Hall of Fame voter: Terrell Owens dropped too many passes

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee meets in private and submits secret ballots, so we don’t know the identities of all the voters who voted against Terrell Owens two weeks ago. But one Hall of Famer has published a defense of the decision to keep Owens out, and it boils down to this: He dropped too many passes.

That voter is Ron Borges of the Boston Herald, and in a long column defending the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, the only substantive reason Borges gives for excluding Owens is that he dropped a lot of passes.

“Owens not only led the NFL in drops once, he finished in the top four in drops seven other seasons during his 15-year career,” Borges writes.

Drops are not an official NFL statistic, but Borges is relying on the numbers from Stats, LLC. Are dropped passes really enough to keep Owens out of the Hall of Fame?

They shouldn’t be. It’s counterintuitive, but a receiver who leads the league in drops is often a good receiver. You have to do something good — get open enough for the quarterback to throw the ball to you, then get your hands on the ball — before you can get into position to drop a pass. If you don’t run good routes, you’re not going to lead the league in drops. A receiver who ends his career with 1,078 catches for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns is going to drop some.

The rest of Borges’ column is given over to an overly defensive defense of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee combined with criticism of those who criticize the Committee. Or, as Borges puts it, “the Mike Florios of the world.”

Borges also mentions a recent radio interview in which Owens’ former coach, Bill Parcells, endorsed Owens as a Hall of Famer but acknowledged that Owens could be disruptive. Interestingly, Borges only seems to know about that interview because PFT posted about it. Borges included in his Boston Herald column a quote from Parcells from that interview, but he credited neither the radio station (ESPN Radio in Los Angeles) nor PFT for transcribing the interview, even though he obviously just copied and pasted Parcells’ comments from PFT’s post into his Boston Herald column: Not only is every word Borges used from Parcells’ interview exactly the same as the words PFT transcribed, but all the punctuation is in exactly the same place, something that two people transcribing the same interview independently are unlikely to do identically. Borges even included two parentheticals PFT added to clarify something Parcells said.

So thanks, Mr. Borges, for reading PFT. Even if you dropped the ball on this one.

79 responses to “Hall of Fame voter: Terrell Owens dropped too many passes

  1. TO doesn’t deserve any award. Especially hall of fame.
    Too big a disruption.
    How such a team killer should even be considered is ridiculous.

  2. Jerry Rice was a drop-machine in his first season, that’s why he started using stickum.

    Presumably, Borges is also campaigning to get some QBs kicked out of the HoF? QB career interception all-time top 12 includes:
    1st: Favre (336), 2nd: Blanda (277), 5th: Tarkenton (266), 7th: Unitas (253), 8th: Marino (252), 9th: P Manning (251), 12th: Fouts (242). {Note to Brady haters: TB is on 151, and not in top 50}.

  3. drop % would be a much better stat then # of drops. Besides determining a drop is very subjective. I don’t doubt he legitimately dropped a lot of passes he should have caught but I don’t know how much worse he was then the other HOFs. It would need to be significant to cause a delay in enshrinement like this.

  4. Also, dinging Owens for drops because his hands or focus weren’t the best part of his game is like dinging a slower HOF WR for poor yards after catch metrics.

  5. To me, HOF voters should have the prerequisite of playing in the league for multiple years, or being a player already in the hall. The fact that the voters are mostly hack job local beat writers show what a joke they have made the HOF.

  6. Instantly took all credit from HOF voters. Confirmed sham. T.O. has real stats, anyone of you voters care to elaborate on that??? Thought so, complete sham

  7. Borges is a hack, can’t stand him in Boston. He’s awful, and to no ones surprise he got this wrong.

  8. Borges is an embarrassment to journalism. He’s the worst kind of know-nothing provocateur. Boston has wanted to be rid of his columns for years. This is just yet another example why. His ego and self-righteousness always trump actual storytelling and integrity.

  9. To go to another sport for a moment, former #1 overall pick Kwame Brown only missed 752 free throws in his career, the guy that drafted him, Michael Jordan missed 1,445, obviously Jordan is less deserving to be in the HoF.

