Mike Martz: 'Ridiculous' if Terrell Owens enters HOF before Rams WRs

Should Terrell Owens jump Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce? (USATSI)

The 2016 Hall of Fame class will be named on Saturday night before Super Bowl 50 during NFL Honors (on CBS!) and while we (almost certainly) know Brett Favre will make it, there are potential surprises to be had. Will the Hall of Fame voters let two wideouts in for one class by pushing both Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens into Canton?

Harrison has been waiting a year, while Owens jumped to the front of the wide receiver line as a finalist in his first year eligible. 

His move to the front didn’t make everyone happy -- former Rams head coach Mike Martz told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he thinks it’s “ridiculous” Owens leapfrogged his former players Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. 

"'Surprised' isn't the word," Martz said. "You can't print how I felt when T.O. leapfrogged those two. That's just plain out-and-out ridiculous."

Based on raw statistics alone, Owens is more deserving of a Canton nod than either of the Rams receivers. Owens is sixth in receptions all time, Bruce is ninth and Holt is 19th. Owens is second in receiving yards all time, Bruce is fourth and Holt is 14th. Owens is third in receiving touchdowns, Bruce is 12th and Holt is 33rd.

This doesn't take into account yards per reception or receiving yards per game (Holt is seventh all time at 77.4, Owens is 16th at 72.8 and Bruce is 31st at 68.2). 

Owens never led the NFL in receptions or receiving yards. Bruce did it once (without Holt) and Holt did it twice, with Bruce on the same team. Owens did lead the league in receiving touchdowns three different times while Holt and Bruce never did. Holt led the league in receptions (in 2003, the same year he led the league in receiving), something Owens and Bruce never did.

There's no question Holt and Bruce, as a result of a business-like on-field approach, are less famous than Owens. 

Oddly, Martz thinks it's Owens' showboating that's going to get him in faster and Holt/Bruce would've benefited from all that "dumb stuff."

"If they big-timed it and did all that dumb stuff, they'd get in probably earlier," Martz said. "I think they'll eventually get in. I don't think that's an issue, but it's tragic that people think of them like that. If Marvin Harrison gets in, how could they not get in?"

The biggest point for Martz in all of this is the championship touchdown catches (both had scores to help the Rams beat the Titans in the Super Bowl) and the underrated statistical representations for his guys.

"You kinda start with that," Martz said. "Look at their production. More importantly, look at their yards per catch. And then look at it consistently over a long period of time -- it'll compare to anybody. In some cases, nobody comes close. I mean nobody's even come close to what Torry did."

Specifically what Martz is talking about -- as noted by Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch -- is the incredible stretch of Holt's shorter career. Holt had 1,300 receiving yards from 2000 through 2005, the only player in NFL history to top the landmark in six straight years. 

Holt had more receiving yards in his first nine seasons (11,864) than anyone in NFL history. 

People cite an amazing offense for Bruce and Holt but fail to remember the obstacles they faced. Yes, the Rams were in a fast-paced, high-octane offense. But it was ahead of its time, not a part of the recent surge of offensive numbers courtesy of new NFL rules.

Additionally, Holt and Bruce had another Hall of Fame receiver on their team: Marshall Faulk. The Rams running back averaged 87 targets and 67 catches per year. Faulk has more career catches than Michael Irvin! 

Martz is probably off about Holt and Bruce deserving to be ahead of Owens in the line, but his guys have a more compelling case than most people give them. They should both find their way to Canton eventually if the system is working correctly. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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