Tag:Tim Brown
Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:24 pm
 

Cris Carter: Modern-day WRs are 'not appreciated'

Cris Carter believes his numbers are good enough to get into the Hall of Fame. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Cris Carter might disagree with my assessment of how the Hall of Fame selection process should mostly maintain its status quo, but we agree on one aspect of the current state of voters --they’re having a tough time figuring out what to do with the wide receivers.

For the second straight year, the upcoming induction class won’t feature a receiver, even though Tim Brown, Andre Reed and Carter are all legitimate candidates. The problem is that the voters are split between Reed and Carter, and with an 80 percent vote needed to get a player in the HOF, neither have managed to siphon enough votes to top that requirement.

“I think the modern day wide receiver … his skill level is not appreciated,” Carter told Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin on WQAM radio in Miami (via sportsradiointerviews.com).” It’s not just about the numbers. It’s the ability to catch the football and put your talent on display. That being in the 1980s and 90s and you know I played in three different decades, so Mike people like yourself … people like Joe Montana, people have said things to me… when you all say something to me it really means a lot more. I can’t do no more. I appreciate what you guys are saying and doing everything, but I pleaded my case those 16 years I played in this league.”

Carter -- who had 1,101 catches, 13,899 yards, and 130 touchdowns during his career -- has better numbers than Tim Brown (Carter has less yards receiving but 30 more touchdowns) and Andre Reed. But as Carter says, it’s not just about statistics.

So, how good can he feel about his chances for the Hall now that he’s been rejected for the past five years?

“I felt good my first year,” Carter said. “I mean, I am the only person alive that’s eligible for the Hall of Fame that has 130 touchdowns that is not in it, so when you have a stat like that ... You got more touchdowns than Jim Brown and Walter Payton like…I mean I am not campaigning for the Hall of Fame, so for me the list doesn’t change every year. My numbers ain’t going to change. It’s just too much productivity over the time…like I have no argument Mike. I really don’t.”

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 11:17 am
 

Should the HOF selection process be tweaked?

HOF

By Josh Katzowitz

The night before Super Bowl XLVI and a few hours after the Pro Football Hall of Fame votes had been announced, the three Eye on Football bloggers walked back to our hotel, debating whether the NFL enshrines players in the best way possible.

Criticisms already had begun to pour in -- how could Bill Parcells not be elected, how could the selection committee leave out Cris Carter? -- and the three of us pondered the best way to fix the selection process (or if it should be fixed at all).

I believed the status quo, for the most part, was fine, but Ryan Wilson seemed to me the most open to change.

Since that time about two weeks ago, the floodgates of criticism have opened and a torrential waterfall of suggestions from fans and players have formed a maelstrom of condemnation in which hardly anybody can escape.

Which is why, in part, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who has been a Hall of Fame selector for two decades and is one of the most-respected NFL reporters, is contemplating dropping out of the process altogether.

“I've been thinking of stepping down from the committee of 44 selectors. Many of you are right. Twenty years is a long time,” King wrote Tuesday. “I've stated my case -- in favor or opposed -- for many who've been elected and many who haven't. And I've thought, independent of the argument some have proposed for term limits for Hall voters, that maybe it's time for someone else to sit in judgment of these great players, coaches and league and club officials. Fresh voices are good things.

“In 20 years, sitting on the panel has gone from an honor to equal parts burden and honor. I never got in this for pats on the back. I got in it to try to do the right thing by my conscience. Sitting in judgment of the all-time greats is an often-intimidating job, because you realize you're acting as judge and jury to a man's career. When Chris Doleman got in this year, he said that night that the only thing better in his life would be when he died and met his maker. Don't think that's lost on me. It's an honor -- with a heavy weight attached. And the weight gets heavier every year."

Curtis Martin led this year's HOF class. (US Presswire)
But fans and players have criticized the process. When receiver Tim Brown didn’t make the Hall this year, he lashed out on Twitter. Other former players have criticized the fact that Carter still is on the outside. Some don’t understand why Cortez Kennedy made it in this year, and some can’t figure out how a five-time Super Bowl champ like Charles Haley didn’t.

