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HoF: Lynn Swann but no Gary Clark?


redman

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I wrote this on another board devoted to fantasy football topics in a thread debating whether you'd sign Largent or Swann to a FA contract assuming each was in his prime at the time. Not surprisingly, Largent was leading the poll 70% to 30%.

I added the following post to the discussion, which I thought would also generate some discussion here - I happen to think that Gary Clark is one of the mose underrated players on our teams from Gibbs' first tenure:

One of the things that's always amazed me about Swann's HoF selection is how, in contrast, Gary Clark seems to get so little consideration. He too played big in big games (they both played in 13 playoff games), and his career stats downright bury Swann's.

Here are their career regular season stats, followed by their playoff stats:

Swann:

                 +--------------------------+-------------------------+
                |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |
+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+
| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |
+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+
| 1974 pit |  11 |     1     14   14.0    0 |    11    208  18.9    2 |
| 1975 pit |  14 |     3     13    4.3    0 |    49    781  15.9   11 |
| 1976 pit |  12 |     1      2    2.0    0 |    28    516  18.4    3 |
| 1977 pit |  14 |     2      6    3.0    0 |    50    789  15.8    7 |
| 1978 pit |  16 |     1      7    7.0    0 |    61    880  14.4   11 |
| 1979 pit |  13 |     1      9    9.0    1 |    41    808  19.7    5 |
| 1980 pit |  13 |     1     -4   -4.0    0 |    44    710  16.1    7 |
| 1981 pit |  13 |     0      0    0.0    0 |    34    505  14.9    5 |
| 1982 pit |   9 |     1     25   25.0    0 |    18    265  14.7    0 |
+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+
|  TOTAL   | 115 |    11     72    6.5    1 |   336   5462  16.3   51 |
+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+

Clark

                 +--------------------------+-------------------------+
                |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |
+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+
| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |
+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+
| 1985 was |  16 |     2     10    5.0    0 |    72    926  12.9    5 |
| 1986 was |  15 |     0      0    0.0    0 |    74   1265  17.1    7 |
| 1987 was |  12 |     1      0    0.0    0 |    56   1066  19.0    7 |
| 1988 was |  16 |     2      6    3.0    0 |    59    892  15.1    7 |
| 1989 was |  15 |     2     19    9.5    0 |    79   1229  15.6    9 |
| 1990 was |  16 |     1      1    1.0    0 |    75   1112  14.8    8 |
| 1991 was |  16 |     1      0    0.0    0 |    70   1340  19.1   10 |
| 1992 was |  16 |     2     18    9.0    0 |    64    912  14.2    5 |
| 1993 pho |  14 |     0      0    0.0    0 |    63    818  13.0    4 |
| 1994 ari |  15 |     0      0    0.0    0 |    50    771  15.4    1 |
| 1995 mia |  16 |     0      0    0.0    0 |    37    525  14.2    2 |
+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+
|  TOTAL   | 167 |    11     54    4.9    0 |   699  10856  15.5   65 |
+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+

Swann Playoff Games:

 Year  Opp   Result  |  RSH    YD  TD  |  REC    YD  TD
---------------------+-----------------+-----------------
1975  bal  W,28-10  |    0     0   0  |    2    15   0
1975  oak  W,16-10  |    0     0   0  |    2    45   0
*1975  dal  W,21-17  |    0     0   0  |    4   161   1
1976  bal  W,40-14  |    0     0   0  |    5    77   2
1976  oak  L,7-24   |    0     0   0  |    3    58   0
1977  den  L,21-34  |    0     0   0  |    1     6   0
1978  den  W,33-10  |    0     0   0  |    2    52   1
1978  hou  W,34-5   |    0     0   0  |    4    98   1
*1978  dal  W,35-31  |    0     0   0  |    7   124   1
1979  mia  W,34-14  |    0     0   0  |    3    37   1
1979  hou  W,27-13  |    0     0   0  |    4    64   0
*1979  ram  W,31-19  |    0     0   0  |    5    79   1
1982  sdg  L,28-31  |    0     0   0  |    1    14   0
---------------------+-----------------+-----------------
TOTAL                |    0     0   0  |   43   830   8

Clark Playoff Games:

 Year  Opp   Result  |  RSH    YD  TD  |  REC    YD  TD
---------------------+-----------------+-----------------
1986  ram  W,19-7   |    0     0   0  |    1     8   0
1986  chi  W,27-13  |    0     0   0  |    5    37   0
1987  chi  W,21-17  |    1    -6   0  |    4    56   0
1987  min  W,17-10  |    1     5   0  |    3    57   1
*1987  den  W,42-10  |    1    25   0  |    3    55   1
1990  phi  W,20-6   |    0     0   0  |    4    63   1
1990  sfo  L,10-28  |    0     0   0  |    6    63   0
1991  atl  W,24-7   |    0     0   0  |    6    64   0
1991  det  W,41-10  |    0     0   0  |    4    77   1
*1991  buf  W,37-24  |    0     0   0  |    7   114   1
1992  min  W,24-7   |    0     0   0  |    6    91   1
1992  sfo  L,13-20  |    0     0   0  |    7   100   0
1995  buf  L,22-37  |    0     0   0  |    2    41   0
---------------------+-----------------+-----------------
TOTAL                |    3    24   0  |   58   826   6

To me, as wonderful of a player as Swann was, his HoF placement comes down to one play, which was that acrobatic Super Bowl catch he made vs. the Cowboys. That's become an inconic NFL image. Without that, he's just another John Taylor.

