Mike Martz: “Ridiculous” to put T.O. in the Hall over Bruce, Holt

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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.

100 responses to “Mike Martz: “Ridiculous” to put T.O. in the Hall over Bruce, Holt

  1. Bruce was a good possession receiver who blossomed in the Greatest Show on Turf. Holt stretched the field and could go up and make huge catches. He was great. But, he didn’t take over games by himself against double coverage like T.O.

    And, the Rams had a HoF’er QB and RB…

    Owens healed from a broken ankle and had huge production in a Super Bowl with a tired QB who puked in the huddle.

    Owens emerged as a star in SF and cashed in. Then he went up and caught everything for Dallas, much like Dez is attempting to do.

    Wherever Owens went, he produced like a superstar. Holt & Bruce were great WRs on a team with a high-power, multi-dimensional offense run by, again, a HoF QB.

    Owens beats Holt and Bruce isn’t even this conversation.

  2. What is Martz smoking? It’s not like Owens has worse #’s than Bruce and Holt and his antics are getting him in. He actually has better #’s. If stats is all that matters then he should be in, if there is a moral clause then he probably shouldn’t.

  3. Haha!!! And Martz is out … again!!

    So he trades Greg Olsen to Carolina for a fifth round pick and chooses two guys with no stats or quantity of All Pro First Team selections that are anywhere near Owens’.

    For a one-time Super Bowl runner-up coach, he’s pretty bad at football evaluation.

  4. Martz is blunded by loyalty here, understandably but incorrectly. TO’s #’s have zero to do with his antics. He was dominant on the field.

  5. I’m a Rams fan (I guess an L.A. Rams fan now).

    Martz’s argument makes no sense. People have been saying for years that it’s the off-field distraction Owens drew to himself that will negatively impact his HoF chances. Now Burce and Holt won’t get in because they were humble and Owens’ behavior helped his cause? I don’t think so.

    Also objectively speaking Owens has stats that dwarf both of them. He certainly deserves it more.

  6. Martz has it wrong. He’s being considered for the hall precisely because of his incredible numbers and despite his behavior.

    Harrison should go next. His single season records were amazing.

    Then Bruce.

    Holt isn’t going in.

  7. Martz Needs to get over himself. The only way Owens isn’t getting in is if his self promotion and antics are held against him by the voters. Martz trying to claim that it will help is case is pure bs.

  8. It’s called the Hall of Fame, not the “Hall of Nice Guys who played well also”. Who cares if he was a complete tool off the field. His stats merit his inclusion. Period.

  9. Owens is getting in because he was better. Not by much but he was better. Owens last year in the league he played he woulda been in the pro bowl had he not gotten injured.

  10. Never a fan of a team TO was on but for those 60 minutes the only other WR during his playing time i’d rather have is only moss

    Scared of him during the week / offseason though.

  11. I loved watching Bruce and Holt, I really did. But TO scored way more touchdowns than either one. He is at 153 while Holt and Bruce combined are at 165. Those two should make it but i’d say TO was better

  12. More often than not, Hall of Fame voting boils down to a players stats in comparison to the guys around him.

    I don’t have the most respect for T.O. but the dude could play. Yes he was a nuisance and showboater but his stats back up his case for canton.

  13. If T.O. is elected to the HOF, it will be in spite of his antics, not because of them.

    He was an exceptional player and I think the reason he has so many more TDs than Bruce or Holt is that he did not go down at first contact after the catch.

  14. I don’t like Owens or Harrison, off the field. Both should get in before Holt and Bruce.

    But, I don’t understand how the HoF elects receivers. Lynn Swann was borderline, he’s in. John Stallworth was a really good player, he’s in. Andre Reed and Micheal Irvin are both in, but it took the HoF forever to elect Art Monk. So, who knows.

  15. Love what you did with Kurt Warner & Co. re: The Greatest Show On Turf, Coach Martz, but BY-THE-NUMBERS, which is what the HoF should only be about, m’boy OchoUno (T.O.) is most deserving of a 1st Ballot hook-in.