  10. Brett Favre. Career INT and fumbles leader. He’s in. Joe Namath. More INTs than TDs and a 50.1% completion percentage. He’s in.

  11. Jerry Rice dropped so many passes his first three seasons, Howard Cosell actually named him “Bad Hands Jerry Rice”. Rice would have 20 more career TDs if he held onto the ball, and Joe Montana might have two or three more super bowl rings. Most voters are keeping Owens out because he was disruptive to the organization, not because he dropped passes.

  12. Like a previous poster mentioned unless you voted against Brett Favre’s induction to the HOF because he is the all-time leader for picks you cannot use the drop argument for Owens. Be coherent.

  13. Brett Favre led the NFL in interceptions 3 times and was Top 4 in interceptions 9 times.

    And an interception is a helluva lot worse than a drop. A drop isn’t any worse than a QB missing an open receiver on a pass.

    Also, the difference between one of the worst and one of the best guys most years is 4 or 5 balls. Do those 4 or 5 catches really matter that much in the grand scheme of things? Especially when it’s an explosive receiver who does more with less?

  14. I’ll also note – Owens’s worst year for drops was 2006, when he played the third game onward with a surgically repaired broken finger. Remember the overdose? Those pills he took were pain pills for the rehab he was doing on his finger after breaking it against the Redskins.

  15. Look at a few of the NBA’s Top 20 in career turnovers:

    John Stockton
    Isiah Thomas
    Magic Johnson

    Maybe it’s because they touched the ball a lot?

  16. its a good thing your headline wasn’t “ron borges: TO dropped too many passes for HOF”

    because i would not have clicked on the article. well played

  17. streetyson says:
    Feb 18, 2017 6:32 AM
    Jerry Rice was a drop-machine in his first season, that’s why he started using stickum.

    Presumably, Borges is also campaigning to get some QBs kicked out of the HoF? QB career interception all-time top 12 includes:
    1st: Favre (336), 2nd: Blanda (277), 5th: Tarkenton (266), 7th: Unitas (253), 8th: Marino (252), 9th: P Manning (251), 12th: Fouts (242). {Note to Brady haters: TB is on 151, and not in top 50}.

    Yeah because Taahmy throws 5 yard slants most of the time to little ant-people who do all the work for him. I would be great in that system. Go BB!

  18. Boston is full of so called sports journalist with agenda’s other than sports. See Ron Borges, Steve Buckley, Dan Shaughnessy(Curley Haired Boyfriend), Bob Ryan, et al
    Players need to be judged on what they do between the lines. Period!

  19. Translation:”I dont want TO in because I dont like him personally and spent the past few days pouring over numbers so I could come out with some reason fit to say publically”

    Isnt this the guy that used to always second guess Belichick’s decisions (including starting Brady at qb) and then constantly get proven wrong? If he is the reporter I am thinking of it was like each time Belichick turned out to be right this guy became more determined to prove that he still knew football better than Belichick. That went on for a few years before the guy finally figured out it was futile. But also its been a long time so I have to admit the posdibility Im thinking of the wrong reporter.

  20. Borges was fired from the Boston Globe for plagarizing an article….probably the worst thing a writer can do and he is a HOF voter…#hypocrite

  21. Ahh… Poor Terrell Owens.

    I am having a hard time coming to grips with the travesty of an injustice that THE Terrell Owens was not inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

    Where will it end people? Where?!? WHERE?!?

    I just hope we get to the bottom of how this happened and we are able to out all of those who are responsible. How do those people sleep at night? How are they able to look themselves in the mirror?

    Until this is corrected it shall hence be forth known as…

    The Hall of Fame*

    *Cheated Terrell Owens out of his place in the pantheon of football history

  22. iamapatsfan says:
    Feb 18, 2017 6:43 AM
    Ron Borges is a HOF voter?

    How the heck does a hack like him get a job like that?

    ————–

    This is what we should all want to know….. unbelievable.

  23. From reading Borges’ articles over the years I’m not sure he thinks anybody is worthy of the HOF. Actually, I’m not even sure he thinks anybody is worthy of reading his articles.

