Mike Florio believes Lynn Swann is not in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame without four Super Bowl rings

Throughout the 1970s dominance, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of high profile plays, from the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Mel Blount and more.

No one could have been as big a name – at the time – as Lynn Swann.

Coming out of Southern California in 1974 as a first-round pick, a consensus All-American and the face of the Trojans as part of the 1972 undefeated national championship team, Swann was a big name and flashy player overall.

That carried over into his time in the NFL, as Swann made some massive plays time and time again for the Steelers, eventually winning four rings with the Black and Gold, winning the Super Bowl X MVP, landing on the 1970s All-Decade team and eventually earning his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Swann wouldn’t be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame based on numbers. Instead, Florio – appearing on the Dan Patrick Show Thursday – made the argument that Swann is only in the Hall of Fame because of his four rings.

“There are people who are in the Hall of Fame who wouldn’t be in there if they didn’t win Super Bowls. Lynn Swann wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame if not for his role with the Steelers’ four Super Bowl teams and his performance in Super Bowl X, which showed us all the way that the wide receiver position could be played if the ball was put in. the air more often, and I’m sure that was part of the process where we’ve seen the game evolve toward the pass, « Florio told Patrick Thursday, according to video via the Dan Patrick Show YouTube channel.

At first hearing these words, it feels like a bit of a stretch from Florio.

In his nine-year career, which was ultimately cut short by injuries, Swann finished with 336 receptions for 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns, averaging 16.3 yards per carry. catch. He was the co-leader in receiving touchdowns in 1975 with 11, recorded 61 receptions for 880 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1978 and averaged a league-high 19.7 yards per catch in 1979.

Swann was named a First Team All-Pro in 1978 and a Second Team All-Pro twice in 1975 and 1977. He was named to the All-Decade team in the 70s, was a three-time Pro Bowler (1975, 1977, 1978) ) and was a Pro Football Writers of America Association All-Rookie in 1974. Not to mention, he’s on the Steelers’ All-Time team and in the Hall of Honor with the Steelers.

But Florio might have a bit of a point.

Swann’s numbers outside of his four rings and Super Bowl X MVP award aren’t as eye-opening outside of touchdowns.

Swann averaged just 37 receptions per game. season in his nine-year career. On top of that, Swann averaged about 606 yards per game. season, but averaged nearly six touchdowns per season. His statistics per game came out to 2.89 receptions, 47.1 yards per carry. game and 0.44 touchdowns per game.

Not great numbers overall.

In the playoffs, however, Swann recorded 48 receptions over seven years, making the playoffs and 16 career playoff games, along with 907 yards and nine touchdowns. Those numbers are very similar to his per-game stats from the regular season, but he came up big when it mattered most.

In the four Super Bowls, Swann recorded 16 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns, breaking the 100-yard mark twice against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X and XIII. Those numbers in the Super Bowl even came with Swann being held without a catch in Super Bowl IX against the Minnesota Vikings.

As Florio points out, Swann’s performance in Super Bowl X — four catches, 161 yards, one touchdown — showed what the wide receiver position could do when the ball was put in the air more offensively. He showed that again in Super Bowl XIII, finishing with seven receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown.

According to Pro Football Reference’s Hall of Fame monitor, which takes into account statistics and accolades such as Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections and is a statistical measure of a player’s career and how likely they are to get into Canton, Ohio, is Swann one. of the lowest scoring wide receivers who are in the Hall of Fame.

Swann’s 70.95 HoF screen sits just ahead of teammate John Stallworth (69.42) and Philadelphia’s Harold Carmichael (70.09), not to mention Hall of Famers in Tommy McDonald (55.45), Bob Hayes (57.53 ) and Bobby Mitchell (58.31). It’s kind of odd that Florio singled out Swann in his why rings are important in the Pro Football Hall of Fame argument and not a guy like Carmichael who never won a ring, never earned a First Team All-Pro and played two more seasons than Swann in the NFL.

Regardless, Swann is in the Hall of Fame. He helped change the game to a high-flying offense with acrobatic receivers along with Stallworth. His regular season numbers may not stand out, but he has four rings and stepped up in the biggest moments for the Steelers of the 70s. It means something.

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