Davis on Hall candidacy: “I think I checked all the boxes”


Photo courtesy of the Denver Broncos

 

Talk of Fame Network

Terrell Davis was the best running back in the NFL for a four-year period in the mid-to-late 1990s, and that’s both a blessing and a curse for the former Denver star.

His accomplishments have him on the Hall-of-Fame radar, with Davis one of 26 semifinalists for the Class of 2015. But because his career was cut short by a knee injury, he’s never been one a finalist.

And that begs the question: Should longevity be an issue, especially with a player who had no peer at his position? No, Davis answered, on the latest Talk of Fame Network radio broadcast.

“It shouldn’t be,” he said, “because there’s precedent already in the Hall of Fame where guys didn’t play long. People talk about Gale Sayers and his career (Sayers had five productive seasons). Yeah, he didn’t play long enough, but he’s a Hall of Famer. Maybe look at it, but understand the circumstances of why that player didn’t play long enough. Focus more on what I was playing and what I did, versus the length of time I played.”

OK, fair enough. So this is what Terrell Davis was: A three-time All-Pro and two-time Offensive Player of the Year who once ran for 2,000 yards, once was the league MVP and once was the Super Bowl MVP. He also was a two-time Super Bowl champion, the missing ingredient whose arrival brought Lombardi Trophies to John Elway shortly before he retired.

But that’s not all. When the Hall talks about its prospective inductees, it focuses on players who play their best on the biggest stages … and nobody played better than Davis. In eight playoff games, he ran for 100 or more yards seven times, averaged 5.6 yards a carry and scored 12 touchdowns. Moreover, in Super Bowl XXXII he ran for a game-record three scores after missing the second quarter with a migraine.

“Look at the big moments – the playoff games,” he said. “If the Hall of Fame is about a person who impacted the game and played at the highest level when the stakes were high, I think I checked all the boxes. If you can raise (your game) and play at the level I was able to play at during those moments, that speaks for itself.

“When you throw in the accomplishments on the team front – two championships – and (winning) every (individual) award you can imagine … I achieved. There was nothing I did not achieve in the period of time I played. I accomplished everything I set out to do in the few years I did play.“

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