By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 1:21 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Bay Area News group columnist Monte Poole makes the case in today’s publications that former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown is no lock to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
I’ll go Monte one better and say Brown shouldn’t make it.
Brown may deserve to go in one day, but not until Cliff Branch gets there first.
And Branch, who didn’t make the cut list, isn’t going in any time soon.
Al Davis makes yearly pleas for Jim Plunkett, and to a lesser extent Tom Flores.
Many of you can’t imagine why Ken Stabler hasn’t made the grade.
Branch seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle of great Raiders despite being a vertical threat into his 30s and posting numbers (501 receptions, 8,685 yards, 67 touchdowns) that dwarfed those of Lynn Swann (336 receptions, 5,462 yards, 51 touchdowns). He was the essence of the Raiders’ vertical passing game that Davis is to this day still trying to recapture.
For those who don’t think Branch had the kind of huge, career-capturing moment which Swann did during his NFL Films Super Bowl highlight reel, you weren’t in attendance the day he made a diving catch of an underthrown Ken Stabler bomb, then got up and completed an 72-yard touchdown play in the Sea of Hands game. He had three touchdowns in three Super Bowl wins _ the same number Swann scored in four Super Bowl wins.