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:notworthy

Gary Clark is a Hall of Famer.

Unfortunately, considering the struggles of Art Monk (who should have been a first or at worst second ballet selection), I just can't see Gary Clark even sniffing a Hall of Fame induction.

Lynn Swann shined in the Super Bowl, but he's not one of the great receivers of all time. He benefited from the fact that the committee has a hard on for the 70's Steelers and at times it seems that they will not rest until every member of that team are in the Hall.

If Lynn Swann was on the Redskins of the late 80's/early 90's, he's Ricky Sanders. A good receiver but not in the class of a Monk or Clark.

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I am glad you posted this-- Cause I have always believed Gary Clark was our best BIG GAME WR ( Charley Taylor and Bobby Mitchell did not get enough opportunities). He made some amazing catches from 5 yds to 50. And he was all guts. Hurt every week but in every game. He has been completely overlooked by everyone outside of DC.

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As everyone here knows the knock on Monk is the lack of Superbowl highlight reel big plays - complete BS and totally stupid since he has been solid in the Superbowl AND has had those highlight type plays in regular playoff games - but that's another topic.

However, you can't use the same lame argument against Gary Clark. He has scored in the Superbowl and has been clutch.

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Guest BleedinBurgundyandGold
The HOF is a joke anyway.

BINGO

We won 3 Super Bowls in 10 years with what is arguably the greatest offensive line of all time (None in the Hall), had one QB (Joey T) with almost EXACTLY the same statistics as Troy Aikman (yes, 2 fewer SB's), and had amazing WR's that came up huge for us at key times.

The players of Gibbs Era 1 have the rings, the statistics and yet still no respect.

*&^% the hall.

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Guest BleedinBurgundyandGold
I think we can talk about whatever we want, seeing as this is an all skins board devoted to many different topics. We all agree that Monk deserves the hall, it'd be interesting to take a look at Clark, too.

Also, when looking at Gary Clark, we need to take a look at what his statistics were in the USFL (or CFL I cant remember which he played for) because its the Pro Football HoF, not the NFL HoF.

I'm looking for them now...

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Guest BleedinBurgundyandGold

Nevermind, it was just one year but here are the stats

Jacksonville Bulls

1984

Clark 56 760 13.6 2

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You just come back to the same ole thing, the NY led cabal that hates the Skins, period. This isn't another conspiracy theory post, that worthless sack o'meat King has said it openly time and again that the Skins WRs aren't "worthy". When you look at the numbers, yeah, Clark was a better WR than Swann, and some others as well but the HOF isn't about the quality of the player and hasn't been for a long time. This is something that we are going to have to live with.

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Peter King is a ****ing dick. I can not stand that guy. To think that one man apparently has such control of what should be a political-less organization like a Hall of Fame is befuddling.

Having said all that, he stood against Swann getting in for years, which was the correct stance. Not sure how the other voters who voted for Swann can't see how favorably Clarke and Monk both stack up. It's a joke. A ****ing joke.

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I am glad you posted this-- Cause I have always believed Gary Clark was our best BIG GAME WR ( Charley Taylor and Bobby Mitchell did not get enough opportunities). He made some amazing catches from 5 yds to 50. And he was all guts. Hurt every week but in every game. He has been completely overlooked by everyone outside of DC.

I tried making this same arguement with some friends of mine and got totally bashed. People seem to forget how dangerous Gary Clark was. And he was so clutch, he always seemed to step up in big games, more so than Monk, who was hurt for the first two.

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I've been a Redskins fan from birth, and I love Gary Clark and Art Monk. I wouldn't argue that Swan should get in the hall before either of them, and I can't argue that Clark's statistics aren't better than Swan's. I wouldn't even argue that Swan was a better player. But, one thing I do know from watching Swan play. In my opinion, he was, and always will be one of the greatest pass receivers I have ever seen.

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Wow, never really saw the numbers like that before. Thanks for the break down. In defense of Swann, he did play a little bit of a different era then Clark, not much, but a little. Pass heavy offense didn't take off until the early 80's. But you do bring up an interesting argument. But the one thing that I won't defend or have any sympathy for is the HOF selection. Its a total joke. The Skins were the most consistent team during that era and nobody except Riggo got any love. And Riggo only got in b/c he was such a charector compared to everybody else. The HOF is a laugh to me until Monk gets in.

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I will defend Monk going to the Hall until I die, but any Redskins fan knows that Clark was the best WR in the Possie. That man DESERVES to be in the Hall.

Its sad, but I think that once Monk gets in there will be a large push to get Clark in there too. (I woulda've liked Clark before Monk, but I cant get too picky).

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