Terrell Owens has been in the news this week because he had surgery on his knee and some have wondered (though his agent has vehemently disputed it) whether his career -- which has included memorable NFC East stints in Dallas and Philadelphia -- might be over. One of the questions that has arisen out of this news is whether Owens, if he never plays another NFL snap, will go to the Hall of Fame.
Reuben Frank tackles this question for CSNPhilly.com, pointing out that the only man in NFL history with more receiving yards and receiving touchdowns is Jerry Rice. He also points out that, in spite of not having a Super Bowl title on his résumé, Owens did play a legendary individual Super Bowl game, catching nine passes for 122 yards on a broken leg in the Eagles' Super Bowl XXXIX loss to New England. But Frank also writes this:
Of the 20 pure wide receivers the Hall lists as “modern-era” players, from the 1950s on, only five -- Tom Fears, Charlie Joiner, Steve Largent, James Lofton and Charley Taylor -- did not play for an NFL champion. The most recent of that group to retire from the NFL was Lofton 18 years ago, and since then the game has changed dramatically, becoming a passing game to the point where guys who pile up enormous receiving numbers but don’t win a ring – guys like Irving Fryar, Cris Carter, Andre Reed and Jimmy Smith, who were all top-10 in NFL history in yards when they retired – aren’t getting in.
There are also the vast personality issues. Owens was a horrendous teammate in nearly every one of his stops. He was rough on coaches, rough on quarterbacks, called attention to himself and talked/complained his way out of more than one town. If there are Hall of Fame voters looking for reasons not to like the guy, they will find plenty.
In the end, though, Frank concludes that Owens is a no-brainer Hall of Famer, and I agree. The voters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame say they're not allowed to consider off-field factors in their voting. And if that's the case -- if it's all based on the numbers and the on-field accomplishments -- Owens is a slam dunk.
Of course, I'm not one of the voters.
I do, however, have some Friday morning links.
It says something that the people who watch DeMarcus Ware play every week really, really, really think he's awesome. Jean-Jacques Taylor says Ware is the player he'd take if he were building a defense from scratch, ahead of Darrelle Revis, Troy Polamalu and others. He makes the case that Ware is "just better" than the Bears' Julius Peppers, who ranks ahead of Ware on the NFL Network's list of top 100 players. I think Ware is great, but I wonder sometimes if the perspective of those who watch him every day gets a little skewed. What Peppers did in 2010, elevating the Bears' defense back to one of the elite units in the league, is not to be underestimated, no matter who has the better stats. Revis is better at his position than anyone in the league is at theirs. And Polamalu's impact on the Steelers is not quantifiable. Ware's in the discussion, but it's no easy call.
And on a completely different note from that or really anything else, there's apparently a new independent movie that has some tangential connection to the story of former Cowboys kicker Rafael Septien. Got nothing really to add to that one.
New York Giants
A Saints blogger checks in with some trade fantasies about players the Saints could get from the Giants for Reggie Bush. This NFC East blogger continues to think Bush isn't in the Giants' plans unless they lose Ahmad Bradshaw in free agency, which he doesn't think will happen.
John Fennelly's way down on the idea of Paul Posluszny as the answer for the Giants at middle linebacker. He likes Jonathan Goff there. Look, I'm not saying Posluszny's necessarily the guy. They need to find a guy they like better than Goff or it doesn't make sense. But there are a lot of linebackers on the free-agent market once it opens, and the Giants are undeniably thin at the position. The point isn't that Posluszny is the next Mike Singletary. It's that the Giants need to be looking for a linebacker. Posluszny's just an example of a good one who's going to be available.
A couple of people pointed out the portion of this Adam Caplan report that says the Eagles "will show strong interest in Ike Taylor once free agency starts." It's certainly possible, and Adam makes a good point about Taylor potentially fitting in well if the Eagles play more zone and less man coverage in the secondary this year. I'm just a little suspicious of the attention Taylor's case has been getting. Since teams really can't talk to players, and since Taylor isn't on the level of a Nnamdi Asomugha or Johnathan Joseph at the top of the cornerback market, I feel like all the Taylor attention could be the work of someone in the Taylor camp trying to drum up more interest than he'd otherwise be getting, maybe even in the hopes of getting the Steelers to pay more to keep him. Hey, it's the conspiracy theorist in me. I can't help it.
Looks like Pat Kirwan's on the Vince-Young-to-Eagles-as-Vick's-backup bandwagon. I welcome him. I think it's a perfect fit. A low-pressure, out-of-the-spotlight backup role with good quarterback tutors is what Young needs. An experienced backup with a killer pro win-loss record is what the Eagles need. Make it happen.
Rich Tandler ponders whether the Redskins should think about making changes at the guard position or stick with the young guys they used as starters last year until the line has time to jell together. It will be interesting to see how quickly the zone-blocking scheme continues to come together and what kind of impact that has on their decisions on whom to use at running back.
Apparently, O.J. Atogwe considered the Vikings before signing his pre-lockout deal with the Redskins. Not a big deal, except it's a chance to point out what a nifty move it was for the Redskins to lock in a good pickup at the safety position while they could. Dallas and maybe Philadelphia are still wondering what they'll do there, and when the league will re-open for business and let them address it.
It's Friday, so lots of fun stuff in store before we hit the long weekend. Enjoy. I know I will.