  16. The Hall of Fame is a joke – and has been for years and years. There used to be a distinction between inductees and just very good players. Martz gets at one good point – the influence of a player’s relationship with the sports media. Talking about wide receivers, Art Monk and Michael Irvin are both deserving Hall of Famers, but there is no rational explanation for why Monk waited years despite retiring as the all-time receptions leader while Irvin went in quickly and even, unbelievably, before Monk. The selection system is fatally flawed.

    Also, so many receivers are getting attention because of the rule changes that produce these gaudy numbers, not exceptional talent -the Madden video game effect. If modern receivers played under the old rules, a precious few would garner Hall of Fame consideration. And, that’s how it should be. The Hall of Fame has lost any special distinction. The most glaring example is cris carter whose Hall of Fame bust should be a life-size Randy Moss cradling a tiny cris carter. If cris carter is in your Hall of Fame, you have a Hall of Pretty Good.

  17. I’ll be the first to say that T.O. is probably on my Mount Rushmore of least favorite players in the NFL of all time, but from a talent perspective, few were better than him. He is a top 10 WR, better than everybody else on the list, and is HOF worthy. Period. End of discussion.

  18. I love Bruce and Holt but let’s be real, Marshall Faulk was the engine of that offense. If Martz wasn’t a big dummy, the Rams would have at least one more Super Bowl win.

  19. Owens, Harrison are slam dunks. Bruce is deserving g as well as he had a long and consistent career and one f the great clutch plays in sb history. Holt Has nice stats but not a lot of longevity and he was never a takeover game kind of guy and a very good but not great wr.

  20. Owens has the numbers, but lacked sportsmanship or any league accolades. Bruce and Holt were good and sportsmen, but not HoF receivers.
    Harrison was both.

  21. T.O deserves to be in the Hall, but so does Holt and Bruce. Those guys were part of an offense that destroyed defenses before the rules became really slanted in the favor of passing.

    Warner, Faulk, Pace, Bruce and Holt should all eventually be in the Hall.

  22. To put in perspective how good Owens was, Before an injury cut short his season by 2 games; He was well on his way to over 1200 yards and 10+ TDs when he last suited up for the Bengals ..at age 37

  23. Owens always conducted himself like a self centered, punk. Can’t believe the HOF is actually considering him.

    Not a bad thing can be said about his stays in Buffalo or Cincinnati.

  24. I think you could make the argument that if you take Bruce or Holt off the Rams and put them on another team without another great WR they would put up similar numbers to TO.

    Yeah, chaos theory and all that but, they are one of if not the best WR duo of all time. I’d do some stat look ups to see how many balls were thrown their way vs. TO and kind of even them out.

    It’s not Bruce or Holt’s humbleness keeping them out of the hall. If anything, it’s the fact that the other existed on the same team in the greatest offense in history

  25. It’s not called the Hall of Nice Guys, Mike. TO was the better player. That’s just reality.

  26. T.O was always the #1 on his team. He made sure of that and it meant he did not have to share targets. His career stats reflect that and he is worthy of the HoF entry that he will get this year.

    Bruce and Holt had to share targets. Not only with each other, but with Az Hakim and Faulk. While they will have helped reduce the double coverages because of the others presence, there simply are only so many targets to spread around. If they did not have others taking their targets they would have put up even more insane numbers.

    Not to mention, Bruce and Holt managed to make Marc Bulge a probowl QB. It was not Bulger’s talent that achieved that.

    I think that Bruce has a stronger case than Holt, comparable with T.O and that Martz does have a point, to an extent, that people remember the diva over the Reverend.

    Holt also has a decent case, but is not in the same echelon. I would put Holt and Harrison in the same bracket, especially when you include the Peyton Manning factor in Harrison’s career.

    What this shows though is how weak the clearing of the decks approach to last year’s HoF class was. That is going to create a logjam of epic proportions by using sympathy votes for less deserving cases.

  27. TO should be first. His stats are insane. I do recall many mind numbing, teeth gnashing, drive killing drops in Dallas, though.

  28. Owens is a slam-dunk HOF’er, even if you don’t like him.

    Issac the Bruce is borderline along with Holt.

