Hall of Fame Finalists Include Colts Connections

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This year's list of finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame includes three connections to the Indianapolis Colts. Former Head Coach Tony Dungy, Wide Receiver Marvin Harrison and General Manager Bill Polian are among 18 coaches, players and contributors on this year's ballot. January 8, 2015

News Release

CANTON, Ohio - Three first-year eligible nominees - Junior Seau, Orlando Pace, and Kurt Warner - are among the 15 Modern-Era Finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, January 31, 2015.

Joining the first-year eligible nominees, are nine other modern-era players and three coaches. The 15 Modern-Era Finalists join the senior finalist announced in August 2014 (former Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff) and two Contributor finalists announced in October (team executives Bill Polian and Ron Wolf) to comprise the list 18 finalists who will be considered for Hall of Fame election when the 46-member Selection Committee meets.

The 15 Modern-Era Finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee from a list of 113 nominees that earlier was reduced to 26 semifinalists, during the multi-step, year-long selection process. Tingelhoff was selected as the Senior Finalist by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee. The Seniors Committee reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago. Polian and Wolf were selected as the Contributor Finalists by the Hall of Fame’s Contributor Committee. Contributors are persons who made outstanding contributions to professional football other than players and coaches.

To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s 18 finalists (15 Modern-Era players and coaches, one Senior Finalist* and two Contributor Finalists**) with their positions, teams, and years active follow:

Morten Andersen, Kicker – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings

Jerome Bettis, Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

Tim Brown, Wide Receiver/Kick Returner/Punt Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/ Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978 -1986 San Diego Chargers

Terrell Davis, Running Back – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos

Tony Dungy, Coach – 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts

Kevin Greene, Linebacker/Defensive End – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers

Charles Haley, Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys

Marvin Harrison, Wide Receiver – 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts

Jimmy Johnson, Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996- 99 Miami Dolphins

John Lynch, Free Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos

Orlando Pace, Tackle – 1997-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Chicago Bears

**Bill Polian, Contributor – 1978-1982 Kansas City Chiefs, 1984-1992 Buffalo Bills, 1993-94 National Football League, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers, 1998-2011 Indianapolis Colts

Junior Seau, Linebacker – 1990-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-05 Miami Dolphins, 2006-09 New England Patriots

Will Shields, Guard – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs

*Mick Tingelhoff, Center – 1962-1978 Minnesota Vikings

Kurt Warner, Quarterback – 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals

**Ron Wolf, Contributor – 1963-1974, 1979-1989 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1966 American Football League, 1976-78 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1990-91 New York Jets, 1991-2001 Green Bay Packers

Although they have been nominees in previous years, this is the first time that Terrell Davis, Jimmy Johnson, Bill Polian, Mick Tingelhoff and Ron Wolf have been finalists.

YEARS OF ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for election, modern-era players and coaches must have last played or coached more than five seasons ago. Since contributors need not be retired to be eligible, there is no specific year of eligibility for Polian or Wolf.

Year of Eligibility Finalists

1st Orlando Pace, Junior Seau, Kurt Warner

2nd Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison

3rd Morten Andersen, John Lynch

4th Will Shields

5th Jerome Bettis

6th Tim Brown

9th Terrell Davis

11th Kevin Greene, Charles Haley

16th Jimmy Johnson^

28th Don Coryell^

32nd Mick Tingelhoff

^Although in 2007 the Hall of Fame By-Laws for selection were modified to provide that a coach must be retired five seasons to be eligible, both Coryell and Johnson first became eligible under the old rules that did not require the five-year waiting period. Thus, Coryell has been eligible since his retirement from coaching in 1986 making him eligible for 28 years. Johnson was eligible for one year between the Cowboys and the Dolphins plus ever since he retired after the 1999 season. Therefore, his total years of eligibility are 16.

- See more at: http://www.profootballhof.com/enshrinement/2015/1/8/class-of-2015-finalists-announced/#sthash.lMf0I5n1.dpuf