This evening, the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the list of modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016, and the Indianapolis Colts are well-represented on the list. Wide receiver Marvin Harrison, running back Edgerrin James, and head coach Tony Dungy are all among the candidates this year.
Marvin Harrison is one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history, yet he inexplicably has had to wait to get into the Hall of Fame - with this being his third year of eligibility. The old saying is that third time's the charm, and so hopefully that is the case, but even the fact that it's taken three tries to get Harrison in makes the voters look pretty stupid. His 1,102 catches are third all-time, his 14,580 yards are seventh all-time, and his 128 touchdowns are fifth all-time - with each mark being a Colts franchise record as well. From 1999-2006 (a span of eight straight seasons), Harrison notched at least 1,000 yards and ten touchdowns in each season. That's eight years in a row with over 1,000 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns, a ridiculous mark. He caught a pass in every single one of the 190 games he played, while in 2002 he set an NFL single-season record for most receptions with 143 - a mark that no one has come close to breaking since (Antonio Brown, who is in second place for single-season receptions, is still 14 behind Harrison's mark). He had sixteen different games with double-digit receptions, 59 games with 100 or more receiving yards, and 28 games with multiple touchdowns. He also is part of the most dynamic quarterback and wide receiver duo in league history, as combined with Peyton Manning the two shattered the record books for most receptions, yards, and touchdown between two players. Harrison was named to eight Pro Bowls and was a three-time first-team All Pro, and he is a member of the Colts' Ring of Honor.
Edgerrin James enters his second year of eligibility after he was a semi-finalist last year. He is 11th on the NFL's career rushing yards list with 12,246, and only one player in the top 14 (other than James) isn't in the Hall of Fame: LaDainian Tomlinson, who is eligible for the first time this year. James also rushed for 80 career touchdowns, the 19th-most in league history. He averaged four yards per carry during a career that spanned three teams (the Colts, Cardinals, and Seahawks) and also caught 433 passes for 3,364 yards and 11 touchdowns - ranking 15th all-time in yards from scrimmage with 15,610. James is the Colts' franchise record holder in nearly every significant rushing category, including career rushing yards, career rushing touchdowns, single-season rushing yards, and most 1,000+ yard rushing seasons (something he did five times with the Colts and six times in his career). Three times in his career, James topped 2,000 total yards from scrimmage in a season. James was named the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1999 and was named to four Pro Bowls while being a first-team All-Pro in his rookie season as well. Like Harrison, Edge is a member of the Colts' Ring of Honor.
Tony Dungy has been a finalist for the past two seasons, something that likely speaks favorably to his chances of eventually getting into the Hall of Fame. He is the winningest coach in Colts history, as during seven seasons with the team he went 85-27 (.759), won five division titles, an AFC title, and Super Bowl XLI. One of the most remarkable aspects of Dungy's tenure with the Colts was the fact that the team made the playoffs in each of his seven seasons and won 12 or more games in the final six of those. In fact, during Dungy's 13 years as a head coach in the NFL, his teams made the playoffs in all but two of those years, and he finished only one season with a losing record - his first year with the Buccaneers after taking over one of the worst franchises in the NFL and in sports (still getting six wins). During his career with both the Bucs and the Colts, Dungy was 139-69 (.688), with his winning percentage ranking 12th all-time. Dungy's teams won over two-thirds of the games they played and they made the playoffs in eleven out of thirteen seasons, which is phenomenal success on the field. Dungy is also known for his defensive expertise, however, and was a very influential coach. He helped create and implement the Tampa 2 defense and is coaching tree is quite extensive. He was the first African-American head coach to ever win a Super Bowl, and he is one of the most respected men in football still today. And, like with Harrison and James, Dungy is a member of the Colts' Ring of Honor.