Saturday the Pro Football Hall of Fame will announce who is going to be part of the class of 2011. There are currently 15 modern day finalists on a list that will be whittled down to between 5 and 7 inductees. Wide receiver Tim Brown is among those finalists in his second year of eligibility. And from the looks of it, his chances are slim.
Last year was Tim Brown's first year of eligibility. He and Jerry Rice became eligible in the same year. There was never more of a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame than Jerry Rice who owns every receiving record in existence. So of course everyone else among the top receivers of all time must either already be in or close behind.
Tim Brown has the second most receiving yards in NFL history among Hall of Fame eligible players. So why is there even a question of whether he gets in this year? He is not even the most talked about RECEIVER among the finalists. ESPN's NFL "guru" was asked on Friday about who is a lock for the Hall this year and after listing off several running backs and a few others, he said "wide receivers Andre Reed and Cris Carter." That was it. Not even a mention of the next best receiver to the greatest receiver of all time. To further illustrate the oversight that the Hall of Fame committee appears to be ready to commit for a second straight year, let's look more closely at the numbers. I will stick to those receivers eligible (retired for more than five years) or already enshrined to keep it from getting confusing.
1. Jerry Rice 22,895 HOF
2. Tim Brown 14,934
3. James Lofton 14,004 HOF
4. Cris Carter 13,899
5. Henry Ellard 13,777
6. Andre Reed 13,198
7. Steve Largent 13,089 HOF
8. Irving Fryar 12,785
9. Art Monk 12,721 HOF
1. Jerry Rice 1549 HOF
2. Cris Carter 1101
3. Tim Brown 1094
4. Andre Reed 951
5. Art Monk 940 HOF
6. Jimmy Smith 862
7. Irving Fryar 851
8. Steve Largent 819 HOF
1. Jerry Rice 197 HOF
2. Cris Carter 130
3. Tim Brown 100
3. Steve Largent 100 HOF
5. Don Hutson 99 HOF
6. Don Maynard 88 HOF
7. Andre Reed 87
8. Paul Warfield 85 HOF
9. Lance Alworth 85 HOF
One of the more telling stats not listed here is Brown's 15,124 yards from scrimmage, which is ranked eleventh overall. Every other player ahead of him, along with plenty below him on the list, are either in the Hall of Fame or are in their first year of eligibility. The only other receiver ahead of him in that category is Jerry Rice. All of the others are running backs.
Tim Brown was also an extremely good punt returner for most of his career. He averaged over 10 yards a return and ran three back for touchdowns -- numbers that no other receiver of his caliber ever accomplished.
There are a few interesting observations to be made based on the above numbers. In receiving yards Tim Brown is bookended by Hall of Famers. In receptions, he and Cris Carter are separated by just 7 catches for second most ever. And among the top six players in receiving TD's, Brown and Carter are the only two not already in the Hall.
What it comes down to is, besides Jerry Rice, the only receiver that can even compare to Tim Brown is Cris Carter. Andre Reed is much further down the list.
Tim Brown was the model of consistency on an incredibly inconsistent team throughout his great career. He had a myriad of different quarterbacks throw to him – most of whom are not worth mentioning. Yet despite it all, he had nine straight seasons over 1000 yards receiving and he started every single game during that time. The year after his final 1000 yard season, he had 931 yards while sharing touches with Jerry Rice en route to a Super Bowl berth. He went to nine Pro Bowls, twice as a punt returner. As a Raider, Tim Brown played in three conference championship games and a Super Bowl.
Cris Carter had the likes of Randall Cunningham, Brad Johnson, Warren Moon, and Daunte Culpepper throwing passes to him. Despite his good fortune, Carter had one less season over 1000 yards (eight) and one less Pro Bowl invite (eight). Neither player won a Super Bowl but Tim Brown at least played in one. Carter would play in an equal amount of Conference Championship games as Brown (three) but lost all of them.
Andre Reed had Jim Kelly throwing to him his entire career in Buffalo. His Bills team lost four straight Super Bowls in the 90's. Reed's fellow teammates Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Bruce Smith are already in the Hall of Fame.
So I am left wondering how exactly these two receivers are so much more likely to get in the Hall of Fame than Tim Brown? I hope all the speculation is wrong because it is already tremendously disrespectful as it is.
