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A Deserving WR Will Not Get The Call Today

The NFL will announce later today the Class of 2011 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

There are three outstanding wide receivers among the finalists - Tim Brown, former Eagle Cris Carter and Andre Reed.

But there is a dominant wide receiver who will not hear his name called today - Eagles legend Harold Carmichael.

His numbers still hold weight in the all-time record books. He finished his career with 590 catches for 8,985 yards and 79 touchdowns, almost all of those numbers coming during his 13 seasons with the Eagles.

The problem is that with the proficiency of the passing game today his numbers will start to fall among middling receivers who couldn't sniff a Pro Bowl appearance.

Carmichael had plenty of those - four in his career to be exact. He was in fact on the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1970s. He also earned the 1980 NFL Man of the Year Award, which has since been re-named in honor of the late Walter Payton.

In 1973, Carmichael led the NFL with 67 catches and 1,116 yards. His receiving yardage total was the most since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 and would be the highest single-season amount until the season expanded from 14 to 16 games. That year, Carmichael had 209 more receiving yards than the No 2 wide receiver on the list.

Highly durable, Carmichael racked up a streak of 162 consecutive games played. He also had a streak of 127 straight games with a catch, which was at the time the NFL record.

Not only was he statistically dominant, he was physically dominant. Carmichael was a monster among men standing at 6-8. Picture King Dunlap playing wide receiver.

To this day, Carmichael holds the Eagles' records for receptions, yards, receiving touchdowns and total touchdowns. He was the franchise leader in games played until 2008.

Why then are receivers like Oakland's Fred Biletnikoff and Pittsburgh's John Stallworth, who played in Carmichael's era, in the Hall while Carmichael is on the outside looking in?

A major factor is team performance. Biletnikoff was a Super Bowl MVP and during his career that spanned from 1965-78 he never played on a team with a losing record. Shoot, none of his teams were .500.

Stallworth? Four Super Bowl titles. Carmichael? Just four winning seasons in his entire career with the lone Super Bowl appearance in the 1980 season. Carmichael had a good game in Super Bowl XV catching five passes for 83 yards, but the Eagles trailed at one point 24-3 in an eventual 27-10 loss.

Carmichael's got the numbers. He's got the longevity. He's got the consistent year in, year out performances. He has the novelty regarding his skyscraper frame. But most of the teams he played on were a bust and that's why it's so hard for Carmichael to get a bust in Canton.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:00 a.m., February 5

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