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Four first-timers are Pro Football Hall finalists

The SportsXchange

Four first-time-eligible nominees -- wide receiver Marvin Harrison, linebacker Derrick Brooks, offensive tackle Walter Jones and coach Tony Dungy -- lead the group of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2014.

They are joined by nine of last year's finalists: wide receivers Tim Brown and Andre Reed, running back Jerome Bettis, linebacker/defensive end Kevin Greene, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, defensive end offensive guard Will Shields, Michael Strahan, defensive back Aeneas Williams and team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

The other two finalists are free safety John Lynch and kicker Morten Andersen.

The announcement was made Thursday on NFL Network.

Ten semifinalists who failed to make the cut were running backs Terrell Davis and Roger Craig, safety Steve Atwater, linebacker Karl Mecklenburg, guard Steve Wisniewski, tackle Joe Jacoby, coaches Jimmy Johnson and Don Coryell, executive George Young and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Two Seniors Committee nominees, punter Ray Guy and defensive end Claude Humphrey, also will be on the ballot when the voters meet Feb. 1 in New York. They were selected last summer in voting covering players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago.

No more than five of the modern-era can be elected in addition to the Seniors Committee nominees, putting the maximum number of new Hall of Famers at seven.

A capsule look at the 17 finalists:

Morten Andersen

Position: Kicker

Years/Teams: 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings

College: Michigan State

Drafted: 4th round (86th player overall) of 1982 draft by New Orleans Saints

Seasons: 25

Games: 382

All-Pro: 5

Pro Bowls: 7

Career Stats: 565 Field Goals, 849 PATs for 2,544 career points

Notable: Andersen retired as the NFL's all-time leading scorer and leads two teams (the Saints and Falcons) in career field goals and points.

Jerome Bettis

Position: Running Back

Years/Teams: 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

College: Notre Dame

Drafted: 1st round (10th overall) of 1993 draft by Los Angeles Rams

Seasons: 13

Games: 192

All-Pro: 2

Pro Bowls: 6

Career Stats: 3,479 carries for 13,662 yards, 91 touchdowns; 200 receptions for 1,449 yards, three touchdowns.

Notable: At the time of his retirement, Bettis ranked fifth in rushing yards.

Derrick Brooks

Position: Linebacker

Years/Teams: 1995-2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

College: Florida State

Drafted: 1st round (28th player overall) of 1995 draft by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seasons: 14

Games: 224

All-Pro: 6

Pro Bowls: 11

Career Stats: Recorded 25 interceptions returned for 530 yards, six touchdowns. Also amassed 13.5 sacks and one fumble recovery for touchdown.

Notable: Brooks, a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s, was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2002.

Tim Brown

Position: Wide Receiver/Kick Returner

Years/Teams: 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

College: Notre Dame

Drafted: 1st round (6th overall) of 1988 draft by Los Angeles Raiders

Seasons: 17

Games: 255

All-Pro: 2

Pro Bowls: 9

Career Stats: 1,094 receptions for 14,934 yards and 100 touchdowns.

Notable: Brown had 80 or more receptions in nine seasons over a 10-year span. He also was lethal return man; his 19,682 all-purpose yards still rank fifth all-time.

Edward DeBartolo Jr.

Position: Owner

Years/Teams: 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers

College: Notre Dame

Seasons: 24

Division Titles: 13

Conference Titles: 5

Super Bowl Titles: 5

Notable: DeBartolo transformed the 49ers into one of the most dominant dynasties in NFL history.

Tony Dungy

Position: Head Coach

Years/Teams: 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts

College: Minnesota

NFL Coach of the Year Awards: 2

Seasons: 13

Division Titles: 6

Conference Titles: 1

Super Bowl Titles: 1

Notable: Dungy, the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl, was elected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

Kevin Greene

Position: Linebacker/Defensive End

Years/Teams: 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996 and 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers

College: Auburn

Drafted: 5th round (113th overall) of 1985 draft by Los Angeles Rams

Seasons: 15

Games: 228

All-Pro: 2

Pro Bowls: 5

Career Stats: Amassed 160 sacks. Also had five interceptions for 53 yards and one touchdown; three safeties and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns.

Notable: Greene twice led the NFL in sacks, the first time in 1994 with the Steelers and again two years later with the Panthers. He had 10 or more sacks in a season 10 times during his career.

