Morten Andersen's Hall of Fame candidacy has been hot topic for kickers

Morten Andersen played in more games (382) and scored more points (2,544) than any player in NFL history. Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Morten Andersen, the leading scorer in NFL history, hasn't been alone in wondering when he will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

It has been 25 years since the only true kicker, Jan Stenerud, was inducted.

"I watch with interest, obviously. I'm always thinking and hoping that a couple more kickers can get in," said Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, who also has a great chance of making the Hall of Fame one day.

"With 2,550 points or whatever he's got, that's a crazy number. That's unheard of," Vinatieri said of Andersen, who actually has 2,544 points -- more than twice as many as all-time touchdown leader Jerry Rice.

The wait continued Saturday when Andersen was passed over again in his fourth year of eligibility.

Andersen, 55, played for 25 years and remains the leading scorer in both New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons history. He was a member of both the 1980s and 1990s all-decade teams.

"To be able to play 25 years at a high level, in my mind he's a shoo-in [for the Hall]," Vinatieri said.

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker also said recently that he "sincerely" hoped Andersen would kick down the door for the rest of the kicking fraternity.

"When you're talking about winning games, the leading point scorer has gotta be included," Tucker said. "And Morten Andersen is one of the greatest closers in our game."

Both Vinatieri, 43, and Tucker, 26, said they grew up admiring Andersen -- even though they grew up nearly two decades apart.

Vinatieri was 9 years old when Andersen began kicking for the Saints in 1982. Yet they still wound up kicking in the NFL together for 12 years before Andersen finally called it quits after the 2007 season at age 47.

"I remember watching him for many years growing up thinking that, 'This guy's the best.' Then finally getting to play against him or be on the same field, I was like, 'Wow this is awesome,'" Vinatieri said.

Vinatieri said he meant it when he called Andersen the best, though he also emphasized his respect for others such as Gary Anderson, Jason Hanson, Chris Bahr, Matt Bahr, Nick Lowery and Pete Stoyanovich.

Tucker said Andersen and Vinatieri were both at the top of the list of guys he emulated. Tucker also works with special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg, who worked with Andersen during his final season in Atlanta. Tucker said the Ravens use the same approach with their snap and hold that Andersen used then.

"[Rosburg] has shared some of Morten's principles for how he would hone his craft and how diligent he would work," Tucker said. "But the one thing that's always stood out to me is his attitude of having no fear in those critical moments."

New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski said Andersen and Anderson are two great kickers who are "deserving of all the praise they get." But he wasn't as interested in debating the Hall of Fame selection process when asked about Andersen's candidacy.

"The Hall of Fame, it is what it is," Gostkowski said. "I'm sure there are plenty of guys at a lot of positions that are deserving who don't get in. It's just an accolade -- it doesn't say anything about how good of a player he is.

"To be recognized as a good kicker or punter you have to do it for a long period of time, consistently, and those guys have."

ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss contributed to this report.