  24. I’m not a TO fan but if drops is going to be part of your criteria, than maybe you need to factor it in percentage of targets. I guy who gets targeted 150 times in a season and drops 10 isn’t the same receiver who gets targeted 30 times in a season and drops 10.

  25. This is the same guy that said the Pats should have drafted Terrel from Michigan over Seymour and second round pick Matt Light wouldn’t help anytime soon.

  26. Borges and the rest of the HOF voters are a joke. A world class WR that put up 1,000 yard seasons gets snubbed yet you clowns vote in Kurt Warner, a guy who was ONLY good when surrounded by Pro Bowlers at every position carrying him?

    If Piggly Wiggly bag boys carried by their Offenses to TWO good seasons their entire career can get in then Owens should have been an overqualified lock. Like I said, the HOF has become a joke.

  27. You can shoot the messenger here and Borges has it coming, but TO was a disruption and did drop a lot of passes. He was a great receiver and really good when he was running with it. Michael Irvin was also great and didn’t get in his first time eligible. TO will get in and only seems upset because he has to wait. This tantrum certainly reminds voters of the lack of maturity TO had during his career in the NFL. If nothing else, TO was one of the first diva wide receivers. We now accept that as okay. It’s one reason I’ll take Julio Jones and AJ Green over Beckham and Brown. They’re true professionals.

  28. Who cares about the Hall Of Fame voting? I couldn’t care less who is in it or who is not in it.
    The players long ago stopped meaning anything to me. They are as greedy and selfish as the owners.
    I only care about the uniform, not who’s in it. All I want is the best players wearing it so the team has a chance to win.
    To me, the players are just parts of an engine. Just as you change the spark plugs, air filter, and what ever else you need to keep it running at its peak performance, that’s what you do with the team. If a player isn’t performing well enough, do your best to find someone better and do away with the one who isn’t performing well.
    They can put Terrell Owens in the Hall Of Fame right now and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference to me. Because there are bad guys already in the Hall Of Fame, so what difference does it make? If O.J. Simpson can still be in the Hall Of Fame, then don’t tell me character matters.
    How about the greatest football player who ever lived, Jim Brown? He has a history of beating women and he even served one day in jail for punching his golf partner in a tournament over a disputed ball placement.
    And the NFL has a long history of handing out pain killers as if they are candy to its players. How many players have become pain pill addicts because of their days in the NFL? Terry Bradshaw has said many times he can’t remember a game where he didn’t get pain killer injections in the locker room before or during the game. And that still happens today.
    Don’t get me wrong. I am no fan of Terrell Owens. And I really wish character still had a place in all sports. But it doesn’t. The NFL is full of bad guys and the same can be said of every major sport. It always has been and always will be that way.

  29. Owens needs to wait. The Hall should be reserved for guys who made a huge impact on the game. He didn’t, fantasy stats notwithstanding. I hope he gets in for his final year of eligibility. To talk about him in the same breath as guys like Rice, Largent or Tim Brown is absurd. Rod Smith deserves to get in before Owens does. He impacted the game from all over the field.

  30. Shows how having little knowledge of a subject is very dangerous indeed, and these pen-wielding maniacs are out for blood. I know some of the local DFW writers that vote and I wouldn’t read their trash, seems that the rest of the voters are cut from the same cloth.disturbing.

  31. For anyone not familiar with the Boston sports media scene Ron Borges is one of 2 thoroughly despised long time duplicitous hacks here, Dan (Shank) Shaughnessy is the other. We have been truly blessed with a lot of great writers over the years, those 2 are our karmic offset for the others. Some might lump Tomasi in there but incompetence alone doesn’t merit a place next to those 2 self important miscreants.

  32. The politics of the Hall of Fame.

    We all know how it works. Guys get in who shouldn’t be there *cough* Lynn Swann *cough*. Some guys are made to wait because they weren’t media friendly or likeable (Art Monk, Charles Haley). Some guys don’t even get mentioned anymore even though they have comparable stats and were better players than Jerome Bettis in their prime (Ricky Watters).

    Why is T.O. any different? He was a jacka$$ for most of his career, destroying locker rooms one at a time.

    Why does anyone feel sorry for him? He’ll get in, but he’ll wait like many before him. Owens is now paying the price for the antics of his playing years.