Charles Haley

Position: Defensive End/Linebacker

Years/Teams: 1986-1991 and 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys

College: James Madison

Drafted: 4th round (96th overall) of 1986 draft by San Francisco 49ers

Seasons: 12

Games: 169

All-Pro: 2

Pro Bowls: 5

Career Stats: Recorded 100.5 sacks. Had one safety and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Notable: Haley holds the NFL record for most Super Bowl victories by a player. He won three with the Cowboys (XXVII, XVIII, XXX) and two with the 49ers (XXIII, XXIV).

Marvin Harrison

Position: Wide Receiver

Years/Teams: 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts

College: Syracuse

Drafted: 1st round (19th overall) of 1996 draft by Indianapolis Colts

Seasons: 13

Games: 190

All-Pro: 6

Pro Bowls: 8

Career Stats: 1,102 receptions for 14,580 yards and 128 TDs

Notable: At retirement, Harrison ranked second all-time in receptions and fourth in career receiving yardage.

Walter Jones

Position: Tackle

Years/Teams: 1997-2008 Seattle Seahawks

College: Holmes Community College (Mississippi), Florida State

Drafted: 1st round (6th overall) of 1997 draft by Seattle Seahawks

Seasons: 12

Games: 180

All-Pro: 6

Pro Bowls: 9

Notable: Jones was voted to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s. His number was retired by the Seahawks in 2010.

John Lynch

Position: Free Safety

Years/Teams: 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos

College: Stanford

Drafted: 3rd round (82nd overall) of 1993 draft by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seasons: 15

Games: 224

All-Pro: 3

Pro Bowls: 9

Career Stats: 24 interceptions for 204 yards, 13.0 career sacks.

Notable: Lynch registered nine seasons in which he logged 90 or more tackles.

Andre Reed

Position: Wide Receiver

Years/Teams: 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins

College: Kutztown

Drafted: 4th round (86th overall) in 1985 draft by Buffalo Bills

Seasons: 16

Games: 234

All-Pro: 3

Pro Bowls: 7

Career Stats: 951 receptions for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns.

Notable: Reed had 50 or more receptions in 13 seasons, which ranks third all-time. At the time of his retirement, his 951 career receptions ranked third all-time.

Will Shields

Position: Guard

Years/Teams: 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs

College: Nebraska

Drafted: 3rd round (74th overall) of 1993 draft by Kansas City Chiefs.

Seasons: 14

Games: 224

All-Pro: 3

Pro Bowls: 12

Notable: Shields was selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s.

Michael Strahan

Position: Defensive End

Years/Teams: 1993-2007 New York Giants

College: Texas Southern

Drafted: 2nd round (40th overall) of 1993 draft by New York Giants.

Seasons: 15

Games: 216

All-Pro: 5

Pro Bowls: 7

Career Stats: 141.5 sacks and one safety, four interceptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

Notable: Strahan holds the NFL record for most sacks in a single season, 22.5 in 2001.

Aeneas Williams

Position: Cornerback/Safety

Years/Teams: 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams

College: Southern University

Drafted: 3rd round (59th overall) of 1991 draft by Phoenix Cardinals

Seasons: 14

Games: 211

All-Pro: 4

Pro Bowls: 8

Career Stats: 55 interceptions for 807 yards and nine touchdowns.

Notable: At the time of his retirement, Williams was tied with Hall of Famer Ken Houston for second on the NFL's all-time list of interception returns for touchdowns with nine.

SENIORS NOMINEES

Ray Guy

Position: Punter

Years/Teams: 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

College: Southern Mississippi

Drafted: 1st round (23rd overall) of 1973 draft by Oakland Raiders

Seasons: 14

All-Pro: 6

Pro Bowls: 7

Career stats: 42.4-yard average on 1,049 punts.

Notable: Averaged under 40 yards only once in his career. Only three of his punts were blocked.

Claude Humphrey

Position: Defensive End

Years/Teams: 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles

College: Tennessee State

Drafted: 1st round (3rd overall) of 1968 draft by Atlanta Falcons

Seasons: 13

All-Pro: 5

Pro Bowls: 6

Career stats: 122 sacks, two interceptions, one fumble recovery for a touchdown, two safeties

Notable: Recorded 11.5 sacks en route to winning 1968 Defensive Rookie of the Year. Posted a team-high 14.5 sacks to help the 1980 Eagles advance to Super Bowl XV.
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