Carter and Reed aside, there are a few other players who are thought to garner a good portion of the votes this time around. Running backs Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin, and Jerome Bettis, corner back Deion Sanders, tight end Shannon Sharpe, offensive tackle Willie Roaf, and defensive lineman Charles Haley are considered the frontrunners. The Hall will only induct so many players and it appears there is a bit of a log jam for entry this season.
It would appear the odds go up next season with there not being a lot of worthy first year eligible candidates. Junior Seau is the only name that jumps out from next year's crop. If Tim Brown doesn't get in this year, he will certainly be a shoe-in next year. Or I should bloody well hope so.
But then again with the way the Hall of Fame committee has denied Cliff Branch, Ray Guy, Lester Hayes, Jack Tatum, and Ken Stabler all these years, nothing would surprise me at this point.
The Hall of Fame inductees will be announced Saturday Feb 5 at 4pm PST televised on NFL Nework.
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Cliff Branch should be in the HOF before Tim Brown ... as should Ray Guy, Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett, but thats another story.
The knock on Tim Brown for me is that he did not elevate the team. He didnt elevate the level of others playing around him. The only time we were good when he was here was when Gruden and Gannon created it. Andre Reed did it with Buffalo, despite his lower stats.
Should he be in ?
Yes - but he was never first-ballot worthy imo
Stats do not lie. Tim Brown, statistically, is among the greatest receivers of the game in all categories. To say he is not a clutch receiver with the stats he has produced is absolutely crazy. In order to earn stats you have to produce, and Tim Brown produced more than any wide receiver the Raiders ever had, including Fred Belitnikoff. Imagine if Tim Brown had a great quarterback throwing to him his entire career, like Jerry Rice had with Montana. His numbers would be off the chart. RaiderDoc, you obviously do not give him enough credit for the numbers he produced with the less than average talent that was throwing him the ball. Tim Brown should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer. Period. The guy had (100) touchdowns his entire career. 3rd all time. Do you think that every touchdown catch he had was right in the numbers??? C'MON, you are better than that. Tim Brown made countless, clutch touchdown catches, and was the heart and soul of the Raider team for years. I can honestly say that I watched him play everygame of his career, and one thing that I would never say, is that he was not clutch. Jerry Rice and Tim Brown are the best wide receivers I have ever seen play the game, and I am not pro Tim Brown just because I am a Raider fan and season ticket holder. I am pro Tim Brown because he is a statistical giant who gave his heart and soul to the Raiders, and produced in every way possible, so much so, that he was one of the very best Wide Receivers the NFL has ever seen......
I completely hear what you are saying. And let me start with the fact that I do think Tim Brown is a great WR. I was just trying to take my Raiders goggles off and be objective. The point you made regarding his QBs (Gannon in the Gruden offense perhaps excluded) is the best argument for him beating out both Reed and Carter.
I do however disagree with your point on stats don't lie. That is the same argument some (on this site even) made for Aso not being the best corner. Numbers just don't tell the whole story. Yes, his numbers speak volumes and are a huge part of why he should be in. But the fact that he played in an era that favors wide out's big time makes the numbers a little less valuable. Do you think he had to play against the same kind of coverage as Branch or Belitnikoff? Do you think the offense in the old days gave the WRs as many easy (short quick pass) opportunities? It just makes it hard to compare. The one stat I would love to see is how many drops he had at key moments. I honestly don't know. And again, I love Brown and he was always one of my favorites, but I just remember him making most of his mistakes at big moments. It was a feeling more than anything. I don't ever remember thinking "get it to Brown" when the game was on the line. You are correct, he made tons and tons of great catches, they were just less frequent when it counted. Part of that was teams played him different at those moments, but that is part of the game.
The stats that do work against him and somewhat support what I am saying are his play off stats. In 12 playoff games he averaged under 4 receptions a game. And in those 12 playoff games he had just 3 touchdowns. There are players who have done that in single games. Just for an easy comparison if you happened to watch the super bowl today, Jennings now has 36 catches for 5 TDs in 7 games (vs 45 and 3 in 12)... I don't think anyone would argue Jennings is even in the same league as Brown, but for whatever reason Tim disappeared in the playoffs. Matter of fact the two season with Rice, Rice was clearly Gannon's go to receiver in the playoffs as he had more receptions both years (and Rice was significantly declining by then). In the 2002 playoffs where we went to the the superbowl, Brown was behind Garner, Porter and Rice in both touchdowns and receptions (yes, behind both Porter and Rice). These are the stats that I think are killing Brown in the balloting. I hope Tim Brown gets in, but I bet someone on the voting committee is bringing those things up and and that is what is getting him shot down.
