Don't try telling former Rams head coach Mike Martz that Terrell Owens is better than either of the receivers he had during his time with St. Louis, because he wouldn't want to hear it.
When it was announced on Jan. 7 that Owens was a first-ballot Hall of Fame finalist over Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, Martz was livid.
“‘Surprised’ isn’t the word,” Martz told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-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 then suggested that Owens' penchant for theatrics made him more visible, and the reason he was named a finalist before Holt or Bruce.
"If they big-timed it and did all that dumb stuff, they'd get in probably earlier," Martz added. "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."
Owens, who played for five teams from 1996 to 2010, finished his career with 15,934 receiving yards, placing him second all-time behind Jerry Rice.
Bruce, who played 14 years with the Rams and two with the 49ers, has 15,208 receiving yards to his name, which slots him fourth in NFL history after Rice, Owens and Randy Moss.
Holt, a seven-time Pro Bowler, is 14th all-time with 13,382 receiving yards.
Owens, a five-time All-Pro, also had 153 career receiving touchdowns, which is good enough for third all-time. Neither Bruce (91) nor Holt (74) have over 100.
"Look at their production," Martz said. "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."
Martz was with the Rams organization from 1992 to 2005, spending the last six seasons as the team's head coach.
The Rams went to a Super Bowl in the 2001-02 season.
Martz also spent the 2008 season as the 49ers offensive coordinator.