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Martz upset Owens jumped Bruce, Holt on HOF ballot

  • By Andie Hagemann NFL.com
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Former Rams coach Mike Martz is baffled that Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt are not among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Martz expressed his frustration over Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens "leapfrogging" Bruce and Holt into the finals in Owens' first year of eligibility.

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

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Martz said it was Owens' persona that put him into Hall of Fame contention.

"Had they promoted themselves, which was contrary to everything we were about, they'd probably get in without an issue. That's just not who we were.

"If they big-timed it and did all that dumb stuff, they'd probably get in earlier," Martz continued. "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?"

Not everyone shares Martz's sentiments. Andy Reid, Owens' former coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, said the wide receiver possesses the chops to be a Hall of Famer.

"As far as talent and production goes, T.O. is absolutely a Hall of Famer," Reid said this week per the Philadelphia Daily News.

Reid coached Owens for two seasons in Philadelphia. Owens helped lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2004 season, but was also responsible for their tumultuous 2005 outing due to a falling out with quarterback Donovan McNabb (among other incidents).

"There was that one off-the-field issue with him, but everything else, he was a pleasure to coach," Reid added. "The son of a gun would do anything you asked him to do and he'd do it a hundred miles an hour, which not every player will do."

Owens is second in career receiving yards (15,934), third in receiving touchdowns (153) and sixth in receptions (1,078).

The 2016 Hall of Fame's Class will be announced during "NFL Honors" on the eve of the Super Bowl 50.

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