finalists' room, where they will have to address his candidacy. Up until the time you're a finalist, they don't do that in an open forum with all the voters in the room."

Slater just completed his 14th NFL season, spending his entire career with the Patriots, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2008. He's a 10-time Pro Bowler, a two-time First Team All-Pro, and a three-time Super Bowl champion, serving as a team captain for 11 seasons.

Tasker likewise carved out an impressive career as a special teamer, making seven Pro Bowls with the Bills, including six straight apperances from 1990 to 1995. Tasker was a semifinalist for the Hall of Fame this year but did not make it to the finalists list, in what was his final year of eligibility on the ballot. He still has a chance to make the Hall of Fame through the senior committee.

But Tasker said that the importance and recognition of special teams has only increased with time, and with electric punt and kick returner Devin Hester being a finalist this year, the voters will be addressing such players differently now and in the future.

"For guys like Matthew Slater in New England going forward, as the game expanded to include those guys, to include slot receivers and nickel defensive backs and rotating defensive ends and that kind of thing, third-down backs, so too I think the Hall of Fame should expand going forward to include those position groups that contribute so much," Tasker said. "So yeah, I think there is going forward, the Hall of Fame should be expanded to include everybody who contributes on the team."

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