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Tag:Cris Carter
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: February 14, 2012 1:14 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 3:01 pm
 

Randy Moss rips Cris Carter for 'quit' comments

Carter and Moss, in happier times. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Once upon a time, Cris Carter and Randy Moss were teammates with the Minnesota Vikings. As such, when news arises about Moss, ESPN trots out Cris Carter to make some comments. And over the past couple of days, Carter's managed to make Moss, who recently announced his return to football, something that doesn't resemble happy.

Carter initially said that Moss could hop out of bed and run a 4.3 40-yard dash. But then he added later that Moss has a lot of "quit" in him.


“The one thing you have to address with Randy Moss is not a conditioning thing," Carter said. "It's not an age thing. It needs to be addressed. I believe it's the elephant in the room. It's that thing called quit.

“And Randy, not like any other superstar I've met, he has more quit in him than any of those other players. So I need to addresses that. That's what (New England Patriots coach Bill) Belichick did when he brought him over from Oakland. He told him he wasn't going to have it."

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Moss had taken criticism from Carter pretty well, not mentioning it on one of his many USTREAM sessions. He's also been surprisingly contrite since announcing his return. But then he took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon and fired some shots back at his former teammate.

"@criscarter80 its sad how u stroked ur own ego when u were suppose to b my mentor!then u wonder why karma bites u in the ass! #goodlukwithhof," Moss tweeted.

Quick translation: we're not boys anymore. I mean, it's one thing to fire back at Carter for something he did during his career, but ripping Carter for not making the Hall of Fame when one of the arguments against Carter is that Moss overshadowed him in Minnesota is kind of tough.

That being said, Carter stood up on his analyst pedestal and took some shots at a guy who's supposed to be his boy. He shouldn't be surprised if said guy, who doesn't usually operate with a filter in place, fires right back.

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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: October 23, 2011 2:53 pm
 

Gonzalez only behind Jerry Rice on all-time list

GonzalezPosted by Josh Katzowitz

During the week, Tony Gonzalez was interviewed by his son for a Sunday pregame show, and during the questioning, Nikko Gonzalez asked him his thoughts about the greatest tight end in history. Tony Gonzalez gave shout-outs to Kellen Winslow Sr., Mike Ditka and John Mackey, but in the end, Gonzalez said he thought he was the best tight end in history.

Statistically, it’s tough to dispute him.

After catching four passes for 52 yards as the Falcons took an 11-point lead into the halftime of the game against the Lions, Gonzalez has passed No. 3 Cris Carter and No. 2 Marvin Harrison as the second-leading pass-catcher of all time.

He’s currently at 1,103 catches. That’s 446 catches behind Jerry Rice but better than anybody else in history. So yeah, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that Gonzalez is the best tight end ever.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 7:29 pm
 

The NFL Supplemental Draft: A brief history



Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Oakland Raiders are who we thought they were: a team madly in love with size and speed. They reaffirmed that love again Monday when they used a third-round pick in the NFL Supplemental Draft to take former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, a prospect most draft analysts and personnel types had pegged as a late-round selection.

Pre-draft analysis matters little now; the Raiders are neither conventional nor particularly interested in what the rest of the football world thinks. Owner Al Davis wants guys who can run faster, throw farther and hit harder than than everybody else. But we already knew that because that's always been the case. Now the question is if Pryor can harness that raw athleticism into something that will make him more than a supplemental draft footnote.

Which brings us to this: Who are some of the best NFL players to come out of the supplemental draft?

Glad you asked -- let's get to this…

Bernie Kosar, QB, University of Miami, 1st round, 1985. According to NFL.com's Elliot Harrison, Kosar finagled his way into the supplemental draft -- and deftly avoided the regular draft -- when his agent failed to file the paperwork by the deadline, and it left Kosar available for the supplemental process later that summer. "Controversy erupted, as Minnesota desperately wanted to draft Kosar, but ultimately Commissioner Pete Rozelle left the decision up to the kid. The rest is history. Kosar led Cleveland to the playoffs five straight seasons from 1985 to 1989, including three AFC Championship Game appearances."