  29. For NFL football fans with more than a short term memory, including the Ram fans posting above, the one Ram WR who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame is Henry Ellard. He’s the greatest LA Ram receiver. When he retired in 1998, he was 3rd all time in receiving yards (currently 13th). Ellard has more receiving yards than Holt. And when you consider that the Rams used Ellard primarily as a PR his first two years and wanted him to continue for the following 3 years before making him a full time WR, his stats are understated. Henry Ellard is 21st all-time in all purpose yards. TO is 20th. Bruce is 29th.

    Henry Ellard, #80, belongs in the HOF.

  30. Don’t accede to authority. Coaches and sports writers often don’t know what they’re talking about, but the public expects that they are infallible just because they are who they are.

    Neither profession is known for being stocked with people who are fond of research and critical thinking. That’s why baseball managers misuse bullpens and overvalue defense, basketball coaches bench players with fouls for way too long, football coaches don’t go for it enough on fourth down. Too many sports writers are walking cliche’ machines meeting deadlines who never bother to look up a damned thing.

  31. Of the turn of the century Rams not already in…only Warner really deserves consideration for the HOF. Consider that he took two doormat franchises to the Super Bowl and was a poorly reviewed non-TD catch away from putting both of them in the winner’s circle.

  32. Actually TO is hurt by not being humble, and hurt for the wrong reasons IMO. He never got in trouble with arrests off the field and when he was on the field he was a trash talker and show boater but he didnt intentionally try to hurt anyone. Its crazy to compare Holt and Bruce to Owens. Neither is close. Owens was better in his peak and lasted longer Holt’s career ended at age 33, TO almost had a 1000 yards at age 37. Bruce’s line at age 37: 21/264/0

  33. All l’ll going to say is that l agree with Martz. I wouldn’t vote for Owens to pick up my garbage.

  34. The worst thing anyone can say about “T.O.” is they he had a diva side, but Terrell Owens should be first ballot. Owens worked his tail off, always came in to every season and game in absolutely phenomenal shape, produced like virtually no other, hustled like heck on the field and was great at downfield blocking (e.g., see Garrison Hearst’s 96 yard walk-off TD run, where Owens took out two Jet defenders by himself nearly 100 yards downfield).

    Of course he belongs in the Pro Football HOF – and in my book, Owens is first ballot (no question about it).

  35. Bruce’s best seasons came before the GSOT so the Warner/Faulk argument doesn’t hold up. Harrison played with Peyton Manning…the most prolific QB of all time.

    Bruce played with TJ Rubley, Tony Banks, a shell shocked Chris Miller, a cracked Christal Chandelier, Jamie Martin and still tore up the league. He was lucky to have a few good Warner seasons but that’s not why he put up HOF numbers.

  36. Not a TO fan at all but the man had 11 less touchdowns than Holt and Bruce COMBINED. Say what you will about TO, but he produced wherever he went and was a great, HOF worthy WR.

  37. Mike Martz hit his head. I agree with him that Bruce should have already gotten in and and should be in next, but Torry Holt is not a Hall of Famer. He was very good and benefited a lot from playing opposite Bruce and with Faulk, but it wasn’t long enough nor dominant enough of a career. T.O. was simply, next to Moss, the best receiver of his generation, love him or hate him, and he produced with some pretty mediocre QBs. Jeff Garcia was his QB for some of his best years for Christ sake. Plus, you have to marvel at a guy who did all of that with some of the worst hands ever at receiver, lol.

  38. Murder Marv should get the nod…dude was a consistent beast his whole career…I like bruce and holt more than TO, but they were collectively good, and TO was just flat out amazing.

  39. They might as well start calling it the Hall of Everyone Gets A Ribbon. Some of these guys while very good during careers were not dominant, which is what the HOF should be reserved dor. The dominant game changing players.

  40. It’s kinda ridiculous to put anyone in until Mike Curtis, Lester Hayes and Johnny Sample are enshrined.

  41. Marvin Harrison was humbled .. why is he getting in? oh yeah.. he has better stats .. well, i guess that settles it.. stats do matter. lol

  42. No, sorry but Martz can’t see straight on this one.
    We’re talking about about the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Damn Good.

