Vilma: We didn’t game-plan to stop T.O.

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To the extent that the Hall of Fame voters unofficially opted for receiver Marvin Harrison over receiver Terrell Owens due to a de facto waiting line among wideouts, the unofficially official explanation was that Owens was a disruptive presence in multiple NFL cities. Another unofficially official explanation may have been available.

Former Jets and Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma recently explained that his teams didn’t game plan specifically to stop Owens, like they did with Randy Moss or Calvin Johnson. That an argument was used to keep receiver Art Monk out of the Hall of Fame for years, before he eventually got in.

Whatever the unofficially official reason, Owens eventually will get in. He’s now in the same waiting line that put Monk, Harrison, and others in after a delay from which only Jerry Rice has been exempt. And the waiting line is the officially unofficial reason for the decision to keep Owens out, at least for a year.

In contrast, quarterback Brett Favre got in on his first try with, reportedly, a six-second debate — even though it could have been argued that his annual flirtation with retirement from 2002 through 2007 followed by a retirement and strategically-timed unretirement in July 2008 was disruptive and distracting to his latter years with the Packers. While Favre’s wishy-washiness helped deliver Aaron Rodgers to Green Bay in the first round of the 2005 draft, Favre’s lack of a clear, unequivocal commitment to the game for nearly half of his career was a non-issue when it was time to coronate him with a spot in Canton.

For Owens, the coronation eventually will come. But someone had to lose the numbers game in 2016, and it was Owens. Apparently, an unofficially official explanation unrelated to disruptiveness may have been available.

21 responses to “Vilma: We didn’t game-plan to stop T.O.

  1. Looked at the stats and Vilma didn’t even play TO in a regular season game until TO’s 12th year in the league, and the Jets got crushed too.. Calvin Johnson’s just retiring after his 9th

  2. TO should protest in Canton during the cerimony by mooning everyone there,that would be much cooler than jumping on the Cowboys star and certain to enrich his legacy.

  3. You didn’t game plan for him, therefore he dominated to become no worst than the third greatest WR, ever. An “old” T.O. almost singlehandedly beat the Saints in Cincinnati. The Saints went 11-5 that season and the Bengals finished 5-11. Perhaps if you would’ve game planned for him the Saints would’ve dominated that game like they were supposed to in that game.

  4. xxakshunxx thanks for looking that up. If Vilma’s team got crushed, maybe they should have game planned for TO…

    On the field TO was a great player, and to me the HoF is about what the player does on the field.

    Just ask Pete Rose what he thinks about that, haha…

  5. Perhaps Cam should take a lesson here. It is about what you do beyond stats when you are a player on an NFL team if you want to be considered amongst the greatest. TO certainly did it his way and would often say that he is his own person and does things his way. Doesn’t that sound vaguely familiar. But people are playing the race card with Cam but black or white, both vote on the Hall of Fame and they remember TO’s pushups in the driveway and his constant childish behavior. Now we have Cam wearing Capris and dresses and acts like a child after the super bowl and we have the makings of what most people will consider a locker room pariah. After all, the Panthers got rid of Steve Smith because he was critical of Cam sitting with a towel over his head pouting. What happens when Davis and Kueckly and the other guys start doing the same because nothing makes a defense madder than playing your heart out and your qb loses two fumbles and throws a pick and then blames people for dropped balls and other mistakes and basically acts like a child. Cam is becoming a turn off for fans and soon will be with his teammates.

  6. If Curtis Martin is in,for basically being consistently GOOD,while never at any time,being the Best at his Posistion,then there is NO legit argument,for T.O not getting in.

  7. Proves why Vilma’s teams usually sucked.
    TO is one of the most physically talented players to ever play in the NFL.

    If he head a more stable mind, he’d have re-written the record books.

  8. Comparing Favre’s antics to the anti-social behaviors of TO is ludicrous.
    Favre carried his teams and was an amazing leader/locker room presence. TO was a cancer with incredible talent.

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