While Terrell Owens’ former coach Andy Reid is campaigning for him to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former Rams coach Mike Martz says Owens should get in the back of the line.
Asked by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch if he’s surprised that Owens is a Hall of Fame finalist while former Rams receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt are not, Martz said he’d go further than just saying he’s surprised.
“‘Surprised’ isn’t the word,” Martz said. “You can’t print how I felt when T.O. leapfrogged those two. That’s just plain out-and-out ridiculous.”
Statistically, Owens has a strong case to get in ahead of Bruce and Holt: Owens had 15,934 career receiving yards while Bruce had 15,208 and Holt had 13,382. Owens had 153 career receiving touchdowns while Bruce had 91 and Holt had 74. The other receiver who’s a Hall of Fame finalist this year, Marvin Harrison, had 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns.
But Martz says T.O. is ahead of Holt and Bruce not because of stats but because of the attention Owens drew to himself. Martz thinks Bruce and Holt were humble guys, and that’s being held against them.
“Had they promoted themselves, which was contrary to everything we were about, they’d probably get in without an issue,” Martz said. “Had they pulled a T.O., they’re probably get in without an issue. That’s just not who we were. If they big-timed it and did all that dumb stuff, they’d probably get in earlier. I think they’ll eventually get in. I don’t think that’s an issue, but it’s tragic that people think of them like that. If Marvin Harrison gets in, how could they not get in?”
The selection committee will decide on Saturday whether Owens or Harrison gets into the Hall of Fame this year. Bruce and Holt will have to wait until at least 2017.