Best Chief not in the Hall of Fame? It's Otis Taylor
Terrell Owens doesn’t have a beef for having to wait for his enshrinement to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But Otis Taylor does.
So say the listeners and readers of the Talk of Fame Network, who voted Taylor the best former Kansas City Chief not enshrined in the Hall of Fame in last week’s poll. Taylor received 37.3 percent of the vote to outdistance his former Super Bowl championship teammate Fred Arbanas at 14.5 percent. Defensive backs Deron Cherry and Albert Lewis from the 1980s each received 10.9 percent support.
Owens had to wait three years through three turns as a finalist for his bust. Taylor has been eligible now for the Hall for 38 years but has never been a finalist. A big body (6-3, 215), big play receiver, Taylor broke open Super Bowl IV with his 46-yard touchdown catch in a 23-7 romp over the Vikings.
Taylor averaged an AFL-leading 22.4 yards per catch in 1966, led the AFL with 11 touchdown receptions in 1967 and became the only receiver in the merged AFL-NFL with a 1,000-yard receiving season in 1971. Taylor scored 57 touchdowns in his 410 career receptions and averaged 17.8 yards per catch. He went to three Pro Bowls and was voted first-team all-pro in 1971.
The three Talk of Fame Network hosts split their votes, as usual. Ron Borges voted 1980s all-decade safety Cherry, Rick Gosselin voted Taylor and Clark Judge voted the all-time All-AFL guard Budde.
"Guards too often get overlooked and there haven't been many better … ever … than Ed Budde," Judge said.
“Budde was great,” Borges agreed, “but it is hard to ignore Deron Cherry’s 52 picks. Winning results from several key factors and turnovers is one of them. So my vote goes to Cherry even though one glaring omission is Jim Tyrer. His life ended violently and tragically but he might have been the best tackle in AFL history.”
Cherry was an undrafted college free agent punter from Rutgers signed by the Chiefs in 1981. But he was a better safety than a punter so the Chiefs gave him a look there. It took him two years to become a starter but he still wound up intercepting 52 career passes and collecting almost 1,000 tackles (972) in his 11-year career.
From 1983 through 1986 Cherry intercepted at least seven passes each season and also went to the Pro Bowl for six consecutive seasons from 1983 through 1988. Like Taylor, Cherry has never been a Hall of Fame finalist.
Arbanas, Budde and Tyrer were all selected to the all-time All-AFL team. Arbanas and Budde have never been Hall of Fame finalists and Tyrer has been in the room for discussion once.