Terrell Davis has a sweet gig.
While most of the country was chillin’ its toes off, TD was chillin’ at his home in sunny L.A. While the current Broncos attempt to win a Super Bowl, TD already has a pair of rings. Since retiring from the NFL he’s had “only” three migraines, he said, which is progress for a guy who suffered from migraines since he was 7.
There’s one thing that needs to change, though: How is TD not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
It’s a football crime he was cut from the list of finalists again Thursday. Have voters forgotten how dominant he was?
I talked to TD last night, and most of the conversation will be included in Sunday’s Gazette as a primer for the Broncos-Chargers playoff game. Here are a few other topics we touched on:
Why are you not in the Hall of Fame? What’s your take?
TD: “You’d be nuts to say you don’t want to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I also look at the list of the guys that are eligible. If I’m ever worthy of being in the Hall of Fame, I would be ecstatic. But I never played the game to be in the Hall of Fame. And not making the Hall of Fame, that can’t take away from anything I achieved. It can only add to it. It’s out of my hands. I’m at the mercy of the voters. But I’m not the type of guy that’s going to be mad about it.”
“What I don’t like is when people say this: ‘Well, he’s not a Hall of Famer yet. He will be in 10 years.’ I mean, what? You’re either a Hall of Famer or you’re not. Does that make sense to you? What am I going to do tomorrow that I didn’t do when I played? Do I need to go win a Pulitzer? What should I do? Other than that, I don’t lose sleep over it.”
Regular season, postseason, all seasons, which quarterback do you take: John Elway or Peyton Manning?
TD: “I’m going No. 7 every time. I’ve seen that dude in action for too long. John wasn’t even at the peak of his career when we had him. He was still throwing that ball 100 miles per hour at you.
“His thing was, ‘Hey, we need 98 yards. Let’s go get it.’ It wasn’t like this intimidating, too-serious look. He looked just like you would expect somebody who has absolute confidence he was going to make this happy: ‘don’t worry about this. We’re going to make this happen.’ It’s a sense of calmness. At the same time, there’s a sense of urgency and execution. He didn’t make you feel like the moment was too big for that offense.
“I’ve seen that dude in too many big games, in too many big situations, come through. And Peyton still has time. That’s sort of the knock on Peyton. It’s something he probably doesn’t want to hear, that he’s the greatest regular-season quarterback. I think he probably wants to be in the conversation of the greatest postseason quarterbacks. He’s got a shot this year. There’s a lot of weight on his shoulders, and rightfully so. He’s got to step up to that challenge. This is where that legacy is made.
“If he can take two teams and win the Super Bowl with two teams, whoa. That changes everything. That’s something nobody’s done. Kurt (Warner) got close. But I think that would put Manning on a different level.”
Lotta similarities between your ’96 loss to the Jags and their 2012 loss to the Ravens. When you guys go back to the playoffs the next year, how much pressure were you guys feeling?
TD: “There was absolutely no pressure on us when we returned to the playoffs. In fact, we could not wait to get back in the playoffs. I could not wait to get to the postseason. I have a feeling that is the same way this Broncos team is feeling. They have to feel that way. They remember how they felt last year against Baltimore, walking out of that stadium. They have a chance to do something about it now. It helps them that they lost to San Diego a few weeks back. They don’t have to wait a year to get them back. Those feelings are there.”
“I get the sense that this team is looking at it as an opportunity, not as a situation where there’s pressure.”