Cleary, though, the toll weighs heavily on the 44 selectors, journalists representing each NFL market and other at-large voters, who have to elect at least four players (and leave out close to a dozen legitimate candidates) each year. I saw that in person the night of the election when I ran into a voter at the media hotel lobby and his eyes looked glazed and his brained seemed frazzled.

What should be done about the process? Anything? What would satisfy the general population -- who has began to see the selection process as unfair and, ultimately, incorrect? Anything at all?

Here are some of the ideas I’ve heard that the Pro Football Hall of Fame could choose to use in order to tweak the process. Some ideas, in my view, would hurt more than they’d help, but at least one is good enough to put into place immediately.

Term limits: Recently-elected Chris Doleman and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio have championed the idea of getting new blood in the system every five years, and in theory, that’s not a bad idea. But in this day and age, when journalists move from job to job and beat to beat (and sport to sport), the number of long-time football writers will begin to dwindle. You look at the list now and you can see long-time NFL reporters like Rick Gosselin (from the Dallas Morning News), John McClain (from the Houston Chronicle), and Ed Bouchette (from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette ). I’d rather have them selecting the inductees, because they have perspective and can compare players across eras, rather than a younger soul whose institutional knowledge doesn’t go beyond the 1990s.

The Hall of Fame selectors have received criticism for not inducting Cris Carter (US Presswire)
In order to vote for baseball’s Hall of Fame, you have to be a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America for at least 10 years. Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing something similar with football. But until then, term limits only limits the perspective the committee will bring.

Expand the vote: Admittedly, I like much about baseball’s Hall of Fame selection process, and the ability for a large group of people weighing in on the sport’s legacy is good policy for that sport. For football, I don’t see how expanding the voter pool will make the process any less cumbersome or fair. With the way the football committee is set up, each of the 15 finalists is presented by one voter and then the entire body debates that player. Say, for instance, you expand the 44 voters to 88. Then, you have a selection committee that has become twice as cumbersome and takes twice as much time to make a decision. Already, the process took seven hours this year to vote in the six members. Simply put, there isn’t enough time in the day to add that many more new people. And who says 88 is the right number anyway? What about 150 or 300?

If we’re talking about expanding the vote, then, we’re talking about scrapping the entire current system. If you want 300 people voting on the Hall of Fame, you have to go to a baseball-type system where you vote for the players you think are deserving and that’s it. No meetings, no debating. I think that could work, but logistically, in this system, there’s not a chance that could happen.

Add more variety: Why not add football executives or former players or living Hall of Fame members? The theory behind that idea would be to rid the committee of any perceived biases. But how does adding executives and players, who might have personal relationships to those up for induction, add objectivity to the proceedings? It doesn’t. Despite the idea that one person who has a beef against, let’s say, Cris Carter and keeps him out because of a personal vendetta, I really don’t think that happens as much as the public might believe. These voters take their jobs too seriously in order to upend themselves by making it personal. I couldn’t say the same for executives and former players who might vote in, let’s say, Carter because they’re good buddies with him. How is that any more fair?

Stop with the four-man minimum: I think the Hall of Fame might be better served with less inductees than with more. As it stands now, the selectors have to vote in at least four new members per year with a maximum of seven. I refer back to baseball, where if a certain class isn’t good enough, nobody gets in. There shouldn’t be a minimum requirement, because it should be hard to get into the Hall of Fame.

Make votes public: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. The voters for the AP polls in college football and basketball are there for fans to see. Why won’t the Pro Football Hall of Fame allow its selectors to do the same? I know plenty of the 44 who want their votes to be made public knowledge. And if there is a bias among some voters, this might help dispel their desire to keep out the players they don’t like.