    Let him wait.

  33. As a Patriots fan and Massachusetts native, I’m no fan of RBorges. Never met the man, probably never will, don’t care to. His almost pathological hatred of Belichick and the Patriots is legendary around here. But this piece is one of the lowest, classless hit jobs I have ever read. Borges article made a lot of good points. It wasn’t all about drops, although the fact that TO was among the league leaders MANY times is significant to me. It was also about the fact that it’s HARD to get in, unlike other sports HOF. The baseball HOF is a joke. Only 32 NFL WRs are in. Borges also notes TO probably gets in someday. He also points out that many other players that dominated their era are still waiting, and backs it up with facts. You may disagree with the fact Borges has a HOF vote, but his peers evidently think he’s earned that stripe, unlike anyone that works at this site.

    The cheap, thinly veiled reference to plagerism was the icing on the cake. That charge resulted from Borges posting a snippet from a Seattle newspaper in his long Sunday Football Notes column and forgetting to give credit. Lazy, yes. A big deal,no. All because he mentioned Florio’s name once in the article. Then his subordinate got on the case. Classless.

  34. margoadams says:
    Feb 18, 2017 7:58 AM

    Boston is full of so called sports journalist with agenda’s other than sports. See Ron Borges, Steve Buckley, Dan Shaughnessy(Curley Haired Boyfriend), Bob Ryan, et al
    Players need to be judged on what they do between the lines. Period!

    ———————————————————–
    I agree with your opinion that Borges and Shaughnessy are Horrible!!! Both are always negative and no one would shed a tear if they got canned. Well, at least the guys I work with, no one likes either.. Buckley on the other hand, is reputable, honest, and well thought of in these parts. You don’t always agree with him but he backs up his opinions with a solid arguments. Not sure why you included him.

  35. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says:
    Feb 18, 2017 9:22 AM
    Owens needs to wait. The Hall should be reserved for guys who made a huge impact on the game. He didn’t, fantasy stats notwithstanding. I hope he gets in for his final year of eligibility. To talk about him in the same breath as guys like Rice, Largent or Tim Brown is absurd. Rod Smith deserves to get in before Owens does. He impacted the game from all over the field.

    —————-
    Rod Smith impacted the game more than TO? Sure buddy….I guess this is what I should expect from fans who only started watching football in 2013….

  36. jxt2521 says:
    Feb 18, 2017 6:33 AM
    drop % would be a much better stat then # of drops. Besides determining a drop is very subjective. I don’t doubt he legitimately dropped a lot of passes he should have caught but I don’t know how much worse he was then the other HOFs. It would need to be significant to cause a delay in enshrinement like this.

    _____________

    Coming from a guy who watched TO play over his career, he dropped plenty of balls he should have caught. It was significant.

  37. I’d like to see someone make the case as to why T.O. should have gotten in over the other players that did this year. I’d also like to hear someone give a reason other than his stats, as to why he should have been first ballot.

    For God’s sake, people are acting like he’s never going to get in now. Cris Carter waited for 6 years to get in and Only 2 WR’s in the last 20 years have gotten in on the first ballot – Jerry Rice and Steve Largent! I don’t think that T.O. did anything to for his teams to be mentioned with those 2 guys.

    Being a first ballot hall of famer is a special thing, every year thousands of players become elligible for the hall and only a few get in. It should take something more than just stats to become a member of this elite club, and T.O. doesn’t have anything other than stats to offer. There are plenty of other players who are as equally deserving of a spot in Canton as T.O. that quietly awaiting their turns.

    Look at Ladanian Tomlinson’s career in comparison. Not only was he an absolute beast on the field, but he carried himself like a professional. He didn’t yell at his QB’s and coaches if he wasn’t getting the ball enough. He put his head down and DID HIS JOB! He never talked about stats or records. He supported his team and did whatever he had to to help them win. Not to mention the work he’s done with children through his foundation.

    That’s why LT was first ballot and T.O. wasn’t. LT actually earned the respect of his peers by how he carried himself. T.O. lost that respect for the same reason.