    Owens was an All-Pro pain in the ass, an self-centered jerk, a locker room cancer extraordinaire nad an overall despicable person, but at the end of the day, he produced and he has the numbers to prove it: 1,078 career catches, just a shade under 16,000 yards and 153 TD receptions are Hall of Fame-worthy.

  43. I’m a big Rams fan but looking at those numbers its hard to argue that Bruce and Holt deserve to go in before TO. If he wasn’t such a tool this wouldn’t even be a discussion.

  44. Torrey Holt and Issac Bruce should have to wait to get into the hall of fame on the fact alone that they would take a dive after making a catch in fear of being tackled. Always thought that was chicken $h!_ of them. I don’t ever recall seeing a past or present WR do that.

  45. The worst thing anyone can say about “T.O.” is that he had a diva side, but Terrell Owens should be first ballot. Owens worked his tail off, always came in to every season and game in absolutely phenomenal shape, produced like virtually no other, hustled like heck on the field and was great at downfield blocking (e.g., see Garrison Hearst’s 96 yard walk-off TD run, where Owens took out two Jet defenders by himself nearly 100 yards downfield).

    Of course he belongs in the Pro Football HOF – and in my book, Owens is first ballot (no question about it).

  46. This guy is out of his skull. T.O was a FORCE in his prime. Easy first ballot guy IMO. There is no argument that can be made against him getting in. NONE.

  47. Apples and oranges, since I’m taking about a RB, but every receiver listed in these comments can take a back seat to Roger Craig, who was a winner, record-setter and game changer during his decade in the league.

  48. scottousse says:
    Jan 31, 2016 9:33 AM
    It’s called the Hall of Fame, not the “Hall of Nice Guys who played well also”. Who cares if he was a complete tool off the field. His stats merit his inclusion. Period.
    You’ve got that twisted! – it’s not The Hall of Stats, it’s Fame, and T.O. was infamous rather than famous, for all his bad antics (both on the field and in the locker room – and in his private life). If players’ eligibility is essentially just on sports stats then you don’t need a hall, just look at the stats. T.O. might be ahead on some personal stats, but it’s a team game and he sometimes hurt his teams and if they counted those sorts of stats he’d be well behind some some of his classier peers.

  49. What’s most ironic about TO’s career is that his mouth was so big that it overshadows his production now – fact is, TO might have been the second-best receiver of all-time after Jerry Rice.

    Like it or not, TO was never the biggest or fastest WR, but he was incredibly well-rounded, and unlike most top-end WRs, played the slot very well. Flamboyance aside, he was a cut above.

    Holt and Bruce, while good WRs, were largely products of their system. TO was going to be a monster wherever he was, and I think his on-field character was cemented when he hobbled through that Super Bowl on a busted ankle and was still dominant. Heck, the Eagles might have won that game if he was healthy.

  50. Bruce & Holt conducted themselves much more professionally “off” the field by comparison to T.O. however T.O. performed statistically better “on” the field. Hall of Fame appointments are based on “on-field” performances. Enough said……..

  51. On the subject of the Rams: Roman Gabriel was every bit as good as HOF Joe Namath and Roman’s appearance on Gilligan’s Island alone should put him in the NFL HOF.

  52. T. O. deserves it because he was an unbelievable wide receiver…..the only reason anyone is debating it is because of his antics and attitude…..not the other way around.

  53. Here’s what guys are missing… Holt and Bruce put up those numbers while being on the field at the same time! TO was always THE guy. So he was going to put up numbers. What if he had to share the stage with Holt or Bruce would he still put up those numbers?

    TO was a great player. He played with Garcia, McNAir and Romo! Bruce played with Chris Miller, Tony Banks, Jaime freakin Martin, , Kurt Warner, Fitzpatrick & Mark Bulger etc…Huh? He had another #1 in Holt come in and he still put up numbers and got a ring.

    This is BS. Guys are thinking with the entertainment caps on and not the whole picture. You can give it a thumbs down all you want but after that sit back and really think about what I’m saying.

  54. I think both TO and the murderin’ Marvin should be in the HoF! TO played with style while Harrison straight bodied his opponents and left them six feet deep. SIX FEET DEEP.

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