In an interview with Betway Insider’s Jack Green, Hall of Fame wide receiver Isaac Bruce was asked to build his perfect wideout. When it came to speed, Bruce named legendary Las Vegas Raiders’ wide receiver Cliff Branch without hesitation.
“I would say Cliff Branch. I don’t think Cliff Branch gets enough recognition, kind of like ‘Bullet’ Bob Hayes, for being as fast and fluid as he was. They weren’t really throwing the ball up and down the field like that during his era, but he did make a huge, huge dent, in terms of receiving yards when he played.”
Bruce brings up a point that Raider fans have hammered home in recent years when it comes to Branch’s Hall of Fame candidacy, he changed the game.
As any analytics nerd, I mean person, will tell you, throwing the ball deep is crucial to offensive success in today’s version of the NFL. But slinging the rock around wasn’t a big part of the game until Branch and Al Davis came around. Now, everyone’s doing it so those two really are trendsetters.
Las Vegas’ current head coach Jon Gruden even commented on how Branch was able to affect the game recently, stating:
“He was a threat to go all the way, all the time, and if you didn’t account for him, they were going to put a bomb on you. They were going to throw it. And if you did account for him, it was better for [Dave] Casper, it was better for Mervyn [Fernandez], it was better for everybody else, Fred [Biletnikoff] will tell you that. So, I think the fact that he was a great guy, a world champion and a difference-maker as a down-the-field receiver, it would be great to see him get in the Hall of Fame.”
The legendary Raider caught 501 passes for 8,685 yards, 67 touchdowns and had a career-long reception of 99 yards. He was also a three-time Super Bowl Champion and All-Pro, four-time Pro-Bowler and ranks fourth all-time in playoff receiving yards with 1,289. However, there’s one thing missing from Branch’s resume, a gold jacket.
Hopefully, the committee will take notice of Bruce’s comments and finally do the right thing, put Branch in the hall. He’s this year’s senior committee nominee, which bodes well for his odds.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Ngakoue in, Jacobs out: the Raiders released their final injury report of the week, and guard Richie Incognito won’t suit up either.
- How Raiders slowed Ravens: our own BD William’s broke down how Las Vegas’ defense kept Lamar Jacks and Co. in check
- Eluemunor to start: the Raiders will be missing both starting guards against the Steelers and relying on the five-year pro.
- The ball touched the ground: said Derek Carr when asked about the Raiders/Steelers rivalry ahead of this Sunday’s matchup.