Steve Young defends T.O.; Dungy sacks Patriots' playoff chances

Former quarterback Steve Young likes Terrell Owens for the Hall of Fame, but Tony Dungy doesn't like New England's chances of repeating as Super Bowl champions.

Mike Mamula, Steve Young

(Photos courtesy of San Francisco 49ers)

Talk of Fame Network

With the playoffs about to begin, who better to talk about them than Hall-of-Fame quarterback and Super Bowl champion Steve Young and Hall-of-Fame nominee and Super Bowl champion coach Tony Dungy? No one that our Hall-of-Fame guys, Rick Gosselin, Ron Borges and Clark Judge, could think of.

Young makes a spirited Hall-of-Fame case not only for former 49ers’ owner Eddie DeBartolo, who was is year’s HOF candidate in the contributor’s category, but also for controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens, a first-year nominee. While Owens had his off-field problems with management and teammates everywhere he went, Young makes clear when a team was in a tight fix someone like Owens was a valuable commodity.

“He challenged Jerry’s (Rice) work ethic,’’ Young said on the latest broadcast of The Talk of Fame Network. “I can’t think of a (wide receiver of his era) as physically dominant as Terrell … He changed the game. Terrell was a great football player…and he called me, sir!’’

Young claimed DeBartolo also changed football but in a different way. He changed the owner-player dynamic in a manner that continues to resonate today with owners like New England’s Bob Kraft and Dallas’ Jerry Jones, according to Young.

“We always felt like chattel,’’ Young said. “It was a broken relationship (between players and management). A lot of the league’s success today was forged through the partnership between owners and players. For years it was broken. Eddie was the one who broached that subject and bridged it.’’

Dungy, who along with Don Coryell is one of two coaches to make the final 15 Hall-of-Fame nominees for the Class of 2016, tells the guys that while this year's Bowl champion may be able to win football’s biggest game primarily on the strength of its defense, that will not create the kind of dynasty the Patriots and teams like the Cowboys, 49ers, Steelers and Packers had before them.

Those days, he says, are over.

“I think you can win one (Super Bowl),’’ Dungy said when asked if defense still wins championships. “You can get on a run. Seattle certainly did when they weren’t a great offensive team. But it’s hard to win consistently. You can’t win consistently (any more) without that great quarterback.’’

Certainly the Patriots have one in Tom Brady, but when Dungy looked at the pile of injuries they’ve faced this season, he didn’t see a repeating Super Bowl champion.

“Unless that (offensive) line gets better, they can’t (repeat),’’ Dungy said. “If they get healthy, they can win (again). They’ve got Brady. But I’m afraid of that offensive line. You can’t scheme people if you can’t block.’’

Our three schemers – Rick, Ron and Clark – dissect the playoff lineup, this year’s Hall-of-Fame finalists and the comings and goings of seven NFL head coaches. Our resident "Dr. Data" (Gosselin) goes deep into the growing lack of patience among NFL owners and contends that coaches like Tom Landry and Chuck Noll would never have lasted long enough in Dallas and Pittsburgh to become Hall of Famers under the present view ownership takes in the search for quick fixes.

This being wildcard weekend, the guys also revisit some of the NFL’s wildest wild-card games, including the greatest comeback in playoff history and the 2011 Denver defeat of Pittsburgh where Tim Tebow seemed to be touched by a Higher Power -- ending up not only with not only the stats but the Nielsen ratings to prove it.

They also name their season-long award winners, while Ron makes "T.O.’s" Hall-of-Fame case before facing a barrage of protests from Clark, and run through their weekly two-minute drill to answer questions on everything that went on in the past wacky (literally for many coaches) week in the NFL.

The two-hour show can be heard on over 80 radio stations around the country as well as on iTunes podcasts, TuneIn Radio’s app, on Yahoo! Radio’s stream or by simply going to talkoffamenetwork.com and clicking on the microphone logo.

Listen now!

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