CANTON, Ohio –** Titans owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr., along with former franchise greats Eddie George, Frank Wycheck, Reggie Roby and Gary Anderson are among the list of 131 players, coaches and contributors who make up the preliminary list of modern-era nominees for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2010.
Also on the list are the National Football League's all-time leading receiver Jerry Rice and all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith. George and Anderson are two of the seven first-year eligible candidates on this year's list of nominees.
From this preliminary list of modern-era nominees, Hall of Fame selectors will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees. The list of 25 modern-era semifinalists will be announced on November 27.
The 25 modern-era semifinalists list will be reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists that will be announced on January 7.
The final list of nominees that will be considered for election will consist of the 15 modern-era finalists and the two previously announced senior nominees, former Detroit Lions cornerback Dick LeBeau and former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little. LeBeau and Little were selected this past August by the Hall of Fame's Senior Selection Committee.
The Class of 2010 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, February 6, 2010 in South Florida the day before Super Bowl XLIV. The election results will be announced immediately afterwards. 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 103 players, 10 coaches and 18 contributors, including former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime team owners Adams, and Art Modell. The other first-year eligible nominees are wide receiver Jerry Rice, wide receiver Tim Brown, quarterback Rich Gannon, running back Emmit Smith, and cornerback/safety Aeneas Williams.
To be considered for Hall of Fame election, a nominated player or coach must have been retired at least five years. 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.
PRELIMINARY LIST OF NOMINEES FOR THE CLASS OF 2010
FIRST-YEAR ELIGIBLE NOMINEES
Quarterback – Rich Gannon
Running Back – Eddie George, Emmitt Smith
Wide Receiver –Tim Brown, Jerry Rice
Defensive Back – Aeneas Williams (CB/S)
Kicker – Gary Anderson
Quarterbacks –Ken Anderson, Randall Cunningham, Boomer Esiason, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms,
Joe Theismann, Danny White (also Punter), Doug Williams
Running Backs –Ottis Anderson, Larry Centers, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Leroy Hoard, Eric Metcalf (also WR), Brian Mitchell (also KR/PR), Mike Pruitt, Gerald Riggs, George Rogers, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters
Wide Receivers – Cliff Branch, *Cris Carter, Gary Clark, Henry Ellard, Irving Fryar, Roy Green, Herman Moore, Stanley Morgan, *Andre Reed, Sterling Sharpe
Tight Ends –Mark Bavaro, Todd Christensen, Ben Coates, Russ Francis, *Shannon Sharpe, Frank Wycheck
Offensive Linemen –Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Jim Covert (T), *Dermontti Dawson (C),
*Russ Grimm (G), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (G/T), Kent Hull (C), Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), Jim Lachey (T), Max Montoya (G), Korey Stringer (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
Defensive Linemen –Al "Bubba" Baker (DE), Ray Childress (DT/DE), *Richard Dent (DE), Chris Doleman (DE/LB), Charles Haley (DE/LB), Ed "Too Tall" Jones (DE), *Cortez Kennedy (DT), Joe Klecko (DE/DT/NT), Dexter Manley (DE), Charles Mann (DE), Steve McMichael (DT/NT), Leslie O'Neal (DE), Michael Dean Perry (DT/DE), *John Randle (DE/DT), Clyde Simmons (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT)
Linebackers –Cornelius Bennett, Matt Blair, Kevin Greene (also DE), Ken Harvey, Rickey Jackson, Rod Martin, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Hardy Nickerson, Chris Spielman, Pat Swilling, Darryl Talley
Defensive Backs –Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S), LeRoy Butler (S), Raymond Clayborn (CB), Kenny Easley (S), Lester Hayes (CB), Carnell Lake (S/CB), Albert Lewis (CB), Frank Minnifield (CB), Donnie Shell (S), Darren Woodson (S), Louis Wright (CB)
Kickers/Punters – Ray Guy (P), Nick Lowery (K), Reggie Roby (P)
Special Teams –Steve Tasker (ST/WR)
Coaches –Bill Arnsparger, Don Coryell, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, A.O. "Bum" Phillips, Dan Reeves, Buddy Ryan, Clark Shaughnessy
Contributors –K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr., Bobby Beathard, Gil Brandt, Leo Carlin, Jack Kent Cooke, Otho Davis, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Ole Haugsrud, Frank "Bucko" Kilroy, Art Modell, Art Rooney, Jr., Carroll Rosenbloom, Ed Sabol, Steve Sabol, *Paul Tagliabue, Jim Tunney, Ron Wolf, George Young
*On 2009 17 finalists list