So, what am I saying here? Basically, I think the current format works. Despite all the criticism that’s heaped on the selectors, I’m not sure there’s a better way to get players inducted. I’m biased, of course, because I think journalists make the best selectors. They’re trained to be objective, and they’re trained to research, ponder and think about every possible angle before making a decision like this. I’m content with the system the way it is. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn good nonetheless.

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Posted on: January 7, 2012 2:00 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 2:01 pm
 

2012 Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hall of Fame (US Presswire)By Josh Katzowitz

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the finalists (15 modern-day players and two senior players) for the 2012 induction class, and among them are Bill Parcells, Jerome Bettis and Cris Carter.

The selection committee, made up of 44 NFL writers from each NFL market, will meet Feb. 4 in Indianapolis to whittle down the list to the inductees. The new Hall of Famers will be announced that day at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Here is the complete list:

Jerome Bettis (RB) 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

Tim Brown (WR/KR) 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jack Butler (CB) 1951-59 Pittsburgh Steelers

Cris Carter (WR) 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins

Dermontti Dawson (C) 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers

Edward DeBartolo, Jr. (Owner) 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers

Chris Doleman (DE, LB) 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers

Kevin Greene (DE, LB) 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers

Charles Haley (LB, DE) 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys

Cortez Kennedy (DT) 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks

Curtis Martin (RB) 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets

Bill Parcells (Coach) 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys

Andre Reed (WR) 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins

Willie Roaf (OT) 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs

Will Shields (G) 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs

Dick Stanfel (G) 1952-55 Detroit Lions, 1956-58 Washington Redskins

Aeneas Williams (CB, S) 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 11:05 pm
 

Mike Wallace wants 2,000 receiving yards

WallacePosted by Josh Katzowitz

Nobody in the history of the NFL has ever recorded 2,000 receiving yards in a season. Not Jerry Rice, who holds the record with 1,858. Not Terrell Owens. Not Tim Brown, Randy Moss or Marvin Harrison.

But that apparently is not going to stop Steelers WR Mike Wallace from planning on breaking that 2,000-yard mark. Sounds crazy, right?* Wallace understands your concerns. But he still believes in himself that he could accomplish something so monumental.

*That’s because it IS crazy.

"I'm not saying that I'm better than any of those guys, but I feel like I'm Mike and I'm my own person," Wallace said, via the Detroit Free Press. "I don't care what Jerry Rice did. I don't care what Randy Moss did."

For the record, in his first two seasons in the league, Wallace has combined for 2,013 receiving yards. His career yards per catch, at 20.3 yards per reception, is pretty darn impressive, but he’d need to record 100 catches this year with that kind of average in order to follow through on his prediction.

Last year, he had 60. So, let me make a brief prediction: it ain't going to happen.

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Posted on: February 8, 2011 2:07 pm
 

HOF voters spent a long time on Deion

Sanders Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In an interesting nugget in the middle of his column today, NFL.com’s Vic Carucci wrote about how the Hall of Fame voters discussed and debated Deion Sanders’ candidacy and whether WR Andre Reed ever will be inducted.

The selection meeting lasted almost a full day’s work (7 ½ hours), and much of that time was taken up by the Sanders discussion. Which was a tad shocking.

Here’s an explanation on what happened:

The biggest surprise is that Deion Sanders wound up being the topic of one of the longest conversations. He was, by far, the one player who should have been viewed as an automatic first-ballot choice. The NFL has never had a better cover cornerback or returner, for that matter.

The three wide receivers on the list – Andre Reed, Cris Carter and Tim Brown – also took up a significant chunk of the meeting. Unfortunately, none got in. Reed did make it to the final 10 for the second year in a row, but I honestly don't know what can ultimately get him over the hump.

My sense is that Reed, Carter and Brown simply are facing too much opposition from Hall voters who simply don't believe that receivers in the era the three played are deserving because their great statistics were achieved after NFL rules were altered to allow teams to more easily produce passing yards and, therefore, points.


