In an interview with Betway Insiders Jack GreenHall of Fame wide receiver Isaac Bruce was asked to build his perfect wideout. When it comes to speed, Bruce has no hesitation in naming the legendary Las Vegas Raiders Cliff Branch wide receiver.
“I would say Cliff Branch. I don’t think Cliff Branch is recognized enough, much like “Bullet” Bob Hayes, to be as fast and smooth as he was. They weren’t really throwing the ball up and down the field like that in his day, but he made a huge, huge dent, in terms of receiving yards when he played.
Bruce brings up a point that Raider fans have been hammering out in recent years regarding Branch’s Hall of Fame candidacy, it was a game-changer.
Like any analytical nerd, I mean no one will tell you, throwing the ball deep is crucial to offensive success in today’s version of the NFL. But throwing the stone wasn’t a big part of the game until Branch and Al Davis arrived. Now everyone is doing it, so these two are really trailblazers.
Current Las Vegas head coach Jon Gruden even commented on how Branch may have affected the game recently, saying:
“He was a threat to go all the way, all the time, and if you didn’t take him into account, they were going to drop a bomb on you.” They were going to throw it away. And if you reported to her, it was better for [Dave] Casper, it was better for Mervyn [Fernandez], it was better for everyone, Fred [Biletnikoff] will tell you. So I think the fact that he was a great guy, a world champion and a difference maker as a receiver on the field, it would be great to see him enter the Hall of Fame.
The legendary Raider caught 501 passes for 8,685 yards, 67 touchdowns and received 99 yards throughout his career. He’s also a three-time Super Bowl and All-Pro champion, four-time Pro-Bowler, and fourth all-time in playoff yards with 1,289. However, Branch’s resume is missing one thing, one. golden jacket.
Hopefully the committee will take Bruce’s comments and finally do the right thing, putting Branch in the hallway. He’s this year’s senior committee nominee, which bodes well for his chances.