The NFL Hall of Fame’s finalists for 2016 were announced yesterday. Brett Favre, Terrell Owens and Alan Faneca became candidates in their very first year of eligibility. The other finalists are Morten Andersen, Steve Atwater, Don Coryell, Terrell Davis, Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Joe Jacoby, Edgerrin James, John Lynch, Orlando Pace and Kurt Warner.
The final decisions on each candidate will be announced on February 6, the day prior to Super Bowl 50. A maximum of eight inductees are allowed per year and in order to be enshrined, a finalist must receive a minimum of 80 percent of the votes cast by the Hall’s selection panel.
Tony Dungy resurrected a terrible Buccaneer franchise and proceeded to win the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, becoming the first black coach to win the NFL championship.
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Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James starred for Dungy on those excellent Colts teams. Harrison accumulated a ridiculous 1,102 receptions for 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns. James, the 1999 Offensive Rookie of the Year, won two rushing crowns and rushed for over 1,000-yards seven times.
Don Coryell was the architect of the Air Coryell offense that was the blueprint for today’s explosive passing attacks. He compiled a 111-83-1 record with the Cardinals and Chargers in 14 seasons as an NFL head coach.
Steve Atwater, a vicious safety who hit harder than Earnie Shavers for ten years, has two rings with the Denver Broncos from their 1997 and 1998 championship squads.
Terrell Davis, another two-time Super Bowl winner with the Denver Broncos who was a teammate of Atwater’s, ran for 2,008 yards in 1998 when he was named the NFL’s MVP.
Morton Andersen scored more points and played in more games than anyone in NFL history, accumulating an absurd 2,544 points while playing for five teams over 25 seasons. He kicked 40 field goals of 50 yards or longer.
John Lynch, a nine-time Pro Bowler, was another spectacular safety who played 15 seasons in the NFL. He caused more destruction than a vengeful Jason Bourne. A Super Bowl winner on Jon Gruden’s Bucs team, Lynch was a key contributor to that legendary Tampa-2 shutdown defense.
Alan Faneca, a six-time Pro Bowler, anchored the offensive lines of the Steelers, with whom he won a Super Bowl, and the Jets and Cardinals over his 13 years in the league.
Joe Jacoby will always be known as one of Washington, D.C.’s beloved Hogs, the Redskins exceptional offensive line that propelled the franchise to three Super Bowl victories in the Joe Gibbs era.
Orlando Pace was the most glaring omission from last year’s Hall of Fame class. One of the most dominant tackles in the history of professional football, he appeared in seven Pro Bowls over his 12-year career with the St. Louis Rams. He protected the blind-side of fellow candidate Kurt Warner, a two-time league MVP who is one of the greatest rags-to-riches stories in NFL history.
With Pace mauling defensive linemen and Warner operating the offense known as The Greatest Show on Turf, the Rams finished in the top 10 of total offense seven times and led the league in total yards, passing yards and points for three consecutive from 1999, when they won the Super Bowl, through 2001.
Kevin Greene tallied 160 sacks over his 12-year career and was third on the career list when he retired.
Terrell Owens played for 16 pro seasons. In his prime with the 49’ers, Eagles and Cowboys, he was a force of nature at the wide receiver position. T.O., one of the most dominant pass catchers ever that could singlehandedly wreck a defense like Monica Lewinsky did the White House, ranks second all time in career receiving yards (15,934), third in touchdown catches (153) and sixth in receptions (1,078).
Brett Favre is the supreme headliner of the 2016 Hall of Fame class, a three-time league MVP who played with the swagger and bravado of James Dillinger. The game’s ultimate iron man who did not miss a start until his 20th season in the league, he walked away from the game as the NFL's all time leader with 6,300 completions, 10,169 attempts, 71,838 yards and 508 touchdowns.
In his prime, Favre won three-straight MVP awards and Super Bowl XXI with the Green Bay Packers, who hadn’t won a title since 1967.