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Posted on: February 5, 2011 7:38 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 7:46 pm
 

What worked against those who didn't make HOF cut

Posted by Andy Benoit
C. Martin (US Presswire)
Every year the Hall of Fame announcement leaves a handful of elite all-time players on the outside looking in. This was especially true this season. Michael Wilbon of ESPN wrote beforehand that all 15 HOF finalists were worthy of enshrinement. Whether you agree with the extremism of Wilbon’s position or not, we can all agree that this was an especially competitive HOF class.

But the key problem for those who did not get in this year was not the fact that there was a thick crop of very deserving finalists (though that was certainly a factor), the problem was the amount of position overlap.

There were four pass catchers up for consideration, four defensive linemen and three running backs. You have to assume players at the same position were pitted firmly against each other at some point during the voters’ seven-and-a-half-hour debate. The principle of split votes naturally comes into play.

Plus, normally the Hall of Fame debate involves position vs. position discussions. (Example: do we prioritize a wide receiver over a linebacker?) That issue will always be relevant; this year, voters had to first figure out who was representing the position. Say a wide receiver is deemed more important than a linebacker. OK…now, is a second wide receiver who was almost as great as the first wide receiver more important than a linebacker? If that second wide receiver had been compared to that same linebacker, but the first wide receiver had never entered the discussion, the second wide receiver would look a lot better. It’s just simple subconscious behavior.

This issue of position overlap likely worked against Curtis Martin, Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Andre Reed, Cortez Kennedy, Charles Haley and Chris Doleman in the voters’ debates.

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Posted on: December 2, 2010 9:30 am
 

Cris Carter is the key to many WRs' HOF chances

Posted by Andy Benoit

The list of 26 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2011 class was recently announced. The most important name on that list? Cris Carter. C. Carter (US Presswire)

Wide receiver has become one of the toughest positions for voters to gauge. The NFL has evolved so markedly into a passing league that the receiving statistics from one era to another are almost impossible to evaluate. The same problem applies to quarterbacks, but quarterbacks are much easier to figure because a.) They’re tied more directly to their team’s success; b.) They touch the ball every play and c.) They stay on your television screen after the ball is snapped. A wide receiver, on the other hand, might make important contributions like lifting a coverage, disguising a route or providing backside run-blocking support, but that action often takes place off screen.

The voters’ decision will be overwhelmingly based on numbers. That’s what makes Carter, the longtime Vikings receiver, the key that potentially unlocks the Canton door for a host of wideouts. Carter is third all-time in receptions (1,101), eighth all-time in receiving yards (13,899) and fourth all-time in touchdowns (130). Overall, he was essentially the second best wide receiver of the 1990s. If he doesn’t get in, what hope is there for other prolific wideouts like Tim Brown, Andre Reed or Irving Fryar, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce or Marvin Harrison? All have similar numbers. (Holt, Bruce and Harrison each have a ring, but receivers aren’t judged by titles the way quarterbacks, running backs and, obviously, head coaches are.)

Carter was passed over by Hall of Fame voters last year, but that could have simply been the Jerry Rice effect. This year could be Carter’s best shot at getting in. Of the 25 other semifinalists, only Deion Sanders and likely Marshall Faulk are surefire Yes’.

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Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:19 am
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Not yet HOFers

Fireworks fly during the 2010 Pro Football HOF induction ceremony (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Pro Football Hall of Fame this past Sunday released the names of the 26 semifinalists that could be inducted into the HOF for 2011. Most of the names you know. You’ve watched them play. You’ve watched them win. You’ve watched them etch out fantastic careers.

Last year, you knew guys like Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith were going to make their way into the HOF in their first years of eligibility. These players were some of the best of all time. It was no contest.

But each year, there are certain players or coaches or executives that are left out who deserve to enter the hallowed halls of the … well … Hall. This Top Ten With a Twist isn’t about the players you know who full well will be inducted into next year’s induction class, minus Prime Time. These are the guys who might not, but who probably should be.