Again, for clarity, I am a fan of Brown. And I especially love his loyalty to the Raiders, but I'm just trying to explain my best guess at to why he isn't getting in yet.
I know I am not popular on this one, but I can see why Brown has not made the hall. Don't get me wrong, I love him, but even as a huge fan it just seems he wasn't that clutch. I can't quote you any one game off the top of my head but when you truly needed a clutch clutch catch he was way too prone to drop the pass. Especially in the cold (as it often was on the road in the playoffs). Any other time, he was a stud. All that said, in my eyes he should go before Carter or Reed no doubt. I think if anything he should only be behind Branch on the list of WRs waiting to get in. I think Raider fans should be more upset about Guy, Branch and maybe even the Snake then Brown. Guy is the best ever at his position even if you don't respect the position (heck they just put an NFL films guy in). Branch is the quintessential Raider wide out. He is better than Swann in the same era and yet Swann is in. I know everyone is into the stats, but the stats just don't tell the story. It really is apples to oranges. WRs like QBs just don't have to deal with the pressure they use to. The DBs (think Tatum) aren't allowed to do what they did in those days. Just not the same. And the offenses are completely different with the dink and dunk west coast stuff. I take Branch over Brown. And Brown over all the other wide outs, but still behind a few others including some very deserving Raiders of old.
I know most disagree, but even as biased as my heart is, when I really think about it, I can see why even as the best player on the Raiders during the time, he might not have been the best player waiting for the hall of Fame.
I get so annoyed with all the "gurus" saying nothing about Touchdown Timmy! They don't make sense. Chris Carter is a flagrant jerk. Why put a guy like that in over a standup class act like TB? The only stat that CC has over TB is reception td's. CC has 7 more catches than Brown, but Brown has over a 1000 more yards! This is ridiculous that Brown wasn't already put in! I can't put into words the frustration I, along with all Raider Nation, will feel if he gets royally snubbed again!
GO TIM BROWN!!!! The reason I am a Raiders Fan!
Tim Brown should have been a first ballot hall of famer. I cannot believe that Andre Reed would be mentioned over Tim Brown. The stats just don't match up. Imagine if Brown had played for Buffalo when they were making those superbowl runs. His numbers would have been off the charts. What Brown accomplished with the inconsistent play from the Raider quarterbacks was amazing. Without question, he and Jerry Rice are the best receivers I have ever seen.....
Next years Raider team needs a true go to receiver like a Tim Brown. We are absolutely fooling ourselves if we think Darrius Heyward-Bey is going to be a great receiver. With a total of (2) touchdowns in (2) years as a starter, the arguements of patience is wearing very thin. When I looked at Brown, I saw a magician, a guy who catched the ball with ease and had such an incredible feel for the game. His route running was flawless, and he was a tough and durable guy. A TRUE LEGEND. When I look at DHB, I see a guy with a panick stricken look everytime the ball is thrown in his direction, and if the ball is not thrown directly into his number, he is 99% of the time not going to catch it. DHB was Al's worst draft pick, even worse than JaMarcus, as DHB'S production value is so low that he is a detriment on the field. DHB is without question the worst route runner I have ever seen and combine that with his terrible hands and you have BUST written all over him. The Raiders need to swallow their pride and either release him or make him a second string receiver. Jacoby Ford was a blessing from above and he has shown Raidernation that he has the potential to be a superstar. The Raiders desperately need to pick up a free agent receiver, and the guy who has TIM BROWN written all over him is Vincent Jackson. Al Davis HAS to sign him. He is the real deal and literally has the potential to be as great, if not greater than Tim Brown. Phillip Rivers has called him the best receiver he has ever seen, and with AJ Smith being the complete jackass that he is, Jackson will not be franchise tagged and will be available for the Raiders in the free agent market. There are a lot of good free agent receivers comming out this year, but there is only ONE Vincent Jackson, and the Raiders would be the perfect fit for this dynamic young superstar, and combine him with Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphey, and the NFL would have a serious wake up call...