Hall voters have their say
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Wed, Nov. 14, 2007
By CLARENCE E. HILL Jr.
John McClain, Houston Chronicle
“Right now, the jury is still out on T.O. There are a lot of great receivers with impressive numbers still deserving of the Hall of Fame. Art Monk, Andre Reed and Cris Carter, for instance. Others from TO’s era — Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Isaac Bruce, Rod Smith — have posted big numbers, too. Like T.O., they’re outstanding receivers with impressive credentials. The bottom line on T.O. and all of the others is that there’s going to be a lot of stiff competition from a lot of deserving candidates, so the jury is still out.”
Jarrett Bell, USA Today
“Here’s my take on Terrell Owens: Still undetermined. It is tough to merely glance at numbers as the determining factor. If so, Art Monk, Andre Reed and even Andre Rison would be in the Hall. The passing game numbers have become so inflated as the NFL has evolved, and that makes it difficult to rate receivers and quarterbacks from different eras by the same standards. I mean, Drew Pearson is Hall of Fame-worthy in my book, and he had 261 fewer career catches than Michael Irvin did. And I think Bob Hayes, who helped write the history of the receiver position in the NFL, deserves to be in the Hall, regardless of his numbers. Still, in Owens’ case, the career touchdowns are the numbers that support his case.
“Now, what’s the intangible? That whole T.O. persona. The bylaws state that we are to consider players based on what happens between the lines. But that can be interpreted in different ways. So, just as you might view Ray Lewis more favorably for his leadership, an argument might be made that Owens’ track record over the years for, well, events — with all the antics and selfish showboating, sideline blowups, in-house spats — should be weighed for whatever negative impact he might have had on his teams from a chemistry standpoint. Obviously, that’s a lot tougher to quantify than TDs or dropped passes.
“Still, when you get back to productivity and impact as a player, I don’t see where Terrell Owens brings anything less to the wide receiver position than Hall of Famers like Steve Largent, Tommy McDonald and James Lofton did when they played.”