10. George Young, executive: I wonder if Young’s enshrinement has been held off because his skills had declined noticeably late in his career (ie. when free agency was introduced to the game in the early 1990s). But there’s no denying that Young was the NFL executive of the year five times and the teams he worked for won three conference titles and one Super Bowl title. For an executive, he was pretty damn important.

9. Jerry Kramer, OG, Packers (1958-68): While he was a very good player in his day – as the three Pro Bowls, five All-Pro selections and the oodles of championships attest – he did the world a favor when he wrote Instant Replay in 1967, giving fans an inside look at what occurs during an NFL season and at coach Vince Lombardi. No, it’s no Ball Four by Jim Bouton (that guy never could get in baseball’s HOF, by the way), but Kramer’s impact on how the fans view the game is an important piece of the NFL’s history.

8. Steve Tasker, WR/ST, Oilers (1985-86), Bills (1986-97): During his 14-year career, Tasker started a total of 15 games. He never had more than 21 catches in a season, and he caught nine touchdown passes. But the fact he’s perhaps the best special teams player ever to compete in the NFL should give him a path to the HOF. He was a 5-foot-9, 180-pound gunner, and he was fast and lethal. He went to the Pro Bowl seven times, and he was named the MVP of the Pro Bowl in 1993. He didn’t make it to the semifinals this year, but that’s not surprising. Special teamers are not given their just due (see No. 1).

7. Andre Reed, WR, Bills (1985-99), Redskins (2000): Reed has gotten caught up in the WR numbers game. He’s been eligible at the same time as Michael Irvin, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Art Monk and Cris Carter, and I can see why it’d be tough to select Reed instead of those kinds of receivers. But you have to remember that Reed ranks ninth in career receptions all time and 11th in receiving yards. At some point, he deserves to be enshrined in Canton. Don’t expect it to happen this year, though.

6. Dermontti Dawson, C, Steelers (1988-2000): Simply put, he’s one of the greatest centers of all time. He made the Pro Bowl seven-straight seasons, and with his athletic ability and his knack for getting out in open space and making key blocks for his running backs, he changed the perception of what a center should be. He’ll probably become a finalist for the second time in as many years. One of these days, he should get the welcoming phone call.

5. Cris Carter, WR, Eagles (1987-89), Vikings (1990-2001), Dolphins (2002): Much like Reed, Carter is overshadowed by other receivers. He finished his career as the No. 2 WR (behind Jerry Rice) in receptions and touchdowns. He’s been passed by Marvin Harrison on the receptions list and by Randy Moss and Terrell Owens on the touchdowns list since he retired, but at some point, Carter should be in. It’s actually a little surprising that he’s not in already.

4. Don Coryell, coach: Yes, he wasn’t the originator of today’s modern offense – that’d be a combination of Sid Gillman, Paul Brown and various others – but his Air Coryell teams in the late 1970s to mid 1980s with the Chargers helped innovate the passing game we still see today. He’s already a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Now, it’s time for him to join Gillman as the only two coaches to be enshrined in the college and the pro Halls of Fame.

3. Deion Sanders, CB/PR, Falcons (1989-93), 49ers (1994), Cowboys (1995-99), Redskins (2000), Ravens (2004-05) : The reasons why are obvious. Just look at the video below. This is his first year eligible, and there’s little chance he won’t make it in immediately.



2. Ed Sabol, contributor: Enjoy watching NFL Films productions? You like watching the behind-the-scenes spots of the players woofing at each other on the sidelines and your favorite coach’s pregame and postgame speeches? If yes, you can thank Sabol, who helped found NFL Films in the mid-1960s. How differently would we view – and think about – the NFL if Sabol hadn’t been such a visionay? That’s unanswerable of course, but the fact NFL Films plays a big role in an NFL’s viewing experience makes Sabol HOF worthy.

1. Ray Guy, P, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1973-86): Simply put, Guy is the greatest punter in the history of the game. But there are no kickers enshrined in the HOF. That must mean they’re less important than anybody else, right? Well, we all know that’s not true. It’s time to get Guy into the Hall. He deserves it.

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