Brian Bosworth, LB, Oklahoma, 1st round, 1987. Bosworth was brash but he was also one of the best linebackers in college history. He opted for the supplemental draft to avoid landing with the Bills or Colts, and ultimately ended up with the Seahawks. Other than a brief acting career that made for unintentionally hilarious moments, Boz is probably best remembered for getting trucked by Bo Jackson.


Cris Carter, WR, Ohio State, 4th round, 1987. Carter played 16 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Vikings and Dolphins, and finished his career with 1,101 catches, 13,899 yards receiving and 130 touchdowns. He was part of the 1998 Vikings team that went 15-1 under head coach Dennis Green (and offensive coordinator Brian Billick), and featured Randall Cunningham at quarterback. Some guy named Randy Moss was a rookie for Minnesota that year, too.

Pryor's Journey to Oakland

Steve Walsh, QB, University of Miami, 1st round, 1989. The Cowboys used a first-round pick on Walsh months after they had taken Troy Aikman in the first round of the regular draft. Then-head coach Jimmy Johnson had coached Walsh at the University of Miami, and presumably he thought Walsh gave the Cowboys the best chance to win. Instead, he started just five games during that first season and never was able to unseat Aikman. The rest (in Dallas, anyway) was history. Walsh had an 11-year NFL career, playing for six NFL teams, even making several playoff appearances.

Bobby Humphrey, RB, Alabama, 1st round, 1989. As a rookie with the Broncos, he rushed for 1,151 yards and seven touchdowns, and played in Super Bowl XXIV, a 55-10 drubbing at the hands of the 49ers. Two years later, Humphrey held out in the hopes of a new contract, the team stood firm, and he finally returned to the field in Week 14. By then, Gaston Green was the Broncos' new back, proving yet again that running backs are fungible.

Rob Moore, WR, Syracuse, 1st round, 1990. He played for 10 NFL seasons with the Jets and Cardinals, his best effort coming in 1997 when he hauled in 97 passes for 1,584 yards, and eight touchdowns. He averaged 99 yards receiving per game that season.

Jamal Williams, DT, Oklahoma State, 2nd round, 1998. It wasn't long ago that Williams was considered one of the most dominating nose tackles in football. Now 35, his game isn't where it once was, but he's still formidable enough to regularly require double-teams. Williams opted for the supplemental draft after he was declared academically ineligible at Oklahoma State.

Ahmad Brooks, LB, Virginia, 3rd round, 2006. Brooks was occasionally described as "the next Ray Lewis" while at UVA, but he was dismissed from the team which explains how he ended up in the supplemental draft. It's hardly surprising that the Bengals took a flier on a player with off-field concerns and amazing physical skills. Also not surprising: a player drafted by the Bengals has yet to live up to expectations. Cincinnati cut Brooks before the 2008 season, and he has spent the last three years with the 49ers, where he has started just once in that time.

Jared Gaither, OT, Maryland, 5th round, 2007. Gaither is another high-upside guy who the Ravens never could properly motivate. He played well enough to earn the starting left tackle job, even after the team drafted Michael Oher. But injuries and a questionable work ethic was enough for Baltimore to let him walk in free agency this summer. Gaither's now with the Chiefs.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State, 3rd round, 2011. To be continued…

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:54 am
Edited on: August 6, 2011 12:59 am
 

Is Hall of Fame voting process a bug or feature?



Posted by Ryan Wilson

This is like trying to identify the ugliest Victoria Secret's Angel, but in the spirit of fairness (and on behalf of ugly people everywhere) we feel compelled to mention that of the four modern players to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday -- Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe -- Sharpe is probably the least attractive lingerie model of the bunch, metaphorically speaking.

That's not to say he shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame one day -- he should -- just that it's all relative, in both senses of the word. First, you can make a case, without much effort, that Cris Carter or Curtis Martin would have been just as deserving had they been selected instead of Sharpe. And even Sharpe, speaking the day before his induction, admitted that his brother should've ended up in Canton before he did.

