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Former Colts Dungy, Harrison Named Semifinalists for Hall of Fame

Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy and former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison were named among the 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 were announced Wednesday night, bringing the number of candidates down to 25, and two former Colts are still in the running.

Former head coach Tony Dungy and former wide receiver Marvin Harrison were both named semifinalists for the Hall, a well-deserved honor for both of them that brings them one step closer to the ultimate honor in football, the Hall of Fame.

This summer I wrote an article looking at the Hall of Fame candidacy of the Manning-Era Colts, and here is what I wrote about Harrison and Dungy's chances:

Marvin Harrision, Wide Receiver: Marvin, statistically, should be a no-brainer. He's arguably second all-time to Jerry Rice, and that's worthy of a first ballot hall of famer. I don't think there is much doubt that Marvin gets in, but the question is whether he gets in first ballot or not. There is a big wide receiver logjam right now for the Hall (which the voters need to resolve NOW) which could possibly prevent Marvin, who has some off the field questions that shouldn't impact the voting but which might, from being a first ballot hall of famer. I'm not sure if he'll get in next year or the year after, but I'm confident he'll get in. Chances: 95%

Tony Dungy, Head Coach: Dungy also is eligible next year, but I'm pretty sure he won't get in then. But I do think he has a pretty good chance to be in sometime. He has a very impressive coaching resume (which includes a Super Bowl), but on top of that, he is a great guy and leader and influence on the NFL, he rebuilt the Buccaneers from pretty much nothing, he invented the Tampa 2 defense, and he did huge things for African American coaches, becoming the first to win a Super Bowl. I think Dungy has a good shot, but he'll likely have to wait. Chances: 70%

If I were writing that article over again today, I'd put Dungy's chances at higher than 70%.  And I'm not even sure if he'll have to wait anymore.  I'm beginning to think that Harrison might have a harder time than Dungy making it in, although I'm not sure it will play out that way, nor am I sure whether either one of them will get in this year.  Both of them have a very legitimate shot this year.

Three of Dungy's former players with the Buccaneers and Colts are also semifinalists this year: linebacker Derrick Brooks, safety John Lynch, and then wide receiver Marvin Harrison.  Dungy tweeted about them this week, and said this about Brooks and Harrison:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>"<a href="">@Devin_94_Thomas</a>: <a href="">@TonyDungy</a> do you think Marvin will get in this time around?" Yes Marvin and Derrick should go in for sure</p>&mdash; Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) <a href="">November 21, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Dungy, Harrison, Brooks, and offensive tackle Walter Jones, were the only four first-year eligible candidates to be named a semifinalist.

The list will be narrowed down to 15 modern-era finalists and then the inductees will be announced February 1, 2014 - the day before the Super Bowl.  Only five modern-era candidates can be selected in any given year.  Here is a complete list of the 25 semifinalists, in alphabetical order:

  • Morten Andersen, PK
  • Steve Atwater, S
  • Jerome Bettis, RB
  • Derrick Brooks, LB
  • Tim Brown, WR-KR
  • Don Coryell, Coach
  • Roger Craig, RB,
  • Terrell Davis, RB
  • Edward DeBartolo Jr., Owner
  • Tony Dungy, Coach
  • Kevin Greene, LB-DE
  • Charles Haley, DE-LB
  • Marvin Harrison, WR
  • Joe Jacoby, OT
  • Jimmy Johnson, Coach
  • Walter Jones, OT
  • John Lynch, S
  • Karl Mecklenburg, LB
  • Andre Reed, WR
  • Will Shields, G
  • Michael Strahan, DE
  • Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner
  • Aeneas Williams, CB-S
  • Steve Wisniewski, G
  • George Young, Contributor