  38. Borges’ pathologically massive ego blinds him to any sense of reasoned judgment. His rantings on the drafting of Richard Seymour over David Terrell and associated excoriations of Belichick bordered on bizarre.

    It is embarassing to the Hall Of Fame that he is a voter.

    I hope he gets suspended/fired (again) for being sloppy and for thinking that giving credit to anyone but himself is necessary. Perhaps it will lead to his HOF voter status being terminated, as it should.

  39. UH-OH!! If this guy is on the selection committee after Odell Beckham retires and is eligible, he is toast!! I would be interesting in how many passes he drops because he has to be among the league leaders every season.

    Beckham is almost the reincarnation of Owens!

  40. Some of these HOF voters need to get over themselves…T.O.’s numbers are outstanding. Yes, he had (still has) a big mouth. So did Michael Irvin…and he had a number of tasteless off-field issues that T.O. hasn’t had. If Irvin’s a HOF’er, so should T.O.

  41. It’s pretty sad people are puffing this clown up, this is the same guy who cried like a baby when catching a routine pass from Steve Young.

    Sure it won a game, but that is what you are supposed to do at this level, and it wasn’t a SB game.

    It was always about him and not the team.

    After playing with numerous teams he never won a ring.

    To compare him to Irvin, is like comparing Renaldo Nehamiah to Lynn Swann.

    Arrogant and puffed up and a worship of himself describes TO.

  42. se7in2015 says:
    Feb 18, 2017 11:34 AM

    Look at Ladanian Tomlinson’s career in comparison. Not only was he an absolute beast on the field, but he carried himself like a professional. He didn’t yell at his QB’s and coaches if he wasn’t getting the ball enough. He put his head down and DID HIS JOB! He never talked about stats or records. He supported his team and did whatever he had to to help them win. Not to mention the work he’s done with children through his foundation.

    That’s why LT was first ballot and T.O. wasn’t. LT actually earned the respect of his peers by how he carried himself. T.O. lost that respect for the same reason.

    _________________________________________

    I guess you missed it when Tomlinson left the Chargers and signed with the Jets. Both Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates both criticized Tomlinson for being a me-me player.
    Gates said Tomlinson thought he was bigger than the team and Rivers said it would be a relief to call plays without wondering what Tomlinson thought about it.

  43. This guy is prime example the American people think the media has no credibility.
    That’s why Trump won the election BTW. People with brains understand if the media has its own agenda. DIVIDE AND CONQUER

  44. Brett farve has most ints, Peyton Manning most playoff one and dones, Nolan Ryan most walks and Cy Young most losses but all obviously are deservinh. Borges is a clown show

  45. “Hall of Fame voter: Terrell Owens dropped too many passes”

    – this tantamount to saying that ‘Babe Ruth struck out too many times’… ditto a Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, etc.

    Similarly, Owens ‘struck out’ a lot, but also hit a lot of hrs to win games for his teams. He epitomized a ‘me’ player, undeniably a prima dona. His denial HOF enshrinement twice now is a message sent… message received, now get past the Owens-like petulance yours same & enshrine the quite worthy football player who was also a knucklehead.

    The disparity of merit: odd that a player suspended for an entire year due gambling – and on NFL games, Hornung – can be worthy of enshrinement but another bad actor i.e., Owens, to date, is not same.

    What standard of merit, conduct afield as well off, exists? Gambling ok, being a knucklehead not? Pettiness be thy name, PFHOFSC hypocrites.

  46. A poor analogy on a bunch of levels. How many HOF baseball players were in the top 4 in strikeouts for many yrs during their career?

  47. Put that clown in full pads and helmet and have him against just one db for 100 passes, he wouldn’t catch 1.

  48. streetyson says:
    Feb 18, 2017 6:32 AM
    QB career interception all-time top 12 includes:
    1st: Favre (336), 2nd: Blanda (277), 5th: Tarkenton (266), 7th: Unitas (253), 8th: Marino (252), 9th: P Manning (251), 12th: Fouts (242). {Note to Brady haters: TB is on 151, and not in top 50}.

    ——————————————–

    Lot easier to avoid throwing INTs when you steal defensive signals and wire tap the opponents locker room.

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