“Sterling was supposed to be in the Hall first,” Sharpe said. “I was supposed to introduce him for his speech, for his introduction and then take his bronze bust into the Hall. But now we’re going in together. I’m taking him in with me. … I’ve always wanted to be like him,” said Shannon.

Part of the issue is the fickle, sometimes secretive nature of the voting process. And barring a sudden change in course away from old-school writers debating the merits of each candidate based on things like "grit" and "gut feelings" in favor of a room filled with eggheads, mountains of data and complex algorithms accounting for variables most of us would've never even considered, it's going to be a messy affair.

If you're willing to accept the premise that it's an imperfect system but one that, in general, eventually gets it right, it makes the whole undertaking much less stressful and slightly more reasonable. (At least for the onlooker. We can't imagine what the nominees must go through, leaving the fate of their professional legacy in the hands of faceless voters.)

As for Sharpe's credentials, they're impeccable. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler, four times a unanimous first-team All Pro, he started for two different Super Bowl-winning organizations, and he retired as the NFL's career leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns by a tight end (records later broken by Tony Gonzalez).

So what's the problem?

It's less a problem than a nuanced distinction that gives us pause, even if momentarily. (Not to mention our previous concerns that there were very little differences among the candidacies of Sharpe, Carter and Martin.) In February, after the 2011 Hall of Fame candidates had been announced but before the finalists had been named, ProFootballReference.com wrote about Sharpe's Hall of Fame chances.

They (like us) thought he deserved to be in Canton, but made an intriguing point: Sharpe was a tight end, but at 6-2, 225 -- and given how he was utilized (and that he wasn't considered much of a blocker) -- he was closer to a wide receiver. PFR.com contrasts Sharpe with a player critics of the HOF voting system would point to whenever they wanted to make their point in just two words: "Art Monk."

The details:

PFR lists Sharpe at 6'2, 225 and Monk at 6'3 and 210. While Sharpe looks a lot bigger, and their careers overlapped, some significant changes occurred in the NFL while these guys were playing. In Monk's breakout season, 1984, the average TE was 6'3 or 6'4 and 236 pounds. Ten years later, the average TE was 6'4 and 254 pounds. So Monk was about 25 pounds lighter than the average TE; Sharpe was a little shorter and about 30 pounds lighter than the typical tight end. In Monk's five 1,000 yard seasons, he averaged 13.8 yards per reception; the league average for yards per reception (YPR) for WRs was 15.2 in those seasons. In Sharpe's four big-yardage years he averaged 13.0 YPR while the average WR averaged 13.7 YPR. Both were dependable, reliable possession receivers and had significantly better hands than the typical tight end. Both were much better blockers than your average WR but worse blockers than the average tight end.

If Sharpe is considered as a WR, he's in trouble. He ranked in the top ten just once in receiving yards, a tenth place finish in 1993. Like Monk, he has three Super Bowl rings, but that won't be enough if people compare him to Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss.

But -- and this distinction can't be overstated -- the PFR.com post makes one final, important point: "We shouldn't just think of these guys as tight ends or wide receivers, but as football players. And unlike in baseball, your contribution to your team can't be measured by what designation they put next to your name on the team roster."

It's that consideration that makes it easier for us to reconcile Sharpe's 2011 enshrinement over other just-as-deserving candidates. Football is the ultimate team sport, and contributions irrespective of position should carry more weight than anything else. It's just that sometimes, voters reach those conclusions separately from those of us on the outside looking in. Monk is the most obvious example. He had to wait eight years to get his due, but it finally came in 2008. 

Three years later, and with nowhere near the controversy, it's Sharpe's turn and he's earned it. Sure, we could just as easily be talking about Carter or Martin here, but history suggests they'll eventually end up in Canton, too. This weekend, Shannon is the Laetitia Casta to Deion, Marshall and Richard's Marissa Miller, Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum. There are worse fates.

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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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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com