CANTON, OH – Former Saints Eric Allen, Sam Mills and Willie Roaf are among the 103 candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012, the Hall of Fame announced Wednesday.
Running back Tiki Barber, quarterback Drew Bledsoe, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, guard Will Shields, and coaches Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, and Marty Schottenheimer are among the 11 first-year eligible modern-era candidates.
From that list of nominees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees. The list of 25 semifinalists will be announced in mid-November.
The list of 25 semifinalists will be further reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists and announced in early January.
The final list of nominees that will be considered for election will consist of the 15 modern-era finalists and the two senior nominees, former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Jack Butler and former Detroit Lions guard Dick Stanfel, who were selected this last month by the Hall of Fame's Senior Selection Committee.
In 2008 the Hall of Fame modified its By-Laws for the Selection Committee making it mandatory for coaches, like players, to be retired five consecutive seasons. Prior to that change, coaches were eligible immediately upon retirement. As such, Parcells was a nominee in 2001, 2002, and 2003 and Schottenheimer was a nominee in 2000. This is their first year of eligibility under the new provision.
The Class of 2012 will be selected from the list of 17 finalists (15 modern-era and two senior nominees). The actual voting will be conducted at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee's annual meeting, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 the day before Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The election results will be announced that evening on NFL Network, live from the Super Bowl Media Center.
While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the selection process by-laws provide that between four and seven new members will be selected.
The preliminary list includes 71 players, 14 coaches and 18 contributors, including former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime team owners Bud Adams, Jr., Jack Kent Cooke, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., and Art Modell.
While a nominated player or coach must have been retired at least five consecutive seasons, a contributor, who is an individual who has made outstanding career contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing or coaching, may still be active in his pro football career. The complete list of nominees can also be found at Profootballhof.com.
Preliminary List of Nominees for the Class of 2012
First-year Eligible Nominees
Quarterback – Drew Bledsoe
Running Backs – Tiki Barber, Stephen Davis
Wide Receivers – Keyshawn Johnson, Rod Smith
Offensive Lineman – Will Shields (G)
Defensive Back – Troy Vincent (S)
Kicker – Mike Vanderjagt
Coaches – Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, Marty Schottenheimer
QUARTERBACK – Phil Simms
RUNNING BACKS – Jerome Bettis, Larry Centers, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Eddie George, *Curtis Martin, Brian Mitchell (also KR/PR), Gerald Riggs, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters
WIDE RECEIVERS –Tim Brown, *Cris Carter, Gary Clark, Mark Clayton, Henry Ellard, *Andre Reed, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith
TIGHT ENDS – Todd Christensen, Frank Wycheck
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN – Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Jim Covert (T), *Dermontti Dawson (C), Joe Fields (C), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), Jim Lachey (T), *Willie Roaf (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN – Dave Butz ((DE/DT), *Chris Doleman (DE/LB), Carl Hairston (DE/DT), *Charles Haley (DE/LB), Ed "Too Tall" Jones (DE), *Cortez Kennedy (DT), Joe Klecko (DE/DT/NT), Dexter Manley (DE), Charles Mann (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT)
LINEBACKERS – Cornelius Bennett, Kevin Greene (LB/DE), Ken Harvey, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills
DEFENSIVE BACKS – Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S) LeRoy Butler (S), Kenny Easley (S), Albert Lewis (CB), Donnie Shell (S), Aeneas Williams (CB/S), Darren Woodson (S)
PUNTERS/KICKERS – Gary Anderson (K), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P) SPECIAL TEAMS/POSITION PLAYER – Steve Tasker
COACHES – Bill Arnsparger, Bud Carson, Don Coryell, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Chuck Mather, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil
CONTRIBUTORS – K. S. (Bud) Adams, Bobby Beathard, Gil Brandt, Leo Carlin, Jack Kent Cooke, Otho Davis, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Ron Gibbs, Jim Kensil, Eddie Kotal, Art McNally, Art Modell, Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, Burl Toler, Sr., Jim Tunney, Ron Wolf, George Young
*On 2011 finalists list