Can Terrell Davis give Larry Brown a Hall-of-Fame boost?

Former Washington running back Larry Brown isn’t in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In fact, he’s never been a finalist or semifinalist.

But Brown, who for four seasons was arguably the best running back in the game, wonders if his candidacy might be affected — no, may be strengthened — by the 2017 Hall-of-Fame induction of former Denver star Terrell Davis.

Like Brown, Davis excelled for four seasons. Like Brown he was an NFL MVP. Like Brown, he was an NFL rushing leader. Like Brown, he led his team to the Super Bowl. In fact, he led the Broncos to two, with Denver winning both. And, like Brown, his career was cut short by injuries.

But Terrell Davis is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame … or will be soon. Larry Brown is not. So he understandably was quick to cite Davis when we asked on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast if his exclusion from Canton bothers him.

“It bothers me a little bit now because when I retired I was told that I didn’t play long enough,” he said. “And I said, ‘But I used to think all I had to do was make a significant contribution to the game.’ In retrospect, I think I did that.

“But with Terrell Davis being inducted this year, hopefully, things will change because we have very similar stats, and both of our careers were cut short because of injuries.”

He’s right about the injuries. Davis’ career effectively ended when he tore ligaments trying to make a tackle following an interception. Brown’s career was shortened by numerous injuries brought on by the heavy workload he carried in Washington.

And while Davis was a more effective runner — he gained 7,607 yards, including a career-high 2,008 in 1998, and scored 65 times — Brown was a more effective receiver. He had 238 catches for 2,485 yards and 20 scores to go with his 5,875 rushing yards and 35 TDs.

Bottom line: Brown is right. Their numbers are similar. Davis had 8,887 total yards and 65 TDs. Brown had 8,360 yards and 55 scores.

So can Davis’ Hall-of-Fame induction help? It can’t hurt.

Look, prior to Davis’ election, longevity was supposed to matter to Hall-of-Fame selectors. But his entry to Canton means voters are more flexible than they have been in the past — something Brown agrees with.

“But I could be biased,” he said. “I think it should be based on your contribution to the game. If you made a significant contribution to the game, then you should be considered.”

Brown did make a significant contribution. In fact, when the Miami Dolphins produced their perfect season in 1972 — the only perfect year in the Super Bowl era — it wasn’t a Dolphin that was chosen as league MVP. It was Larry Brown.

Yet he was all but forgotten by league voters after his retirement following the 1976 season. Nevertheless, Brown is hoping the election of Terrell Davis can … and will … cause voters to re-examine his candidacy — even though he understands that the years and odds are against him.

“I realize that the internet has forced a lot of sportswriters to change jobs or retire,” he said. “And I would imagine at some point and time, if not now, you’re going to have a lot of members of the voting committee … or senior committee … who have never seen me play.”

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  1. June 6, 2017

    Redskins b44@Gmail. Com it not fair the Larry brown is not in hall of fame. So player should not be there like Michael lrvin.believe that

    • June 6, 2017

      Irvin not the only one. Man has a case, and Terrell Davis’ induction helps him make it.

  2. June 6, 2017

    It a shame that redskins have so much trouble of player making hall of fame look at art monk.if it was not for joe gibbs monk would be like Larry brown still setting and waiting for a hall of fame ring and under fair.

    • bachslunch
      June 10, 2017

      I never felt that Art Monk would end up a HoF snub, but I did figure he’d wait a while. His career was similar in some ways to Charlie Joiner’s — long career compiler who was a possession type receiver and retired as the career reception leader. And Joiner wasn’t elected until his fifth time as finalist. Monk made it in on his eighth try.

  3. Jamie
    June 7, 2017

    Larry Brown was a class act player. He gave 100% on every down and had a great fullback in Charlie Harroway leading the way thru many great running plays. As for the hall of fame ( Long time waiting ).

  4. June 7, 2017

    I agree my brother. Believe that

  5. Richmond Scott
    June 7, 2017

    As someone who watched him play, all these years later I’m still in awe of Larry Brown. The NFL claims to prize self-made men with unquestionable character and superb, on-the-field performances in clutch moments. That’s what Brown consistently gave the team and the league. It’s far past time for him to be inducted in the Hall of Fame.
    Don’t know? Watch this:

  6. Calvin G Malloy
    June 8, 2017

    I agree 100% and while we talk about that if irvin should be there so should Gary Clark, they have almost identical stats.

    • bachslunch
      June 10, 2017

      The Irvin/Clark comparison is misleading in that Irvin put his numbers up on run-heavy teams where he wasn’t so much the offensive focus. Clark’s teams usually were not run oriented (he only played with a 1000 yard rusher four times) so he was going to get more attention in that offense and could more easily compile stats. Irvin played with a 1000 yard rusher 10 times, many of those during Emmitt Smith’s prime years.

  7. June 8, 2017

    All three of redskins wr.should be in the hall of fame the 3 wr have over 1000yd for 3 to4 in the nfl.sander 1000yd monk 1000yd and set a record and Clark 1000 yd.the nfl is a joke. And that real talk. Lol

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